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Fresno Art Museum

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The Fresno Art Museum welcomes, inspires and educates through significant exhibitions, thought-provoking programs and meaningful interactions with artists and the creative process.

Unique educational programs include Summer Art Academy for Kids, Art Link, Family Day, ArtSmart Professional Development and After School Program as well as a Docent Program. Exciting activities and special events are also held throughout the year.


The Fresno Art Museum offers a dynamic experience for appreciating art. The museum welcomes, inspires, and educates a diverse regional audience through significant exhibitions, thought -provoking programs, and meaningful interactions with artists and the creative process.


Since its founding in 1948, the Fresno Art Museum (FAM) has grown into an important, accredited art museum. In recent years, however, the museum has suffered from a downturn in the economy and from significant turnover in executive leadership. At the writing of this Strategic Plan, FAM is recovering from a financial crisis. The Board of Trustees and staff are deeply passionate about the museum and are more committed than ever to ensuring its survival. They recognize that a great turnaround effort is required, and they are rebuilding the strength of the organization through two overarching commitments: The commitment to ongoing stewardship for the works of art and financial resources to make sure that FAM will serve its community as a valued educational resource. The commitment to making the museum accessible to the diverse public through high-quality exhibitions, programs, events, and other methods designed to pique curiosity and learning. The tasks that lie ahead are both challenging and exciting. The following provides a brief overview of FAM's vision to be carried out over the next five years:


FAM will re-define its artistic vision to build on the strengths of its current collections holdings and to be more inclusive of the arts. The museum will continue to foster relationships with collectors and artists to grow the FAM collections in alignment with the mission, artistic vision, and desired visitor experience. Also, FAM will upgrade its collections policies, procedures, records, and storage facilities at the highest professional level.


Over the next five years, FAM will make significant enhancements to the visitor experience. As a result, visitors will feel welcome at the museum as they contemplate art, view rotating exhibitions, and interact with artists and others about the creative process. High-quality education programs will complement the exhibitions and serve diverse community audiences.


FAM Board and staff will continue to rebuild the finances of the museum to ensure long-term sustainability. The museum will strengthen its capacity to generate income through greater Board participation in fundraising, a reinvigorated membership program, exciting special events, and a variety of earned income streams.


The FAM facility-with its galleries, classroom, library, auditorium, and outdoor sculpture garden-will provide an exceptional venue for exhibitions, programs, and events. The facility will also support the financial health of the museum through an active rental program.


FAM will undertake a great effort to cultivate audiences and deepen community awareness. A five-year Marketing Plan will be developed with specific tactics for building target audiences, including families, schools, and diverse constituencies. A new brand identity will be created to reflect the updated vision for FAM.


As funding becomes available, FAM will rebuild its staff with skilled and creative individuals dedicated to the mission of the museum. The museum will also rebuild its volunteer corps, including reinstating its docent program. The FAM working environment will be collaborative and supportive among staff and volunteers. GOVERNANCE The Board of Trustees will act as a strategic governing body focused on policy setting, fundraising, and fiscal accountability. The Board will continue to build its membership through the recruitment of diverse and talented community leaders.


The museum will earn re-accreditation from the American Association of Museums. By maintaining its accredited status, FAM will demonstrate its ongoing commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards, and continued institutional improvement.


The Fresno Art Museum collects, preserves, and exhibits to the public tangible objects valuable to art and history. Exhibitions include a wide range of contemporary as well as modern works by local, national and international artists. With additional emphasis on Mexican art from pre-Columbian times to the present, and with the planned bequest of significant collections of pre-Columbian ceramics and French post-impressionist graphics, the Museum is working to serve as both an educational facility and a repository for important collections from the Central Valley. As the only modern art museum between San Francisco and Los Angeles, the Fresno Art Museum is dedicated to serving the population of Central California. To provide the region's 1.6 million residents with a forum for contemporary and modern issues as they relate to art, the Museum presents exhibitions, films, concerts, lectures, docent tours, and symposia to enlighten, provoke, educate, and entertain its visitors.

Work with students is a top priority. Approximately 10,000 students are served by the Museum each year. Because we are located in one of the most ethnically diverse regions in the state, we address issues of change and cultural diversity on a daily basis. This is represented in the Museum's exhibitions and collections policy, as well as in the audience that utilizes the Museum. The Museum has an impressive publishing and acquisitions record. Since 1980, over twenty catalogues have been published on such topics as pre-Columbian sculpture; and the work of Robert Cremean, David Smith, Terry Allen, Viola Frey, June Wayne, Milton Avery, Betye Saar, and Darren Waterston. With a collection emphasis on American sculpture, works on paper, art of California, and Mexican art from pre-Columbian times to the present, the Museum has a clear focus and mission.


Since its inception as a regional arts center in 1948, the Fresno Art Museum has grown into an important museum of contemporary and modern art. The Museum evolved from a group of local artists who formed the Fresno Art League in the late 1940's for the purpose of critiquing and exhibiting their artwork. The Fresno Art League joined forces with others interested in building a place to exhibit and study art, and the original building was constructed on Fresno City property at Radio Park. Originally called the Fresno Art Center and Museum, it changed to the Fresno Art Museum in the late 1980's.


The Fresno Art Museum is an accredited member of the American Association of Museums. We are proud to be in the company of the most prestigious museum institutions in the country carrying this important designation. Thank you for your support which has allowed us to maintain this accreditation since 1973.

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