Challenge Programs: Challenge Grants

Period of Performance

12/1/2012 - 7/31/2019

Funding Totals (matching)

$400,000.00 (approved)
$400,000.00 (offered)
$333,548.00 (awarded)

Discovering the Humanities through the Museum's Permanent Collection

FAIN: CH-51156-15

Staten Island Museum (Staten Island, NY 10301-1181)
Robert Bunkin (Project Director: May 2013 to August 2017)
Amanda Straniere (Project Director: August 2017 to June 2022)

Exhibition Infrastructure and Technology on the campus of Snug Harbor Cultural Center, endowment for related humanities programs, and fundraising expenses.

The Staten Island Museum is requesting a Challenge Grant of $400,000 to support infrastructure and technology for the Museum's expansion into new quarters in Building A on the campus of Snug Harbor Cultural Center, and to establish an endowed Humanities Fund dedicated to presenting and interpreting the Museum's permanent art collection to the community in a humanistic and interdisciplinary manner. The total grant funds break down in direct expenditures of $560,000 for galleries infrastructure and technology for the new facility and $40,000 in fundraising costs. A $1,000,000 Humanities Endowed Fund will support humanities activities, including salary support, visiting scholars, lectures, publications and education programs to engage learning in the humanities.

Media Coverage

Staten Island Museum to get $400K federal grant (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Judy L. Randall
Publication: Staten Island Advance
Date: 12/11/2013
Abstract: First public announcement of the NEH Challenge grant with quotes from Senators Kristin Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer.

Staten Island Museum Is Reopening in Snug Harbor Complex (Review)
Author(s): Robin Pogrebin
Publication: The New York Times
Date: 9/18/2015
Abstract: Reporter Robin Pogrebin describes the Staten Island Museum's expansion to the Snug Harbor Cultural Center site as well as the Museum and its collections. She omitted the NEH Challenge grant.

'Seen' it to believe it: Staten Island's beauty inspires fine art (Review)
Publication: Staten Island Advance
Date: 11/24/2105
Abstract: Review of the "Staten Island SEEN" exhibition. Mr. Fressola omitted the NEH challenge grant.

Associated Products

Opening the Treasure Box (Exhibition)
Title: Opening the Treasure Box
Curator: Robert Bunkin
Abstract: The world comes to Staten Island via people and objects. The Staten Island Museum’s Opening the Treasure Box exhibition will present an array of art works, exploring their stories, collectors, techniques, differences, and similarities. The Treasure Box gallery displays art objects from five continents: Africa, Asia, Europe, North, and South America. Countries represented include China, Egypt, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Liberia, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, and the United States. The oldest piece is an Egyptian funerary statuette of a striding man, dating from the second millennium BCE. Other works include an ancient Roman marble portrait head, a sculpture of the dancing Hindu god Ganesh, an intricately embroidered dragon robe from Imperial China, an elaborate Kuba Bwoom mask from the Congo, and extraordinary beaded moccasins made by Lakota Sioux women.
Year: 2015
Primary URL:

Staten Island SEEN (Exhibition)
Title: Staten Island SEEN
Curator: Robert Bunkin
Abstract: On view September 2015 - September 2016 Staten Island SEEN traces this borough’s unique history and changing landscape from the 17th century to the present. These works are made in a broad range of styles and materials, from ink drawing to anaglyph 3-D video. In the past, artists were attracted to Staten Island for its varied landscape: The shoreline, inland hills, ponds, valleys, waterways, and forests all provided inspiration. Contemporary artists depict these natural features as well as the way we live today, including parking lots, strip malls, tract houses, and other aspects of our suburban landscape.
Year: 2015
Primary URL: