BUFFALO - Speaker Carl Heastie joined today with Buffalo Assemblymembers Sean Ryan, Robin Schimminger and Crystal Peoples-Stokes to announce that the New York State Assembly would be committing $5 million in state funding for the Albright-Knox Art Gallery's AK360 campaign to enlarge and update exhibition space as well as expand cultural programs. This funding is in addition to the funding announcement made by the state in September, and is part of the $125 million private public partnership capital campaign.
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said, "Meaningful jobs are the magnet that has drawn people to Buffalo, and it's the arts and cultural institutions like the Albright-Knox Art Gallery that are the glue that will keep them here for years to come. I commend our Buffalo delegation - Asssemblymembers Sean Ryan, Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Robin Schimminger - for embracing this challenge from the outset and for securing this investment in the city they love. I wish to express my gratitude to Jeffrey Gundlach for providing the impetus behind this significant public-private investment."
A funding announcement was previously made on September 23, acknowledging the historic single private donation of $42.5 million by Jeffrey Gundlach, chief executive officer and portfolio manager of Doubleline Capital and a native of the Buffalo area. Donations to the AK360 campaign were also secured from Erie County and the City of Buffalo as well as from the private sector, including individuals, foundations, and corporations. These funds will enable the museum to realize a needed expansion and renovation of its buildings and to enhance its campus in Frederick Law Olmsted's Delaware Park.
Assemblyman Sean Ryan said, "The Albright-Knox Art Gallery is an iconic part of Buffalo's cultural landscape. I was honored to work with Speaker Heastie and my colleagues to secure a $5 million investment from the State Assembly, which will help to finance an expansion and lead the museum into a new era. The expansion will enable the museum to exhibit greater portions of its collection, and allow many more visitors to experience the beauty and history of one of Buffalo's great institutions. I also want to thank Jeffrey Gundlach for his historic financial commitment to the museum, which sparked a remarkably successful capital campaign for the AK360 expansion project."
Assemblyman Robin Schimminger said, "Generations from now, people will still visit the Albright-Knox Art Gallery because of the investment we're making in it today. Other things will fade away, but the art this museum houses will remain. The Albright-Knox is one of the brightest gems in our community. It highlights some of the very best we offer in this region. It attracts people from all over the country, and in doing so, it highlights our Western New York home. For those of us who grew up going to the museum, and still visit it today, we know what a spectacular and special place it is. I am thrilled the New York State Assembly is committing $5 million to the museum in a matching donation along with other government entities. Thank you to investor and Buffalo native Jeffrey Gundlach, who, with his enormous contribution and generosity of spirit, is ensuring that this museum will be a part of our community for generations to come. It is a gift for us now, but more importantly, it is a gift for this region's future."
Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes said, "This is very exciting news for Buffalo and for all those who have contributed to the rich heritage and culture of our city. The Albright-Knox Art Gallery is a prized jewel of the Western New York community and the AK360 expansion project is a cornerstone of our mission to transform this region into a destination for all to enjoy. Mr. Gundlach's generosity will be an invaluable asset to these efforts and I want to thank him, as well as Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Gallery Director Janne Sirén, for sharing in this vision for our city and state and for his lifelong commitment to Buffalo."
Janne Sirén, Peggy Pierce Elfvin Director of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery said "AK360 is a project of generational importance for our region and its residents, and we are delighted that the New York State Assembly has made this great investment in the success of this endeavor. I would like to thank Speaker Carl Heastie and Assemblymembers Sean Ryan, Crystal Peoples-Stokes, and Robin Schimminger, for their efforts in securing this funding, and for their continued support of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery."
The museum has also unveiled a new name, the Buffalo Albright-Knox-Gundlach Art Museum. The name change will take effect upon the opening of a new building on the museum's expanded and renovated campus. With more than 7,000 objects in its collection and a dynamic series of exhibitions and public programs, it is recognized as home to one of the world's leading collections of contemporary and modern art.