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Congresswoman Louise Slaughter

Representing the 25th District of New York

Slaughter Announces More Than $400,000 in Funding for Three Rochester Museums

September 15, 2016
Press Release
Awards for George Eastman Museum, Memorial Art Gallery, and the Strong will help grow their capacity to serve the community

WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25), co-chair of the Congressional Arts Caucus, announced today that the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded more than $400,000 in grant funding to the George Eastman Museum, Memorial Art Gallery, and the Strong. The funding will strengthen the ability of these Rochester museums to serve the public. Slaughter is the co-chair of the Congressional Arts Caucus and has worked to ensure robust support for IMLS.

“Tourism across the region brings more than a billion dollars into our economy every single year. A key driver of this tourism is the many museums that we are blessed to have right here in our community, which many people travel great distances to visit. These awards are an investment in Rochester’s future that will help spark economic growth and the imagination of children and adults alike,” said Slaughter.

“We are thrilled that the Institute of Museum and Library Services will fund MAG’s most recent collections care initiative, which is designed to conserve, protect, and preserve the museum’s significant textile collection for future generations,” said Josh Farrelman, Associate Vice President, Office of Government and Community Relations at the University of Rochester. “These funds will support the commission of a detailed condition survey of the entire textile collection, the re-housing of all objects, and an upgrade of our textile storage area with appropriate furniture specifically designed for our diverse and encyclopedic collections. MAG is grateful for Rep. Slaughter’s longstanding support of IMLS and for her tireless work on behalf of MAG and many other Rochester arts organizations.”

“The Gabriel Cromer Collection at the George Eastman Museum is considered one of the seminal collections of early French photography and the most important collection of such materials outside of France,” said Bruce Barnes, the Ron and Donna Fielding Director of the George Eastman Museum.  “We are thrilled that the Institute of Museum and Library Services has awarded this grant for cataloging and digitizing this collection, thus advancing two of the Eastman Museum's key strategic objectives: to preserve our collection objects and to enhance access to and understanding of our collections. I commend Congresswoman Slaughter's longstanding leadership supporting the arts and culture.”​

Today’s grants are awarded through IMLS’s Museums for America (MFA) grant program. MFA is the IMLS’s largest grant program for museums, supporting projects and ongoing activities that build museums' capacity to serve our communities. These grants strengthen a museum's ability to advance life-long learning, build strong communities through civic engagement and cultural opportunities as well as facilitate the discovery of knowledge through exemplary museum stewardship. This year IMLS received 548 applications for Museums for America program but only 206 projects were awarded.

Last year, Congresswoman Slaughter urged robust funding for the IMLS. As co-chair of the Congressional Arts Caucus, Slaughter cited the facts that museums and libraries are filling the gaps left by the strained resources of schools.

The George Eastman Museum has been awarded $148,079 to catalog, digitize, and provide online access to the Gabriel Cromer collection of early photography, which includes photographs, prints, albums, books, cameras, lenses and early motion studies. The collection is renowned in both the area of early photography as well as early French photograph materials. Completion of this project will help provide the public with free online access for both scholarly research and recreational inquiry.

The Memorial Art Gallery has been awarded $119,208 to conduct a detailed conservation survey of 600 textiles in the gallery’s permanent collection. In addition, the museum will re-house all objects in environmentally sound storage materials and enlarge and upgrade its textile storage room. This will help provide additional space for future collections.

The Strong has been awarded $149,994 to produce and install “Pretend Playscape: Building Strong Minds.” This exhibition incorporates a series of labels on the nature and importance of pretend play to educate caregivers and engage children.