The North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) is an art museum in Raleigh, North Carolina. It opened in 1956 as the first major museum collection in the country to be formed by state legislation and funding. Since the initial 1947 appropriation that established its collection, the Museum has continued to be a model of enlightened public policy with free admission to the permanent collection. Today, it encompasses a collection that spans more than 5,000 years of artistic work from antiquity to the present, an amphitheater for outdoor performances, and a variety of celebrated exhibitions and public programs. The Museum features over 40 galleries as well as more than a dozen major works of art in the nation's largest museum park with 164-acres (0.66 km2). One of the leading art museums in the American South, the NCMA recently completed a major expansion winning international acclaim for innovative approaches to energy-efficient design.