The Minnesota Marine Art Museum (MMAM) has had a record-breaking year in 2018! This October, MMAM recorded its highest attendance for a single month in the museum’s history. To top that off, by mid-month the museum welcomed more visitors than it ever had in a single year, with two-and-half months remaining in the calendar year. By year’s end, MMAM expects its attendance to be more than 20-percent higher than the previous record year.
Founded in 2006, MMAM is a 501(c)3 nonprofit arts organization with the mission to engage visitors in meaningful visual arts experiences through education and exhibitions that explore the ongoing and historic human relationship with water. The museum’s collections, featuring work by such artists as Picasso, Monet and O’Keeffe, are complemented by temporary displays of contemporary artists and historic exhibitions, as well as a robust schedule of educational and social programs offered throughout the year.
One such program, Second Saturdays, drew in more than 4,000 visitors over the course of eight Saturdays in 2018. MMAM was able to offer this programming thanks to a prestigious arts access grant awarded by the Minnesota State Arts Board. “Second Saturdays have been a game changer in the way we offer educational programs,” said MMAM Curator of Education Heather Casper. “It allowed us to offer a wide variety of activities, making the museum accessible to more people.” Grant-funded marketing has contributed to the success of Second Saturdays and has not only boosted attendance on the second Saturday of each month, but has also increased overall attendance.
“Increased recognition through Second Saturdays has brought in more visitors throughout the year. Our numbers are up across the board,” explained MMAM Executive Director Nicole Chamberlain-Dupree. MMAM expects to learn from the Minnesota State Arts Board by the end of November if the Second Saturday access grant will be renewed for 2019.
“I would like to thank all of the museum’s supporters for being a part of this historic year,” said Chamberlain-Dupree. “It would not be possible without every member, volunteer, donor and visitor — and the dedicated staff who graciously welcome and engage all these folks every day at the museum.” MMAM welcomes visitors from every state in the country, as well as visitors from around the world. “We look forward to building on the success of 2018 as the museum continues to gain recognition as one of the premier arts destinations in the upper Midwest,” said Chamberlain-Dupree.