Chesco Historical Society Gets State Funding Boost

HARRISBURG, PA — The Chester County Historical Society will receive $16,513 in state grant funding to continue its work of researching, preserving and educating on the county’s history.

The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) has awarded almost $2 million in grants to 155 eligible museums and official county historical societies from 58 Pennsylvania counties.

Also granted award funds in Chester County are: the Graystone Society, Inc. and National Iron & Steel Heritage receiving $6,385; Historic Sugartown Inc. receiving $4,000; Historic Yellow Springs Inc. receiving $10,706; and Wharton Esherick Museum receiving $4,749.

The goal of the grant program is to strengthen Pennsylvania’s museum community by supporting the costs of general operations that are not supported by other state funding programs.

“Pennsylvania’s wonderful museums and historical societies continue to preserve and share the state’s rich history and culture through the stories they tell,” said Governor Tom Wolf.

State Rep. Melissa Shusterman (D-Chester-Montgomery) is a member of the House Tourism and Recreational Development Committee. She said, “Local museums and historical societies preserve our community’s stories and culture. Ensuring their success allows us all to learn from our past so we can continue modernizing our community, as well as provide enrichment and educational opportunities.”

“Grants like these help ensure museums’ success after surviving this year filled with hardships,” Shusterman added.

To be eligible, a museum must have an annual operating budget exceeding $100,000, excluding capital and in-kind services, and at least one full-time professional staff person, or an approved equivalent.

“These funds, awarded to museums and historical societies across commonwealth, at a time when many of our cultural and historical institution have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, will help ensure these facilities are able to continue serving as educational resources for all Pennsylvanians,” said Wolf.

Award amounts are determined based on a percentage of the eligible museum’s previous year’s operating budget. The maximum any museum could receive is $40,000. All official county historical societies receive a $4,000 minimum grant.

“PHMC is delighted to once again award these general operating support grants to museums and historical societies, especially as museums face extreme financial challenges related to the pandemic. These grants make a difference in communities all across the commonwealth, connecting Pennsylvanians with their history, serving as economic drivers, and contributing to the quality of life,” said PHMC Executive Director Andrea Lowery.

The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission is the official history agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Chester County Historical Society named a new president in August. Conor Hepp, a West Chester University graduate, had most recently served as the Director of Visitor Experience at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.

Visit the Chester County Historical Society website here.

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