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A new pedestrian bridge by architect Michael Maltzan that crosses the courtyard of the Hammer Museum will open early next year, officials said Wednesday, and will connect the most trafficked galleries to those that new visitors are most likely to miss.

The 33.5-foot bridge will probably open for use at the beginning of February, the Westwood museum said. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for Feb. 24.

"We have long wanted a bridge built to improve the flow of our space and connect the permanent and temporary galleries," Hammer Director Ann Philbin said. She added that the bridge will help new visitors find their way to the permanent collection gallery.

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Los Angeles’ Hammer Museum will receive a $2-million gift from the Anthony and Jeanne Pritzker Family Foundation, which will be used to fund educational programs for families and children. Anthony Pritzker, a museum board member, will make the cash donation over a period of time.

Ann Philbin, director of the Hammer Museum, said, “This gift is a tremendously thoughtful investment in building and nurturing the next generation of arts audiences, advocates, and creative minds, which are essential to our community.” The Pritzker gift will allow the Hammer to expand its high school outreach program as well as its Family Day and Classroom-in-Residence initiatives, among other endeavors.

The Pritzkers’ donation is the largest to date in support of the museum’s educational programming.

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