5-Minute Interview With Matthew Bregman of El Museo del Barrio
El Museo del Barrio was founded in 1969 by a group of Puerto Rican educators, artists, parents and community activists in East Harlem’s Spanish-speaking El Barrio. Today, it’s a leading Latino cultural institution dedicated to representing the diversity of art and culture from the Caribbean and Latin America.
The museum houses a perm-anent collection, presents exhib-itions, conducts bilingual educ-ation programs both on site and in local schools, and hosts a variety of community events and festivals tied to Latin American holidays.
Director of Development Matthew Bregman has been with the institution for a little more than a year. Here, he discusses the museum’s fundraising structure, recent successes, and the challenges and opportunities presented by the impending loss of one of its major corporate sponsors, Altria Corp., which accounted for close to 10 percent of the museum’s contributed funding.
FundRaising Success: What is El Museo’s major source of contributions?
Matthew Bregman: As a member of New York’s Cultural Institu-tions Group, we receive 10 percent of our support from the city of New York. But we are much less depedent on city support than we used to be.
Beyond the city, corporate support is the single biggest category, but we also do well with foundations, and we have a very successful gala event each year. The area that we need to build up the most is support from individuals.
FS: What recent fundraising successes has the museum had?
MB: Our $5.5 million re-envisioning campaign is bringing in many new large gifts. This campaign is not a capital campaign — it’s an effort to dramatically expand our programming. In terms of surprises, we’ve brought on Target Corp. as a new corporate sponsor, which has been a very exciting development. They’ve doubled the size of their gift this year to $50,000. So that’s an important, burgeoning relationship.