Last year, Art Fund gained 18,000 new members, helping them in their work to compensate for drastic government cuts to arts spending
While the rest of the world seemed on the brink of economic collapse, The Art Fund miraculously increased its membership by 15 % in 2011. The 18,000 new members achieved by the Art Fund has put down to the charity’s launch of its National Art Pass last April – a scheme launched to bring in new members via free entry to over 200 museums, galleries and historic properties, and 50% off entry to major exhibitions. This boost in membership is good news for the UK’s art scene, given that the Art Fund supports museums and galleries around the UK in developing their collections.
The Pass was launched last year to help the Art Fund increase its acquisition and show programme from £4.5m to £7m a year up until 2014, in order to compensate for the cuts in government funding to the arts. The 2011 boost in membership suggests that the Art Fund is well on track to hit the £7m milestone as projected. ‘We’re certainly on target,’ said an Art Fund Spokesperson: ‘It’s a wonderful achievement.’
And this is just in time, with the Arts Council revealing last year that it would be funding 154 fewer organisations and cutting its grants programme by 14.9 per cent. In the words of Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund: ‘At a time when Britain’s museums are facing cuts of at least 15 per cent, our success with the National Art Pass in bringing a 15 per cent growth in membership has shown that the public’s appetite for great art remains undiminished.’
The Art Fund exists to secure great art for museums and galleries all across the UK for everyone to enjoy. They do this by helping to buy, save and show great works of art – of all ages and all kinds – by giving grants, placing gifts of art, fundraising and campaigning. All their funding is privately raised – from donations, public appeals, trusts and foundations, and through their 80,000 supporters.
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