Art Fund’s latest research suggests only 55% of the UK’s museums have received emergency funding to date, with just over half (56%) of these organisations saying that without that vital support they wouldn’t have been able to carry on.
Even those institutions able to solider on were confronted with average visitor levels wallowing at around a quarter of their usual figures in October, leading 77% to categorise their incomes as ‘significantly or severely’ down or say that they are making no money whatsoever.
The Together for Museums appeal has been launched in response to the urgent need exhibited across the culture sector, with the aim of raising £1 million to distribute directly to museums. Donations of £15 or higher enable contributors to receive objects or artworks provided by a range of renowned artists.
Lubaina Himid, Anish Kapoor, Michael Landy, Melanie Manchot, David Shrigley and Supermundane have all pledged support to the appeal which has already surpassed £250,000 from over 2,000 donations.
“Single-handedly, we cannot solve this crisis – but together, we can make a huge impact,” asserts Art Fund director Jenny Waldman. “We are urging everyone who loves and uses museums to come together now, to help so many more museums thrive.”
Evidencing just how severe the financial pressures are on the nation’s museums, Art Fund received applications for amounts totalling more than £16.9m from 451 organisations for its £2.25 million Covid-19 emergency funding programme.
Waldman says it has been “hugely inspiring to see innovative ideas from museums to adapt and evolve” during the pandemic but “heartbreaking” that the charity has been unable to support all the beleaguered applicants, with just 17% having been able to receive funding in the first two rounds.
More information on the campaign can be found here.