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Arts Playlist: Biggs Museum of American Art expanding with help from the community

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Delaware Public Media
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Biggs Museum of American Art

The Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover is expanding and they’re doing it with help from you.

The museum is reaching out to the community for help in reimagining its new space so that it better serves patrons' needs. The Biggs is collecting information in three ways – an online survey, focus groups, and community listening sessions.

For this week’s Arts Playlist, our Kyle McKinnon spent some time with Biggs Director Michael Dudich to talk about the museum’s expansion and what it hopes to learn from the community.

Delaware Public Media's Kyle McKinnon talks with the Biggs Museum of American Art's Director Michael Dudich about the museum’s expansion

In the fall of 2021, the Biggs Museum of American Art received two historic buildings on The Green in Dover from the State of Delaware.

The museum plans to expand with the new acquisitions, but wants feedback before moving forward.

The Biggs has been collecting information in a few ways. It’s been holding community listening sessions throughout the state, doing online surveys, and holding focus groups.

“We’re trying to really get a broad perspective, not just Kent County, not just Dover, but really looking across all the areas in which we draw people from,” Director Michael Dudich said.

The museum wants to know what the public wants to see in a museum expansion.

“We’re not just looking at physical spaces. We’re looking at programming. We’re looking at exhibitions, and of course we’re looking at other things such as bathrooms and where you hang your coat, and those types of things, as well,” Dudich said.

He added that the expansion process will take time. The new buildings could open within the next 2-5 years.

The Biggs is partnering with the design firm SmithGroup on the project.

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Kyle McKinnon is a producer for The Green with a passion for storytelling and connecting with people.