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Community Impact

The Rockwell Museum exists within and for our community. Since the Museum’s founding, the people of Corning, NY and the surrounding region continue to make The Rockwell a creative and innovative cornerstone of arts and culture.

The Museum’s work with children and families is central to our mission. The Rockwell education team provides programming for students and young people in the galleries, through classroom outreach and in the community with public art initiatives and celebrations.

Since the opening of the Museum’s KIDS ROCKWELL Art Lab in 2018, this accessible space on Market Street provides rotating new activities meeting the needs of youth and families to create and learn together. Since 2020, our expanded digital offerings provide even more access for different learning styles and locations. These arts education initiatives promote collaboration across economic, gender, racial and cultural backgrounds. The Museum’s work with students, youth and families is how we directly contribute to building a more just, diverse, and inclusive community for the future.

To maximize impact beyond the Museum walls, we routinely engage new groups through creative collaborations and shared learning experiences. The exceptional artworks under the Museum’s care invite multiple perspectives and require broad community participation to deeply reflect upon American art and identity. Embracing this broad context, The Rockwell is proud to serve as a venue and co-presenter for music, poetry, drama, gingerbread, and whatever our community dreams up next.

Mission Statement

Through compelling exhibitions and imaginative programs, The Rockwell Museum provokes curiosity, engagement and reflection about art and the American experience.


Vision Narrative: Reshaping Museum Engagement to Connect Americans

A museum that collects, interprets and reflects upon American art encourages visitors to see beyond a singular perspective on national identity. As such an organization, The Rockwell Museum is obligated to support an evolving understanding of the history and evolution of America—to show how the multifaceted nature of experience can be a source for dialogue and conversation; a force for cultural acceptance; and a tool for mutual understanding. 

With its position in Corning, NY, The Rockwell Museum serves a diverse audience of local community members and out-of-town visitors: students and teachers; community members who may not travel outside the region or visit another museum; an Ivy League-educated executive from Corning Incorporated; or a guest from outside our region who visits numerous museums and enjoys cultural experiences wherever they go. Our challenge is to represent the world to the Southern Tier but likewise Corning, NY, to the world.   

Through our growing collection, Smithsonian affiliation, partnerships throughout the region, and relationships with artists and thought leaders, there is no limit to the historical and contemporary stories we can tell. But for those stories to have lasting impact, they must be brought to life and made relevant. In the coming years, The Rockwell Museum will build on its past successes to push the limits of the museum experience and multiply the ways in which art can inspire visitors.   

Three interrelated principals will guide the pursuit of our vision and strategic goals:  

  1. Craft unexpected transformative experiences. Provide a deeply engaging environment–in program, presentation and service that draws guests into their experience and holds their attention in ways they never could have anticipated. 
  2. Ignite curiosity, capture imagination. Guide guests to deeply explore art and the creative process, prompting discovery and creating personal connections.  
  3. Elevate ideas. Bridge disciplines, perspectives, and subjects across the institution to inspire dialogue and engage guests with complex realities.  

The Rockwell Museum will seek to broaden the spectrum of people’s understanding of the idea of America and American art, as well as be a leader in changing the way the visitor experience is conceptualized and manifested. Continuous reinvention and evolution will be required to succeed. The opportunity is limited only by our imagination, creativity and dedication to realizing a shared vision. 

Organizational Values

As a twenty-first century museum, The Rockwell Museum adheres to the norms of good governance including transparency, ethical stewardship, professionalism, and accountability to our community and stakeholders. The values that express our beliefs and guide our work are…

  • People. The Rockwell centers the individual in its experiences, exhibitions, programming, meetings, and engagements as our visitors, team members, volunteers, board and community are essential to everything we do.
  • ProgressThe Rockwell employs its resources, position and programming as a force for good to improve mutual understanding, heighten empathy in our society, encourage a supportive environment and nurture connections between people.
  • CollaborationThe Rockwell embraces intentional and holistic collaborations and partnerships that strengthen the work of the Museum, enhance experiences and expand the possibilities of a museum focused on social impact.
  • ExperimentationThe Rockwell believes in the power of experimentation, its successes and failures, to further the vision of the organization and deepen the connection to its programs, exhibitions, events and interpretation.
  • ZestThe Rockwell appreciates playful and unexpected approaches to language, design, interpretation, communications and organization which refresh, revitalize and enrich the museum experience.

2023 Annual Report | Heroes



Are you a community member or group interested in collaborating with The Rockwell? Contact us!