So do we. During the past three years, the Kentucky Museum has seen this point in action through the success of a three-year grant from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation that afforded free general admission to all visitors. In the first year, 2019, our in-person visitation grew by 45%. Despite the COVID-19 shutdown in 2020, we welcomed more than 20,000 virtual and appointment-based visitors. This past year, 2021, we reopened to the public and welcomed more than 30,000 online and in-person visitors.
Free admission means more than numbers. It provides equitable access to arts and culture for our community, where one in three families experience poverty. Yet, as much as we would love to, we cannot provide continued free admission without replacing the revenue that admission fees generate. This revenue is integral to our mission, since all our exhibits and programs are supported by donors like you.
This year, we are establishing the Kentucky Museum for All Fund – an endowment to provide sustainable funding while supporting diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility throughout the Museum. You are key to this endeavor. Will you make a gift to support the Museum for All fund?
Join us on June 3 from 5 to 7pm to see our next exhibits, including the premiere of Nuestro hogar Kentucky, Our Kentucky Home courtesy Kentucky Arts Council and alDía en América and Casa de la Cultura Kentucky. This exhibition showcases Hispanic, Latinx and Latin American Kentuckians' visual art.
Also on view will be the new exhibitions, Crazy Quilt Mania, Coral Reef, Side by Side, and Ancient Near East in KY.
We will also celebrate our Museum for All Fund, which runs May 18 to June 17 and seeks to establish permanent free admission to the Museum.