A major donor to the Cleveland Museum of Art is challenging others to support the institution.
The museum on Wednesday, Oct. 7, announced the Eric and Jane Nord Family Challenge, a $1 million grant from the Eric and Jane Nord family. The grant will match donations to the museum, up to $1 million, with $4 for each $1 contributed by other donors through the end of the year. (So the goal is to attract $250,000 from other donors.)
The challenge is designed “to encourage new and increased philanthropic support of the museum during this uncertain time brought on by the pandemic,” according to a news release from the museum.
“We are honored to support the critical work that the Cleveland Museum of Art does to create unique experiences with its remarkable collections, exhibitions and programs,” said Jane Nord, an honorary museum trustee, in a statement. “We hope this challenge inspires and encourages our wonderful community to help the museum in recognition of the joy and learning the museum provides, especially in difficult times.”
William M. Griswold, director and president of the Cleveland Museum of Art, thanked the Nord family “for their unwavering support” of the museum and said, “During this challenging time, we must create new ways to engage directly with our community. Support from the Eric and Jane Nord family will allow us to build connections and share the benefits of the museum.”
The release stated that support through the Eric and Jane Nord Family Challenge “will enable the museum to continue to present onsite an array of thoughtful and engaging exhibitions and extend its good work through enhancements to the museum’s website and continued development of online lessons and virtual programs for learners of all ages.”
Arts institutions have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, and the museum is no exception.
Cleveland Scene reported that in a letter to donors and members last week, Griswold “announced that the museum had furloughed or laid off roughly 10 percent of its staff, due to ongoing financial challenges posed by the pandemic.” Staff members were informed by email on Friday, Oct. 2, Scene reported. It noted that Griswold “said in the donor letter that despite CARES act dollars and a recent fundraising campaign among trustees, the museum was still projecting a $6.2 million budget shortfall by year’s end.”