Utica National commits $125,000 to ICAN’s Family Resource Center and Children’s Museum

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UTICA — The Utica National Group Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Utica National Insurance Group, has committed $125,000 to ICAN’s Family Resource Center, which will also house a new, state-of-the-art Children’s Museum.

Utica National has been a longtime supporter of ICAN, focusing especially on programming that came under their umbrella in 2013 when they merged the Family Nurturing Center of Central New York into their agency. Utica National also engages with ICAN’s Community Training and Education Program for their national Head of the Class Program.

The $125,000 grant sponsors ICAN’s Supervised Visitation Wing in the new first floor space and contributes to the overall project total of $14 million, which includes site improvements, museum exhibit design and the addition of a rotunda—a signature architectural element on the south side of the building at 106 Memorial Parkway, Utica.

“Programs and services enabling children and families to improve their well-being are so vital to the community,” noted Utica National Group Foundation Screening Committee Chair Bernard Turi. “Supporting the new Family Resource Center helps ICAN continue their essential work and provide those much-needed programs and services in an inviting and appropriate setting.”

ICAN CEO/Executive Director Steven Bulger adds, “Utica National has always aligned with our family-first approach to everything we do, and has supported programming that helps strengthen families from the start. This generous gift shows their commitment to continue the work and to help us make a center that is beneficial in so many ways for families throughout our region.

About the Family Resource Center

The Family Resource Center will unite two of our region’s greatest assets: ICAN’s youth and family programs and the Utica Children’s Museum.

A hub for learning, wellness, connectedness and FUN, this will be the first time that a children’s museum is co-located and partnered with a human services non-profit.

Project timeline:

Summer 2021: Project groundbreaking

Summer 2022: ICAN opens Family Resource Center for services

End of 2023: Grand opening of the new Children’s Museum

ICAN programs such as Supervised Visitation, Healthy Families and Nurturing Parenting will be housed at the new Family Resource Center, all of which will utilize the museum space for family bonding, confidence building and ultimately for making families stronger. Select ICAN administrative departments will also be housed at the new location.

The new museum will be located on the second floor and in the rotunda of the Family Resource Center. It will provide a space and be a catalyst for post-pandemic healing for all and will offer needed socialization, connection and joy as well as hands-on educational experiences aligned with school curricula to help students get back on track after an extended loss of learning. Close to the Parkway Recreational Center, Val Bialas Ski Center, Utica Zoo and the John S. Dyson New York Energy Zone, the museum will enhance this family-friendly district of the city. Regional and national experts are assisting with the project from architecture and conceptualization to creation of museum exhibits and ensuring Universal Design principles are integrated.

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