The National Comedy Center has been awarded another $2.025 million by New York state and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The additional funds follow an award of $1.5 million from Empire State Development in 2014, and the groundbreaking of the National Comedy Center held in August in Jamestown.
Just four months ago, Jerry Seinfeld, the families of George Carlin, Harold Ramis, Joan Rivers and Milton Berle, along with Regis Philbin, the long-serving staff and crew of David Letterman's 33-year career, Nick Offerman and more than 20 other comedic artists descended on Jamestown during the weekend commencing construction of the first national attraction and cultural institution dedicated to comedy.
"Last year, New York state made the National Comedy Center a key part of its long-range tourism and economic development strategy by investing $1.5 million in the project. The additional $2.025 million in grant funding that we received today is a clear indication of the state's belief in and support for the National Comedy Center, and that the partnership that we established last year is strong and long-lasting," said Tom Benson, National Comedy Center chairman.
"These funds are part of the critical capstone for this $50 million project," said Journey Gunderson, National Comedy Center executive director. "This is a true public-private partnership, and comedy will now have the world-class celebration of artists and art form that is long overdue."
Of the funding, $1.5 million is for the construction of the National Comedy Center and Comedy Center Plaza, and $525,000 of the grant dollars are for marketing the National Comedy Center as part of Market NY's "I Love New York" campaign.
In the spring of this year, the organization also announced its partnership with Hologram USA to create a hologram comedy club theater as part of the National Comedy Center experience, projected to open in 2017.
The National Comedy Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and embodies Lucille Ball's vision for her hometown of Jamestown. For additional information, visit www.NationalComedyCenter.org.