PAMM Launches Pilot Augmented Reality Program with $150,000 Grant from Knight Foundation

Museum Demonstrates Commitment to Using Innovative Technology to Enhance Visitor Experiences

Hands holding up a tablet showing an image of the building

MIAMI – May 18, 2017 – Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) announced today a new pilot program to develop an augmented reality app for its visitors, with a generous $150,000 grant from The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The app will be easily accessible to visitors through their smartphones, and will feature an artist-driven AR experience to help visitors more deeply engage with the museum’s spaces.

“As a 21st century museum, PAMM seeks to reinforce the idea of the museum as a place for experimentation, a laboratory for ideas,” said Director Franklin Sirmans. “We are grateful for the support of the Knight Foundation in allowing PAMM to implement this cutting-edge technology meant to enhance, refine and further our mission to engage visitors of all ages and backgrounds to interact with the most progressive visual arts of our time.”

Knight Foundation’s funding is part of a $1.8 million investment to help museums use technology to immerse audiences in art.

“People want their art experiences to be personalized, interactive and shareable, just as they expect of everything else in their daily lives. Museums need to continue to make this cultural shift, engaging visitors on-site and on-line with their collections in innovative ways. We hope funding from Knight Foundation can help fuel the process, so the PAMM and other institutions can continue to be vibrant centers of community life,” said Victoria Rogers, vice president for arts at Knight Foundation. 

Monica Mesa, PAMM’s AR + Art project manager, will work closely with members of PAMM’s public engagement, curatorial, education, and IT teams, alongside contracted tech vendors to develop the app. Mesa contributed to the successful launch of PAMM’s Inside|Out program, which, also generously funded by the Knight Foundation, brings high-quality reproductions of works from PAMM’s permanent collection to communities throughout Miami-Dade County.

“Art museums are much more than repositories of art works; they have become meeting places for people and ideas,” said PAMM AR + Art Project Manager Monica Mesa. “Their future relies in remaining a dynamic part of the public realm. Thanks to this project, PAMM looks forward to engaging with its visitors in a completely different way. Our institution hopes to ignite cultural excitement using augmented reality as a conduit to broaden and democratize our visitors’ art-viewing experience.”

Funding for this project is part of a Knight Foundation initiative to help museums better meet new community demands and use digital tools to thoughtfully involve visitors in compelling experiences and conversations surrounding art. Knight, which promotes more informed and engaged communities, has helped institutions – from newsrooms to libraries – adapt to and thrive in the digital age. This funding extends the foundation’s expertise to art museums with the goal to build stronger, more vibrant communities.

As part of this project, Knight Foundation is working with MAYA Design, a design consultancy and innovation lab, to assist with research and project framing.

"MAYA is excited to partner with PAMM to help bridge a world-class brick and mortar institution with a nearly endless list of completely virtual or augmented experiences that support richer visitor engagement,” said MAYA CEO Dutch MacDonald. “By creating seamless digital layers illustrated with the motivations, contexts and environments of the best 20th and 21st international artists, PAMM will pioneer new ways to educate and inspire countless visitors. PAMM is using technology to amplify the museum's mission of sharing the most progressive visual art of our time with the broadest audience possible.”

This augmented reality pilot program is one of multiple tech initiatives PAMM has rolled out this year, including the hiring of a fulltime digital journalist, a first of its kind position, and the recent launch of the PAMM APP, which aims to enrich the visitor experience with multimedia content, video, and audio tours.

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About Pérez Art Museum Miami
Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) promotes artistic expression and the exchange of ideas, advancing public knowledge and appreciation of art, architecture and design, and reflecting the diverse community of its pivotal geographic location at the crossroads of the Americas. A 33-year-old South Florida institution formerly known as Miami Art Museum (MAM), Pérez Art Museum Miami opened a new building, designed by world-renowned architects Herzog & de Meuron, in Downtown Miami’s Museum Park on December 4, 2013. The facility is a state-of-the-art model for sustainable museum design and progressive programming and features 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor program space with flexible galleries; shaded outdoor verandas; a waterfront restaurant and bar; a museum shop; and an education center with a library, media lab and classroom spaces. For more information, please visit, find us on Facebook (, or follow us on Instagram/Twitter (@pamm).


Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Support is provided by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. Additional support is provided by the City of Miami and the Miami OMNI Community Redevelopment Agency (OMNI CRA). Pérez Art Museum Miami is an accessible facility. All contents ©Pérez Art Museum Miami. All rights reserved.
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