Just days after announcing substantial equity funding for a number of Brooklyn cultural sites (Green-Wood Cemetery, the borough’s most popular cemetery, Dash, idyllic gathering place, Dash, cultural venue, the most important of them), NYC Department of Cultural Affairs ( DCLA) Commissioner Laurie Cumbo landed in Queens to introduce additional organizations and institutions based in New York City’s largest and second most populous borough that are awarded with earmarked funds for capital projects. The support comes from City Hall’s historic $127 million investment in over 70 cultural groups across the city. When combined with funding from the city council and district presidents, the total investment in these vital cultural facilities is more than $220 million.
During the stopover in Queens yesterday during her five borough tour, Cumbo announced that the Poppenhusen Institute, the Queens Botanical Garden, the Queens Museum, the Flux Factory, the New York Hall of Science and the Queens Theater also received a slice of the proverbial funding pie be obtained. Notably, the Noguchi Museum, located near Long Island City’s riverfront, will receive $4.5 million in support — $1.5 million of it from Mayor Eric Adams and the rest from Queens Borough President Donovan Richards – to undertake a major makeover of the museum and campus of the sculpture garden. The expansion and unification project includes the addition of a new cafe and retail space, and the construction of a new preservation facility, which Noguchi Museum director Brett Littman has described as a “dedicated space for the preservation, protection, and exploration of Noguchi’s art and archives.” described.
The key element of the project, open to the public, will be the restoration of the original 1959 studio and pied-à-terre of celebrated sculptor, furniture designer and landscape architect Isamu Noguchi, located across from the museum on 10th Street. When the work is complete, the public will have access to Noguchi’s studio building for the first time in history. The two-story, 6,000-square-meter art and archive building will be built adjacent to Noguchi’s restored studio.
Born in Los Angeles to a Japanese poet father and an American educator-editor father, Noguchi died in New York in 1988, just three years after founding his eponymous museum. He was 84.
“Since its inception in 1985, the Noguchi Museum has presented exhibits and programs that reach audiences from across Queens and around the world,” said Littman, the Cumbo, Mayor Adams and Donovan Richards, President of the Borough of Queens, of the museum’s thanks for “their support and investment”.
“Queens’ exceptional diversity and energy is reflected in its cultural organizations, and we are excited to invest in these projects that give residents and visitors from around the world access to the remarkable cultural facilities they deserve,” Cumbo said in an explanation . “From this exciting new project at the Noguchi Museum, which will open the legendary artist’s living spaces to the public for the first time, to the ongoing expansion of the Queens Museum and more, these projects are part of the city’s long-term investment in culture Community of Queens and in all five boroughs.”
The planned expansion and unification of the Noguchi Museum campus in Long Island City was first announced in April 2019.
Queens is the final stop for Cumbo on her lavish tour of all five boroughs. Since kicking off in Manhattan in June, the DCLA has expressed support for cultural institutions in Staten Island, the Bronx and, as noted, Brooklyn. In addition to the Green-Wood Cemetery and now the Noguchi Museum, other cultural institutions presented during the DCLA’s Capital Funding Tour included the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art in Manhattan, the future Universal Hip Hop Museum in Mill Pond Park in the Bronx and the island’s Staten Snug Harbor Music Hall.