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Knight Foundation Awards $250,000 to New Museum’s NEW INC

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced that it will be investing $250,000 in the New Museum’s experimental initiative NEW INC. Now in its third year, the shared workspace and professional development program is expanding its scope and will investigate the impact technology has on the future of art museums.

“Museum professionals need new skills and resources to meet changing demands and grab audience attention in an increasingly digital world,” said Victoria Rogers, the Knight Foundation’s vice president for arts. “NEW INC will help advance this goal, providing them the skills necessary to embrace technology, innovate, and create lasting impact for their institutions and their communities.”

Based at the New Museum on the Lower East Side, NEW INC brings together more than one hundred cultural practitioners and creative entrepreneurs, including Rhizome and Columbia University’s GSAPP Incubator, on a twelve-month basis. With the additional funding, the New Museum will invite organizations focused on the experimentation, development, and adoption of new technologies that attract audiences to museums and engage visitors within the museum space. Five teams—up to ten people total—will receive fully subsidized memberships at NEW INC and will be eligible for up to $10,000 in seed funding.

“Museums have been experimenting with innovative technological applications for public engagement, presentation, preservation and more, but we believe the market is still underdeveloped and underserved, particularly as it pertains to small and mid-sized institutions,” said Julia Kaganskiy, director of NEW INC. “These NEW INC members will explore new exhibition design ideas, audience engagement tools, cost-effective products and more efficient services to meet this need.”

Cofounded by Lisa Phillips and Karen Wong in 2014, NEW INC is the first museum-led incubator for art, design, and technology. Directed by Julia Kaganskiy, the initiative has helped launch more than one hundred startup ventures in the creative industries.