The Minnesota Marine Art Museum (MMAM) announced that it received a major supporting gift from the Winona Foundation on May 12. The Winona Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization funded and administered by the family and heirs of the Laird Norton Co., which began operations in Winona in 1855, recognizes MMAM as an “exemplary organization contributing to the cultural, historical and educational heritage of Winona,” noted Andrew Parks, Chairman of the Board of the Winona Foundation.
“The museum’s unrelenting commitment to serving the community from which it operates through arts access programs like seasonal Saturdays, early childhood initiatives like Toddler Tuesdays, and health and wellness initiatives like SPARK! are just a few examples of how the nonprofit, mission-driven arts museum delivers “innovative programs” at the heart of our mission,” adds Parks. “The partnership with MMAM continues to be a source of great pride for our family, with gratitude for the many bounties we have received from Winona and the community at large.”
MMAM will use this support to fund educational programs that are central to the museum’s commitment to providing meaningful artistic experiences that explore the historic and ongoing human relationship with water.
MMAM also received additional new support this spring through grants from the Arts Council of Southeastern Minnesota, Carl and Verna Schmidt Foundation, Winona Community Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and Winona Area Chamber of Commerce. The last two grantmaking efforts leveraged support from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) led by President Biden to support companies and organizations like MMAM through the current public health crises and resulting economic crisis. .
“Museums and cultural organizations across the country, and the state, have been impacted by the crisis, and will be for some time,” notes Scott Pollock, executive director of MMAM. “As shown in a recent study by the American Alliance of Museums, it will take years for the museum field to return to pre-pandemic levels of staff, revenue and community engagement,” Pollock continues.
MMAM has seen an 84% drop in revenue, well above the national average of 40%, for nearly two years and now only sees visits returning to pre-pandemic levels.
Thanks in large part to several federal relief programs like the U.S. Bailout, and pending state legislation, like the Cultural Community Rescue Program, supported by all parties in Minnesota, notes Greg Neidhardt, Member of the MMAM Board of Trustees, “Museums, theaters and arts organizations will be able to bounce back and get back to doing the job they do best – weaving the social fabric of our communities.
Arts and culture organizations in Minnesota lost a total of $2.2 billion in revenue, leading to more than 60,000 layoffs across the industry. The Cultural Community Rescue Program would use ARPA dollars to fund grants to the approximately 1,400 nonprofit and cultural organizations across the state that have been impacted by the pandemic. As State Senator Karin Housely (R-Stillwater) comments, “The arts are so important to our state. Not only do they play a key role in our economy, but they bring together diverse people and communities. »
As a destination museum deeply committed to serving its community, MMAM is well positioned to leverage this support. On May 18, International Museum Day, the Minnesota Marine Art Museum will announce how it plans to roll out a series of initiatives and partnerships that not only allow it to
return to pre-pandemic activity levels, but reinvent how it does its job and with whom.