Bruce Museum Receives Grant from CT Humanities COVID Relief Fund

Above: The Bruce Museum’s Art Galleries and Museum Store are open to the public, with two new exhibitions on view. The Museum also offers an array of digital programs and family-friendly take-home activities.

The Bruce Museum has received a grant of $45,456 from Connecticut Humanities (CTH), the state’s affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities and counterpart to the state’s Office of the Arts. The allocation is part of a relief package to 50 Connecticut museums and other nonprofit humanities organizations totaling $1.5 million, approved by the CTH’s Board of Directors on December 21, 2020.

CTH’s COVID Relief Fund for Museums helps non-profit museums and other 501c3 non-profit humanities organizations with full-time staff and annual operating budgets of at least $450,000 recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants range from $22,727.25 to $45,456.00.

Dr. Jason Mancini, Executive Director at Connecticut Humanities, stated, “Like performing arts venues, museums and other public humanities organizations are dependent on various revenue streams that simply evaporated because of the pandemic. These are vital and vibrant places in our communities that also need a bridge to the future. As the principal advocate for and funder of humanities nonprofits in our state, CTH is uniquely positioned to accept and award this funding and we are grateful to Governor Lamont, OPM Secretary McCaw, and DECD Commissioner Lehman for their support.”

Funding for CTH’s COVID Relief Fund for Museums was made possible by the Connecticut State Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD)/Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) through an allocation to the State of Connecticut from the CARES Act.

“Connecticut’s museums are anchors in our communities. They give residents of all ages opportunities to engage with local history and culture and spaces for dialogue and connection,” Governor Ned Lamont said. “In addition, museums are part of the tourism and culture sector responsible for thousands of jobs. It is vital that we sustain Connecticut’s museums through this pandemic.”

“We’re grateful to Connecticut Humanities and the state and federal agencies that help support Museums, as well as to the Bruce Museum’s family of members and benefactors who have demonstrated a selfless generosity during these trying and unprecedented times,” says Robert Wolterstorff, The Susan E. Lynch Executive Director. “Thanks to all of these supports, the Bruce has maintained its operations – even moving many programs online – without having to furlough or lay off our hardworking and incredibly talented staff.”

Like many organizations, the Bruce has survived a state mandated closure, as well as cancellation of its major fundraising events. The total estimated financial losses due to the coronavirus pandemic for the 50 grantees of this program through December 2020 is more than $25.4 million. These grants are to be used to reimburse organizations for eligible operating expenses incurred between March and December 2020, enabling the state’s museums to retain staff and enter 2021 in a stronger financial position. For more information and a full list of the grant awards, visit cthumanities.org/grants/covid-relief-grants-for-museums/.

Current Art Exhibitions at the Bruce
and Upcoming Virtual Workshops and Programs

The Bruce Museum is pleased to present two new exhibitions in its recently renovated galleries. “She Sweeps with Many-Colored Brooms”: Paintings and Prints by Emily Mason highlights Mason’s earliest experiments in oil on paper and in printmaking from two decades of intense innovation in her career: paintings from 1958 to 1968 and prints from 1985 to 1996. Characterized by brilliant hues laid down in thin layers of varying transparency, often superimposed in surprising color combinations, Mason’s work is the result of a rare alliance between spontaneity and premeditation. The exhibition – named for one of the artist’s favorite Emily Dickinson poems – is on view through March 21, 2021.

Fun / No Fun: Children’s Book Art by James Stevenson explores the seasonal delights to which kids of all ages can relate. Adults know Stevenson as the witty and prolific New Yorker cartoonist – there was hardly a magazine issue in five decades that did not include a Stevenson gag. Youngsters know him as the author and illustrator of hundreds of children’s books that induce fits of giggles with silliness voiced with a simple honesty. Deftly drawn with an assured line and colored with soft watercolor washes, Stevenson’s whimsical sketches evoke a sense of memory and nostalgia. The exhibition is on view through April 18, 2021.

On Monday, January 18, 2021, 9:30 am – 4:00 pm, the Bruce celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day with family-oriented activities based on the Museum’s current exhibitions as well as hands-on activities you can do at home. The activities will be posted to the calendar page on brucemuseum.org​ and on Instagram. Family Activity Kits will be available for pick-up on MLK Day, along with a complimentary children’s book by James Stevenson.

In accordance with current state and local health-safety guidelines, admission to the Bruce Museum is by advance reservation, with timed ticketing to ensure the comfort and safety of visitors and staff. To reserve a timed ticket to visit the Bruce Museum, visit brucemuseum.org or call 203-869-0376 x 311.

Upcoming virtual programs include a Bruce Presents webinar via Zoom starting at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, January 19: See Hear: Revealing the Links Between Impressionist Art and Music. The husband and wife team of Christopher Campbell, an artist, and Nancy Locke, an art historian, will be the counterparts to acclaimed pianist Boris Berman, who will be playing select pieces by French composer Claude Debussy to highlight linkages with works by Cézanne, Pissarro, and other French Impressionists. Admission to this exciting virtual discussion is $20; Museum members and students receive a 20% discount. To register, visit this page at brucemuseum.org or call 203-869-0376.

For the complete schedule of additional online offerings in January, including a January 16 art workshop on how to create your own illustrated story, and a three-part series of weekly printmaking workshops, beginning January 20, visit the calendar page at brucemuseum.org.