Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce $400,000 Challenge Grant From the National Endowment for the Humanities for the Staten Island Museum; Prestigious Grant Will Help Garner Critical Individual Fundraising Support

Dec 10, 2013

U. S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand today announced that the Staten Island Museum will receive a prestigious $400,000 challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). This challenge grant – which will be available to the Staten Island Museum as long as it is able to raise $1.2 million before July 31, 2018 – will be put towards the Museum’s endowment, exhibition infrastructure and technology at its new Snug Harbor campus, and fundraising expenses.

Schumer and Gillibrand both wrote letters of support on behalf of the Staten Island Museum’s application to the Chairman of NEH, The Honorable Jim Leach. 

“This challenge grant will provide critical support for the Staten Island Museum in raising the money it needs to fund its ongoing transformation into an institution that is accessible, diverse, technologically advanced, and demonstrates leadership in collections management, exhibitions, education and public programming,” said Schumer. “The Staten Island Museum is the borough’s oldest cultural institution, and I look forward to watching the Museum continue to grow and become an even more vital piece of New York’s cultural fabric.”


“The Staten Island Museum has been a vital historical resource for the borough,” said Gillibrand. “This important federal investment would help develop the museum’s new cultural galleries and interdisciplinary exhibits, bringing arts education and learning to thousands of Staten Islanders and visitors.” 


“With our public opening of the new space in Building A at Snug Harbor Cultural Center in less than a year, we are thrilled to have been awarded the NEH Challenge grant, which will help us garner much needed individual support,” said Elizabeth Egbert, President & CEO of the Staten Island Museum. “We appreciate all the hard work from the offices of our Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer and are grateful that the federal government is able to support the humanities in smaller cultural organizations such as ours,”


The Staten Island Museum is Staten Island’s oldest cultural institution, and the only remaining general interest museum in New York City.  Founded in 1881, the Museum engages visitors with interdisciplinary exhibitions and educational programs that explore the dynamic connections between natural science, art and history based on its diverse collections. The Museum is dedicated to making its current and future collections broadly accessible for educators, students, researchers and the general public by providing authentic experiences in the field and at the Museum.


The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is an independent federal agency that is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States.