Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

HMREC receives tourist-tax funds


A rendition of the new Holocaust Museum for Hope and Humanity, located in north Orlando.

On May 22, the Orange County commissioners approved $1.2 million in tourist-tax grants that were recommended by Orange County's Arts & Cultural Affairs Advisory Council, to the Orlando Science Center, the Orlando Ballet and the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center.

The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida received $500,000 to help with the costs of the first phase of renovations, which is estimated to cost $1 million.

"We are honored to have the support of the Orange County Board of County Commissioners and sincerely appreciate its approval of our $500,000 Cultural Facilities grant for the Planning and Design phase of our new Holocaust Museum for Hope & Humanity," said Pam Kancher, executive director of the Center.

"Thirty-five years ago," she continued, "Tess Wise set our Holocaust Center's course by developing an innovative and visionary mission of 'using the history and lessons of the Holocaust to build a more inclusive community free of anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred and prejudice.' Our new museum will stand as a beacon of light and an emblem of our community's commitment to respecting all people from all backgrounds."

The museum needs to raise about $25 million in order to move and renovate, adding 30,000 square feet. So far, according to Ellen Lang, Holocaust Center Board president and daughter of founder, Tess Wise, approximately $2.5 million has been committed.

Early in May the Holocaust Center revealed its new look-to-be, as well as changing its name to The Holocaust Museum for Hope and Humanity. Designed by award-winning architect Maurizio Maso, AIA, vice president and design principal at HuntonBrady Architects, the renderings are expected to help bring to life the dream of expanding the Center's size and impact.

Maso is the design architect behind many notable Florida buildings, including the University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences, the Mennello Museum Expansion, and Seminole State College Center at Heathrow to name just a few. He is the recipient of the 2006 State of Florida AIA Design Honor Award for his consistent design excellence in architectural practice, the 2012 AIA Orlando Medal of Honor award and in 2008 he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Florida.

"Maurizio is an artist; he clearly understands the dynamics of such an important project. We are grateful for his vision and his sensitivity regarding the building," said Kancher.

It is estimated that in two to five years the new Holocaust Museum for Hope & Humanity will move to its new location at 75 S. Ivanhoe Street in Orlando.


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