The Erie County Historical Society and expERIEnce Children’s Museum were awarded nearly $20,000 in state funding to help support their operations.

According to a release, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission issued final approval for the Cultural and Historical Support Grants earlier in the day and includes $14,500 to the Erie County Historical Society and $5,039 to the expERIEnce Children’s Museum.

State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, commented on the funds, saying they will help strengthen and support the work of museums and organizations of historical importance in Erie.

“This support will help to ensure the work being done in Erie County – including the creation of educational programs, on-hand exhibits, archives and more – will continue, and the programs offered at the Hagen History Center and expERIEnce Children’s Museum will continue to have a positive impact on Erie residents of all ages,” said Bizzarro.

State Representatives Bob Merski and Pat Harkins also stated that the benefits these funds will provide not only go towards preserving Erie’s history but also in furthering the knowledge for future generations.

“Historic preservation can be painstaking work, but it ensures that the story of our past is not lost to future generations,” state Rep. Bob Merski said. “Securing this funding will help ensure that staff at the Erie County Historical Society have the resources to continue collecting, preserving and showcasing the documents and artifacts that tell that story.”

“Kids need a place where they can build on classroom learning through hands-on exhibits that engage their senses, and the expERIEnce Children’s Museum provides that opportunity with interactive displays and exhibits,” said Harkins. “The funding will help ensure the museum has the resources to continue providing those real-life lessons.”

The grants were awarded under the Cultural and Historical Support program, which is designed to strengthen Pennsylvania’s museum community by supporting the general operations of eligible museums and official county historical societies that are not supported by other state agency funding programs.