Press Releases

Akron Art Museum to create new exhibitions, deeper community connections with Knight Foundation support

For Release: July 2013

Anusha Alikhan, Knight Foundation, 305-908-2677;
Elizabeth M. Wilson, Akron Art Museum. 330.376.9186 x213

Akron Art Museum to create new exhibitions, deeper community connections with Knight Foundation support

(Akron, Ohio) – As a way to engage the public, the Akron Art Museum will present a series of groundbreaking exhibitions where the community will help design public outreach and programming, thanks to a multi-year gift totally $750,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The funding will allow museum curators to commit to six exhibitions in the next three years, accompanied by ambitious public programming that seeks to draw in new audiences. Community members will be invited to develop the events, interpretation and tours for these exhibits, providing a new model for audience engagement for small and mid-sized museums across the country.
“This funding allows the museum a greater opportunity to contribute ideas to a national dialogue on art,” said museum Board of Trustees President Dianne Newman. “It will spotlight the museum as a dynamic center of cultural exchange in the region as well as the country.”
“Today’s audiences demand to be engaged, to go beyond receiving information to helping shape and create it. The Akron Art Museum’s model fulfills this mission by involving the public even before the exhibition opens,” said Jennifer Thomas, Akron program director for Knight Foundation.
“This generous gift,” said museum Executive Director and CEO Mark Masuoka, “provides the museum valuable resources to directly connect the community to artists and the creative process, as well as plan and program compelling programs that make art relevant to all audiences.
The current Real/Surreal exhibition, organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art and running through November 3, 2013, is the first traveling exhibition supported by this gift. It will be followed by other traveling exhibitions and at least two curated by museum curators.
In addition to the exhibitions, the museum will promote education and research by continuing to provide cutting edge digital access to the art on display. With previous Knight Foundation funding, the museum developed an online presence for its collection. This current funding will be used to increase the institution’s social media presence and build connections with Akron residents and art aficionados around the country.
About the Akron Art Museum
The Akron Art Museum, dedicated to enriching lives through modern and contemporary art, showcases regional, national and international art created since 1850. The museum’s collection is presented in a spectacular facility designed by Viennese architectural firm Coop Himmelb(l)au and includes over 5,000 works of art, with a strong focus on contemporary painting, sculpture and photography. Nearly a dozen exhibitions each year present prominent artists in various media including painting, sculpture, photography, video, design and glass. In addition to its ever-changing collection and exhibitions, the museum offers many opportunities to discover new perspectives through programs that include films and video, lectures, workshops, tours and concerts.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts in the United States where the Knight brothers once owned newspapers. Knight Foundation invests in ideas and projects that can lead to transformational change.

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Media Contact

Dominic Caruso
Design, Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Phone: 330.376.9186 x229

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