Library Museum receives $1 million in grant awards

For Immediate Release: February 23, 2011

Contact: Keith Campbell, 907.224.5631

Seward Library Museum receives $1 million in grants

Two prestigious grants, each for $500,000, recently gave the Seward Library Museum Building Committee’s fundraising efforts a million-dollar boost. The influential 56-year old Alaska based organization, The Rasumson Foundation, and the prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), were the granting institutions.

“We are very honored by the faith shown in our project by receiving these two significant grants from such important supporters,” said Mary Tougas, co-chair of the Seward Community Library Museum (SCLM) Building Committee.  “Our project especially sparkled among the NEH grants,” she added. “Our Library Museum was the only project funded in Alaska by NEH, and also received one of the bigger grants among the 371 national humanities projects selected in 2010 by NEH. It’s a real feather in Seward’s cap to be chosen in this national arena, and to be recognized, at the same time, by one of Alaska’s leading foundations.” The Rasmuson Foundation was founded as “…a catalyst to promote a better life for all Alaskans.”

“Our fundraising is in high gear now,” said Tougas. “We expect to make some more announcements about additional gifts soon—when the paperwork is finalized,” she pledged. The financial picture for the $10.3 million new facility, in addition to the $1 million grants, includes a $4.7 million State grant received in 2010 and a recently approved $3.7 million general obligation (GO) bond by the City of Seward. A $500,000 local community giving campaign, “Be Part of the Heart,” is also underway. “We are excited we are right on schedule with the original funding scenario,” said Tougas. She said the SCLM Building group plans to continue submitting additional grant applications. Design work for the building is nearing 100 percent, so in addition to the funding being on schedule, the spring ground breaking for the multi-use facility is on also on schedule, noted Tougas. The new Seward Community Library Museum is slated for an August 2012 completion date.

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