National Museum of Racing receives grants for gallery enhancements, educational programming, marketing initiatives
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame has received several grants in 2023 to support its mission of preserving and promoting the history of thoroughbred racing in America and honoring the sport’s most accomplished participants in the Official National Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame.
“The Museum has been fortunate to receive support from the New York State Council on the Arts, the Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust, Stewart’s Holiday Match, and the NYSCA/GHHN Conservation Grant Program,” said Maureen Pasco, the Museum’s director of development. “As a non-profit, we are most grateful these organizations see the community and educational value in the Museum and have invested in our mission.”
Through NYSCA, the Museum received three grants of $10,000 each from the Regrowth and Capacity Enhancement program. To offset the loss of attendance during the pandemic, one grant has afforded the Museum the opportunity to develop and implement a marketing campaign to increase visitation and awareness of the Museum and its educational mission, as well as the newly renovated Hall of Fame.
During the pandemic, the Museum exclusively offered online programming and saw an increase in reach and greater engagement with a national audience. Funds from the second grant have been allocated to support staff time to continue to develop and expand our online offerings for all ages.
As a result of the pandemic, the Museum also implemented safety measures, including hourly cleaning, complimentary styluses for interactive exhibits, and the availability of masks for staff and visitors. The third grant underwrote the cost of these supplies to continue providing a safe environment.
The responsive funding of NYSCA is providing nearly 1,000 organizations statewide with more than $13 million in recovery support in 2023.
“This unprecedented funding continues our investment into the vital role that the arts contribute to the health of our economy, our communities, and our citizens,” said Gov. Kathy Hochul. “As we continue our comeback, we applaud the strength and innovation of arts organizations across the state and are all the better for their hard work and dedication.”
About the New York State Council on the Arts: The Council on the Arts preserves and advances the arts and culture that make New York State an exceptional place to live, work, and visit. The Council upholds the right of all New Yorkers to experience the vital contributions the arts make to our communities, education, economic development, and quality of life. To support the ongoing recovery of the arts across New York State, the Council on the Arts will award record funding in 2023, providing support across the full breadth of the arts, including dedicated support for arts education and underrepresented communities.
A longtime supporter of the Museum, the Saratoga Springs-based Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust funded the Museum’s Race Day Gallery enhancements through a grant of $11,386. These updates included a wall map of active racetracks in the United States and a new object display case to feature the tools of the groom in the paddock area of the gallery.
The new map, which is highlighted on the curved display in the Race Day Gallery, includes all of the prominent racetracks in North America, including several notable steeplechase courses that were not included in the previous version. The addition of this map demonstrates to visitors the widespread locations of racetracks in North America and further contextualizes the track display in the Race Day Gallery.
The new display case for the paddock area of the Race Day Gallery features tools of the groom, including collections items such as brushes, leads, and hoof picks. Items like this are not displayed anywhere else in the Museum and this display completes the narrative of “a day at the races,” teaching visitors what happens behind the scenes and conveying the important role of the groom in taking care of the prized equine athletes.
About the Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust: The Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust was established to benefit nonprofit scientific, medical, educational, cultural, religious, and charitable organizations by funding projects and programs in memory of the Trust’s founder, Alfred Z. Solomon. Mr. Solomon, a leader in the fashion industry, a horse racing enthusiast, and a philanthropist in Gansevoort, N.Y., and New York City, died in 2004 at the age of 104, and founded the Trust in his Last Will and Testament.
The Stewart’s Holiday Match provided support for a slate of new Museum programs for Capital Region students in grades 1-12 to bolster their educational opportunities and enhance their school’s curriculum. These include new subject-specific field trips for area schools in a wide variety of topics, including science, history, and fine arts. The field trips are designed for teachers to enhance their lesson plans with hands-on activities in the Museum, overseen by a knowledgeable guide.
Another supported program, “Readers Up,” shares equine books with local ELA teachers to incorporate into their academic lesson plans. Additionally, the Museum travels to participating schools to share artifacts and stories that tie into the book, grounding the lesson plan into real, tangible history. With the help of Stewart’s, the Museum has brought these programs to fruition and reached numerous area students.
About Stewart’s Holiday Match: Stewart’s has collected and matched holiday donations from Thanksgiving through Christmas since 1986. The program has allocated more than $36 million since its inception. All Stewart’s Holiday Match funds support children under the age of 18 in the company’s market areas.
The Museum has also received a supplies grant from the NYSCA/GHHN Conservation Grant Program for preservation supplies. This program is administered through the New York State Council on the Arts in partnership with the Greater Hudson Heritage Network. The Museum was one of 94 organizations statewide.
About the NYSCA/GHHN Conservation Grant Program: The Preservation Supply and Site Assessment Grant Program is made possible with public funds from NYSCA, with the support of the Office of the Governor and New York State Legislature.
For more information about the Museum, including special events and program offerings, please call (518) 584-0400 or visit our website at www.racingmuseum.org.