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Bronx Museum Gets $500K to Expand Free Admission & Add Group Programs PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 March 2013 01:36

The Bronx Museum of the Arts has extended and expanded its free admission policy through 2015 thanks to a $500,000 gift from Shelley and Donald Rubin. Under the Free Admission Program, the Bronx Museum will also offer a more robust program of visits and programs for school and community groups. The Museum launched its Free Admission Program in March 2012 and has since seen a 50 percent increase in annual attendance. Under the new program, the Museum will welcome more than 30 additional schools and community groups for free cultural programs, reaching people in every neighborhood of the Bronx—one of the most geographically and culturally diverse constituencies in the United States. The expanded initiatives will include more school group visits, after-school programs for students, and tailored visits for groups with special needs, as well as outreach to staff and constituencies at local hospitals, businesses, and settlement houses.

“The number of people who came into the Museum and the increased community engagement that emerged from the free admission and school adoption programs we began last year was inspiring,” said Holly Block, executive director of The Bronx Museum of the Arts. “The Rubins’ generous gift will enable us to expand these programs and give hundreds of young people and members of underserved communities in every corner of the Bronx new opportunities to experience and participate in the arts.”

Shelley and Donald Rubin’s Free Admission Program at the Bronx Museum was announced at the Museum’s “The Bronx in Venice” gala, which honored Wallace Edgecombe, former director of the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture; Shelley and Donald Rubin; and artist Sarah Sze, who will represent the United States at the Venice Biennale this summer in the pavilion commissioned by the Bronx Museum.

The Bronx Museum of the Arts has become an international force through its partnerships with the U.S. Department of State, while at the same time deepening its ties with the Bronx community through such programs as free admission.  The Museum’s First Friday and Open House public programs include film, art performances, and music, and have drawn enthusiastic response from community members, many of whom also participate in the Museum’s community and teen councils.

The Bronx Museum works on a national and international level with an ambitious exhibition program that presents emerging and established artists, most recently in exhibitions of work by American artist Joan Semmel and Mexican photographer Enrique Metinides. The Museum’s Artist in the Marketplace (AIM) program—which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2011—supports young and emerging artists and brings their work to the public. In partnership with the U.S. Department of State, in 2010 the Bronx Museum of the Arts launched the smARTpower program which sent 15 U.S. artists abroad to work with local arts organizations and people around the world to create community-based art projects. The Museum was selected to be the commissioning institution for the U.S. Pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale by the U.S. Department of State.

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