Funds will help "put creative workers back to work"

Large white and brown desk with one black office chair in front of a colorful, striped wallpaper wall with a W-shaped red couch in the background and flanked by a white marble wall on the right and below the multi-piece Chihuly Bridge installation

Welcome Desk in the Boeing Foyer – August 2020

The National Endowment for the Arts has announced grant awards totaling more than $57 million for arts organizations across the nation, including $100,000 for the Wichita Art Museum, to help the arts and culture sector recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

WAM is one of only five Kansas organizations to receive this award from the federal agency. American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding puts WAM in the company of local organizations and Music Theatre Wichita as well as national associations, including the San Francisco Symphony, Indianapolis Museum of Art, and the Studio Museum in Harlem.

“The purpose of the National Endowment for the Arts support with American Rescue Plan funding has been to ‘put creative workers back to work,’” said WAM Director Dr. Patricia McDonnell. “The Wichita Art Museum plans to do just that with this special grant funding. Frontline employees have had diminished hours because programs went online or were cancelled during the pandemic.”

In 2022, WAM plans on the full return of in-person programs and events, and the frontline employees—Welcome Desk greeters, gallery attendants, special event assistants, and Museum Store salespeople—will again return to regular hours. WAM also will add a Community Partnership Coordinator, a new position in the museum’s Strategic Plan for more robust community collaborations and shared programming.

The American Rescue Plan was signed into law in March 2021 when the NEA was provided $135 million for the arts sector. This funding for organizations, including WAM, is the third installment providing more than $57 million for arts organizations. For more information on the NEA’s American Rescue Plan grants, including the full list of arts organizations funded in this announcement, visit