These Illinois museums received a total of $19.7 million in state capital investments

Thirty-six Illinois museums will receive a total of $19.7 million in state capital investments to improve their facilities and develop new exhibits, Gov. JB Pritzker announced Wednesday. 

According to a news release from Pritzker's office, The investments are made possible through the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program, funded by the governor’s bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital program, the first in nearly a decade. 

"Rebuilding Illinois means investing in all types of infrastructure that improve communities and the quality of life for local residents. That includes an investment in the museums that protect our cultural heritage and offer unique programs and events for visitors to enjoy," Pritzker said. "I am pleased to see the array of improvements and exhibits that will happen as a result of our 2022 Public Museum Capital Grants, made possible through the Rebuild Illinois capital program." 


According to the release, the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, is open to any museum operated by local government or located on municipally owned land. The maximum grant award for projects is $750,000, and matching funds are required in many cases based on museum attendance levels, the release states.

"Museums are an important economic driver and point of pride in communities throughout Illinois," said Colleen Callahan, director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. "Providing funding for capital improvements and exciting new exhibits helps to create jobs, attract more visitors, and boost local tourism." 

The following received the capital grants, divided by county:

Cook County

Arlington Heights Park District, 1908 Banta House Porch Restoration – $30,000
Chicago Academy of Science, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum – $750,000
Chicago Children’s Museum, Cleaner Air / Health and Safety Project – $572,500
Chicago History Museum, exterior building improvements – $750,000
Chicago Zoological Society, Seven Seas roof replacement – $666,600
Art Institute of Chicago, Michigan Avenue lobby, window removal and replacement – $750,000
Garfield Park Conservatory, Child Wild Nature Exploration Garden – $749,500
Glenview Park District, The Grove Interpretive Center Phase 2 exhibits – $375,000
Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois, genocide exhibition – $750,000
Lincoln Park Zoo, capital improvements – $750,000
Museum of Science and Industry, parking garage exhaust fan system replacement – $200,000
National Museum for Mexican Art, Project Green Room: Setting the Stage for World Class Performing Arts – $750,000
Park Ridge PD, Wildwood Nature Center, Forestview renovation – $750,000
Schaumburg PD, Spring Valley Nature Center-Heritage Farm – $700,000

DuPage County

DuPage Children’s Museum, "Questioners: Think. Question. Read. Play!" exhibit – $302,700
Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, Mayslake Peabody Estate – $750,000
Elmhurst Art Museum, roofing and HVAC renewal – $750,000
City of Elmhurst, community performance venue – $698,500
Itasca Park District, Springbrook Nature Center improvements – $375,000
Naperville Heritage Society, Naper Settlement Digital Experience Welcome Zone – $749,700
Wheaton Park District, DuPage County Historical Museum – $750,000

Kane County

Dundee Township Park District, Randall Oaks Zoo Small Animal Building – $750,000
Elgin Area Historical Society, Nancy Kimball Cobblestone House project – $64,200
St. Charles Park District, Primrose Farm Agricultural Lab – $750,000

Lake County

Lake County Forest Preserve District, Bess Bower Dunn Museum of Lake County, HVAC system modifications – $161,100

Lake/Cook counties

Buffalo Grove Park District, The Raupp Museum, educational gardens – $226,500

McHenry County

Crystal Lake Park District, Nature Center – $363,000

McLean County

City of Bloomington, Katthoefer Animal Building small exhibits, basement renovation – $750,000

Champaign County

Champaign County Forest Preserve District, Museum of the Grand Prairie, Discovery Garden – $726,900

Rock Island County

Rock Island County Forest Preserve District, Niabi Zoo Prairie Dog Exhibit – $436,100
City of Rock Island, Quad City Botanical Center Children’s Garden Phase III – $750,000

Sangamon County

Springfield and Central Illinois African History Museum (City of Springfield), African American History Museum expansion – $662,545
City of Springfield, Kidzeum STEAM Center – $355,400

Winnebago County

Rockford Art Museum, D/E Riverfront Museum Park HVAC replacement project – $301,000
Rockford Park District, Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum – $104,000
Discovery Center Museum of Rockford, capital improvement project – $433,200