The National Museum of Mexican Art announced it has received an unrestricted donation of $8 million from advocate and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott and her husband Dan Jewett. This is the largest single gift in the Museum’s 39-year history.
The couple donated $2.74 billion to 286 organizations their charity team identified as equity-oriented, non-profit teams working in areas that have been neglected.
“Arts and cultural institutions can strengthen communities by transforming spaces, fostering empathy, reflecting community identity, advancing economic mobility, improving academic outcomes, lowering crime rates, and improving mental health,” Ms. Scott said in a blog post on the gifts, “so we evaluated smaller arts organizations creating these benefits with artists and audiences from culturally rich regions and identity groups that donors often overlook.”
“This generous gift will have a lasting and transformative impact on our organization and the community we serve,” said Carlos Tortolero, Founder and President of the National Museum of Mexican Art. “Thank you to Ms. Scott and Mr. Jewett for honoring our work and that of the artists whose vision and voices we seek to amplify in Chicago, the US, and throughout the world.”
“Art can soothe and can disrupt, but we especially see how art initiates conversations, reveals shared experiences, and fosters understanding,” said Carlos Cardenas, Chair, Board of Trustees, National Museum of Mexican Art. “This gift will allow us to expand our commitment to providing exceptional visual and performing arts programs, arts education, and professional development.”
Ms. Scott’s blog post noted: “Generosity is generative. Sharing makes more. A favorite verse by Rumi captures this well:
‘A candle as it diminishes explains,
Gathering more and more is not the way.
Burn, become light and heat and help. Melt.'”
The National Museum of Mexican Art will reopen to the public Thursday, July 1, 2021, having temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.