The 9/11 Tribute Museum, a 16-year-old museum dedicated to telling the stories of survivors of the Sept. 11th terror attack, permanently closed its doors Wednesday thanks to the financial setbacks it suffered amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Financial hardship including lost revenue caused by the pandemic prevents us from generating sufficient funding to continue to operate the physical museum,” museum co-founder and CEO Jennifer Adams said in an official statement.
The 9/11 Tribute Museum in Manhattan will shutter on Wednesday, the museum announced Tuesday. pic.twitter.com/eHVeAvR4EH
— PIX11 News (@PIX11News) August 17, 2022
“Financial hardship including lost revenue caused by the pandemic prevents us from generating sufficient funding to continue to operate the physical museum,” said Jennifer Adams, co-founder and CEO of the museum.
— PIX11 News (@PIX11News) August 17, 2022
Speaking with the New York Post, Adams offered additional details.
“Two-thirds of our income revenue annually comes from our earned income from admissions. We were completely closed for six months in 2020. We had been averaging 300,000 visitors a year … and last year we had a total of 26,000 visitors, so it completely annihilated our earned income,” she said.
“There’s no way we’re going to be able to dig out of this at this rate. We need the state or the city to step in with other partners to be able to say, ‘We value you. We want to save this organization,’ but at this point, we can’t continue to dig into a hole.”
It sounds, for all intents and purposes, like New York City’s particularly draconian COVID restrictions didn’t just kill numerous businesses — it also killed the one museum dedicated to survivors of the Sept. 11th terror attack.
Is there any way to save the business? Well, yes. As Adams indicated, the museum simply needs funding. The problem is nobody wants to help, including the public:
As seen above, when Adams ran a 9/11 Tribute Museum fundraiser on Facebook, nobody donated to it but five people.
The only other possible source of funding would be the state itself, but thus far it seems like the state is more concerned with funding other projects.
In a tweet posted Wednesday, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s ex-secretary, Melissa DeRosa, pointed specifically to the state’s funding of the Buffalo Bills.
“This cannot stand. The State handed $1B+ over to the billionaire owners of the Buffalo Bills — they have to stop this. #priorities,” she tweeted.
This cannot stand.
The State handed $1B+ over to the billionaire owners of the Buffalo Bills — they have to stop this.#priorities
NYC’s 9/11 Tribute Museum to close: ‘It’s a huge loss’ NYC’s 9/11 Tribute Museum to close: ‘It’s a huge loss’ https://t.co/igbTDoirna
— Melissa DeRosa (@melissadderosa) August 17, 2022
She was correct about $1 billion being handed to the Buffalo Bills.
“After weeks of closed-door negotiations with the billionaire owners of the Buffalo Bills and Erie County officials, Gov. Kathy Hochul is sticking New York taxpayers with a record $850 million in subsidies for a new $1.4 billion football stadium,” the Post reported in March.
“The scheme creates a new state entity, the Erie County Stadium Corp., that will lease the arena to the Bills while being on the hook for millions in yearly upkeep, maintenance and repairs. It’s a ridiculous giveaway to a wealthy and successful sports franchise that likely wasn’t going to leave the area.”
#Priorities indeed …
The only good news is that the museum will continue to maintain an online presence.
“For over a decade the Tribute Museum has shared educational resources for teachers and students online, reaching classrooms around the world with personal stories. The Association is proud to continue its mission with its focus now being on an online, interactive engagement with the 9/11 community,” according to Adams’ official statement.
She also drew attention to an online education toolkit that “offers interactive video stories of people who were deeply affected by the attacks and reveal how they responded with humanitarian initiatives that strengthened their local and global communities. These stories encourage an understanding of the facts of this contemporary history and a focus on the extraordinary civic response.”
As for the museum’s physical contents, they’re slated to be relocated to the New York State Museum in Albany.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, one of the museum’s former employees, cancer-stricken Sept. 11th survivor Guy Sanders, expressed sadness over its closing.
“[H]e was saddened by the inability to continue to make history live with young people and the loss of community among those who worked there, most of whom are either first responders, survivors or just affected by the tragedy,” according to the Daily Mail.
“Sanders was near tears when he spoke about bringing people, young and old, those who were there that day and those who weren’t even alive, to the museum to talk about what he went through. The 9/11 Tribute Museum, which opened in 2006, offered tours led by volunteers who had lost a family member or were connected in some other way to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.”
“We shared that experience and it’s something a lot of people don’t have and don’t understand and that’s something we’re going to lose. We are a family,” he said in his own words.
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