Visitors to the Mattatuck Museum (Waterbury, CT) engage with A Face Like Mine

Visitors to the Mattatuck Museum (Waterbury, CT) engage with A Face Like Mine, which celebrates 100 years of African American figurative art. The exhibition was one in a series of American art exhibition created in collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, as part of the Art Bridges Cohort Program.

Art BridgesCohort Program

The Art Bridges Cohort Program aims to change the way museums collaborate with one another by breaking down barriers to collection and resource sharing, exhibition creation, and long-term partnership building. Since 2018, more than 40 museums have presented over 75 exhibitions of American art across the U.S. through this multiyear, multi-institutional program.

Cohorts on the Map

Expanding Our Mission

The Cohort Program builds on Art Bridges’ mission to expand access to American art across the United States and to empower museums to broaden traditional definitions of American art. For each cohort, a lead museum collaborates with its regional partners to create exhibitions that inspire and deepen engagement with local audiences.

Sharing collections and resources, cohort partners generate exhibitions that are relevant to the local community and enriched through shared interpretation and educational materials.

Cohort partners work with the Art Bridges' Learning & Engagement team to build projects that further community engagement efforts and goals.

The Cohort Program also fosters professional development exchanges among partners and across cohorts, facilitated by Art Bridges-supported staff at the lead museums, including arts professionals of the Art Bridges Fellows Program.

Art Bridges Cohorts

cohort Program

Program Goals

  1. 1

    ChangingSector Collaboration

    The Art Bridges Cohort Program aims to change the way museums collaborate with one another by breaking down barriers to collection and resource sharing, exhibition building, and long-term partnership building.

  2. 2

    Connecting Audiences

    Expand access to outstanding works of American art at museums across the country.

  3. 3

    Growinga Network

    Form a nationwide network of institutions committed to presenting American art in innovative ways.

  4. 4

    Creating Opportunities

    Create opportunities to curate collaboratively using shared collections and resources.

  5. 5


    Foster professional development exchange among all participating institutions.

  6. 6


    Breaking down barriers to sharing works of American art among institutions of varying sizes and geographies.

  7. 7

    Centering Communities

    Broaden the relevance of museums in the 21st century by piloting meaningful exhibitions with specific communities in mind.

Cohort Convenings

Every year, each cohort gathers together to develop new exhibition ideas, discuss learnings from current projects, and enjoy workshops and professional camaraderie at rotating partner sites.


Building a Learning & Engagement project is central to the goals of the Cohort Program. Here are a few great examples from partner organizations:

Participants at CSU Northridge What Would You Say?: Activist Graphics from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

California State University, Northridge Art Galleries - LACMA Cohort

Harnessing the transformative power of the visual arts to encourage midterm election participation.

Scavenger Hunt at the Munson Museum

Munson - MFA Boston Cohort

Munson strengthens its ties with local communities.

Spoken word artist shares a completed Juneteenth-inspired square that was part of the threads we share quilting and story collection program

Allentown Art Museum - Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) Cohort

Embracing the power of storytelling and collaboration, the Allentown Art Museum launched a community quilting project to build connections and celebrate difference.

Participants enjoy the drumming sounds of a Soro Bindi workshop. Courtesy of the Mattatuck Museum, 2021.

Celebrating Black Life at the Mattatuck Museum

In summer 2021, the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, Connecticut, displayed works by some of today’s most influential Black contemporary and modern artists. Kara Walker, Kehinde Wiley, Romare Bearden and Jordan Casteel were just some of the artists in the Mattatuck’s A Face Like Mine exhibition.

left image: Marita Dingus, Untitled Bowl, c. 2055, wire and found objects, 7 1/2” x 8” x 8” ; right image: Tactile Reproduction created by Mallory Lind inspired by Dingus’ Untitled Bowl

Expanding Accessibility and Inclusion at the Boise Art Museum

Using inclusive design for their presentation of Many Wests: Artists Shape an American Idea, the Boise Art Museum reduced barriers to participation by expanding accessibility.

Learn more

Interested in the Cohort Program?