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Cultural Facilities Fund Helps Improve Visitor Experience at Boston’s USS Constitution Museum

April 1, 2014


Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077 (cell)
Greg Liakos, Mass. Cultural Council, 617-858-2720
Jodie McMenamin, USS Constitution Museum, 617-426-1812 x124

USS Constitution Museum Store

MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council have provided a $32,394 Cultural Facilities Fund grant for the USS Constitution Museum, which welcomes more than 350,000 visitors annually to the Charlestown Navy Yard. The Museum is using grant funds to upgrade the HVAC system, replace the courtyard doors, and renovate the museum store to enhance the museum experience for its visitors.

“Cultural Facilities Fund grants take care of the necessary but not always glamorous aspects of running the Commonwealth’s cultural treasures,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “This grant will help the USS Constitution Museum preserve and share ‘Old Ironsides’ story for generations to come.”

The USS Constitution Museum is on the Freedom Trail and is free of charge under an admission by donation policy. The Museum features award-winning exhibits, hands-on history programs, and family focused events for visitors of all ages. The nonprofit Museum serves as the memory and educational voice for “Old Ironsides.” Launched in 1797, USS CONSTITUTION is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world and America's Ship of State.

“Support from the Cultural Facilities Fund helps us keep the Museum looking ship-shape and enables us to create a welcoming environment for our guests,” said Museum President Anne Grimes Rand. “Since we raise matching funds to complete the renovation, it is a successful public-private partnership, spurring additional investment in the cultural resources of the Commonwealth.”

MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council administer the Cultural Facilities Fund, an initiative of the Commonwealth to increase public and private investment in cultural facilities throughout the state. Created by the Massachusetts Legislature in 2006, the Fund offers capital, feasibility, technical assistance, and systems replacement grants for eligible nonprofits engaged in the arts, humanities, or interpretive sciences. The Fund has awarded more than $55 million in grants to cultural organizations across Massachusetts. For more information, visit the MassDevelopment and Council websites.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2013, MassDevelopment financed or managed 350 projects generating investment of more than $2.4 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create more than 7,000 jobs and build or rehabilitate 800 residential units.