The Wagner Free Institute of Science, dedicated to providing free public education in science since 1855, seeks to develop new partnerships with higher education institutions to respond to growing demand from college and graduate students for access to its resources. The Wagner's annual audience has grown significantly, from 16,000 visitors in 2000 to 35,000 in 2011, with an increase in student attendees of over 200 percent. After devoting resources to children's science education programs over the past decade, as well as building and collection maintenance, the Wagner is now developing its capacity to work with colleges and universities. The Wagner has assembled an advisory group of academics and museum professionals to research possibilities for partnerships and the forms they might take, and to develop a structure for collaborations that enrich current programming. The planning process, which is broadening the Wagner's network of scholars and field leaders, is also providing the institute with useful information on other successful models in the field, resulting in a recommended framework for establishing new alliances. 1
- 1. Management grants, through the Philadelphia Cultural Management Initiative, were awarded through 2013 following which a new funding category, Advancement grants, was introduced to support substantial long-term organizational development.