Museums Expand Offerings With Fed Funds

July 19, 2012 Updated Jul 19, 2012 at 7:59 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First by James Fink

...
July 19, 2012 Updated Jul 19, 2012 at 7:59 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY - Plans by three area museums to move forward with new projects have been aided by federal funds.

The Buffalo Museum of Science, Explore and More, and People Inc. received, collectively $219,000, from the federal Museums for America Grants program.

• The Buffalo Museum of Science was awarded $150,000, which was matched by an additional $885,610 that will be used to help create a new "Motion Science Studio", one of eight studios focusing on regional science. The studios will include hands-on activities and interactive exhibits that highlight regional achievements to support stronger connections to contemporary physical science, engineering and biomedicine, showcasing the science done at local businesses and universities.

• Explore and More: A Children's Museum will receive $20,613 through the grant, matching the award with an additional $21,485 from other sources. The funds will support a long-range education plan to correspond to the Children Museum's changing and growing audience as it moves to a new location on Buffalo's waterfront.

The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp., earlier this year, designated Explore and More as the developer for a portion of the former Memorial Auditorium site.

"Over the next year, this grant will help support the development of the museum's 'Education Program Plan' for our new site at Canalside," Barbara Park Leggett, museum director.

• People Inc. received $48,364 for the Museum of disABILITY History in Amherst. The federal grant is matched by an additional $48,441.

James Boles, People Inc. president and CEO, said the grant will help underwrite a project that focuses on how journalists exposed harsh conditions faced by some people with disabilities in custodial care facilities.

The federal funds, secured by Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, are provided through the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The three Western New York Museums are among 152 projects funded out of 470 applications received nationwide. Each applicant was required to provide matching funds. This year $18.1 million in Museums for America grants will leverage $34.7 million in non-federal resources.