Press Releases

news release Akron Art Museum Welcomes Thousands of New Members on #GivingBACKTuesday

For Release: November 30, 2017

Akron, Ohio—The Akron Art Museum welcomed over ten thousand new members this week on #GivingBACKTuesday, November 28. The audacious initiative expanded access to art to everyone by offering free individual memberships to anyone who registered as a new member both onsite and online. The #GivingBACKTuesday event also welcomed more than 500 visitors to the museum on the first Tuesday it has been open since 2009. Renewed Tuesday hours of operation are another part of the museum’s plan to increase access in the community.

Akron Art Museum John S. Knight Executive Director and CEO Mark Masuoka said, “#GivingBACKTuesday was a bold initiative to turn museum philanthropy upside down by leveraging the tremendous generosity the museum has received from the Knight Foundation, the J.M. Smucker Company and many others who have made gifts supporting the museum in the past year. We want to lead a movement of generosity in giving back to Akron. We believe that art transforms communities, and we invite everyone from our community in to the museum to experience what art can do to enrich their lives.”

The unprecedented success of the museum’s #GivingBACKTuesday event affirmed that both the need for and the level of interest in the arts is strong in Northeast Ohio. The Akron Art Museum continues to meet the need for meaningful art experiences through groundbreaking exhibitions and public programs. In 2018 the museum plans to exhibit the work of internationally acclaimed ceramic artist Jun Kaneko. Later in the year, the museum will exhibit artworks from significant international, national and regional contemporary artists as a partner institution of FRONT Art Triennial.

“With additional support, we plan to do even more,” Masuoka said.

The museum will launch the Akron Art Library in partnership with the Akron-Summit County Public Library, which will allow anyone with a library card to check out an original work of art to display in their home. The museum’s education department, which created the art library, continues to bring art to people of all ages and every walk of life with award-winning programming. Further plans to serve the community across multiple points of contact include digital experiences, and acquisitions of significant works of art for the museum collection.

Akron Art Museum Director of Advancement, Bryan de Boer said, “This week’s success is not just about the free memberships. Many of our new members are going to go on to pay it forward, either by supporting the museum in the future, which is going to help us reach even more people, or by sharing the arts with someone else in some memorable way. This is going to bring art to so many more people than just those who signed up.”

“The Akron Art Museum is open to all,” Masuoka said. “We strive to make that a reality for our visitors every day.”

For more information about exhibitions and programs at the Akron Art Museum, visit Join the conversation on social media with #AkronArtMuseum, and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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