Coventry, Suffield, Vernon, Windsor Locks sites to get CT grants

Coventry, Suffield, Vernon, Windsor Locks sites to get CT grants

Two local farms and two museums are among the dozens of organizations that will receive a portion of $7 million in grants designed to cover the costs of improvements to cultural and historical sites throughout the state.

Overall, 34 sites will receive funding through the state’s Good to Great Grant Program, which is co-administrated by CT Humanities and the state Department of Economic and Community Development.

Locally, the Friends of Farm at Hilltop Inc. will receive $330,000 to redevelop the Stroh House as a welcome and interpretive center at the historic farm in Suffield. The new center aims to provide visitors with opportunities to learn about the long agricultural and manufacturing history of that region of the Connecticut River.

Strong Family Farm in Vernon will get nearly $108,000 to implement occupancy compliance upgrades.

In Windsor Locks, the New England Air Museum is receive $46,000 to build a recording studio that will enable visitors to share their stories with the museum, react to exhibits, and contribute to future attractions.

The Museum of Connecticut Glass in Coventry will get nearly $50,000 to make it more accessible, particularly through the rear part of the building.

Sen. Jeff Gordon, R-Woodstock, whose district includes Coventry and Vernon, noted the contribution historic sites bring to communities in northeastern Connecticut.

“By improving accessibility, we enable more people to engage with these local institutions, preserve our history, and drive our economy,” he said, adding that he is a strong supporter for local nonprofits.

“As one of the oldest states in the nation, Connecticut has many unique cultural and historical sites that not only share the history of our state but also provide avenues for that culture to continue into today,” Gov. Ned Lamont said. “I’m glad that we can release this state funding and get it into the hands of these nonprofit organizations, who will use these grants to maintain and enhance the valuable services they provide to residents and visitors to our state.”

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Liz Shapiro, director of arts, preservation, and museums at DECD, noted that Good to Great is a competitive award program that provides grants to organizations that spend the time and energy required to develop plans to improve experiences for visitors.

“These funds have been awarded to organizations of all sizes who demonstrate deep thinking about who they are as organizations, and what they could be if granted access to capital funding,” she said.

Jason R. Mancini, executive director of CT Humanities, said that the program aligns with the goals of his organization to provide equitable access to grants while recognizing the connection between arts and humanities and the state’s tourism economy.

“We are grateful to Governor Lamont and the legislature for this funding and look forward to continuing this program in the future as we approach our nation’s 250th anniversary in 2026,” Mancini said.

  • June 25, 2023