SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Museum of Fine Arts at the University of Utah has been awarded a $35,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support a three-part outreach project dedicated to rethinking the public role of museums through community engagement.
The ACME (Art, Community, Museum, Education) Initiative was created in spring 2016 and aims to transform how the museum connects with, engages and learns from the community through co-created programs, projects and exhibitions, with more than 40 local partners so far.
“In three years ACME has increased community access to the visual arts and is helping to make the UMFA a more welcoming and relevant place for everyone in the city and region,” Gretchen Dietrich, the museum’s executive director, said in a statement.
The initiative’s three components are:Comment on this story
• The ACME Lab, a multidisciplinary, interactive exhibition space in the museum where community collaborators and socially engaged artists explore new and innovative models of exhibition making and audience engagement.
• ACME Scholars, a mentorship program that engages undergraduates in the University of Utah’s Honors College in art- and social justice-related activities on campus and in the community.
• ACME Sessions, bimonthly public meetings held at Salt Lake City Public Library branches where participants imagine and articulate new models of education and community engagement through hands-on activities and dialogue.
The grant is the largest from the NEA the museum has ever received.