Is the $2.7 Million Donation to the Milwaukee Art Museum a Sign Corporate Money Will Start Flowing Again?


While we continue to hear stories like yesterday’s news of the Indianapolis Museum of Art firing its security staff to save money, the Field Museum forced to cut jobs, or earlier this month finding the Seattle Art Museum asking to borrow $10 million from its endowment to help pay its bills, finally here’s something in the opposite direction that’s hopefully a sign of things to come. This week, the Milwaukee Art Museum announced that the department store chain Kohl’s has donated $2.7 million to help continue a program for children, one it originally helped fund and launch two years ago. This new money is the largest donation for educational initiatives the museum has ever received. While great for this individual museum, following two years of severely depleted corporate donations, from which money once poured like an open faucet that museums heavily relied upon, Kohl’s gift to Milwaukee is sure to perk some interest in seeing if this is just a one off benefit or a larger indicator that struggling corporations are starting to loosen up the purse strings again to support cultural institutions.