NYC Awards Queens Museum $26.4 Million Toward Expansion

September 24th, 2021

The City of New York has awarded the Queens Museum $26.4 million for the institution to complete its expansion project, which includes plans for a children’s museum space devoted to Queens art and culture, more classrooms, secure artwork storage, and improved energy efficiency throughout the museum. The initial phase of the expansion, completed in November 2013, saw the institution add 50,000 square feet of gallery, event, and education space; the museum additionally upgraded its visitor amenities and facilities systems at that time.

The funding is expected to cover the five components of the expansion’s terminal phase, including new classrooms on the museum’s first and second floors; a 5,500-square-foot intergenerational, multilingual Family Art Lab; a 2,600-square-foot art storage vault; an overhaul of the southern wall and window system; and new offices and spaces for exhibition preparation and artwork conservation.

The city has said the funding is intended to establish the institution’s reputation as a word-class museum. Established in when 1972, the Queens Museum occupies the most diverse of an already diverse city’s five boroughs. The improvements will allow the museum to accommodate more school trips and more gifts from donors, and will result in cost savings in some areas.

“This funding will help [the museum] grow and develop their footprint in Queens and throughout the city,” said New York City mayor Bill de Blasio. “Arts and culture are not just the key to our recovery from Covid-19 – they are the key to nurturing the talent, curiosity, and creativity that will keep New York City the most vibrant city in the world.”

Like most arts institutions worldwide, the Queens Museum was hard hit by the pandemic. In June 2020, the museum began running a food pantry, which remains in operation today; a few months later, it launched “Hecho Local,” an initiative offering free product-development workshops to Spanish-speaking artisans.