On Wednesday, August 23, 2023, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) joined community and cultural leaders from across Queens to announce new capital investments being made in the borough’s cultural institutions in the City’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget. The announcement was made at the Queens Museum, which received $8.5 million for the creation of a 15,000 square foot children’s museum focused on art and culture within the museum’s existing facility – a major component of the museum’s ambitious expansion project, which is now fully funded. As part of an ongoing five borough tour, DCLA also highlighted new capital investments for cultural groups across Queens, including the Poppenhusen Institute, Flushing Town Hall, Museum of the Moving Image, New York Hall of Science, Queens Botanical Garden, Queens Theatre, UnionDocs, and Edge School of the Arts Dance Legacy.
“By investing in art and culture, we’re investing in our communities,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “And with this additional funding of $8.5 million, we’re ensuring that all New Yorkers have access to enriching experiences at state-of-the-art facilities that celebrate the incredible diversity of our city. Queens Museum’s new children’s space will help our youngest residents tap into their creativity and connect with the vibrant cultures around them. We’re proud to continue our support of cultural capital projects throughout Queens and the five boroughs.”
“Queens is one of the most diverse communities in the world, and the amazing cultural institutions that call this borough home reflect the energy and vibrancy of its residents and neighborhoods,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Laurie Cumbo. “We’re so proud of our work with Mayor Adams, the City Council, and Borough President Richards to invest in these transformative capital projects across Queens. This major investment in the Queens Museum will create a family-centered, arts-focused children’s museum within their facility, a major new amenity for this remarkable community hub that residents already look to for social and cultural engagement.”
“Our arts and cultural institutions are integral to a healthy society and economy, and they deserve our full support,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams. “In this year’s budget, the Council was proud to allocate millions of dollars in funding to arts and cultural institutions in Queens and across the city. The Queens Museum’s new children’s museum space is a direct beneficiary of this funding, and a prime example of what’s possible when we invest in the arts. Our arts and cultural institutions are what makes our city great, and the Council is committed to supporting them now and in the years to come.”
“The new children’s museum will be a place where our families can go to grow, learn, bond and connect,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “It will be a place that celebrates our diversity and gets kids excited about our different cultures and fosters all forms of expression, and I can’t wait to bring my son there. I’m proud to have contributed millions of dollars in capital funding toward this project, and I look forward to continuing to working with city to ensure our cultural institutions across Queens are fully funded and supported.”
“Queens has always been a cultural capital, world-renowned for our creative artistic output,” said Council Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers. “But for too long, Queens has not received its fair share of the City’s infrastructural investments. I celebrate these capital commitments to worthy organizations across Queens, which honor and build upon the borough’s rich cultural history.”
“We are lucky to have a number of world-class institutions in Queens that provide spaces to celebrate and showcase the diverse cultures and traditions that have found a home in our borough,” said Councilmember Sandra Ung. “I am fortunate that many of them are either very close to or actually in my City Council district, including two recipients of funding in the Queens Botanical Garden and Flushing Town Hall. I am proud that we as a city see the value in prioritizing and supporting the artists and institutions that make New York one of the most vibrant and exciting cities in the world.”
“I was once a dancer attending Edge School of the Arts and a Girl Scout that slept at the New York Hall of Science, now I am Co-Chair of the Queens Delegation. It is great to see how investments in our cultural institutions were a priority for all my colleagues in the delegation. This improvement to the Queens Museum and to the Edge School of the Arts Dance Legacy in my district are down payments in the lives of the next generation. I am living proof that these programs have resounding impacts on the future of our youth and overall community,” said Council Member Nantasha Williams.
The project at the Queens Museum consists of the creation of a 15,000 square children’s museum focused on art and culture, including first floor and second floor areas for classrooms and workshops; a 2,600 square foot art storage vault; a reconstruction of the southern wall and window system; construction of back of house spaces including offices, exhibition prep spaces, and a World’s Fair archive and study center. The project will also include a new public elevator large enough for families with strollers, full renovation of the Museum’s auditorium, and upgrades to the building’s mechanical systems. The $8.5 million in new City support for the Queens Museum includes $4 million from Mayor Adams, $3 million from Queens Borough President Richards, and $1.5 million from the City Council, and brings the total City investment in this phase of the Museum’s expansion project to nearly $40 million.
