ABOVE PHOTO: State Rep. Donna Bullock (Photo/ Pa.House)
Two historical institutions in the 195th legislative district have been awarded cultural and historical support grants totaling more than $45,000, according to State Rep. Donna Bullock (D- 195th Dist.).
Eastern State Penitentiary Historical Site was awarded $40,000 and Girard College Foundation was awarded $5,178. The money is part of nearly $2 million in grants being awarded across Pennsylvania by the state’s historical and museum commission, going to 155 eligible museums and official county historical societies from 58 Pennsylvania counties.
“Eastern State Penitentiary has played a significant role in prison reform,” Bullock said. “Considered the world’s first true penitentiary, Eastern State Penitentiary closed in the 1960s and now serves as a museum and crucial player in today’s conversation about mass incarceration, prison overcrowding and prison reform.
“Keeping the history of this institution alive is very important not only to entertain and educate people but also to inform policy,” she added.
In addition to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission grant, they also received a $50,000 Marketing to Attract Tourists state grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development.
Girard College is an independent college preparatory boarding school. Originally founded as a school for orphaned white males, the school admitted its first African American male students in 1968. The first female students were admitted in 1984. Today, applicants must be at least six years old, demonstrate good social skills and the potential for scholastic achievement, and come from a single-parent, low-income family.
“The opportunities that are available to students of Girard are critical to their success,” Bullock said. “Every child has the right to a quality education in a safe, nurturing environment and at Girard they are given that opportunity on an historic, architecturally beautiful campus.
“All of these important institutions have suffered under the weight of Covid,” she added. “The help the state provides is necessary to the lifeline of these important entities and we need for them to succeed across the commonwealth. I will continue to work to make sure that those in my district get the assistance they need to come out of this dark period as intact as possible because they are invaluable resources for our residents, and they contribute to our quality of life.”
The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission grant program supports the general operations of eligible museums and official county historical societies that are not supported by other state agency funding programs. An eligible museum must have an annual operating budget exceeding $100,000 and at least one full-time professional staff person.