NEW INC, the New Museum’s cultural incubator expands scope, inviting applicants focused on using technology to increase audience engagement at museums

Knight Foundation invests $250,000 to support museum innovation

NEW YORK—April 13, 2017—Now in its third year, NEW INC, the New Museum’s professional development program for cultural practitioners and creative entrepreneurs, will expand its scope to seek out new members who are investigating technology’s impact on the future of art museums. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is investing $250,000 in the program, which is accepting applications for new members until April 30, 2017.

NEW INC is a shared workspace and professional development program based at the New Museum on Manhattan’s Lower East Side that brings together more than 100 cultural practitioners and creative entrepreneurs for a 12-month program that runs annually from September to August. Members engage in business and entrepreneurial training sessions, group critiques, peer-to-peer learning and critical discourse about the changing nature of culture, technology and entrepreneurship.

With Knight funding, the New Museum will expand the program to seek participants focused on the experimentation, development and adoption of new technologies that attract audiences to museums and engage visitors within the museum space. The program will include a 12-month professional development program for up to five teams (up to 10 people total) who will receive fully subsidized membership at NEW INC and be eligible for up to $10,000 in seed funding.

“Museums have been experimenting with innovative technological applications for public engagement, presentation, preservation and more, but we believe the market is still underdeveloped and underserved, particularly as it pertains to small and mid-sized institutions,” said Julia Kaganskiy, director of NEW INC. “These NEW INC members will explore new exhibition design ideas, audience engagement tools, cost-effective products and more efficient services to meet this need. As the first museum-led incubator for art, design and technology, NEW INC is well-positioned as a testing ground for cultivating new ventures in the museum tech space.”

In addition, NEW INC will develop custom professional development programs and mentorship and networking opportunities for participants, including travel to three cities where Knight invests for research, networking and presentation of projects in development. They will help museum professionals in these cities develop an understanding of how technology can be applied to increase community engagement. Museum professionals from Knight cities, including a curated group of up to 20 people, will also be invited to a weeklong Museum Tech Bootcamp at NEW INC. The boot camp will provide site visits, as well as meeting and networking opportunities with other museum professionals, mentors and advisers.

“Museum professionals need new skills and resources to meet changing demands and grab audience attention in an increasingly digital world,” said Victoria Rogers, Knight Foundation vice president for arts. “NEW INC will help advance this goal, providing them the skills necessary to embrace technology, innovate and create lasting impact for their institutions and their communities.”

“We are grateful to Knight Foundation for supporting wider public accessibility to culture through technological innovation, and NEW INC is a perfect platform for this exploration,” said Lisa Phillips, Toby Devan Lewis Director of the New Museum.

NEW INC has incubated more than 100 new creative business ventures in fields as varied as music, interactive art, fashion, gaming, architecture, film, performing arts, product design and web development. These startups have been awarded prestigious grants and awards; been recognized in internationally renowned publications; raised more than $12 million in funding; and created more than 200 new jobs in the creative industries.

Interested professionals can apply during NEW INC’s annual open call, which continues through April 30, 2017. The program runs from September 2017 to August 2018.

For more information and to apply, visit

NEW INC was cofounded by Lisa Phillips and Karen Wong in 2014 and is the first museum-led cultural incubator dedicated to supporting innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship across art, design, and technology. NEW INC’s Director is Julia Kaganskiy. For more information, visit

ABOUT New Museum
The New Museum is the only museum in New York City exclusively devoted to contemporary art. Founded in 1977, the New Museum is a center for exhibitions, information, and documentation about living artists from around the world. From its beginnings as a one-room office on Hudson Street to the inauguration of its first freestanding building on the Bowery designed by SANAA in 2007, the New Museum continues to be a place of experimentation and a hub of new art and new ideas.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation:
Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit


Paul Jackson, Communications Director, New Museum, 212-219-1222, x217, [email protected]

Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, 305-908-2646, [email protected]