Wittenberg University Transfers Ownership of Museum Facility to Springfield Museum of Art

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (June 26, 2017) – Following a year of thoughtful conversations regarding how to best serve the community they both call home, Wittenberg University and the Springfield Museum of Art have agreed that the museum should again be the sole owner of the facility where it resides at 107 Cliff Park Road. The official transfer of ownership occurred at 3pm today in Wittenberg’s Office of the President.

Returning ownership of the building to the Springfield Art Museum enables Wittenberg to focus its resources on more student-centered efforts, including the ongoing Health, Wellness and Athletics Initiative and expanded academic offerings. For the Art Museum, resuming ownership of the building allows for the development of a careful plan to ensure long-term sustainability and future improvements in alignment with the American Alliance of Museums Accreditation standards.

“This is a positive step forward for both our institutions and for our community of Springfield,” said Wittenberg Interim President Dick Helton. “This is Springfield’s museum, and that is how it should be.”

“The timing for the Springfield Museum of Art to resume ownership is also just right,” added Ann Fortescue, executive director of the museum. “Our attendance, membership, and community collaborations have been steadily growing over the past four years, which has enabled us to reestablish sustainable operations.”

Both the museum and the university have also agreed to continue to work on programs and opportunities that serve Wittenberg students.

“We’ll continue to collaborate with Wittenberg on student internships, the Hagen Center’s 50/50 program for work-study students in the community, and Wittenberg’s faculty on museum-based learning experiences for students,” Fortescue said.

Wittenberg has owned the facility since 2010.

Committed to collecting, preserving and exhibiting works of art that inspire and educate, the Springfield Museum of Art seeks to engage the entire community in the enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts. In 2012, the museum was accepted into the Smithsonian Affiliates program and is currently the only art museum in Ohio with that distinction.

A leader in providing an active, engaged learning environment defined by excellence in academics, innovation, student success, service and athletics, Wittenberg is a nationally ranked university for the liberal arts and sciences affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The university has repeatedly been recognized by the Princeton Review for its professor accessibility, superior classroom experience and longstanding commitment to sustainability, and was recently named one of Forbes’ Top 50 Most Entrepreneurial Colleges.

– Office of University Communications

Museum Contact: Ann Fortescue, AFortescue@springfieldart.net<mailto:AFortescue@springfieldart.net>
Wittenberg Contact: Cynthia Holbrook,holbrookc@wittenberg.edu


Art Museum’s Community Focus to Expand with Grant

By Emily Finlay, Contributing Writer

Springfield, OH (October 7, 2014) – The Springfield Museum of Art is using a grant from a national organization to expand its focus on art education and interactive art in the community.

Ann Fortescue, the museum’s executive director, said it has been working to renew its focus on art education within the community over the last year. The new grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, worth nearly $24,000, will allow the museum to continue to expand this focus much faster than before, she said.

“The grant will enable us to work on the successes we’ve seen this year and enable us to reach out and explore new collaborations and partnerships,” Fortescue said. “The grant will enable us to broaden our work so that we will be able to reach out and work with more community audiences than if we didn’t have it.”

The project, called “It’s Your Art Museum – A Model for Community Involvement,” involves interactive exhibits and works with groups outside of the museum. The grant will fund these efforts, Fortescue said, and allow the museum to have a part-time museum educator.

Additionally, the grant allows for programs that train and encourage project volunteers, as well as involve local artists in the project.

“Through the grant, we’ll work with local artists to create interactive exhibits for visitors,” she said. “The purpose is to deeply engage visitors in some way with the art in these exhibits.”

The national Museums for America grant program is based on a peer review system. The reviewers are individuals, knowledgeable in museum work, who work in groups of three to review each application. Grants are awarded based upon their recommendations, said Christopher Reich, the group’s senior museum advisor.

“The program is intended to help museums improve their services to their audiences,” he said. “The grant is a great way to help museums create diverse experiences for their audiences.”

Of the 554 applicants, the Springfield Museum of Art was one of only 193 to receive a grant, Fortescue said. It is not the only museum to have this kind of program, she said, but the grant will allow the museum to benefit its specific community and share work with others.

“We were exuberant that we’d received both professional recognition and the grant award,” she said. “(We were) pleasantly stunned by the surprise, but very, very deeply pleased and encouraged to keep the project going.”

See original story with photos in the Springfield News-Sun. Reprinted with permission.



Culture Works to Hold Meetings to Gather Community Input on Arts and Culture

Dayton, OH (May 2, 2014) – Culture Works is holding information gathering meetings on June 4 and June 5 as part of Culture Connects 20/20, a year-long regional cultural planning process. The June 5 meeting will be here at the Springfield Museum of Art.

Culture Works wants to hear from a broad cross-section of citizens from the entire region,” said Martine Collier, President & CEO. “Our cultural organizations, their boards, elected officials, arts advocates, artists and other concerned citizens should plan to attend one of these two meetings so we can truly ‘take the pulse’ of our cultural community and identify the primary issues of concern.”

Wednesday, June 4, 5:30 pm
Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm at the Charity A. Krueger Farm Discovery Center, 9202 Frederick Pike, Dayton, OH

Thursday, June 5, 5:30 pm
Springfield Museum of Art at the Center for the Arts at Wittenberg University, 107 Cliff Park Road, Springfield, OH

Researchers from the University of Dayton and Wright State University will be present, along with project manager, Marc Golding, from the arts consulting firm, WolfBrown. Their goal is to facilitate an engaged discussion providing an opportunity for all present to speak out about arts and culture – what’s important to them, what can be done better, and what they would like to see more of in the community.

“Community input is critically important to the success of this planning initiative,” said Collier, “It is very important that cultural advocates from across the region attend one of these two meetings.”

Those planning to attend should RSVP to info@cultureworks.org


Major Gift Helps Art Museum Focus on Art Education

Springfield, OH (May 3, 2013) – The Springfield Museum of Art is adopting a new strategic direction by renewing its focus on art education. A generous gift of $10,000 to the Museum from Ruth Kunkel Bayley dedicated to art education for disadvantaged youth has been accepted and matched by 100% of the Museum’s Board of Trustees. The Museum shares Mrs. Bayley’s belief that art education will engage the community and benefit Springfield in a significant way.

The Springfield Museum of Art will reinvigorate our focus on art education and programs dedicated to sparking curiosity, expanding understanding and encouraging young people to use visual arts in their everyday life. The Museum’s commitment to presenting high-quality exhibitions, combined with this renewed commitment to education will provide young people and families in the community with opportunities to explore creativity and express themselves through art.

Art education was at the heart of the Springfield Museum of Art’s mission and was the principle motivator of the organization’s founders 67 years ago. Thanks to Mrs. Bayley and our trustees, the Springfield Museum of Art will again embrace that founding principle fully.




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