an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me

Wow! That Was Fast, Worcester

I had no idea yesterday, when I posted about the campaign by the Worcester Art Museum to open its Salisbury Street doors, that the goal was so close to being met.

But just now, I received an email from the museum that the $60,000 goal was not only attained but exceeded. Here’s what the museum wrote:

With the Salisbury doors having been closed for the past several years (other than on weekends and for special events), the museum initiated a grassroots campaign to raise the $60,000 necessary to re-open the entrance to the public on a full-time basis for at least the next two years. In fact, the Museum exceeded this goal raising a total of $94,113 with a total of 321 gifts ranging from less than $25-$500. [Boldface mine.]

This shows several things.

  • Directors can galvanize giving, even in small amounts, by finding and defining a cause. It’s a lot easier to do that when people know exactly where their money is going and agree with the goal.
  • Direct appeals by the director, getting upclose and personal, succeed.
  • Worcester director Matthias Waschek knows how to create excitement. Today, the museum staged a ceremonial reopening of the doors in presence of officials and community leaders “including: Senator Harriette Chandler; Malcolm Rogers – Director, Museum of Fine Arts Boston;  Anita Walker – Executive Director, Massachusetts Cultural Coalition;   Lisa Simmons – Director of PR, MA Office of Travel and Tourism; Councilor Konnie Lukes, and Erin Williams, Cultural Development Officer, City of Worcester.” Pretty good turnout.
  • The museum knows how to pay it back: Waschek announced “that admission to the museum will be free to the public through the end of August.”  It’s usually $14.
  • AND: “To celebrate the announcement, the museum will host a free summer kick-off celebration on Saturday, June 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with live entertainment, food and art activities from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.”

Other museums: there’s a lesson here, more than one, actually.

Coverage in the Boston Globe is here, and in the Worcester Telegram, it’s here.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Worcester Telegram



  1. Bravo Worcester! To your list on why this was a success, please add a media blitz. My Google Searches for all things Roman Mosaic have been loaded with items on this event/campaign. The reaction from Mosaic Art NOW (MAN) followers has been positive and I will continue to retweet this item.

  2. Bravo indeed! Between this story and the funding for the Corcoran, there is reason to have hope.

    And I believe I will be adding the Worcester Art Museum to my summer travel list.

  3. Janna Scott says

    Thanks so much for the post on the Worcester Art Museum. I took classes there when I was an undergraduate at Clark University. Your blog post inspired me to make a donation — so thrilled to read that the museum has exceeded its goal! Keep up the great work — your blog is so valuable!

  4. Linda Vadasz says

    What is more important: raising money to open a door or paying for the position of Director of Education?

an ArtsJournal blog