Holocaust Center wins tax grant


The Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida has been awarded a $10 million Orange County Tourism Development Tax grant to build a new museum in downtown Orlando. The award was announced Tuesday, April 23 at the meeting of the Orange County Board of County Commissioners.

“We are thrilled and profoundly grateful to the leaders of Orange County and the Tourist Development Tax Review Board for their vision and support. A new museum will reach hundreds of thousands of visitors to our region who increasingly seek more meaningful and transformative travel,” said Holocaust Center Board President, Ellen Lang, whose mother Tess Wise founded the Holocaust Center in 1981. “A new museum also offers the ability to connect with generations of students in creative ways, where learning about the Holocaust can be much more than a brief field trip, but a life-changing experience with ongoing engagement.”

The museum will be called the Holocaust Museum for Hope & Humanity and will rise on the site of the former Greater Orlando Chamber of Commerce building at the northern gateway to downtown Orlando. The site was donated by the City of Orlando with a lease for the building and land for $1 per year. The new museum is expected to draw 150,000 visitors annually and contribute millions in economic impact to Central Florida.

“It was an honor for me and the Board of County Commissioners to unanimously award a $10 million grant for the building of the Holocaust Museum for Hope and Humanity. The museum will honor the victims and survivors and serve as a historical remembrance of past events. It will not only be a wonderful resource for our local residents but also for the millions who visit Orange County each year,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings.

A capital campaign to help fund the project has already raised more than $10 million in private contributions. The Center has contracted with award-winning HuntonBrady Architects to design the new museum, working alongside world-renowned museum exhibit designer Ralph Appelbaum & Associates. Planning, design and community input is underway and the new museum is expected to open in 2023.

Founded in 1980 as a series of lectures on the Holocaust, the Center opened its current museum in 1986. It was founded by Holocaust survivor and local philanthropist, Tess Wise. For more information on the Holocaust Museum for Hope & Humanity or the capital campaign, contact Pam Kancher, pkancher@holocaustedu.org, 407-628-0555. To learn more about the Holocaust Center, visit http://www.holocaustedu.org.


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