Director’s Update: State Bonding!

I am writing with an off-cycle update because there is some wonderful news to share: acting on a request from the Bridgeport legislative delegation, last week the Connecticut State Bond Commission approved a $6.9 million grant-in-aid for the Barnum Museum.

The Museum is so grateful to Bridgeport’s delegation for their tireless work to secure this urgently needed grant-in-aid, which will assist ongoing historic preservation and revitalization of the last surviving building associated with the wondrous P.T. Barnum. The iconic national landmark Museum building is a place of local pride and a site of national significance, and its re-envisioning will contribute to growth and development in the Bridgeport community and beyond.

We have Bridgeport’s legislators to thank for their unflagging advocacy: this grant is a testament to our delegation’s efforts, and the unyielding work they’ve done in support of the Barnum Museum.

Kathy Maher and State Senator Marilyn Moore

The Barnum Museum has suffered significant structural damage as the result of multiple natural disasters, and recovery work in the aftermath has been ongoing but limited in scope. This vital support from the State of Connecticut is a dramatic stride forward that will allow the Museum to ensure its place as a cornerstone of the Bridgeport community for generations to come.

This is a remarkable start to the lengthy process of construction, fundraising and advocacy that will ultimately fully re-envision the Barnum Museum, and the Museum eagerly welcomes public support as we build on this vote of confidence from the state. And because this is only the beginning, we will continue to update you, our fans and community advocates, on ways that you can help this ongoing process along (for starters, I encourage you to subscribe to our email list and donate to support the Museum).

I share in the sentiments of Connecticut’s State Historian, Walter Woodward, who perfectly summarized the Museum’s pleasure and enthusiasm: “This investment solidly advances the bold and spectacular vision of a Barnum Museum that will be a “must see” tourist attraction and an economic engine for all of downtown Bridgeport. It is the needed catalyst for the kind of future Barnum himself would have created for the city and state he loved above all others.”


Kathy Maher
Executive Director