Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), joined by Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08) and Sen. Charles “Chuck” E. Schumer (D-NY), on Saturday presented a $3,000,000 check in Community Project Funding awarded to the Brooklyn Museum for the formation of the first-ever permanent galleries for its world-renowned Arts of Africa collection.
Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, said the galleries will be the second largest freely accessible collection of African art permanently on view in New York City and the only one located in Brooklyn.
The Fiscal Year 2022 Omnibus Appropriations Bill that appropriated this funding includes a historic total of $17,700,000 in federal funding for Community Projects that Reps. Clarke and Jeffries and Sen. Schumer championed for New York’s 9th Congressional District.
“This crucial funding for local projects responds directly to some of the most pressing needs throughout New York’s 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, including access to high-quality healthcare, cultural services and job opportunities,” Clarke said.
“Brooklyn’s fight for progress has never lacked resolve or spirit, but rather resources,” she added. “Today, we took an important step towards changing that. I am proud to join with Chairman Jeffries and Leader Schumer to bring this invaluable support to our community’s prized center of history and culture: the Brooklyn Museum. This funding will support the creation of the first permanent home for its celebrated Arts of Africa collection.
“This invaluable exhibit will benefit all New Yorkers and draw visitors from across the country and around the world for an incredible experience of Black heritage, history and man’s civilization shaped through the lens of art,” the congresswoman continued. “Thanks to this community project and others like it, real, tangible progress is coming to the 9th District of Brooklyn, and I am blessed and honored to fight for you in Congress to deliver it.”
Jeffries, who represents the 8th Congressional District, including parts of Brooklyn and Queens, said, “Africans have been in this city since before America was a country.
“African Americans arrived on New York shores in 1626 in shackles, and as a result of their blood, sweat, tears, intellect, ingenuity and hard work, they helped build this great city and nation,” he said. “I was proud to partner with Rep. Clarke and Sen. Schumer to deliver $3 million in federal funds for the Brooklyn Museum’s world-renowned Arts of Africa collection.
“This funding will expand the horizons of all New Yorkers, especially our school-aged children, and connect many Brooklynites to their roots,” Jeffries continued.
Schumer said he “fought hard alongside Rep. Yvette Clarke and Chairman Hakeem Jeffries to deliver $3,000,000 for the Brooklyn Museum to establish a permanent gallery for its African Art.
“Under my leadership, the Senate passed a funding bill, which includes historic levels of investment in community projects like the one here at the Brooklyn Museum,” he said. “This investment will bolster one of Brooklyn’s iconic institutions and broaden its appeal, relevance, and depth of collection to a wider audience. I can’t wait to check it out.”
“We are grateful for the incredible generosity of Senator Chuck Schumer, Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, and Representative Hakeem Jeffries,” said Anne Pasternak, Shelby White and Leon Levy, director of the Brooklyn Museum. “We were one of the first museums in the United States to collect and exhibit African art and have built a remarkable collection since starting in the early 1900s. We couldn’t be more thrilled to re-introduce it to our visitors.”