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Brooklyn Museum, Two Others To Become New York’s Cooling Centers

New York City has enrolled the Brooklyn Museum and two others to serve as cooling centers during the heatwaves this summer.

The Beat The Heat initiative was announced by Mayor Eric Adams and the New York City Emergency Management (NYCEM) last month, as a plan to combat the increasing heat in the city. The initiative included awareness around combating the summer heat and designating more than 500 cooling centers across the city’s five boroughs. These ‘cooling centers’ are air-conditioned venues that would allow free access to people during a heat wave. Currently, the city administration defines a heatwave as “temperatures above 95 F for two consecutive days, or above 100 F for a single day”. The city also launched a digital map that allows people to find the nearest cooling center to them.

While cooling centers are generally government-owned properties, this year the initiative also included museums. This includes the Brooklyn Museum, the Lincoln Center, and the Museum of the City of New York. All three museums are part of the Cultural Institutions Group, which also includes the likes of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the MoMA PS1. K.P. Trueblood (president and COO, Brooklyn Museum) said: “We are proud to serve as a cooling center for our local communities this summer. Our doors are open to provide a comfortable and safe environment where residents can escape the heat, enjoy our exhibits, and experience the arts in a cool and welcoming space.”

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Cooling centers have become essential in New York City, where temperatures have been soaring high. They are particularly important for homeless people and people who cannot afford to pay the high bills associated with the increased use of ACs.