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Art Fund targets £1m in crowdfunding to back UK museums

The UK’s Art Fund charity has launched an appeal to the public for donations towards its new crowdfunding campaign to help museums tackle the challenges of Covid-19.

The Together for Museums fundraising initiative is targeting £1m to support museums, galleries and historic houses across the UK facing crisis due to the pandemic. The fund has already raised £314,924.

Art Fund, which is an independent membership-based British charity and raises funds to aid the acquisition of artworks, is also releasing new research which shows the perilous position that the country’s museums find themselves in, with only 17 per cent of the museums who applied to the initial £2.25m emergency funding having received support.

An Art Fund survey shows that 60 per cent of respondents said they are facing an existential threat, with visitor figures for October just 25 per cent of those in the same month last year. In addition, 77 per cent of organisations have reported a drastic decline in income. Six in 10 surveyed are concerned about their survival, and 61 per cent of museum workers are worried about losing their jobs.

Jenny Waldman, Art Fund director, said: “Over the last six months it’s been hugely inspiring to see innovative ideas from museums to adapt and evolve, but heartbreaking that we cannot support them all. This terrible pandemic, which separates us from our loved ones but has brought us closer in support of our local communities, has taken museums to a make-or-break point.

“Single-handedly, we cannot solve this crisis – but together, we can make a huge impact. We are urging everyone who loves and uses museums to come together now, to help so many more museums thrive.”

The crowdfunding campaign has been backed by leading artists Lubaina Himid, Anish Kapoor, Michael Landy, Melanie Manchot, David Shrigley and Supermundane, offering artworks and objects as rewards for donations starting at just £25.

Image: Art Fund