Half a Million Dollar Grant is Awarded to Local Museum Effort

Grace Anne Alfiero

Doylestown, PA—The Oscar Hammerstein Museum and Theatre Education Center (OHMTEC) received some fantastic news this week. This local nonprofit was awarded $500,000 in Pennsylvania state funding through the Redevelopment Assistance Capitol Program (RACP). RACP is a commonwealth grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects.

Greg Roth, President of the OHMTEC Board of Directors stated, “We are extremely grateful to Senator Santarsiero and the state for this grant. Preserving Highland Farm, the homestead and creative epicenter where Oscar Hammerstein II wrote the lyrics to some of the world’s most noted and performed songs, is essential for Bucks County, for Pennsylvania and for our country." Roth continued, “Oscar Hammerstein’s themes of inclusion and acceptance are as relevant today as they were 80 years ago when he penned them. The Oscar Hammerstein Museum and Theatre Education Center will provide a place for enthusiasts and visitors to be inspired and a place for children from all over the world to have an opportunity to learn about musical theater and pursue their musical theatre passions and interests.”

“I have been working with the OHMTEC and all of our local museums here in Bucks County throughout the pandemic to help ensure they come out on the other side of this stronger than before”, said Senator Steve Santarsiero. “These state funds to help restore and redevelop this iconic property will allow the public to visit the space that inspired some of the most classic American musicals like Oklahoma, South Pacific and The Sound of Music.”

The Museum will use the funding to purchase, restore, and preserve Oscar Hammerstein’s II former home and workplace at Highland Farm in Doylestown, PA. The goal is to create a multifaceted and dynamic museum experience, with a strong theatre education component, that will serve as a place of inspiration for Broadway fans and humanitarians alike, from Hammerstein’s backyard and across the world.

The timing is great as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act is providing opportunities for families and philanthropists to support this truly collaborative effort in several unique ways because it offers the prospect to maximize the benefits of one's charitable giving for 2020 with incentives for those that itemize and those who do not. For instance, the CARES Act allows for an additional, “above-the-line” deduction for charitable gifts made in cash of up to $300. If you are not itemizing on your 2020 taxes, you can claim this new deduction. In addition, the OHMTEC Board Members have announced a one-to-one cash match of any 2020 donations from now until December 31, 2020 up to $15,000. (Donors are advised to consult with their financial professionals to determine how the CARES Act may apply to them.) Donations of any amount are welcome and can be made by check, credit card or appreciated securities. Special naming opportunities are also available. Please contact Treasurer Christine Junker for details at oscarhammersteincenter@gmail.com. To contribute to the effort to #SaveOscarsHome, please visit The Oscar Hammerstein Museum website.

This article originally appeared on the Doylestown Patch