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2016 Columbus Foundation Award Winner

Columbus Museum of Art

For nearly 140 years, the Columbus Museum of Art (CMA) has been delighting hometown audiences and visitors from around the globe. CMA’s permanent collection includes more than 10,500 works of art—with the strength of CMA’s collection in early 20th-century modern American and European art. Approximately 400,000 visitors experience CMA on-site or online each year. A variety of interactive events and programs at CMA encourage people of all ages to experience art.

Nannette V. Maciejunes has been part of the CMA staff since 1984, and became Executive Director in 2003. She recently shared how things are changing at the museum, and how important the community as a whole is to their organization.

The new Margaret M. Walter Wing opened at CMA last year. How has this expansion benefited the museum and all who visit?

The Margaret M. Walter Wing dramatically increases our public value by deepening our capacity to serve the community in ways that are relevant and meaningful in the 21st century. The new facility and expanded programs support a more open, connected, and creative Columbus where people feel a part of something bigger than themselves. Cultural entities like the museum help cities like Columbus articulate their identity and vitality. As a hub for collaboration and innovation, the museum creates a strong, essential relationship that brings people and art together in exciting ways and makes CMA a true reflection of those we serve. We continually strive to recognize the needs of our community while celebrating the diversity of our people and our city.

Columbus Museum of Art is built for the community by the community. Generations of families have invested in the museum through gifts of art, time, talent, and treasure.

—Nannette V. Maciejunes, Executive Director, Columbus Museum of Art 

CMA has added programs to engage a wide variety of ages and audiences. What are some of these programs and why were they developed?

CMA designs a wide array of innovative programs that foster curiosity, experimentation, questioning, and creativity for all our residents from early childhood to adulthood. The 21st century depends on creative thinkers who develop ideas for the betterment of the world. We value the role that creative thinkers, in particular artists, play in society and we create programs that nurture residents to think like artists. Some of those programs include Young Child Studio, Teen Open Studio: SURGE, Think Like an Artist Thursdays, Yoga@ CMA, Wednesdays@2, Art Book Club, Tours for People with Visual Impairment, and Sparking Imaginations. CMA is a beloved fixture in Columbus.

How has the support from donors and others helped shape its success?

Columbus Museum of Art is built for the community by the community. Generations of families have invested in the museum through gifts of art, time, talent, and treasure. Thousands of people participated in the Art Matters campaign. They participated because in communities that thrive, cultural arts matter. They matter to captains of industry, captains of the soccer team, and Captains in the National Guard. The fact that art matters to our community makes all the difference.

What are some things you are excited about for the future of CMA?

Last fall, we opened the Walter Wing to national acclaim. The Wall Street Journal said the new wing has “a distinctive presence.” Picasso is the most ambitious exhibition to be presented in the Walter Wing to date. It represents the museum’s promise to build an experiential space to showcase the greatest names in the art world. We made that promise, and we are keeping it. In the future, I am excited about continuing to keep that promise by presenting world-class exhibitions, offering meaningful experiences, and celebrating, cultivating, and championing creativity in our community.

How do you feel arts play into The Spirit of Columbus?

Art is the best of us. It’s the ultimate end of a creative process that allows each and every one of us to express how we view and experience life, which is the essence of our humanity.

Award Recipient

Columbus Museum of Art

About the Award

Created in 1986, The Columbus Foundation Award recognizes organizations that have made a difference in the quality of life in our community.