The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced an endowment in support of its Department of Live Arts, made possible by a generous grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF). With this gift of $1 million, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Live Arts Endowment will provide funds for the Museum’s MetLiveArts program in perpetuity, enabling it to continue presenting high-impact productions of opera, music, and dance inspired by the Museum’s collection, while also engaging with both emerging and acclaimed artists from diverse backgrounds.
“The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) has been a longtime supporter of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Department of Live Arts, and we’re profoundly grateful for such a truly significant gift,” said Max Hollein, Marina Kellen French Director of The Met. “MetLiveArts offers groundbreaking programs that interrogate the Museum’s encyclopedic collection through the lens of contemporary artistic voices, and provides opportunities to invite audiences to partake in an ever expanding dialogue on performance, creativity, and contemporary social issues. Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), these important programs will now be available for generations to come.”
Andreas Dracopoulos, The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Co-President, said: “MetLiveArts answers the question ‘Who are museums for?’ with a resounding ‘Everyone!’ It reminds us that museums, at their best, are vibrant civic spaces full of activity and life. Increasing access to world-class cultural resources is a key focus of SNF’s work, and access means not only opening doors, but also opening a conversation and an invitation to find relevance to our own lives. Through MetLiveArts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art excels in this.”
The upcoming 2021–22 MetLiveArts season will feature live, in-person performances as well as performances created specifically for digital and hybrid platforms. Highlights include an evening-length commission by Broadway actor and singer Gavin Creel and a celebration of the work of composer Arvo Pärt, including a world premiere, among other notable performances.
“This endowment will directly impact our ability to commission groundbreaking live arts and allow us to further our reach and engagement with diverse contemporary artists and audiences,” said Limor Tomer, Lulu C. and Anthony W. Wang General Manager of Live Arts. “We are incredibly grateful to The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) for their support over many years and countless performances and premieres, and this monumental grant will ensure that the MetLiveArts series continues to be a leader in multidisciplinary performance.”
The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Department of Live Arts commissions and presents new works of performance: music, words, movement, sound, and related hybrids. This singular, artistically rigorous body of work furthers The Met’s commitment to living artists, deepens connections between audiences and works of art, and introduces untested modes of performance. The department generates new scholarship and brings renewed relevance to historical art by bringing it into conversation with contemporary performance. The Department of Live Arts produces the most expansive season of new and large-scale works in any museum-based performance series in the United States.
Since the launch of MetLiveArts in 2013, it has commissioned dozens of new works of live music, theater, opera, and dance in The Met’s auditorium, galleries, and public spaces. Over the past year and a half, MetLiveArts has presented ongoing virtual performances, including the popular Sonic Cloisters electronic music concerts series filmed in the galleries and courtyards of The Met Cloisters, and the site-specific iteration of Taiwanese-American artist Lee Mingwei’s durational performance work OUR LABYRINTH. There have also been monthly digital premieres released on the Museums online platforms, including The Met’s website and social media channels, which have featured new works by performance artists, musicians, and filmmakers, exploring the Museum’s collection and galleries.
About the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF)
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) is one of the world’s leading private, international philanthropic organizations, making grants to nonprofit organizations in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and sports, and social welfare. SNF funds organizations and projects worldwide that aim to achieve a broad, lasting, and positive impact for society at large and exhibit strong leadership and sound management. The Foundation also supports projects that facilitate the formation of public-private partnerships as an effective means for serving public welfare.
Since 1996, the Foundation has committed more than $3.1 billion through over 5,000 grants to nonprofit organizations in more than 135 countries. Learn more at SNF.org.
About The Met
The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1870 by a group of American citizens—businessmen and financiers as well as leading artists and thinkers of the day—who wanted to create a museum to bring art and art education to the American people. Today, The Met displays tens of thousands of objects covering 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy. The Museum lives in two iconic sites in New York City—The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters. Millions of people also take part in The Met experience online. Since its founding, The Met has always aspired to be more than a treasury of rare and beautiful objects. Every day, art comes alive in the Museum’s galleries and through its exhibitions and events, revealing both new ideas and unexpected connections across time and across cultures.