OSSINING, N.Y. -- A fundraiser is being held next Friday to raise money for a potential museum commemorating Sing Sing Prison, Ossining's historic penitentiary.
Friends of Sing Sing Museum is hosting a fundraiser at the Ossining Public Library at 6:30 p.m. on June 13 to raise money to update feasibility studies for the proposed museum.
The museum is supported by the Village of Ossining and Historic Hudson River Towns which feel the museum could be a big tourism draw, similar to Alcatraz in San Francisco.
By raising money for feasibility and marketing studies, supporters hope they can ask for major funding and grants for the museum.
"Visitation to the museum could easily surpass 200,000 people per year and contribute significantly to the regional economy," said Jerry Faiella, executive director of Historic Hudson River Towns. "We see this project as a national and international attraction that will have a major beneficial impact on Westchester County."
Plans for a Sing Sing Museum began in 2007 with a feasibility study, though it went on the backburner in the midst of the economic recession.
"We want to get these studies updated," Faiella said. "Once you put the name of a recognized consulting firm for museums in your studies, you have a greater opportunity for investments and funding."
Faiella said once they raise money for a feasibility study, they can then design drawings and specifications for the museum.
"We can hopefully show how the museum will have a positive return on investment for the region," Faiella said.
Faiella strongly believes a prison museum would draw visitors to the area.
"It's gotten tremendous drawing power and name recognition," Faiella said. "There's 12 million people withing one to two hours of the facility and eight million people who come to New York City as tourists."
Faiella said the museum would create 73 full-time jobs and could also boost other sites like Lyndhurst in Tarrytown and boost the economy of the rivertowns.
"We have historic homes and Revolutionary War sites, but we don't have a prison," Faiella said. "It would boost tourism spending and generate sales tax. By putting the investment in the facility, it's something you can't relocate or outsource."
For more information visit http://www.hudsonriver.com/sing-sing-fundraiser
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