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Local Children's Museum Awarded $537,000 In Support Of Permanent Riverside Location And The Expansion Of Programming

Sydney A. Braat

The Children's Museum of the East End is one of the most visited museums in Eastern Long Island. (Photo: www.facebook.com)

The Children's Museum of the East End (CMEE) is starting the year off on an excellent note after being awarded $537,000 in funding from New York State through the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council (LIREDC). This money will help construct a permanent museum facility in Riverside and expand the community's access to arts and cultural programming. Since 2015, Museum educators have traveled from CMEE's Bridgehampton location to provide much-needed evening programming for families in Riverside on a weekly basis in a temporary facility. This substantial funding will enable the Museum to offer programming in Riverside throughout the day and week, year-round in a permanent site, creating a cultural hub for the community.

"This funding helps us overcome many of the barriers such as transportation and income that have prevented thousands of families from coming to see us in Bridgehampton," Steve Long, President of the Children's Museum, remarked. "Now, with a permanent location in Riverside, we can truly achieve CMEE's vision of serving ALL children in Eastern Long Island regardless of economic means or needs. We're incredibly grateful to Governor Cuomo, as well as to the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the LIREDC for making this possible!"

The construction of "CMEE in Riverside" is a key strategy of the Riverside Revitalization Action Plan adopted by the Southampton Town Board and supported by Suffolk County, which is intended to yield significant socioeconomic benefits by improving access to arts & culture for a historically under-served community while strengthening tourism to the hamlet.

The Flanders, Riverside & Northampton Community Association's (FRNCA) President Ron Fisher added, "FRNCA's number one goal is to create a permanent facility that can house CMEE in Riverside. There is such a demand for their incredible programming that we've left no stone unturned in our search for funds to build this building, and are so grateful to the Governor, NYSCA and the LIREDC for supporting our project."

The Children's Museum of the East End is one of the most visited museums in Eastern Long Island, and welcomes over 75,000 visitors annually. The Museum opened in 2005 and offers over 7,000 square feet of interactive, hands-on exhibits, classrooms, and performance space. CMEE's mission is "to spark imagination and foster learning for children of all backgrounds and abilities and to build strong connections within the East End community by providing playful experiences."

"We are very appreciative that the Governor, NYSCA and the LIREDC share our enthusiasm for the project and the value that it will bring to this long underserved community," Frank Zappone, Deputy Supervisor of Southampton Town, relayed.

CMEE is located at 376 Bridgehampton Sag Harbor Turnpike in Bridgehampton. For more information, call 631-537-8250 or visit www.cmee.org.

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