October 17, 2023

The San Diego Museum of Art Receives $1.6 Million Grant from the Art Bridges Foundation

‘Access for All’ grants $40 million in funding to museums nationwide, aiming to reduce barriers to museum visits

San Diego Museum of Art, Art Bridges Foundation, and Access for All logos

San Diego, CA. (October 2023) – The San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA) is pleased to announce that it is a recipient of the ‘Access for All’ grant funded by the Art Bridges Foundation, a national arts nonprofit founded by philanthropist Alice Walton. SDMA will receive $1.6 million over three years to develop tailored programming for the local community, to launch in January 2024, including:

  • Underwriting free admission on a designated “Access for All Day”
  • Designing interdisciplinary and culturally responsive programs relevant to community interest
  • Providing fully bilingual Spanish-English interpretation, assistive listening and visual systems, marketing, and programming
  • Working with local organizations to provide additional accessibility
  • Creating dedicated staff positions responsible for the creation of community engagement programming and more

Access for All is a $40 million nationwide initiative from Art Bridges Foundation aimed at closing access and opportunity gaps that prevent all communities from experiencing art. This $40 million in funding to 64 art museums and cultural institutions nationwide, aims to increase access to art across the country and foster engagement with local communities by covering the costs of free admission days and expanded free hours, as well as programming, outreach and community partnerships that will eliminate many common barriers to access.

The Art Bridges Access for All initiative represents a sweeping effort to get people back to museums after COVID-19 brought revenue, staffing, and attendance declines. With many museums seeing just 71 percent of their pre-pandemic attendance, the new initiative aims to restore pre-pandemic levels – and open opportunities for all people to enjoy art by reducing barriers to access and strengthening community relationships. 

“As an institution, we are honored to be a recipient of the ‘Access for All’ grant from the Art Bridges Foundation,” said Roxana Velásquez, Maruja Baldwin Executive Director and CEO at The San Diego Museum of Art. “We are deeply grateful to be recognized alongside many other historic institutions, and we are excited to increase initiatives, programming and partnerships that empower us to better reach, serve and impact our communities.”

“We are thrilled to launch Access for All, a historic partnership with cultural institutions across the country to make it easier for people in every U.S. region to see and experience art. At Art Bridges, we can’t wait to see our trusted partners get creative and deliver impact to their communities,” said Alice Walton, founder and board chair of Art Bridges. “In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are confident Access for All will not only help to rebuild museum attendance but also bring more people than ever into museum galleries and reshape the arts world as one that is open to all.”

For more information on The San Diego Museum of Art and to purchase tickets, visit www.SDMArt.org.

About The San Diego Museum of Art

Providing a rich and diverse cultural experience, The San Diego Museum of Art houses some of the world’s finest art. Located in the heart of Balboa Park, the Museum’s internationally renowned collection of more than 32,000 works—dating from 3000 BC to present day—includes Spanish and Italian old masters, the Edwin Binney 3rd Collection of South Asian paintings, East Asian art, art from the Americas, Modern and Contemporary art, and the Museum of Photographic Arts at The San Diego Museum of Art (MOPA@SDMA). The Museum regularly features major exhibitions of art from around the world, as well as extensive cultural and community engagement programs for all ages. The San Diego Museum of Art hosts experiences that invite visitors to explore art through music, dance, film, food, and so much more. At The San Diego Museum of Art, exhibition text is always in English and Spanish.

The San Diego Museum of Art is located at 1450 El Prado in Balboa Park, San Diego, CA, 92101. General Information, (619) 232-7931, Group Sales: (619) 696-1935, Website: http://www.SDMArt.org X: @SDMA, Instagram: @SanDiegoMuseumofArt Facebook: @TheSanDiegoMuseumofArt.

About Art Bridges Foundation

Art Bridges Foundation is the vision of philanthropist and arts patron Alice Walton. The mission of Art Bridges is to expand access to American art in all regions across the United States. Since 2017, Art Bridges has been creating and supporting programs that bring outstanding works of American art out of storage and into communities. Art Bridges partners with a growing network of over 220 museums of all sizes and locations on nearly 700 projects across the nation, impacting over 4.1 million people, to provide financial and strategic support for exhibition development, loans from the Art Bridges Collection, and programs designed to educate, inspire, and deepen engagement with local audiences. The Art Bridges Collection represents an expanding vision of American art from the 19th century to present day and encompasses multiple media and voices. For more information, visit artbridgesfoundation.org.