The Foundling Museum is one of 18 organisations to receive a grant from Art Fund in the first round of their Respond and Reimagine grants.
Securing this grant will enable the Museum to radically change its business model to operate more sustainably in the new normal. With greater focus on the hyper-local, we will build new partnerships, audiences and infrastructure to increase collections access and engage with the diverse communities on our doorstep, whilst sharing new research into black lives and women at the Foundling Hospital, through a stronger digital offer.
Creating a positive change for audiences is imbued in the Museum’s mission, ‘to transform the lives of disadvantaged children and young people through the arts and to inspire people to make the world a better place’. Artist-led programmes with vulnerable, marginalised and disadvantaged communities aim for positive and lasting outcomes, drawing on the Museum’s intimate scale, remarkable child-focussed story. With increased focus on local communities, we will scale up this work, to reach new local audiences
Improving our digital infrastructure will help us share our collections and artist-led learning programmes to a wider audience and increase awareness of the unique story the collections have in our national life: Hogarth’s gifts of paintings created the first public art collection; Handel’s support for the Hospital, with Messiah benefit concerts. Together they gave birth 270 years ago to the UK’s first models of creative philanthropy that continue today.
Art Fund’s Respond and Reimagine grants offer flexible and responsive funding designed to meet immediate challenges connected to the Covid-19 crisis and reimagine future ways of working. In the first round, 18 grants were given, from a total of 114 applications. Developed in consultation with museums and galleries, the grants meet needs in four priority areas of collections, audiences, digital, and workforce. They may also cover costs to support reopening, as well as encouraging creative and innovative projects as organisations look to reopen with fundamentally different operating models. Respond and Reimagine Grants will provide £1.5m in 2020 to support museums, galleries, historic houses, libraries and archives, and non-venue-based visual arts organisations, and is part of Art Fund’s £2m package of funding to support museums through crisis. The deadline for the next round of Respond & Reimagine grants is 17 August 2020, and a final round will take place in the autumn.