$22.8 million in grants going to Illinois public museum projects


The Children’s Discovery Museum Foundation in the Town of Normal will be getting $568,700 as part of the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program. (Photo courtesy of Children’s Discovery Museum)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office announced Illinois museums that attract more than 16 million visitors annually will receive $22.8 million in state capital investments to improve their facilities and develop new exhibits. 

The investments are through the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program, funded through Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois multi-year state capital program.

“Our public museums help tell the story of Illinois, from the founding and cultural heritage of local communities, to our place in the world today,” Pritzker said. “This grant program is making investments in local museums that will allow them to attract more visitors, to foster important research, and to tell important stories for generations to come.”

The Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), is open to any museum operated by local government or located on municipally-owned land.  The list of grant awards were released on Nov. 18.

The maximum grant award for the projects announced today was $750,000 and matching funds are required in many cases based on museum attendance levels.

“Museums located throughout Illinois receiving funding through this program are investing in exciting new exhibits and facilities improvements that will help them meet the interests of Illinois citizens and visitors of all ages,” said IDNR Director Colleen Callahan. “The museums will provide opportunities to experience the art, anthropology, history, culture, and natural history of their communities, as well as our state and nation.”

More information on the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program is available on the IDNR website at https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/grants/Pages/Museum-Capital-Grants.aspx

The Chicago Historical Society is getting $750,000 in state grants for renovation of its research collection facility. (Photo courtesy of Chicago Historical Society)

A listing of 2020 Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants can be found below:

  • Art Institute of Chicago Facilities renewal project , $674,100
  • Bloomington, (Miller Park Zoo) South America Phase 1, $750,000
  • Bolingbrook Park District Hidden Lakes Outdoor Educational Pavilion,  $505,700
  • Buffalo Grove Park District Educational Gardens at The Nature Classroom, $246,000
  • Byron Museum District Byron’s Underground Railroad Station, $232,000
  • Champaign Park District Virginia Theatre HVAC and system access upgrade, $750,000
  • Chicago Academy of Sciences Nature Museum capital upgrades, $750,000
  • Chicago Children’s Museum Water City,  $616,400
  • Chicago Historical Society research collection facility renovation, $750,000
  • Chicago Horticultural Society and Chicago Botanic Garden water main improvements, $750,000
  • Cook County Forest Preserve District of Crabtree Nature Center exhibit and building renovations, $750,000
  • Decatur Park District Scovill Zoo Herpertarium upgrades for exhibits, habitats, and ADA accessibility, $750,000
  • DeKalb Park District stormwater management, roofing, and exterior lighting, $413,000
  • Discovery Center Museum of Rockford Inc. capital expansion and improvement project – Phase 4, $369,900
  • Elmhurst History Museum will be receiving $255,300 in a state grant for operations upgrades. (Photo courtesy of Elmhurst History Museum)

    DuPage Children’s Museum roof restoration project, $92,500

  • Elmhurst History Museum operation upgrade,  $255,300
  • Field Museum of Natural History Field Museum South East Quadrant HVAC upgrade, $750,000
  • Fox Valley Park District Red Oak Nature Center lobby repurposing, $85,000
  • Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance visitor lobby renovation, $595,600
  • Gillespie Coal Museum: façade enhancement, $33,800
  • Harry and Della Burpee Museum Association air quality HVAC project, $665,500
  • Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois, Inc. Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center campus improvement project, $750,000
  • Kane County, Forest Preserve District of Creek Bend – Interactive Prairie Exhibit, $200,000
  • Lincoln Park Zoological Society Lincoln Park Zoo capital improvements for visitor accessibility and safety, $750,000
  • Lombard Historical Society, Inc. Carriage House expansion-core operations, $750,000
  • Macon County Conservation District Nature Center permanent exhibit renovations, $400,000
  • Midway Village & Museum Center investing in HVAC improvements, $112,600
  • Museum of Contemporary Art MCA Pedestrian Plaza surface paver and grout replacement, $375,000
  • Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago air handler replacement project, $750,000
  • Naperville Heritage Society Ag Lab in the Agricultural Interpretive Center, $749,700
  • National Museum of Mexican Art Generations: Preserving Mexican Art and Culture for the Future, $750,000
  • National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture, $750,000
  • Oak Park Park District of Pleasant Home geothermal project, $421,500
  • Oswegoland Park District Little White School Museum ADA ramp, $56,100
  • Peoria Riverfront Museum STEM Inspires! – Dome Planetarium capital upgrades, $700,000
  • Shedd Aquarium Society north terrace renovation, $750,000
  • Springfield Park District African and Asian mammal interpretative area, $750,000
  • Town of Normal Children’s Discovery Museum Foundation luckey climber, $568,700
  • Urbana Park District Outdoor Learning Pavilion, $750,000
  • Waukegan Park District Waukegan History Museum expansion at the Carnegie Center, $750,000
  • Will County Forest Preserve District of Four Rivers Interpretive Improvements, $750,000
  • Williamsville Public Library and Museum WPLM outdoor education space, $42,900
  • Winnebago County access and accessibility improvements, $192,000