For Immediate Release: October 27, 2017
Contact: Ryan Max, (212) 513-9323, email@example.com (Cultural Affairs)
Stephanie Wilchfort, (718) 735-4400 ext 333, firstname.lastname@example.org (Brooklyn Children’s Museum)
Fritzi Bodenheimer, (718) 230-2402, FBodenheimer@bklynlibrary.org (Brooklyn Public Library)
Brooklyn Children’s Museum Receives $3.3 Million in City Funding to House New Location of Brooklyn Public Library’s Brower Park Library
Unique partnership enhances Brooklyn Children’s Museum programming while giving the Brower Park Library a new, state-of-the-art space
New York – The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs today announced the Brooklyn Children’s Museum (BCM) has received $3.3 million in City capital funding to support the relocation of Brooklyn Public Library’s (BPL) Brower Park Library. The project will enable the Brower Park Library, currently located on St. Marks Avenue in Crown Heights, to move into a modern, family-oriented facility on the premises of BCM, while saving BPL $8 million in repair expenses for the branch’s current home. The funding was allocated by Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Councilmember Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., and Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams.
“The Brooklyn Children’s Museum lets our young New Yorkers experience the full cultural fabric that makes the Central Brooklyn communities so exceptional,” said Mayor de Blasio. “This capital funding will allow the Museum and new state-of-the-art location for Brower Park Library to continue inspiring Brooklyn children onto a life-long journey of learning for generations to come.”
“The Brooklyn Children’s Museum is such an important part of New York City’s cultural history, and the Council is excited to have provided $300,000 towards supporting the relocation of the Brower Park Library,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “The New York City Council will continue to work with the Mayor’s administration and the Department of Cultural Affairs to support the vibrant and diverse cultural institutions that make our city so great.”
“With its iconic yellow roof, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum is a cornerstone of the Crown Heights community, and we’re proud to invest in this innovative partnership with the Brooklyn Public Library,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl. “The new Brower Park Family Library will provide access to a unique resource for the families of Crown Heights and all of New York City by bringing to Brooklyn one of the only collections lending libraries in the country. The state-of-the-art facility will give youth a great way to continue learning outside of the classroom with the rare opportunity to not only read about art, culture, and science, but to see it, touch it, hold it, smell it, and experience it in whole new ways.”
“The investment to relocate Brooklyn Public Library’s Brower Park Branch onto the nearby premises of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum will breathe new life into this space of learning and reflection,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “I commend Mayor de Blasio, Council Member Cornegy, and DCLA Commissioner Finkelpearl for their investment in the future of Crown Heights’ kids. I’m particularly proud to have committed $500,000 of capital funding from my administration for this project, with the aim of supporting Brooklyn’s public libraries as spaces for the cross-pollination of ideas, where we bring people of diverse backgrounds together. Supporting our libraries is how we compete for the future and empower our young people. More than a tree grows in Brooklyn; great young people do too.”
“Encouraging learning, especially among young people, is always a worthwhile endeavor,” said Council Member Robert Cornegy. “The Brooklyn Children’s Museum and Brower Park Library are two institutions that have been doing the work of inspiring young people and nurturing a love of learning for decades. Allocating funds for this exciting new collaboration between the two was a no brainer as it allows both institutions to continue, and even expand, the great service they provide to this community.”
“Great neighborhoods deserve great libraries,” said City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “As the Chairman of the Committee on Libraries and Cultural Affairs, I am proud that the City Council has made a substantial contribution towards this project. Across New York City, we are investing in our public libraries, thanks to a record level of capital funding secured in this year’s budget. Investing in libraries is investing in the future of our City, and I am thrilled to support Brooklyn Children’s Museum’s project to co-locate with the Brower Park Library and I look forward to seeing a new library that will serve the residents of Crown Heights for decades to come.”
"It is critically important that our public library system be preserved. I applaud the city for investing capital funds to support the relocation of the Brower Park Library and ensure it can continue serving the Crown Heights community. I am so grateful to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum which has really stepped up by providing a new and improved home for the library. Both of these institutions have been supporting, engaging and teaching our children for decades and I am happy to see them collaborating to continue this work,” said State Senator Velmanette Montgomery.
“Through our partnership with the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, literature and the arts will come alive alongside history and science for a special cultural and educational experience in the new Brower Park Library,” said Brooklyn Public Library President and CEO Linda E. Johnson. “We are grateful to Mayor De Blasio, Borough President Adams, Councilman Cornegy and Commissioner Finkelpearl for their support of this innovative partnership and look forward to welcoming the residents of Crown Heights to the new library.”
“Brooklyn Children’s Museum is thrilled to be partnering with Brooklyn Public Library to expand services for Central Brooklyn families on our site. We are particularly excited to resume the Museum’s tradition of lending items from our 30,000-object collection, which includes authentic cultural artifacts and natural science specimens. Our collaboration with BPL will create innovative and inspiring programs; ensure that our public library maintains secure roots in Crown Heights; and enhance cultural and education opportunities for our community,” said Stephanie Hill Wilchfort, President & CEO of Brooklyn Children’s Museum.
The new Brower Park Library will be located on the first floor of BCM. Its holdings will be geared toward children and young adults while continuing to serve Crown Heights residents of all ages. Through the partnership between BCM and BPL, it will become one of the only collections-lending libraries in the country, allowing families, educators, and students to borrow authentic cultural and natural science objects from Brooklyn Children’s Museum’s 30,000-piece collection.
Brower Park Library, opened in 1963, is the smallest library branch in Brooklyn. It is one of the few BPL branches in a space leased from a private landlord. In its new home of equal size, Brower Park Library will pay an equivalent amount in rent to BCM. Design for the project is anticipated to begin in 2018.
About NYC Department of Cultural Affairs
The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) is dedicated to supporting and strengthening New York City’s vibrant cultural life. DCLA works to promote and advocate for quality arts programming and to articulate the contribution made by the cultural community to the City’s vitality. The Department represents and serves nonprofit cultural organizations involved in the visual, literary, and performing arts; public-oriented science and humanities institutions including zoos, botanical gardens, and historic and preservation societies; and creative artists at all skill levels who live and work within the City’s five boroughs. DCLA also provides donated materials for arts programs offered by the public schools and cultural and social service groups, and commissions permanent works of public art at City-funded construction projects throughout the five boroughs. For more information visit www.nyc.gov/culture.
About Brooklyn Public Library
Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) is an independent library system for the 2.5 million residents of Brooklyn. It is the fifth largest library system in the United States with 60 neighborhood libraries located throughout the borough. BPL offers free programs and services for all ages and stages of life, including a large selection of books in more than 30 languages, author talks, literacy programs and public computers. BPL’s eResources, such as eBooks and eVideos, catalog information and free homework help, are available to customers of all ages 24 hours a day at our website: www.bklynlibrary.org.
About Brooklyn Children’s Museum
A pioneer in education, Brooklyn Children’s Museum (BCM) was the first museum created expressly for children when it was founded in 1899. Its success has sparked the creation of 300 children’s museums around the world. The Museum’s mission is to provide first cultural experiences for children and families that inspire curiosity, creativity, and lifelong love of learning through award-winning, hands-on exhibits; innovative use of collections; programs and performances; and school and afterschool programs. Proud to have called Crown Heights home for over 118 years, the Museum serves over 265,000 people annually, 80% of whom are Brooklyn families. www.brooklynkids.org