The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation today announced its plans to fund History and Heritage in Downtown NYC, a joint initiative of ten cultural institutions located in Lower Manhattan. The initiative will encourage tourists and visitors to celebrate and explore downtown’s unique cultural identity. The keystone of History and Heritage is a six to eight month marketing campaign highlighting the cultural institutions and promoting special programs. The LMDC approved $4,664,000 to fund History and Heritage this morning during its monthly board meeting. This funding is part of a Community Development Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The campaign will be launched in April 2003 by the ten member institutions, which include: the Eldridge Street Project, Fraunces Tavern Museum, Museum of Chinese in the Americas, Museum of American Financial History, Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, New York City Police Museum, South Street Seaport Museum, the Skyscraper Museum and the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island Immigration Museum.
New York Governor George E. Pataki said, ”Lower Manhattan has a rich history, and these nine cultural institutions educate and inspire thousands of visitors each year. This initiative will bring more people to the area, to the museums, and to the shops. I commend the member institutions for working together to re-energize the arts and culture community downtown.”
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, "The arts can and must play a pivotal role in strengthening our City's spirit, our economy, and our quality of life. Cultural institutions will serve as a beacon of creativity and innovation as we plan for Lower Manhattan's future. Our hope is that this campaign will drive vital pedestrian traffic to the downtown area which will also benefit the vast array of restaurants, stores and the other amenities downtown has to offer residents, workers and visitors alike."
John C. Whitehead, Chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation said, “I have been a lifelong supporter of non-profit institutions because their contributions to the community are so invaluable. This innovative joint program created by ten leading institutions will go a long way to bringing their unique insights into our heritage to more visitors than ever in the months ahead. I want to thank Senator Schumer for being such a vocal advocate for downtown’s cultural institutions.”
Senator Charles E. Schumer said, “Non profits have been the silent victim of September 11. No one’s talking about them, no one’s helping them, and if that continues, many of them may not be around much longer. That is why the LMDC's funding of this initiative is vital. We want to see Lower Manhattan rise again, and that will take revitalized businesses, new residential projects, and invigorated cultural institutions. This new marketing campaign is a great example of the type of project the LMDC should be funding to help non-profits and cultural institutions emerge stronger than ever.”
W. Richard West, Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian said, "We thank the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation for their generous sponsorship of this important joint tourism and marketing initiative, which will be used to revitalize Lower Manhattan by increasing visitorship to the cultural treasures of downtown.”
In partnership with advertising and design experts, the institutions will create a marketing campaign consisting of print, transit and radio advertising; calendars, brochures and additional collateral; a joint website; and featured events providing full-day activities and other programming.
Advertisements will target the New York metropolitan area and surrounding suburbs. To attract return visitors, calendars and event reminder postcards will be mailed to a consolidated list provided by all nine institutions. To target individuals planning trips to New York City, brochures will be distributed to tourist venues throughout the Northeast. In combination with the single source informational website and enhanced special events programming, the cultural institutions hope to raise awareness and revitalize the downtown area.