NYC DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS ANNOUNCES OVER $3.4 MILLION TO SUPPORT RENOVATION OF THE HISTORIC SNUG HARBOR MUSIC HALL AND HIGHLIGHTS CAPITAL INVESTMENTS ACROSS STATEN ISLAND CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS
Investment in Snug Harbor is Part of $222 Million in Capital Funding from the Mayor, City Council, and Borough Presidents for Over 70 Cultural Groups Across the City
On Staten Island, New City Capital Funds Will Also Support Projects at St. George Theatre, Noble Maritime Museum, Staten Island Zoo, and Staten Island Museum
Staten Island, NY - NYC Mayor Eric Adams and NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) Commissioner Laurie Cumbo today announced over $3.4 million in new capital funding for the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden to support the next phase of the transformation of Snug Harbor's historic Music Hall into a modern performing arts facility. As part of an ongoing five-borough tour, Commissioner Cumbo also highlighted new cultural capital investments across Staten Island, including funding for the Noble Maritime Museum, Staten Island Zoo, St. George Theatre, and Staten Island Museum, alongside the new support for Snug Harbor.
“All too often, arts is the first to go during economic uncertainty, but, instead we allocated more city dollars,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “Culture was a lifeline for all of us during the last two years, so my administration is committed to giving our incredible cultural institutions the support they need to thrive. We are making the largest ever investment in DCLA’s annual budget and are starting with $3 million in capital to support the Snug Harbor Music Hall. I'm proud of our investments on Snug Harbor and across Staten Island, and to give our cultural groups the public support they deserve. Together, we can drive a comeback for our city that connects with all New Yorkers."
“Our cultural organizations make up the fabric of New York City, contributing as much to our economy as to our identity. I’m proud of this administration’s historic commitment to the arts through these capital investments in our creative institutions, which will help create more open, sustainable, and dynamic facilities across Staten Island, including Snug Harbor’s magnificent Music Hall,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer.
“Staten Island is home to so many incredible cultural institutions and we’re proud to deliver the support they need to create cultural facilities that engage Staten Islanders and attract visitors from across the city and beyond,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Laurie Cumbo. “Along with new funding for Snug Harbor’s extraordinary Music Hall, we’re stepping up to invest in capital projects in all five boroughs to foster a more equitable, inclusive, vibrant cultural sector for all New Yorkers.”
For the Snug Harbor Music Hall’s over $3.4 million in new City capital support allocated as part of the Fiscal Year 2023 Adopted Budget, $3 million was contributed by Mayor Adams and $430,000 by the Staten Island Borough President. Snug Harbor also received an additional $6 million in FY23 capital funding to support a critical storm water and resiliency project that will help ensure that the campus can continue to serve its tenant organizations and welcome visitors as climate change exacerbates flooding issues.
“We want to thank Mayor Adams and Commissioner Cumbo for recognizing the value our cultural organizations bring to the people of Staten Island and anyone who visits,” said Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella. “We are proud of the deep-rooted and unexpected history found throughout the borough which covers milestone events – from the Revolutionary War, to us standing in front of the second oldest music hall built in New York City. With the allocation from our office and the Mayor’s, these four groups – Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, Staten Island Museum, Staten Island Zoo, and the St. George Theatre – will be able to continue their missions which engage folks in history, arts, and nature specific to Staten Island. We look forward to the wonderful programs that will be a result of this investment.”
“Snug Harbor is enormously grateful to Mayor Eric Adams, Commissioner Laurie Cumbo and to Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella for demonstrating visionary leadership in this year’s budget,” said Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden President & CEO Jessica Vodoor. “Thank you for fighting to ensure five-borough access to culture through your investment in Staten Island. Thank you for recognizing the significant role that Staten Island cultural organizations play in our local community and in New York City at large. The diversity and breadth of Staten Island cultural offerings should be experienced by everyone. I invite all New Yorkers to come and visit Staten Island’s cultural assets - there is something for everyone and you will be amazed by what you find when you are here!”
Mayor Adams has invested a historic $127 million in capital support across the five boroughs which, along with funding from the City Council and Borough Presidents, brings a total of more than $220 million in capital funding for 70 cultural groups citywide. This allocation has been made alongside a record-setting City expense allocation for DCLA of more than $237 million, which includes funding that will be distributed through DCLA’s grant programs to more than 1,000 groups across the city. This investment in New York City’s cultural community will be distributed in support of a broad, equitable recovery that ensures all New Yorkers have access to the joy, education, and transformative benefits of cultural activity.
“We are so grateful for the support we receive from the Department of Cultural Affairs for nearly two decades, as their generous funding allows us to continue with our mission of restoration to preserve our majestic venue while providing world class performances and quality educational and community outreach programming,” said Doreen P. Cugno, President, CEO, and Co-Founder of St. George Theatre Restoration Inc.
"The staff and Board of Trustees of the Noble Maritime Collection are passionate about making the museum's National Historic Landmark building a welcoming, inclusive, and accessible place for the public to enjoy and learn about Staten Island's maritime art and history. We thank Mayor Adams, Commissioner Cumbo, and the staff of the Department of Cultural Affairs for the capital investment in the museum's new HVAC system, which is crucial to the preservation of our collections and building, as well as their support for major capital improvements at Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, the beautiful and historic campus where the Noble Maritime Collection is located,” said Ciro Galeno, Jr., Executive Director, The Noble Maritime Collection.
“The Staten Island Museum is grateful for the support of The Mayor, the Department of Cultural Affairs, and the City Council. We are thrilled to advance the STEAM education center project to create hands on science and art experiences and preserve and display collections,” said Janice Monger, Staten Island Museum President & CEO.
The landmarked, 686-seat Snug Harbor Music Hall was built in 1892 and is the second oldest music hall in the northeastern United States. The new capital funding has been allocated for the project’s next phase, which will allow the existing Music Hall building to receive upgrades including Wi-Fi, underpinning at the cellar level to stabilize the stage house foundation, upgrades to the HVAC system to comply with pandemic guidelines, and new seating. Waterproofing will be installed to prevent water infiltration, along with other safety upgrades. All work will be performed in a way that is sensitive to the existing historically significant features. The building will be upgraded to meet requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
This next project phase receiving new City capital support builds on the first phase of the Music Hall building’s modernization. The first phase includes the design and construction of a 6,974-square foot addition—the Music Hall Annex—that is expected to be completed later this year.
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 non-profit 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.