By Kathy Kelsey Foley, Director
“Congratulations! Your project has been chosen . . .” have to be among the best words a museum director can hear or read.
We all know there are no “gimmes” when it comes to competitive grant applications. What we do know, however, is that if you don’t apply, your organization – or project – is not in the hunt.
That said, Woodson Art Museum staff leapt at the opportunity to pull together a project and a narrative proposal in response to the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin’s call for applications for a “25 for 25 Anniversary Grant.”
The timeline was tight – and smack in the middle of Birds in Art catalogue proofing – with information about the funding opportunity shared in early July and a July 25 (appropriate!) deadline. Notification would follow on August 3, so the turnaround was fast not only for applicants, but also for the Foundation.
The grant program is part of the Community Foundation’s 25th anniversary celebration and presents a terrific win-win for Marathon County organizations and for the Foundation. Twenty-five projects were selected to receive $2,500 grants each – and, yes, the Woodson Art Museum’s project is one of the twenty-five; more about our project below. Also, now through September 17 via public voting – each dollar equals a vote – organizations have the potential to benefit from an increased grant award.
In addition, the project/organization that receives the most votes/dollars – 50% of the dollars contributed go to the Community Foundation’s Marathon County Fund and 50% to the donor’s designated project/organization – receives a $25,000 Community Foundation endowment fund that will yield annual support in perpetuity.
Everyone wins with this project, especially our community. What a great way to celebrate the Foundation’s 25th anniversary and launch an array of projects.
What does the Woodson Art Museum have up its sleeve?
Thanks to the good news that our project was chosen to receive a 25 for 25 Grant, the Museum will introduce “This Art Is Your Art” in spring 2013. The intent is to take artworks in the form of framed reproductions out of the Museum and place them in unusual as well as interesting public places throughout Marathon County. Each reproduction will have a descriptive label that introduces the artwork and gets folks thinking and talking. It’s like a pop-up food truck that generates buzz around town . . . only we’re doing it with artworks. A pop-up art museum, so to speak.
Similar projects have met with tremendous success: The Detroit Institute of Arts shared reproductions in a three-county area with Inside-Outside; Cincinnati’s Taft Museum placed eighty reproductions around town to celebrate its 80th anniversary; and the Delaware Art Museum recently embarked on Art Is Everywhere to celebrate its 100th anniversary.
To give blog readers an idea of how we envision the look and feel of This Art Is Your Art, check out these mocked-up images designed to suggest the project’s potential and just how much fun it will be.
We can see Mark Eberhard’s The Birdwatchers at Central Wisconsin Airport. Are those folks with binoculars along the bottom of the painting looking at birds or for airplanes? Hmm.
We have a list of possible locations and appropriate artworks. If you have suggestions and/or favorite artworks that you’d like to see out in the community, let us hear from you.
And, if you think this project is worthy of additional dollars – and, in turn, your votes – click through to the Community Foundation’s secure online contribution/voting page and help make This Art Is Your Art even bigger and better.
We’ll be grateful for every dollar and every vote!