How To: Learning & Engagement Funding from Art Bridges

Learning & Engagement Projects connect audiences with Collection Loans, Exhibition Projects or Cohort Program Projects.

Our focus is to help you design programs to build relationships with new audiences, engage current audiences in new ways, or emphasize interdisciplinary elements. The purpose of an Art Bridges Learning & Engagement Award is to support art museum transformation and the engagement of new and diverse audiences through innovative programming.

Who can apply?

Partner institutions on an approved Art Bridges Collection Loan or an Exhibition Project, as well as those part of a Cohort Program Project can apply for Learning & Engagement funds.

Eligible Costs

  • We support the direct costs associated with delivering transformative programs by funding items including, but not limited to, honoraria, materials, transportation, virtual components, gallery interactives, community advisory groups, and translation
  • We can support one program, or pieces of many – each institution determines their needs
  • Art Bridges does not typically fund 100% of the programming; we expect the institution to pay some of the costs
  • We cannot support staff salaries, publications, written materials that will be sold, costs associated with fundraisers or events for members, or existing marketing initiatives in your operational plan/budget

What is the Process?

Once your Art Bridges Collection Loan, Exhibition Project or or Cohort Program Project has been approved, we work collaboratively with you to apply for Learning & Engagement support.

  1. We start by scheduling a phone call to walk you through the application process and talk through your ideas. We will ask you a series of questions to find out what you know about your audience, what evidence you have that your program ideas will build community, and how you will engage your community in a meaningful way. It is highly recommended that both a curator and museum educator participate in this call.
  2. After our conversation(s), you’ll complete a draft application and budget forms.
  3. We’ll follow up with a phone call to provide suggestions that strengthen the application.
  4. After receiving your final application package, the Art Bridges team prepares your materials for approval. At the award review meeting, we talk through each Project, and decide which to fund.
  5. If your Project is approved, funds are transferred to your institution within a few weeks. Be sure to document your Project activities, as a final report will be due one month after the conclusion of the Project.

Overall, we want to support you in finding new ways to build audiences. We also want this to be as stress-free and enjoyable a process as possible. Think of us as both your advocate and the support you need to try new things. We want to champion and move your great ideas forward.

For more information, or if you have questions not answered here, please visit our FAQ or contact Brittany Vernon, Director, Learning & Engagement and Evaluation