News and Press Releases

For Immediate Release: September 7, 2023 



The funding for Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, the Noble Maritime Collection, and Staten Island Museum encompass over $11 million in renovations, infrastructure upgrades, and other investments 


Staten Island capital investments are part of over $222 million in capital funding from the Mayor, City Council, and Borough Presidents for over 75 cultural groups across the city 


Images and video from today’s event are available for download here


Staten Island, NY – Today, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) Commissioner Laurie Cumbo joined community and cultural leaders from across Staten Island to announce new capital investments being made in the borough’s cultural institutions in the City’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget. The announcement was made at Snug Harbor Cultural Center, where three organizations – the Staten Island Museum, Noble Maritime Collection, and Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden - received over $11 million in total to support a wide range of transformative projects. As part of an ongoing five borough tour, DCLA also highlighted new City capital investments for cultural groups across Staten Island, including the Staten Island Zoo, Historic Richmond Town, and St. George Theatre. 

"Our administration is committed to investing in the arts and cultural organizations that serve as vital neighborhood hubs and powerful economic engines for communities across Staten Island and all of New York," said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. "We're proud of our support for these exciting projects on Staten Island's Snug Harbor campus - from critical infrastructure upgrades for Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Noble Maritime Collection, to the extraordinary new STEAM education center at the Staten Island Museum. Congratulations to these organizations and those across Staten Island on these new capital investments, and we look forward to working with you to realize these exciting projects."  

“Staten Island is home to some of the city’s most remarkable cultural institutions, and thanks to this new funding from Mayor Adams and our partners in the Borough President’s office and in the City Council, we’re making investments that will ensure these organizations continue to thrive and provide New Yorkers with amazing cultural experiences for years to come,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Laurie Cumbo. “This major new injection of capital funding into three organizations on the Snug Harbor campus will make sure that this cultural jewel continues to shine, with upgraded and expanded facilities for the Noble Maritime Collection, Staten Island Museum, and Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden. We're committed to working alongside these organizations to deliver amazing programming in top notch facilities that serve and engage all New Yorkers." 

“We are thankful to Mayor Adams for his support for our cultural institutions on Staten Island. They are woven into the fabric of our community for the invaluable opportunities they provide Staten Island families to experience art, science, and history in their own backyard. We launched a campaign – 'Stay on Staten Island' – emphasizing how great our cultural institutions and local attractions are. We are thankful that the Mayor and Commissioner Cumbo have provided such welcome support for our cultural institutions so that they can continue to do what they do so well – providing an invaluable experience for Staten Islanders,” said Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella


The projects being funded across the Snug Harbor campus will build on the City’s long-term investments in upgrades and renovations of the remarkable facilities that comprise this historic cultural center. They include:  

  • $700,000 for chiller and A/C replacements at The Noble Maritime Collection, essential upgrades to maintain the integrity of their unique collection and the quality of the visitor experience. With the new funding, total City support for this project is now $1.3 million.
  • $5.4 million for site-wide improvements at Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, which will upgrade the building management system and other infrastructure to improve the security, energy efficiency, and visitor experience across the campus. 
  • $5.3 million for the next phase of the Staten Island Museum’s expansion project, which will transform the currently-vacant Building B into a STEAM education center, with additional public space for exhibitions, lab classrooms, and a café. The project will also include exterior restoration of the building, including brick replacement, repointing and restoration of areaways and windows. This new funding brings the total City investment in this project to $9.8 million.

"The Noble Maritime Collection is known for the grassroots adaptive reuse project throughout the 1990s that turned a former Sailors’ Snug Harbor dormitory building from 1844 into the museum’s home.  The Noble Crew, a community volunteer corps, contributed $1 million in labor and materials to supplement a City-funded capital project. Now, a generation on, the museum’s staff continues to lovingly care for the landmarked building, but mechanical systems are aging, including its chiller and air conditioning units, which are crucial to maintain proper climate control for art and artifact collections and visitor comfort.  That is why the Board of Trustees and staff of the Noble Maritime Collection are so grateful to Mayor Eric Adams, Commissioner Laurie Cumbo of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella for an FY24 allocation of $700,000 to upgrade the museum’s air conditioning systems throughout the 28,500-square-foot building.  With this new funding, total City support for this project is now $1.3 million and the budget is now whole so that work can begin,” said Noble Maritime Collection Executive Director Ciro Galeno, Jr. 

"We are deeply grateful to Mayor Eric Adams, DCLA Commissioner Laurie Cumbo, and Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella for providing $5.25 million in capital funding for the Staten Island Museum's new STEAM education center," said Janice Monger, President & CEO of the Staten Island Museum. "This investment will invigorate the Museum's mission of environmental stewardship and service to the Staten Island community through new educational initiatives made possible by this space. With this expansion, the Museum is proud to inspire the next generation of students to discover the interwoven relationship between humans and their environment, exciting them to the many opportunities in STEM careers and grounding them in a lifetime of scientific exploration with respect for their natural surroundings." 

“The board and staff of Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden deeply appreciate the robust capital support awarded in Fiscal 2024 from Mayor Eric Adams, Commissioner Laurie Cumbo, and Borough President Vito Fossella. This year’s award will allow critically important improvements in Snug Harbor’s campus air conditioning and infrastructure which support the vibrancy of Staten Island‘s cultural events and community gatherings in Building R’s Great Hall. Funding infrastructure isn’t something that normally makes headlines, but this administration understands Snug Harbor’s challenges and has championed much needed investment in Staten Island. We are grateful for the leadership and applaud the administration’s vision that embraces the importance of cultural vibrancy in all five boroughs,” said Jessica Vodoor, President and CEO of Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden.  

In the Fiscal Year 2024 budget adopted this year, the City contributed a total of $222.8 million to nearly 80 cultural capital projects across the five boroughs, including $117 million from the Mayor, $79.3 million from the City Council, and $26.5 million from the five borough presidents. These investments in new construction, renovations, equipment purchases, and more will help ensure that NYC continues to have world-class cultural facilities that are open and accessible to all. 

“The Staten Island Zoo is extremely grateful to Mayor Adams for his continued support, as well as our City Council members Joe Borelli, David Carr and Kamillah Hanks and our Borough President Vito Fossella. Thanks to this support, our education programs and wildlife exhibits attract over 175,000 guests per year. The Staten Island Zoo serves as a living classroom, bringing kids up-close to the natural world. Our newest attraction, now in design, is a Discovery Zone, themed as a child’s-eye trek through a temperate forest. We simply would not be able to bring these exhibits to life without the close partnership of our elected officials. We also thank our dynamic Cultural Affairs Commissioner Laurie Cumbo for her enthusiastic and effective leadership in supporting local cultural institutions. We invite Staten Islanders and all New Yorkers to visit our hundreds of animals from around the world, from sloths & anteaters to leopards and eagles, right here in New York’s Biggest Little Zoo," said Staten Island Zoo Executive Director Ken Mitchell

“The 175 year old nine gallery Historical Museum at Historic Richmond Town will be transformed into a place of history exploration where visitors will adventure through time. We are truly grateful for Councilman Borelli, Councilman Carr and Councilwoman Hanks for this new capital funding, and to Mayor Adams and Commissioner Cumbo for their ongoing partnership and support. Together, we can ensure that Historic Richmond Town can continue to interpret and restore our 100 acre living history village and collect and preserve material culture to inspire engagement with and understanding of the diverse histories of Staten Island,” said Jessica Phillips, CEO, Historic Richmond Town.  


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