miSci in Schenectady receives a special surprise, a $540K grant

SCHENECTADY — A surprise, non-workday call brought Gina Gould, president of miSci, to the emergency room last week. That’s just how good the news was. 

The call was from John Eberle, president and chief executive officer of The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region, who told Gould that miSci will be receiving a $540,000 grant after anonymous donors came together to support the museum.

“I didn’t cry when I was on the phone, but I fell off the treadmill, hit my head and had to go to the emergency room,” Gould said. “But I was stupefied when he said that anonymous donors had gotten together and wanted to ensure that miSci remains sustainable during these difficult times.”

The grant, which will be awarded over a one year period in monthly installments of $45,000, will support the Museum, its traveling exhibition program and the development of “digital programming and outreach opportunities.” In simplest terms, Gould said it will allow the museum to pay its employees and stay afloat. She mentioned a June survey from the American Alliance of Museums, which found that — when surveying over 750 museums in the U.S. — one-third of U.S. museums may not make it through the pandemic. 

“The grant will help us pay our bills while we are in this recession where raising money is difficult, memberships are difficult,” Gould said. “All the classic ways that museums earn money or raise money have been removed temporarily. So this is really to help us to continue to serve our community.”

In a letter to miSci, Eberle wrote about his organization’s excitement for both miSci’s mission and its future plans.

“It is an honor to support the transformative programs and innovative exhibits that inspire exploration and discovery in science, technology, engineering, math (and more), and we commend you for your work in shaping the hearts and minds of young people.”

Gould said the donors’ gift was “unprecedentedly forward thinking and generous.”

“On behalf of miSci and its community — everybody we serve, the staff, the volunteers, the trustees — they have shown us that we’re doing a good job.”

— to dailygazette.com

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