The Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, has announced a gift of $50 million to the city’s largest cultural institution, the Brooklyn Museum, in order to fund its Visual Arts facility expansion and to kick off a new campaign to raise another $150 million in private donations.
“The Brooklyn Museum is a shining example of how the city’s cultural institutions can be the engines of economic revitalization,” Mr. de Blasio said in a statement. “This gift will help make the Brooklyn Museum’s Visual Arts Building a symbol of hope and power for all residents of the city – including all Brooklynites.”
The new cash will help the institution build a new 100,000-square-foot building and accompanying public plaza on Pier 3 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which will include a new 6,600-square-foot basement, where exhibitions can be set up and artists can rehearse, according to Artnet. Two additional floors of space, and space that can be used for administrative offices, will be available for lease.
And if the Manhattan Metropolitan Art Center, the city’s other cultural institution, has taught us anything in recent years, it’s that putting art and artists in the same place as human beings can be a wonderful thing. The collaboration of these museums have led to performances and exhibitions of unusual and fascinating collaboration between the museums, the orchestra, food trucks and artists themselves.
Erik Engquist, the president and chief executive of the Brooklyn Museum, said in a statement that the gift represented “the kind of generosity that enriches a neighborhood and spurs economic and cultural development, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the Mayor’s support.”