Dec. 5, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
State Senator Michael Gianaris has secured a $5 million grant for the Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI) in Astoria.
The grant, which is being allocated via the 2022-23 state budget, will be used to advance the 35th Avenue museum’s educational programming in film, television, and digital media, Gianaris said.
The funding will create educational tools at the museum’s exhibition space and provide greater public access to the museum’s Digital Innovation Lab for Media and Games.
Gianaris made the announcement at MoMI’s annual gala at the venue Thursday and said the museum has been at the heart of New York’s film and television industry for many years.
“The Museum of the Moving Image is a powerful space to experience the history and project the future of film, television and digital media,” Gianaris said.
“I am so proud to announce this funding to support their educational mission and enhance access to the incredible exhibitions they have for all to enjoy.”
A portion of the grant will be used to fund the museum’s Digital Innovation Lab for Media and Games. The lab hosts free digital literacy classes, workshops and media design challenges for people of all ages and abilities, Gianaris said.
Participants at the lab learn to create digital games, short videos, apps, and digital artworks using mixed media, virtual media, and augmented reality. They also receive job skills training to prepare them for employment in media and technology industries.
The lab programs are available in English and Spanish, with some also in Arabic, Urdu and Cantonese.
Ivan Lustig, the co-chair of the Board of Trustees at MoMI, welcomed the announcement and said the grant was very important to maintain the museum’s educational programming.
“Education lies at the heart of the museum’s mission,” Lustig said. “This major support from the state will provide us with a strong foundation as we look to the future.”
Thursday’s gala was also attended by Councilmember Julie Won and State Senator-elect Kristen Gonzalez.
The gala included a tribute to the late filmmaker and visual effects pioneer Douglas Trumbull who is known for his work on movies such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and Blade Runner.