$3 million in gifts for state museums | NevadaAppeal.com

$3 million in gifts for state museums

The Interim Finance Committee on Tuesday approved acceptance of three gifts to the state Division of Museums and History totaling nearly $3 million.

Administrator Peter Barton said the first is $68,111 from the Vera Silverstein Gift Trust. He said the money will be used at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City.

"Mrs. Silverstein intended her gift to support the Nevada State Railroad Museum's preservation of the rich history of railroads in Nevada's early days," according to the letter awarding the funding.

The Railroad Museum was seriously damaged by January flooding and Barton said the division is still working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to see if they can get help paying for further repairs.

The second gift approved by lawmakers was a donation of $700,000 from the NV150 Foundation, the group created to fund the events during Nevada's 150th anniversary celebration of statehood.

Museums Administrator Peter Barton said NV150 is now dispersing its remaining assets. He said the funding is intended to pay for design, fabrication, installation and maintenance of new interpretive exhibits and related educational programming in Battle Born Hall — the old Senate chambers on the second floor of the state Capitol building.

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Barton said the existing exhibits are outdated and in need of major updates to conform to modern educational standards for such exhibits.

The third and final donation reviewed Tuesday was by far the largest — a donation of $2,107,161 from the David Tacchino Trust in support of the Nevada Historical Society in Reno. The funds are placed in the historical society's dedicated trust fund.

Barton said the Reno-based trust wanted to dedicate that money to acquisitions of artifacts, manuscripts, current and new collection additions and museum physical plant acquisitions. He said his division and the historical society are also working on a plan to potentially relocate the Historical Society, which is now located in a building at the north end of the UNR campus near the Atmospherium/Planetarium that was originally constructed as a home for the Desert Research Institute. He said the existing building and the addition constructed behind it are stacked full of artifacts and records.

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