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Ryan secures $5 million in state funding for Buffalo AKG renovations


Fri, May 5th 2023 04:00 pm

$5 million state grant will cap off Buffalo AKG Project, allowing museum to complete several key renovations that would otherwise have gone unfunded

New York State Sen. Sean Ryan announced he has secured a $5 million state grant to support a series of renovations being completed as part of the continued development of the Buffalo AKG Art Museum.

Ryan’s team said, “The museum’s three-and-a-half-year, $230 million expansion project will culminate in a radically reimagined campus for the former Albright-Knox Art Gallery, which will reopen to the public next month.

“The new Buffalo AKG Art Museum has been designed based on a vision of community engagement and connectivity. This comprehensive expansion and development project will create a more accessible campus, provide new community gathering spaces, and add more than 30,000 square-feet of new exhibition space. The $5 million grant, secured within the State and Municipal Facilities Program (SAM) from the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY), will allow the Buffalo AKG to undertake several renovation projects instrumental to the overall vision of the museum’s expansion that would not otherwise have been completed.”

Some of the renovation projects made possible by this grant include:

√ Repairs to the museum’s iconic east stairwell and fountain;

√ Renovations to the museum’s auditorium, including refurbished chairs and a new projection screen, AV system, curtains, and stage lighting;

√ Additional landscaping; and

√ Staff office renovations in the Robert and Elisabeth Wilmers Building

Ryan said, “Right from the beginning, this has been a project based on an incredible vision and an effort to create a museum that is more well-connected to its community. This funding will support projects that fulfill that vision and help get the project over the finish line. I have been lucky enough to see some of the renovations in progress, and I can confidently say that the people of Buffalo are going to be astounded by this transformation.”

Janne Sirén, Peggy Pierce Elfvin Director of the Buffalo AKG Art Museum, said, “The Buffalo AKG’s historic buildings, both of which are on the National Register of Historic Places, have long been celebrated as masterpieces of American architecture. Thanks to Sen. Ryan’s steadfast support, we have been able to make updates and improvements to the Wilmers and Knox buildings that will ensure generations of future visitors experience them in their fully glory. In addition to being visually stunning, they will be comfortable, welcoming, and fully ADA-compliant, and they will be surrounded by a verdant urban park. I am honored to thank Sen. Ryan on behalf of the Buffalo AKG for this generous grant, and for his many years of support and partnership.”

About the Buffalo AKG Art Museum

Per a press release:

Founded in 1862, the Buffalo AKG Art Museum (formerly the Albright-Knox Art Gallery) is the sixth-oldest public art institution in the U.S. For 160 years, the Buffalo AKG has collected, conserved and exhibited the art of its time, often working directly with living artists. This tradition has given rise to one of the world’s most extraordinary collections of modern and contemporary art.

In June, following the completion of the most significant campus development and expansion project in its history, the Buffalo AKG will open to the public for the first time. The project is funded by a $230 million capital campaign, the largest such campaign for a cultural institution in the history of Western New York, including $195 million raised for construction and $35 million in additional operating endowment funds.

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