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CLEVELAND (December 17, 2013) – The Cleveland Museum of Art announced today that 501,314 visitors came to the museum during the 2012-2013 fiscal year. This attendance statistic represents a 39% increase year-over-year and is the highest attendance in over a decade. Key drivers of attendance included the opening of the museum’s 39,000 square foot atrium; the award-winning Gallery One; the new north wing galleries along with many new programming initiatives, including the MIX at CMA first Friday happy hour series and Second Sundays family day programming.
“2013 has been an extraordinary year of growth for the museum’s attendance, membership and fund-raising efforts and it is gratifying to see that our momentum is building as the grand opening of the museum with the new west wing approaches,” said Fred Bidwell, interim director of the Cleveland Museum of Art.
The museum also celebrated significant accomplishments with philanthropy and financial performance during the last fiscal year. Over this period, the museum raised nearly $36 million from over 15,000 supporters and 20,000 members. In the first six months of the current fiscal year, which will end on June 30, 2014, overall fundraising has outpaced last year by more than 80%, totaling $24 million. These dollars support all aspects of the museum’s work and allow the museum to maintain a balanced budget. Since July 2012, commitments for Transformation: The Campaign for the Cleveland Museum of Art alone totaled $27 million.
The museum also deepened its relationships with community partners throughout 2013, leveraging its role as a significant leader on issues of critical importance in Northeast Ohio and beyond. This included the Community Engagement 360º project, a diverse consortium of leaders who are partnering with the museum to more actively connect it – physically, socially and intellectually – with the life of the community. The museum also launched a new concert series, CMA Ohio City Stages, which attracted over 12,000 people to the block surrounding Transformer Station (West 29th Street) over the course of five weeks. A new Community Engagement publication outlining the museum’s work throughout the year can be found at Clevelandart.org/CommunityReport.
Earlier this fall, the museum announced the founding of the Joseph and Nancy Keithley Institute for Art History. In partnership with Case Western Reserve University, the program is designed to prepare future curators, scholars, museum directors and academic leaders. A centerpiece of the Keithley Institute is support for the re-imagined joint doctoral program that the museum and university developed together over the past few years. A recipient of a $500,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation last year, the updated program emphasizes an “object-oriented” approach – that is one that integrates theory and methodology with intensive, in-person study of actual pieces of art.
Beginning on December 31, 2013, the museum will host a series of events to celebrate the conclusion of its eight-year renovation and expansion project. On New Year’s Eve, a special celebration featuring Burnt Sugar Arkestra will be held and guests will be among the first to see the museum’s new west wing galleries, featuring the world-renowned Chinese and Southeast Asian art collections. A range of activities for families, young professionals and scholars will be held January 2 through 4, including a special MIX at CMA on Friday, January 3. More details can be found at Clevelandart.org/Come-See-Amazing.