The Fairfield University Art Museum will extend its hours to 8 p.m. on Thursdays for the next three years, starting on Nov. 2, thanks to a $56,000 grant from the Art Bridges Foundation, the university announced.
— an announcement from Fairfield University Art Museum
“Our diverse audiences have long asked for extended hours, particularly to accommodate those who work during the day,” said Carey Mack Weber, executive director of the museum. We hope that this initiative will bring new visitors and new excitement, as well as expanded partnerships.”
The foundation’s “Access for All” program will provide $40 million in funding to 64 museums nationwide. Fairfield University Art Museum is one of four museums in Connecticut to receive grant funding, including Mattatuck Museum, New Britain Museum of American Art, and Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.
With the program, the foundation aims to increase access to museums 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 together, will eliminate many common barriers to access.
Each museum will use the funds to tailor programming specifically for its community.
Post-Covid, Museum Attendance Still Down
“Access for All” is an effort designed to get people back to museums after COVID-19 brought declines in revenue, staffing and attendance.
With many museums seeing just 71 percent of their pre-pandemic attendance, the new initiative will aim to restore pre-pandemic levels — and open opportunities for all people to enjoy American art by reducing barriers to access and strengthening community relationships.
If You’re Going …
The grant will allow more people to see “In Real Times. Arthur Szyk: Artist and Solder for Human Rights,” currently on view in the museum’s Bellarmine Hall Galleries, and “Szyk: The Interactive Experience” in the Museum’s Walsh Gallery. The exhibits will run through Dec. 16.
Starting Nov. 2, gallery hours will shift from Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., to being open Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Docent-led tours are available. Check Fairfield University Art Museum’s Eventbrite web pages for tour details and additional programming.