Awarded through the foundation's Institutional Capitalization Facility Investments and Building Reserves initiative, the grant will provide funding for maintenance expenses over the next twenty years. In 2005, Kresge awarded the museum nearly $1 million in support of the renovation of the former Mississippi Arts Pavilion, which now serves as the museum's home.
The grant, which will seed the museum's building-reserve fund, is one of nine awarded by the foundation through a process that generated 372 applications from forty-four states and took nearly two years. Among other things, the museum drew up a detailed plan to predict when resources would be needed to replace air conditioning, carpet, and plumbing, museum director Betsy Bradley told the Clarion-Ledger.
Grants that help support building maintenance are rare. "[T]he money would have to come from somewhere else," said Mississippi Museum of Art Foundation president Walter Neely. "It would have to come from operating funds of the museum, so the museum couldn't do as much programming."