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The Strong gets $1.5 million commitment for ‘Digital Worlds’ expansion

The Strong National Museum of Play announced a $1.5 million commitment from ESL Federal Credit Union for its expansion project, ‘Digital Worlds’.

strong museum of play expansion digital worlds

‘Digital Worlds’ is a new gallery dedicated to the history of video games set across 24,000 square feet. This is part of The Strong‘s ‘Neighborhood of Play’ project, which involves the creation of a new museum wing with 90,000 square feet.

ESL’s donation is part of the $60 million ‘Powered by Play’ fundraising campaign. The credit union will retain the ‘Digital Worlds’ naming rights for 25 years.

“After the COVID-19 pandemic ends, The Strong’s expansion project will be a major draw for people from all over the world and a catalyst for rebuilding the Rochester tourism economy,” said Steve Dubnik, president and CEO of The Strong.

“ESL Federal Credit Union has long been a neighbor, generous supporter, and partner of The Strong, and we appreciate their ongoing support of community projects like this to help build Rochester’s future.”

‘Neighborhood of Play’ project

strong museum of play expansion digital worlds

‘Digital Worlds’ will boast two exhibits – ‘High Score’ and ‘Level Up’. It will be the centrepiece of the new wing, and will also include the museum’s ‘World Video Game Hall of Fame’.

In addition, the gallery will include materials from the museum’s ‘Women in Games’ initiative, as well as the contributions of Black creators such as Jerry Lawson.

“It’s an honor for ESL to support our wonderful neighbors and be a part of this transformational expansion at The Strong,” said Faheem Masood, president and CEO of ESL Federal Credit Union.

“We not only wish to uphold The Strong’s mission of learning, creativity and discovery, but also to celebrate the organization’s vital investments that will enrich the quality of life in Rochester and serve as a beacon for downtown development.”

The Strong National Museum of Play finished the first phase of the expansion project, a parking garage, in 2020. It plans to break ground on the second phase this spring, with a goal to open it in summer 2023.

Images: The Strong

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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