WashCo museum gets $3.5 million grant

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HAGERSTOWN, MD — The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts has been awarded a total of $3.5 million in funding from the State of Maryland, which will help support of the creation of a new Education Center as well as renovations and improvements to the museum’s historic building.

The museum will receive $1 million in funding this year with $2.5 million pre-authorized over the next two years.

WCMFA is celebrating its 90th year of offering free admission to all. The state funds will be used for a planned expansion that builds on the museum’s long and respected tradition of regional arts education. Four generations of western Marylanders have enjoyed the museum’s Saturday Morning Youth Program and other educational opportunities. Additionally, the museum brings to the region a diverse and ambitious schedule of exhibitions, lectures, and programs for all ages.

“We are so appreciative of the place this museum has in the region, and thankful for this vital commitment of support from the State of Maryland” said WCMFA Director Sarah Hall. “This project is going to prepare the museum for the next 90 years. Additional classrooms, expanded exhibition space, improved visitor amenities, and back-of-house improvements will allow the museum to grow in pace with the times and continue to be a point of pride in the community.”

The WCMFA’s new Education Center is part of a comprehensive vision to create an arts campus in Hagerstown’s City Park. In addition to new spaces for teaching, learning, and art-making the conceptual design includes additional space for collaborating with living artists, indoor and outdoor community meeting and event spaces, expanded temporary exhibition space, an enlarged museum shop and visitor welcoming area, and improvements to receiving, administrative spaces, and collections storage. The expansion and renovation will enable the museum to display more art, curate, or host larger temporary exhibitions, and better serve visitors.

This project envisions a dynamic, active museum poised to serve the community for the next 90 years through collections stewardship, impactful exhibitions and contemporary art projects, engaging education programs, and a wide variety of entertaining and enlightening opportunities for socializing and learning for all ages.

This project is akey part of the current economic revitalization taking place in Hagerstown.

“The museum has been such a big part of the community for the last 90-plus years and we’re looking forward to the next 90 years with these new projects,” said Roger Fairbourn, president of the museum’s Board of Trustees.

Washington County Museum of Fine Arts is located at 401 Museum Drive, Hagerstown, Maryland. Free parking is available adjacent to the Museum. Hours are 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Tuesday – Friday; 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday; 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday; the museum is closed Mondays and major holidays.