NYS Museums Receive $115 Million in SVOG Funding

Fifty-three New York State museums and cultural institutions received federal COVID-19 relief through the Shuttered Venue Operating Grants (SVOG) program of the Small Business Administration, totaling just under $115 million.

  • Battle of Plattsburgh Association, North Country — $4,825
  • Cobblestone Society, Finger Lakes — $6,884
  • Iroquois Indian Museum, Mohawk Valley — $18,598
  • Council for the Vail-Leavitt Music Hall, Inc., Long Island — $19,990
  • Whitehall Skene Manor Preservation, Inc., North Country — $22,588
  • Casa Belvedere, The Italian Cultural Foundation, NYC — $23,578
  • Garibaldi-Meucci Museum, NYC — $46,413
  • Southern Tier Zoological Society, Inc, Southern Tier — $51,043
  • Children’s Museum of History, Natural History & Science, Mohawk Valley — $50,050
  • Chinatown Soup, Inc., NYC — $53,249
  • Irish American Heritage Museum, Capital Region — $55,051
  • Boscobel Restoration, Inc., Mid-Hudson — $71,798
  • The Children’s Museum of Science and Technology, Capital Region — $73,639
  • Staten Island Zoological Society, NYC — $79,554
  • Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling, NYC — $80,412
  • George Eastman Museum, Finger Lakes — $94,467
  • The Hyde Collection Trust, Capital Region — $102,384
  • Brooklyn Children’s Museum, NYC — $103,860
  • Tesla Science Center at Wardencly, Long Island — $130,859
  • Roberson Museum and Science Center, Southern Tier — $155,575
  • Museum of the City of New York, NYC — $170,990
  • Staten Island Children’s Museum, NYC — $174,263
  • The Children’s Museum of Oswego, Central NY — $175,874
  • Ukrainian Institute of America, NYC — $203,809
  • Discovery Center of Science & Technology, Southern Tier– $217,842
  • Jewish Children’s Museum, NYC — $221,888
  • Utica Zoological Society, Mohawk Valley — $272,931
  • September 11th Widows and Victims Families Association, NYC — $370,181
  • Rochester Museum & Science Center, Southern Tier — $441,228
  • Schenectady Museum Association, Capital Region — $455,514
  • American Museum of the Moving Image, Long Island — $547,029
  • Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks (The Wild Center), North Country — $570,020
  • National Comedy Center, Inc., Western NY — $573,442
  • National Comedy Center Operator, Western NY — $598,237
  • Cradle of Aviation Museum, Long Island — $661,234
  • Long Island Children’s Museum, Long Island — $779,003
  • Niagara Aquarium Foundation, Western NY — $1,028,316
  • Museum of Arts and Design, NYC — $1,108,912
  • New-York Historical Society, NYC — 1,239,515
  • The Asia Society, NYC — $1,434,803
  • Margaret Woodbury Strong Museum (Strong National Museum of Play), Finger Lakes — $2,238,217
  • Lower East Side Tenement Museum, NYC — $2,245,142
  • National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum, Mohawk Valley –$4,728,163
  • The Corning Museum of Glass, Southern Tier — $5,549,553
  • Intrepid Museum Foundation, NYC — $8,000,000
  • Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, NYC — $9,740,702
  • New York Botanical Garden, NYC — $10,000,000
  • Wildlife Conservation Society, NYC — $10,000,000
  • American Museum of Natural History, NYC — $10,000,000
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC — $10,000,000
  • The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, NYC — $10,000,000
  • The Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC — $10,000,000

The SVOG program was created by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Business, Nonprofits, and Venues and was signed into law in late December, 2020. It appropriated $15 billion to the SVOG program, which received another $1.25 billion after the American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law on March 11, 2021. SVOG funds can be used for salary support, rent and utility payments, administrative costs, and other expenses including maintenance costs. Grants were based on organization size, budget, and past COVID-19 related Federal support.

The Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY received $5.5 million in SVOG funding

“The Corning Museum of Glass is grateful to receive relief funding from the federal Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program,” said Karol Wight, President and Executive Director. “Like our peer institutions, the Museum was hard hit by the COVID-19 closure last spring, and our full recovery from significant financial loss will take time. We tell the story of a single, transformative material — glass — and inspire people to see the power and potential of glass in an entirely new light. Federal funding programs like the SVOG recognize that same power and potential in cultural institutions, allowing us to not only survive current circumstances but thrive into the future. Special thanks to Senator Schumer who championed this relief funding, recognizing the important role museums, in particular, play in New York State and across the country in preserving the past and in enriching lives in the present.”

“We are grateful for the federal government’s key support of cultural institutions and museums through the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program,” said Steve Dubnik, president and CEO of The Strong in Rochester. “With reduced attendance revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these critical funds allow us to maintain our building and collections, pay fixed facility costs, support payroll for our talented staff, and continue to carry out our important mission of preserving the history of play.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (far left) with Michael Grasso, Executive Director of the Roberson Museum and Science Center (far right) at a press conference in Binghamton NY highlighting the success of vaccinations in New York along with the COVID relief package. The Roberson Museum and Science Center received just over $155,000 in funding.

The Roberson Museum and Science Center in the Southern Tier plans to use some of its SVOG funding to support staff salaries. “This relief from the federal government alleviates some of the stress and losses from having been closed or under reduced capacity for most of 2020,” said Michael Grasso, Executive Director of the Roberson Museum and Science Center. “This infusion of funds will be directed to paying staff salaries and health insurance so we can continue to delight and educate our community with exhibitions in art, history, and science. A special thank you to Majority Leader Schumer who fought for museum inclusion in this critical legislation.”

“The Irish American Heritage Museum is delighted to receive funding from the SVOG,” said Dr. Elizabeth Stack, Executive Director of the Irish American Heritage Museum in Albany. “The Pandemic taught us that we need to be flexible and creative in how the museum presents its offerings, so we will use the money to invest in our digital presence and film some of our exhibits so that we can offer a virtual museum experience to followers…After almost a year of being closed, receiving the SVOG means that we are truly excited about the possibilities ahead of us, because we have the potential now to grow what we are instead of simply sustaining what we were. It really is an investment in the future of the museum and one for which we are extremely grateful.”

The Wild Center

In the North County, The Wild Center received just over half a million in SVOG funding. “The Wild Center is grateful and truly relieved to receive the SVOG COVID Relief funding from the federal government,” said Hillarie Logan-Dechene, Deputy Director of The Wild Center. “It will be well used to continue to employ our amazing staff, replace some of the lost earned revenue from the mandatory closure last year and our curtailed operations during COVID. It has been a tough 15 months and this funding helps The Wild Center continue to connect people and nature while keeping our staff and community safe, as well as help the regional economy recover.”

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, which reopened to the public last September, received $10 million. “We are beyond thrilled to receive this funding and recognition of our value to the community. We, along with every cultural organization, have lost millions,’ said Susan Marenoff-Zausner, President of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. “To receive this grant is to secure a pathway to continued viability and sustainability to be open and welcoming to all New Yorkers and all those from around the world.”

The relief funding comes almost 16 months after Congress approved the SVOG program. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) led the effort to include museums in the SVOG and a bipartisan coalition of Senators led by the initial sponsors of the SVOG program (formerly known as the “Save Our Stages” Act)–Amy Klobuchar (D-MD) and John Cornyn (R-TX). New York’s museums are especially grateful for Senator Schumer’s support of our sector. Erika Sanger, MANY’s executive director was honored to present Senate Schumer the well-earned 2020 Museum Advocacy Award on behalf of the American Alliance of Museums.



Museum Association of New York
Museum Association of New York

Since 1962, the Museum Association of New York (#MANY) has serviced and advocated for NYS museums, historical societies, zoos, botanical gardens, and aquaria.