Governor Pritzker Announces $22.8 million in Grants for 43 Illinois Public Museum Projects

Rachel Torbert
Governor Pritzker Announces $22.8 million in Grants for 43 Illinois Public Museum Projects
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Gov. JB Pritzker today announced 43 Illinois museums that attract more than 16 million visitors annually will receive $22.8 million in state capital investments to improve their facilities and develop new exhibits. The investments are through the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program, funded through Gov. Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois multi-year state capital program.

"Our public museums help tell the story of Illinois, from the founding and cultural heritage of local communities, to our place in the world today," Gov. Pritzker said. "This grant program is making investments in local museums that will allow them to attract more visitors, to foster important research, and to tell important stories for generations to come.”

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

"Museums located throughout Illinois receiving funding through this program are investing in exciting new exhibits and facilities improvements that will help them meet the interests of Illinois citizens and visitors of all ages,” said IDNR Director Colleen Callahan. “The museums will provide opportunities to experience the art, anthropology, history, culture, and natural history of their communities, as well as our state and nation.”

More information on the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program is available on the IDNR website at

A listing of 2020 Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants can be found below.

Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program Awards for 2020

Art Institute of Chicago Facilities Renewal Project Cook $674,100.00
Bloomington, City of (Miller Park Zoo) South America Phase I McLean $750,000.00
Bolingbrook Park District Hidden Lakes Outdoor Educational Pavilion Will $505,700.00
Buffalo Grove Park District Educational Gardens at The Nature Classroom - Phase 1 Lake $246,000.00
Byron Museum District Byron's Underground Railroad Station Ogle $232,000.00
Champaign Park District Virginia Theatre HVAC & System Access Upgrade Champaign $750,000.00
Chicago Academy of Sciences Nature Museum Capital Upgrades Cook $750,000.00
Chicago Children's Museum Water City Cook $616,400.00
Chicago Historical Society Research Collection Facility Renovation Cook $750,000.00
Chicago Horticultural Society dba Chicago Botanic Garden Water Main Improvements Cook $750,000.00
Cook County, Forest Preserve District of Crabtree Nature Center Exhibit and Building Renovations Cook $750,000.00
Decatur Park District Scovill Zoo Herpertarium Upgrades for Exhibits, Habitats, and ADA Accessibility Macon $750,000.00
DeKalb Park District Stormwater Management, Roofing, and Exterior Lighting DeKalb $413,000.00
Discovery Center Museum of Rockford Inc. Capital Expansion and Improvement Project - Phase 4 Winnebago $369,900.00
DuPage Children's Museum Children's Museum Roof Restoration Project DuPage $92,500.00
Elmhurst History Museum Operation Upgrade DuPage $255,300.00
Field Museum of Natural History Field Museum South East Quadrant 2nd and 3rd Floor HVAC Upgrade Cook $750,000.00
Fox Valley Park District Red Oak Nature Center Lobby Re-Purposing Kane $85,000.00
Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance Visitor Lobby Renovation Cook $595,600.00
Gillespie, City of Illinois Coal Museum: Façade Enhancement Macoupin $33,800.00
Harry and Della Burpee Museum Association Quality Museum Air for All: HVAC Project Winnebago $665,500.00
Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois, Inc. Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center Campus Improvement Project Cook $750,000.00
Kane County, Forest Preserve District of Creek Bend - Interactive Prairie Exhibit Kane $200,000.00
Lincoln Park Zoological Society Lincoln Park Zoo Capital Improvements for Visitor Accessibility and Safety Cook $750,000.00
Lombard Historical Society, Inc. Carriage House Expansion-Core Operations DuPage $750,000.00
Macon County Conservation District Nature Center Permanent Exhibit Renovations Macon $400,000.00
Midway Village & Museum Center Building Audience Engagement Through Investing in HVAC Improvements Winnebago $112,600.00
Museum of Contemporary Art MCA Pedestrian Plaza Surface Paver and Grout Replacement Cook $375,000.00
Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago Air Handler Replacement Project Cook $750,000.00
Naperville Heritage Society Ag Lab in the Agricultural Interpretive Center DuPage $749,700.00
National Museum of Mexican Art Generations: Preserving Mexican Art and Culture for the Future Cook $750,000.00
National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture Cook $750,000.00
Oak Park, Park District of Pleasant Home Geothermal Project Cook $421,500.00
Oswegoland Park District Little White School Museum ADA Ramp Project Kendall $56,100.00
Peoria Riverfront Museum STEM Inspires! - Dome Planetarium Capital Upgrades Peoria $700,000.00
Shedd Aquarium Society North Terrace Renovation Cook $750,000.00
Springfield Park District African and Asian mammal interpretative area Sangamon $750,000.00
Town of Normal Children’s Discovery Museum Foundation Luckey Climber McLean $568,700.00
Urbana Park District Outdoor Learning Pavilion Champaign $750,000.00
Waukegan Park District Waukegan History Museum Expansion at the Carnegie Center Lake $750,000.00
Will County, Forest Preserve District of Four Rivers Interpretive Improvements Will $750,000.00
Williamsville Public Library and Museum WPLM Outdoor Education Space Sangamon $42,900.00
Winnebago County Access and Accessibility Improvements Winnebago $192,000.00

TOTAL FUNDING: $22,853,300.00

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