The national arts nonprofit — founded by philanthropist and Walmart heiress Alice Walton — announced the launch of “Access for All” in October, according to a Figge release Tuesday.
The initiative aims to increase access to museums across the country and foster engagement with local communities by covering the costs of free admission days and expanded free hours as well as programming, outreach, and community partnerships that together, will eliminate many common barriers to access. Second Saturdays at the Figge are set to enhance the cultural fabric of the Quad Cities by offering broader access to a diverse array of exhibitions.
These days will highlight the museum’s comprehensive art education programming, such as exhibition tours, make-and-take art activities, performances, wellness activities, and more, the museum said.
Guiding the art education programming for each second Saturday at the Figge will be a unique theme that infuses the day with distinct energy, beginning with “Celebrating the Season of Giving,” on Dec. 9.
“We are overjoyed to open our doors wider and more often thanks to the Art Bridges Foundation’s Access for All program. The launch of free second Saturdays underscores our dedication to being a cultural hub that is accessible to all,” said Figge executive director Michelle Hargrave. “Our inaugural ‘Celebrating the Season of Giving’ theme for the first free Saturday reflects our spirit of community, generosity, and gratitude, and we invite everyone to join us in this celebration.”
Access for All is a $40-million nationwide initiative from Art Bridges Foundation aimed at closing access and opportunity gaps that prevent all communities from experiencing art.
This $40 million in funding — to 64 art museums and cultural institutions nationwide — aims to increase access to art across the country and foster engagement with local communities by covering the costs of free admission days and expanded free hours, as well as programming, outreach and community partnerships that will eliminate many common barriers to access.
“We are thrilled to launch Access for All, a historic partnership with cultural institutions across the country to make it easier for people in every U.S. region to see and experience art,” said Alice Walton, founder and board chair of Art Bridges.
“At Art Bridges, we can’t wait to see our trusted partners get creative and deliver impact to their communities,” she said. “In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are confident Access for All will not only help to rebuild museum attendance but also bring more people than ever into museum galleries and reshape the arts world as one that is open to all.”
The initiative represents a sweeping effort to get people back to museums after COVID-19 brought revenue, staffing, and attendance declines. With many museums seeing just 71 percent of their pre-pandemic attendance, the new initiative aims to restore pre-pandemic levels – and open opportunities for all people to enjoy art by reducing barriers to access and strengthening community relationships, the release said.
Walton’s interest in art led to the Walton Family Foundation developing the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas (the home of Walmart headquarters). That museum opened in 2011 and is free to attend.
Typically, Figge admission is $10 for adults, $6 for seniors and students with ID and $4 children ages 4-12. Admission is free to Figge members and institutional members and to all on Thursday evenings.
For more information on the Figge (225 W. 2nd St., Davenport), visit its website HERE.