A museum for Grafton is among museum projects throughout the state sharing some $20 million in capital investments, Gov. Pat Quinn announced Saturday.
Quinn said 47 Illinois museums that attract 16.5 million visitors annually will receive money to improve their facilities and develop new exhibits. The investments are through Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! construction program.
In Grafton, $640,000 will be spent to add a 1550-square-foot addition to the existing Visitor Center along Illinois Route 100. Total project cost is $650,000.
“Museums play a vital role in telling us about our world and who we are, where we’ve been and where we’re going,” Quinn said. “These investments will help museums attract even more visitors, boost tourism, create hundreds of jobs and help preserve our history for generations to come.”
The projects are part of the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.The program was open to any museum operated by local governments or located on municipally owned land. The maximum grant award was $750,000 and matching funds were required in many cases based on the museum attendance levels from the previous year. Two years ago the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program awarded $15 million to 49 museums for projects ranging from expanded facilities to exhibits and infrastructure improvements.
“Museums, like other natural and cultural facilities, improve local economies throughout the state,” DNR Director Marc Miller said. “These places can become the backbone of a strong social structure within our communities and I applaud Governor Quinn for recognizing the importance of investing in museums so they can be enjoyed and educate current and future generations.”
The museum grants are part of Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program, which will support more than 439,000 jobs over six years. Illinois Jobs Now! is the largest construction program in Illinois history, and is one of the largest construction programs in the nation.