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National Museum of Wildlife Art Receives COVID-19 Funding Relief From the Art Bridges Foundation

October 27, 2020

National Museum of Wildlife Art Receives COVID-19 Funding Relief From the Art Bridges Foundation

The National Museum of Wildlife Art’s status as an Art Bridges Foundation partner qualified the Museum to apply for, and gratefully receive, $60,500 in COVID-19 relief funding from Art Bridges’ $5 million dollar Bridge Ahead Initiative. The philanthropic vision behind this initiative is forward-thinking, with 2-phases of pandemic support for partner museums that seek to engage their community with American art. 

Established in 2017 in Bentonville, Arkansas, by Alice Walton, Art Bridges helps to bring greater access to American art by providing greater access to artworks through exhibition development, collection loans, and audience engagement for a network of nearly 130 museums.  

NMWA received Phase I funds in July 2020, allocated to helping the Museum remain in touch with museum audiences during the pandemic. This funding aided NMWA with the expansion of no-cost digital offerings including the presentation of 11 educational Zoom webinars since April, attended by over 750 individuals; new and enhanced bilingual mobile tours accessible from personal mobile devices and computers via the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s app; virtual exhibit tours; and the premiere of three episodes of Bisoncast, the Museum’s free online educational Youtube series designed to engage a wider audience by bringing the compelling stories of NMWA’s art and artists to life while promoting intellectual access, equity, and inclusion. 

Bilingual Mobile Tour

Filming Bisoncast

Phase 2 funds, received in September, assisted the Museum in preparing to safely reopen after a two-month COVID-19 closure.  These funds were applied to things such as plexiglass barriers, face masks, hand sanitizer stations, floor decals and signage to encourage a socially distanced gallery visitor flow.  In addition, a “Welcome Back Campaign,”advertised NMWA’s safely-opened status via newspaper and social media advertisements and signage visible from highway 191 indicating the Museum is safely open to visitors. 

New Plexi Barriers & Face Masks

“The National Museum of Wildlife Art is incredibly grateful to the Art Bridges Foundation for its dedication to the arts and for helping the Museum continue to fulfill its mission, to explore humanity’s relationship with nature through art, during this challenging time,” says Dr. Tammi Hanawalt, the Museum’s Curator of Art.


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