The North Carolina Museum of Art Annual Impact Report, covering the period from July 2020 through June 2021, highlights programming, exhibitions, and initiatives and details the impact the NCMA has on its community and beyond.
Collection Growth and Care
Curators worked to diversify the Museum’s American, contemporary, and photography collections with key additions by Endia Beal, Faith Couch, Omar Victor Diop, Leonardo Drew, Simone Leigh, Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Vaughn Spann, Lina Iris Viktor, Marie Watt, and Antoine Williams. These efforts extended to the African art collection, with new works by Joseph Teth Ashong (Paa Joe) and William Kentridge and traditional art such as the early 20th-century Palace Door (ilekun) by Olówè of Isè, and the Judaic art collection, with transcultural works of ceremonial art, including silver torah finials by 18th-century female silversmith Hester Bateman and a Roman circumcision knife (1751–61) and shield (last half of the 18th century) with case by Alessandro Doria.
The conservation team worked diligently to maintain the art installed across the campus, including East and West buildings and the Museum Park. In addition to nearly daily examinations during record-breaking public use of the Park, the team undertook conservation treatment of Chris Drury’s Cloud Chamber for the Trees and Sky, one of the Park’s most visited outdoor installations.
“The [Park] kept me and my family happy and healthy during the pandemic … Thank you so much for being a free resource. Thanks for making our year better.” —Museum visitor
The NCMA remains one of North Carolina’s top-ten visitor attractions and continues to maintain and expand its role as a leading state and regional arts institution with national and international acclaim.
Transportation options expanded through a partnership with the City of Raleigh, adding bus service, and a Citrix Cycles bike-share station.
The Museum developed a land acknowledgement with the guidance of the NC Office of State Archeology and UNC–Chapel Hill, and continues to work with Indigenous leaders on the collection and programming.
American Indians have lived in Wake County and the House Creek area in which the Museum Park is located for thousands of years. To date no archaeological work has been done to identify specific sites associated with American Indian use of this land, but it is likely such places exist. As a result of population displacement caused by colonialism, several groups of Siouan and Iroquoian ancestry have ties to the Museum Park property. Contemporary North Carolina American Indian tribes that live in and have traveled throughout North Carolina include the Cherokee, Coharie, Haliwa-Saponi, Lumbee, Meherrin, Occaneechi, Sappony, and Waccamaw Siouan.
We solidified our relationships with public agencies and private individuals with whom we have developed a high level of trust in order to accomplish shared goals and visions, such as the belief that art and creativity should be accessible to all.
Off-site mural projects elevated the work of local artists, and dancers from the American Dance Festival brought the Park to life. Through our partnership with Dorothea Dix Park, we helped to make Raleigh the City of Sunflowers; our 2.5-acre sunflower field quickly became the social media sensation #CityofSunflowers.
Statewide Engagement and Beyond
“What you have created and shared is magnificent. Thank you for keeping the powerful healing of art alive during these uncertain times.” —NCMA Recommends reader
Since kicking off Museum from Home in the spring of 2020, the NCMA’s YouTube channel has logged 75,000 views and 4,500 hours watched. Rich video content features the Museum collection, interviews with staff and artists, a reopening overview video, and more. Tailored content such as Music at the Museum, presented in partnership with Come Hear North Carolina and PBS North Carolina, features musical performers who were livestreamed from inside the Museum’s West Building.
The NCMA serves as a significant resource for families, educators, and students at all academic levels across the state. The Museum offers tours, programs, professional development, and digital resources, including NCMA Learn, which served more than 150,000 people in 99 of our 100 counties during the 2020–21 fiscal year.
- Over 7,000 students were served through the NCMA’s middle and high school courses offered through NCVPS. The courses reached 40 percent of the state’s rural communities not previously impacted. Virtual field trips grew three-fold between July 2019 and June 2020.
- Over 5,600 bilingual art-making kits impacted families in 15 counties both through in-person distribution at the Museum and through strategic library partnerships statewide. An additional 2,000 art kits were distributed through the YMCA and school/community partners.
- Nine hundred teen participants engaged online through workshops, artist studio visits and demos, monthly meetings, our Live from the Studio program, and other video content.
- Thirty-six hundred people were reached through a virtual family day focused on the Bacchus Conservation Project, receiving live coverage on WRAL.
At the heart of the Museum is a talented staff of curators, conservators, educators, programmers, designers, horticulturists, visitor experience staff, and more. Staff received national awards and new employees joined the team, including Mellon Foundation Assistant Curator Maya Brooks and Museum Evaluator Melissa Dean. Paid summer internships were funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The Museum engaged over 100 touring docents and retained 250 volunteers, who support our staff and visitors in multiple areas campus wide.
Additionally, the Museum launched a virtual internship program. Seventy-three interns met online with NCMA staff mentors, NCMA docent mentors, and a virtual cohort of intern peers. They worked on an off-site research project that culminated in a product and presentation. Due to the virtual structure, 27 out-of-state students participated in addition to those attending North Carolina schools.