Like all museums, the Akron Art Museum is navigating a shifting landscape where institutions must confront a multitude of intertwined challenges. New sources of income, creative modes of collaboration, innovative approaches to curating and education, and up-to-date, digitally enhanced means of engaging a larger, more diverse audience are among the pressing needs that must be addressed. Here is an outline of Building Beyond the Building, a three-year strategic plan prepared for the Akron Art Museum.
Building Beyond the Building is about opening up the Museum physically and socially. Recent decades have brought major architectural enhancements to the Museum’s facility, generating attention and pride in the community.
Moving forward, the Museum can look beyond its iconic headquarters to its recently built garden, to the neighboring cultural district, across the surrounding city and region, and into the unbounded digital realm.
The same logic informs a renewed emphasis on who the AAM staff engages in their work, reaching out beyond internal colleagues and core stakeholders to focus more on serving the local creative sector, Akron’s diverse communities, and people throughout the region.
Over the next three years, the Akron Art Museum will pursue these strategic priorities:
CONTENT: Exhibitions and Programming
AAM will expand its collection to increasingly represent today’s artists and artistic practices, while developing engaging and inclusive programming for all audiences.
PLACE: The Building, Garden, and
AAM will become a “third space” for residents of Akron and beyond, known for its immersive, engaging, and welcoming environment and world-class visitor experience that promotes downtown Akron as a cultural destination.
ORGANIZATION: Staff and Governance
AAM will be recognized as a people-driven museum and, guided by its values and DEAI commitments, become an industry example.
RESOURCES: Financial Support
Drawing upon untapped resources and innovative means of support, AAM will work toward financial sustainability with a broad base of supporters that is representative of the Akron community.
While the enhancement of AAM’s content offerings, the cultivation of its sense of place, the fostering of a healthy organizational culture, and the establishment of solid and sustainable resources are among the key pillars of the new plan, two priorities stand out that encompass all the others.
COMMUNITY: Collaboration and Engagement
AAM will become a vibrant and dynamic creative hub, committed to building strong foundations for nurturing community relationships and responsive to the evolving needs and interests of Akron.
DIGITAL: Digital Art and Infrastructure
AAM will use digital arts and technology to connect and inspire inside and outside its walls.