Springfield Art Museum receives $3 million in ARPA Funds
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Springfield City Council recently issued millions of dollars to fund 16 different projects throughout the city of Springfield. One of the projects on that list is the Springfield Art Museum Education Wing.
The Springfield Art Museum is receiving $3 million to rebuild the education department. The building was built in 1958. And there’s not enough space to house the current programs. Once this project is complete, museum officials say families will have more opportunities to grow and learn.
“Right now, the museum has a family Art Lab. It’s a space where families can come and learn together through play-based learning,” said Museum Director Nick Nelson. “This is a really incredible resource for the community because it’s open during the hours that the museum’s open, it’s free of charge, so people can come in and spend as long as they like, you know, learning and, and having some quality time in that space.”
The art museum generates more than $3 million in tourism dollars for the economy per year. During the pandemic, the number of patrons visiting the museum decreased. Museum leaders hope that the increased space will attract more people to the area adding revenue and value to the community.
“We hope as we grow and expand our building, and, and work to make improvements that our tenants will go up,” said Nelson. “We could have an impact of over $5 million annually.”
Before the pandemic, the art museum had more than 65,000 visitors annually, contributing $3.5 million to our local economy. After the lockdowns, the number of visitors decreased, and the museum couldn’t host events, special attractions, or hold classes leading to a decrease in revenue. These funds help the museum move forward in the master plan for expansion.
“This allows us the opportunity to work to complete our total master plan, which includes improvements to both the education wing and also the west side of the building,” said Nelson. “If you’ve been by the museum, you’ve probably seen a lot of the improvements that have gone on in the ground, so we’re well underway. This pushes us forward, and we hope to complete our entire master plan by 2028.”
This project qualifies for ARPA funds under the city’s revenue loss on government services. For more information on the city of Springfield’s use of ARPA funds, CLICK HERE.
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