“In these challenging times, our public officials – including Mayor Adams, Commissioner Cumbo, Speaker Adams, Borough President Richards – have made culture a priority and I celebrate the incredible investment they have made this year in the cultural infrastructure of New York and of Queens,” said Sally Tallant, Queens Museum President and Executive Director. “This year Queens Museum has been awarded a total of $8.5 million to conclude a project that will provide dignified offices for our staff, a World’s Fair Archive and Study Center, and the borough’s first children’s museum focused on arts and culture. This project will bring many exciting opportunities for the Queens Museum, our visitors, and the many families that utilize Flushing Meadows Corona Park. We would also like to congratulate the other institutions that were awarded capital funding this fiscal year and we are excited to see how this funding will continue to transform our institutions for the better and for the people of this City.”
“Adequate funding for cultural institutions ensures that they can serve their patrons in attractive facilities with the best modern amenities and sustainability features,” said NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Thomas Foley. “Our efforts to improve capital project delivery also ensure that the funds are used effectively and efficiently. DDC has completed several projects at the Queens Museum, and this latest round of funding will help us create a new Children’s Museum inside the space along with upgrades to the HVAC systems and exterior waterproofing.”
In the Fiscal Year 2024 budget adopted this year, the City contributed over $222 million to nearly 80 cultural capital projects across the five boroughs, including $117 million from the Mayor, $79.3 million from the City Council, and $26.5 million from the five borough presidents. These investments in new construction, renovations, equipment purchases, and more will help ensure that NYC will continue to have world-class cultural facilities that are open and accessible to all.
“We are grateful for the support of our Queensborough President and City Council Members who recognize that the implementation of a transportation program will expand our reach and help bring essential arts programming to young people and Older Adults across Queens,” said Kerri Edge, Executive Creative Director, Edge School of the Arts Dance Legacy.
“We are deeply grateful to Mayor Adams, Commissioner Cumbo, Queens Borough President Richards, and the City Council for a total of $3,852,000 in capital funding towards our Welcome Garden and Sustainability Education Quad,” said Evie Hantzopoulos, Executive Director of Queens Botanical Garden. “The Garden is a nexus for people, plants, and culture and through these capital projects, people of all ages will be inspired to develop their skills in horticulture, composting, sustainable operations, and community building as well as enjoy beautiful botanicals and welcoming and inclusive green space.”
“The funding provided by The City of New York is an investment in culture and an enhancement of STEM programming that transforms the lives of every New Yorker,” said Margaret Honey, President & CEO, New York Hall of Science (NYSCI). “For NYSCI, the vital capital allocation for the replacement of the North Wing roof has ensured the safety and preservation of our facilities, allowing us to continue serving the community without interruption. Your investment in our infrastructure demonstrates your dedication to the long-term sustainability and success of our organization.”
“We are grateful for Mayor Adams and Commissioner Cumbo’s capital investment towards the reimagining of the core exhibition at Museum of the Moving Image. Their commitment to cultural enrichment ensures a vibrant future for our institution and supports our ability to engage Queens and other NYC residents in meaningful learning experiences through the use of moving image media,” said Christina Karahalios, Chief Operating Officer of the Museum of the Moving Image.
“We’re tremendously grateful to our partners in government for helping us to continue to steward the historic 1862 landmark Flushing Town Hall building, through new capital funding awards totaling over $2 million dollars to help us upgrade and make our restroom facilities more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. We want to particularly thank Mayor Adams and Cultural Affairs Commissioner Cumbo, Queens Borough President Richards, Flushing City Council Member Sandra Ung and the entire city council led by Speaker Adrienne Adams for this support. We literally would not be here if it weren’t for the decades-long support of these partners in keeping this amazing cultural asset preserved and activated,” said Ellen Kodadek, Executive and Artistic Director, Flushing Town Hall.
“The capital funds we received will support a transformational renovation of our largest performance space – the Claire Shulman Theater. We are proud for the opportunity to prioritize accessibility, flexibility and endurability in the process, so that we can better serve audiences and artists. Our building was initially constructed as the Theaterama for the 1964-1965 World’s Fair. As we celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Fair this year, we’ll be focused on the future. Our deepest gratitude to Mayor Adams, DCLA Commissioner Laurie Cumbo, and the City Council for their investment in our mission and the communities we reach,” said Taryn Sacramone, Executive Director, Queens Theatre.
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