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Statement On Strategic Goals and Programmatic Updates

Released: July 23, 2021 ·

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (July 23, 2021) — The reopening of SFMOMA in 2016 marked the conclusion of a decade of growth unprecedented in our then eighty-year history. The museum nearly tripled in size, and collections increased both qualitatively and quantitatively. SFMOMA staff, exhibitions, and public programs combined to take the museum to an extraordinary new level. However, since reopening, the museum has experienced reduced attendance, growing expenses, and constrained budgets, all of which were exacerbated by the pandemic.

Seeking opportunities in these challenges, SFMOMA’s executive leadership outlined an approach to reactivate the museum’s strategic goals while achieving long-term financial stability. This strategic refresh reflects the need to shift current capacity and resources towards programs and activities that will engage a broader range of audiences. Achieving this requires a holistic visitor experience that attracts larger, more diverse audiences.

Updates Include:

  • Investing in programs and exhibits that drive visitors to the museum, as well as amenities such as interpretative stations that enhance the visitor experience
  • Focusing on the production of educational content that directly supports the in-gallery visitor experience. As a result, Open Space and the Raw Material podcast will be retired after their fall 2021 seasons. The podcast will be reimagined as an audio zine for use online and in-gallery.
  • Enhancing programs at the museum that deepen our commitment to local artists such as SECA, Bay Area Walls, and store product partnerships.
  • Sunsetting programs that do not drive attendance at the museum, including the Film Program (fall 2021) and Artists Gallery (December 2021).
  • Modernizing the retail strategy by investing in and new product development (e.g., limited editions, exhibition-related items, and design objects designed locally).

We remain dedicated to being a dynamic center for modern and contemporary art, and to engaging and inspiring a diverse range of audiences. SFMOMA leadership and staff are committed to programming that enhances the visitor experience, both in our galleries and throughout the museum.