SCHUMER LAUNCHES MAJOR EFFORT FOR FORMAL CONGRESSIONAL DESIGNATION OF THE NATIONAL COMEDY CENTER IN JAMESTOWN; SENATOR SAYS NEW DESIGNATION WILL MAKE JAMESTOWN THE "COOPERSTOWN OF COMEDY," ATTRACTING VISITORS FROM FAR AND WIDE, CREATING NEW JOBS & BRINGING MILLIONS OF TOURISM DOLLARS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TO WESTERN NEW YORK
National Comedy Center Will Be A Cultural Institution: Connecting, Inspiring, And Educating Visitors From All Over The Country About America’s Rich History Of Comedy
National Comedy Center Will Also Build on a Tradition of Comedy History in Jamestown, NY, the Brithplace of Legend Lucille Ball
Schumer: National Comedy Center Is No Joke!
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced he will introduce a congressional resolution that will designate Jamestown’s National Comedy Center as the official “National Comedy Center” of the United States. The Comedy Center, located in downtown Jamestown, built in honor of the vision of Jamestown Native Lucille Ball, will serve as a landmark that celebrates America’s rich comedic history. Schumer said this official congressional designation will help solidify the facility as a civic landmark and cultural institution, and the premiere “National Comedy Center” of the United States.
?"Comedy is an art form, and it's a part of our rich cultural history in America. I am proud to stand here today, as the Comedy Center takes shape, and begin my push to officially designate this the National Comedy Center of the United States," said Senator Schumer. "As the birthplace of the iconic Lucille Ball, and the home to the Annual Comedy Festival, Jamestown is an epicenter of comedy in the nation, and is the perfect home for the National Comedy Center. I know this organization will become a cultural institution, attracting visitors from far and wide, creating jobs, and injecting millions of tourism dollars into the region. I am incredibly proud to play my part in helping to secure the official designation and I believe that this institution will become a national attraction and a smash hit!"
Schumer’s proposed resolution will formally designate the National Comedy Center as the ‘national’ comedy center. Schumer noted that this designation will allow the center to build on the success of other Upstate New York tourist attractions like National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY. The National Comedy Center will employ 32 people and is expected to create nearly 200 spin-off jobs with a $23 million impact on the regional. Currently, the annual comedy festival hosts about 20,000 people and has been visited by famous comedians like Jerry Seinfeld, Joan Rivers, Jay Leno, and Nick Offerman. Schumer said this designation is vital to the center’s continued growth, and pointed out that the Jamestown’s National Comedy Center is the only museum of its kind with the mission of preserving, protecting, and showcasing the art of American comedy and its role in our culture.
The National Comedy Center, located at 203-217 West Second Street in Jamestown, New York, will pay tribute to the art of American comedy through all eras, mediums, and genres. And once complete, the 37,000 square foot, $50 million facility tells the story of comedy from its origins through the present, with more than 50 immersive, interactive exhibits.
Each visitor will experience a personalized trip through the Center as exhibits reflect one’s personal comedic sensibilities via use of a bracelet fitted with an RFID chip worn throughout the stay. Highlights of the collection include George Carlin’s massive personal archives that provide a glimpse into one of comedy's most prolific minds, a hologram theater that presents performances of some of comedy’s most notable figures, and experiences that allow visitors to step into the shoes of a stand-up comedian. Additionally, the National Comedy Center will feature rare artifacts from some of comedy’s greatest names.
Design of the museum and the repurposing of Jamestown’s original 1930 art-deco Gateway Train Station was provided by some of the most prominent cultural and interactive design firms in the world, whose portfolios collectively include the award-winning 9/11 Memorial Museum, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, the College Football Hall of Fame, Saturday Night Live: The Experience, Universal Studios, and more. The Center will celebrate comedy in all of its forms, educating and engendering in visitors an appreciation for the art form and its artists.
Schumer said the ground was first broken on the project in 2015. Schumer noted his successful push for $1.7 million from the Economic Development Administration, and $5M in net benefit due to New Market Tax Credits. In addition to this federal funding, the National Comedy Center has also received $10M from NYS, and private donations from the Gebbie Foundation, the John R. Oishei Foundation, the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, the Lenna Foundation, Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, the Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation, the Johnson Foundation, and the Jessie Smith Darrah Fund. Schumer said the National Comedy Center will shine a spotlight on Jamestown as a global comedy destination. In addition, Schumer said the new Congressional designation will help the project cross the finish line by allowing the comedy center to be officially recognized as the “National Comedy Center.”
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