Debbie Sokolov, The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art

After a difficult year of social isolation, stress and uncertainty, The James Museum knew that arts and culture experiences would play an important role in our collective return to normalcy. For many families and individuals there is a significant financial barrier preventing them from visiting the museum. Philanthropy changed that at The James Museum when the Art for All fund was created.

The fund ensures that no one is denied the opportunity to visit the museum or partake in an educational class because of the lack of financial resources. Momentum grew when a generous donor offered a matching gift that resulted in raising over $10,000 for the Art for All fund.

In January 2021 the program launched and provided free admission to the museum or educational class/program to any low-income individual, family, school, or youth organization. To date, over 200 adults and children have visited The James Museum through Art for All.

For many program participants, this is their first visit to a museum. Once they see the possibilities available to them, they may dream different dreams. One recent 9-year old who visited the museum said, “I liked seeing all the artwork and where it came from and how it was made.” Perhaps his visit created a spark to pursue art as a career and his work will be displayed at The James Museum one day. These kinds of connections and transformations are made possible because of philanthropy!

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