CLEVELAND, OH.- The Cleveland Museum of Art
announced today that 423,640 visitors came to the museum in 2012. This attendance statistic represents a 38% increase year-over-year and brings the museums annual attendance in-line with pre-renovation figures, the first time such an accomplishment has occurred since 2005. Attendance drivers included the blockbuster special exhibition, Rembrandt in America, as well as the highly anticipated openings of the stunning Ames Family Atrium, dining facilities featuring cuisine by Chef Douglas Katz, the museum store and new galleries showcasing the Late Medieval, Renaissance and Islamic collections.
As the museum approaches the final stages of our transformational renovation project and looks towards its centennial in 2016, we do so with a new vision for the future, led by director David Franklin, said Steven Kestner, chairman of the Board of Trustees. We are very pleased with the progress made by David and his team thus far and look forward to celebrating even more accomplishments in 2013.
The museum also celebrated significant accomplishments with philanthropy and financial performance in 2012. In the first six months of the current fiscal year, which will end on June 30, 2013, overall fundraising has outpaced last year by 44%, totaling $26 million. These dollars support all aspects of the museums work. In addition, the museum ended its fiscal year with a balanced budget and maintained a AA+ bond rating from Standard and Poors.
Since July 2012, commitments for Transformation: The Campaign for the Cleveland Museum of Art totaled $17 million. This represents a significant increase of 288% over last fiscal years total commitments. The museum will complete its renovation and expansion project at the end of 2013.
We greatly appreciate the continued support of our donors and members, said David Franklin, Sarah S. and Alexander M. Cutler Director. Their generous investments in our renovation and expansion project, as well as our general operations, allow us to fulfill our commitment to scholarship, artistic excellence and the sharing of our unparalleled collection with visitors from throughout Northeast Ohio and the world.
The museum also deepened its relationships with community partners throughout 2012, leveraging its role as a significant leader on issues of critical importance in Northeast Ohio and beyond. One such example of this is Community Engagement 360º, a diverse consortium of leaders who are partnering with the museum to more actively connect it physically, socially and intellectually with the life of the community.
Funded by two grants totaling $500,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the museum began work with its partner, Case Western Reserve University, to redesign their Joint Doctoral Program in Art History. The newly reinvigorated PhD program will offer students an immersive, object-oriented experience based on the study of individual works of art.
We are very appreciative of the response weve received from the community so far, said David Franklin. We invite everyone to visit the museum and experience our galleries, special exhibitions, performing arts, films and programs throughout the year.