- Associated Press - Sunday, November 30, 2014

GREENWICH, Conn. (AP) - With less and less funding coming from corporate and public sources, individuals are the main source of support at the Bruce Museum, according to Executive Director Peter Sutton. The museum recently received a $110,500 grant from the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation, which will support arts education and family programming.

“This was a great boost to our educational programs,” said Sutton. “There are specific programs we couldn’t have done before, but now we can because of these grants.”

The programs include toddler tours for kids 3 to 5 years old and their adult caregivers; stroller tours of exhibits before they open - so babies can cry and not disturb museum-goers; family days for Native American Heritage Month; family gallery tours for kids 6 to 10 years old and their families; and family studio workshops

The Cohens have been annual supporters of the arts at the Bruce since 2002, and their focus is on groups the Bruce collaborates with such as Greenwich Adult Day Care River House, for its Lifetime of Looking program, which is geared to improving cognitive skills of the elderly, including people with dementia.

Last year the foundation gave more than $43 million in support of 260 organizations. The foundation has five areas of giving: children’s education, primarily K-12 ; children’s health; the arts; veterans; and neighbors, which is focused on local community organizations including YMCA Greenwich, Greenwich Hospital, GADC River House, Abilis and the Boys & Girls Club.

“The Bruce was a perfect fit,” said Jeanne Melino, the foundation’s director of philanthropy and community relations. “The museum fits into three of the foundation’s giving areas: education, the arts and local, community neighbors.

The foundation, she said, requested a formal proposal from the museum, and they received a request for $110,500 - and the Cohens said they would underwrite the entirety of the programs for the year.

“We have generous support from the town,” said Sutton, “but the majority or our budget is defrayed by individual giving and endowments. The Cohens chose the entire menu, and we are thrilled - this is a great boon to our program.”

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