Museums spruce up and expand to lure visitors from outlet center and the New York Wheel.
The fruits of Staten Island’s cultural renaissance are hard to miss these days. Visitors to the borough get their first glimpse upon landing in the ferry terminal, where a gallery that opened last summer features handmade jewelry and other crafts by local artisans in shows that change every seven weeks.
The 2,500-square-foot space is run by the nonprofit Staten Island Arts. Islanders hope it will help pique visitors’ interest in the borough and possibly persuade them to sample some of its growing number of attractions.
Last summer, the National Lighthouse Museum debuted with a few exhibits in a building a stone’s throw from the ferry terminal. A formal opening is slated for August. A month later, the Staten Island Museum will open a building with 10,000 square feet of exhibition space, more than double what it has now. Meanwhile, the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden hired an artistic director last December—its first in more than 15 years—to bring more original programming to the 83-acre campus as part of a campaign to draw more visitors.
“There is so much to do on Staten Island,” said Lynn Kelly, president and chief executive of Snug Harbor, which is just a short bus ride from the ferry terminal. “We are really starting to get more traction.”