The George Eastman Museum recently received two $35,000 grants from Art Bridges through its Bridge Ahead Initiative — a nearly $6 million commitment to assist partner museums adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The George Eastman Museum is very grateful to Art Bridges for its quick and generous response to the adverse impact that the pandemic is having on museums around the country,” director Bruce Barnes said. “The grant funding we’ve received through the Bridge Ahead Initiative has undoubtedly helped us reach our goals of successfully engaging our community remotely and reopening our museum to the public.”
The museum is developing online engagement opportunities and programs to connect with the community remotely as part of its Eastman Museum at Home program. This includes creating virtual 3D tours of George Eastman’s historic mansion and exhibitions in the galleries, as well as curator-led video tours.
Funds are being used to purchase an upgraded camera system, 3D camera and digital scanner, and to support the costs of a digital campaign to promote Eastman Museum at Home activities and offerings. The museum reopened to the public, but its worldwide access to virtual tours, live and recorded presentations, and digitized films will be an ongoing initiative.
Support provided by Art Bridges has helped in safely reopening the museum to the public. Grant funds were designated to support new technology and staff training to facilitate contactless museum admission, Dryden Theatre admission and other point-of-sale procedures at the museum. The grant also will support advertising and other marketing efforts to encourage people to visit the museum and Dryden Theatre with these new systems in place.
“Our partners — museums of all sizes across the country, including the George Eastman Museum — are doing important work by increasing access to American art,” Art Bridges CEO Paul Provost said. “We hope that the Bridge Ahead Initiative bolsters them during this crisis, supporting their efforts to reach their audiences while they are closed and helping them safely and successfully reopen.”