The Utica Children’s Museum and the Integrated Community Alternatives Network have received a $200,000 federal grant to transform the museum into a child and family support center to serve children on the autism spectrum, have experienced trauma or live in poverty, Congressman Anthony Brindisi announced today.
The funds come from the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ Museums for America Grants program.
The Utica Children’s Museum 2.0 aims to serve approximately 80,000 children and the adults who care for them in a five-county region. The museum will incorporate trauma-informed universal design concepts and serve children who are on the autism spectrum, have experienced trauma, or live in poverty. It is designed to provide a safe, accessible space for children to learn and play.
Brindisi, D-22nd Dist. of Utica, wrote a letter of support for the project earlier in the year.
“Receiving this prestigious and competitive grant is recognition from the leading national agency focused on museums that our vision for the Family Resource Center is innovative, inclusive, and ambitious,” ICAN Executive Director Steve Bulger said in a statement from Brindisi’s staff. “With this award, ICAN is one step closer to building the first children’s museum in the country that doubles as a comprehensive child and family support center.”