New York State has awarded the Children’s Museum of the East End (CMEE) $527,400 in funding through the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council (LIREDC) to help construct a permanent museum facility in Riverside and expand the community’s access to arts and cultural programming. Since 2015, Museum educators have traveled from CMEE’s Bridgehampton location to provide much-needed evening programming for families in Riverside on a weekly basis in a temporary facility. Funding will enable the Museum to offer programming in Riverside throughout the day and week, year-round in a permanent site, creating a cultural hub for the community.
Steve Long, President of the Children’s Museum says, “This funding helps us overcome many of the barriers such as transportation and income that have prevented thousands of families from coming to see us in Bridgehampton. Now, with a permanent location in Riverside, we can truly achieve CMEE’s vision of serving ALL children in Eastern Long Island regardless of economic means or needs. We’re incredibly grateful to Governor Cuomo, as well as to the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the LIREDC for making this possible!” The Flanders, Riverside & Northampton Community Association’s (FRNCA) President Ron Fisher adds “FRNCA’s number one goal is to create a permanent facility that can house CMEE in Riverside. There is such a demand for their incredible programming that we’ve left no stone unturned in our search for funds to build this building, and are so grateful to the Governor, NYSCA and the LIREDC for supporting our project.” Frank Zappone, Deputy Supervisor of Southampton Town says “we are very appreciative that the Governor, NYSCA and the LIREDC share our enthusiasm for the project and the value that it will bring to this long underserved community.”
The construction of “CMEE in Riverside” is a key strategy of the Riverside Revitalization Action Plan adopted by the Southampton Town Board and supported by Suffolk County, which is intended to yield significant socioeconomic benefits by improving access to arts & culture for a historically underserved community while strengthening tourism to the hamlet.