Figge launches free second Saturdays through Art Bridges grant

Figge Art Museum exhibition
The Figge Art Museum in Davenport. CREDIT JOHN SCHULTZ

Beginning Saturday, Dec. 9, the Figge Art Museum in Davenport will welcome visitors free of charge on the second Saturday of every month through a $400,000 grant from the national Art Bridges Foundation.

The nonprofit foundation, founded by philanthropist Alice Walton, announced the launch of the “Access for All” initiative in October. It aims to increase access to museums across the country and foster engagement with communities through free admission days and expanded free hours, as well as programming, outreach and community partnerships, according to a news release from the Figge

“We are overjoyed to open our doors wider and more often thanks to the Art Bridges Foundation’s Access for All program. The launch of free second Saturdays underscores our dedication to being a cultural hub that is accessible to all,” Figge Executive Director and CEO Michelle Hargrave said in the release. 

“Our inaugural ‘Celebrating the Season of Giving’ theme for the first free Saturday reflects our spirit of community, generosity and gratitude, and we invite everyone to join us in this celebration.”  

Second Saturdays at the Figge are set to enhance the cultural fabric of the Quad Cities by offering broader access to a diverse array of exhibitions and art education programming, including exhibition tours, make-and-take art activities, performances, wellness activities and more, according to the release.

Each second Saturday will include a unique theme, beginning with “Celebrating the Season of Giving” on Dec. 9. 

Access for All is a $40 million nationwide initiative aimed at closing access and opportunity gaps that prevent all communities from experiencing art. It also seeks to restore attendance to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels, according to the release. 

The Figge is among 64 art museums and cultural institutions nationwide to receive this funding. 

“We are thrilled to launch Access for All, a historic partnership with cultural institutions across the country to make it easier for people in every U.S. region to see and experience art. At Art Bridges, we can’t wait to see our trusted partners get creative and deliver impact to their communities,” Ms. Walton, Art Bridges founder and board chair, said in the release. 

“In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are confident Access for All will not only help to rebuild museum attendance, but also bring more people than ever into museum galleries and reshape the arts world as one that is open to all.”  

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