News & Events - Press Releases

Museum Grants for African American History and Culture Announcement
July 2012

Arkansas  |  Florida  |  Georgia  |  Maryland  |  Massachusetts  |  Mississippi  |  New York

North Carolina
  |  Ohio  |  Pennsylvania  |  Tennessee  |  Virginia


Arkansas Department of Heritage - Little Rock, AR
Congressional District: AR_02
Award Amount: $97,636 Matching Amount: $115,133

Contact: Mrs. Quantia Fletcher
Assistant Director

The Arkansas Department of Heritage, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center will hire additional museum program staff and provide professional development training for current staff. The new positions will enable the cataloging of museum collections and the development of lesson plans and distance learning and technology programs for teachers. In addition, museum staff will partner with Arkansas State University, University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff; James K. Barnes Museum at Fort Smith; and the Eddie Mae Herron Museum Center to host town hall meetings researching the stories of the African American communities in the state.



Ritz Theatre and LaVilla Museum - Jacksonville, FL
Congressional District: FL_03
Award Amount: $49,200; Matching Amount: $49,108

Contact: Ms. Lydia Stewart
Museum Administrator

The Ritz Theatre and Museum, operated by the City of Jacksonville, will use grant funds to strengthen the knowledge, skills, and expertise of current staff in collection care and management. The museum will hire a collections care consultant to train museum staff to conduct a collection inventory and implement proper storage of the museum's collection based on best practices. In addition to training, museum staff will also enroll in courses or workshops on collection care and management. The project will include a standard operating procedures manual for current and future museum staff and to lay the groundwork for creating an accessible archive for public use.


Haitian Heritage Museum - Miami, FL
Congressional District: FL_17
Award Amount: $148,769; Matching Amount: $264,226

Contact: Mr. Serge Rodriguez
Director of Operation

The Haitian Heritage Museum will support the second phase of the museum’s five-year strategic plan by hiring additional full-time staff and part-time consultants to maximize accessibility of the collections and enhance curatorial capacity in developing new exhibitions for students, researchers, and the public. An archivist/collections manager will be hired to make the descriptive aids accessible to the public by uploading to a universal catalog. A curator will be hired to focus on expanding high-profile exhibitions and creating new exhibitions to leverage the full collections of the museum. A photographer and graphics designer will be hired as part-time consultants to assist with digitizing the collections and program development. Staff will also collaborate to develop and manage a program for undergraduates and graduate interns to participate in collections management.


John Gilmore Riley Center and Museum for African American History -
Congressional District: FL_02
Award Amount: $150,000; Matching Amount: $150,000

Contact: Ms. Marion McGee
Assistant Director

John Gilmore Riley Center and Museum for African American Culture will support an internship program and archive at Tallahassee Community College. The museum will focus on increasing its capacity by addressing critical sustainability issues, including transitioning to new leadership; expanding resources to support three full-time staff positions; and providing training to enhance the professional and technical skills of staff. The project, now in its second phase, will focus on leadership skill development, team building, solidifying support staff, and providing training for staff. Training will enhance their knowledge and performance in key areas including coalition and collaborative partnership building, technology, event planning, research, product development, and leadership.



Jack Hadley's Black History Memorabilia - Thomasville, GA
Congressional District: GA_02
Award Amount: $32,634; Matching Amount: $34,670

Contact: Mrs. Lillie Witherspoon

The Jack Hadley Black History Museum will implement recommendations from a Conservation Assessment Program (CAP) report to organize and catalog the museum collection. A part-time registrar will be hired to develop core collection-management documents and begin cataloging the collection. The museum will recruit interns from local colleges and highs schools to work with the registrar. The internship program serves as professional development training for young professionals interested in pursuing careers in the museum field. The museum founder/curator and the registrar will participate in training and development activities and attend professional meetings to enhance their knowledge of the museum field.



Prince George's African American Museum & Cultural Center - Bowie, MD
Congressional District: MD_04
Award Amount: $147,308; Matching Amount: $196,675

Contact: Dr. Arvenita Cherry
Project Director

The Prince George’s African American Museum & Cultural Center will support a museum curriculum and certification program for community college students, intended to increase professional knowledge and skills. The museum will work in partnership with the Workforce Development Program at Prince George’s Community College to create a Museum Africana Studies Curriculum Model to share with other community colleges. The certification program is a training course revolving around a museum studies internship project highlighting African American history. The project will offer practical entry-level training experience to PGCC students interested in pursuing careers in museums. The interns will work as part of a team and gain a broad understanding of how a particular department functions within the context of a major museum.



Museum of African American History - Boston, MA
Congressional District: MA_09
Award Amount: $131,479 Matching Amount: $133,090

Contact: Ms. Chandra Harrington
Manager of Library Museum Collaboration

The Museum of African American History will digitize the museum’s Civil War Collection, emphasizing objects that will be featured in the upcoming Freedom Rising: The Emancipation Proclamation and the Role of the Black Soldier in the Civil War exhibit. Project objectives include ensuring the long-term preservation of the collection, providing online accessibility to an expanded audience, enhancing the ability to search the collection using metadata, and offering more technologically advanced products to improve museum educational programs. The museum will implement a student internship program, script a performance by actor Charles Dutton promoting the exhibit, and produce a multi-media educational program based on the works of Frederick Douglass.



B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center - Indianola, MS
Congressional District: MS_02
Award Amount: $149,201; Matching Amount: $204,236

Contact: Mrs. Ann Shackelford
Communications Director

The B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center will implement a strategic plan focusing on the creation of a viable education department, creation of a collections management plan, and professional development. IMLS funds will enable the museum to employ a full-time museum educator who will develop curricula, lesson plans, and programs that tie to state standards. The museum will train staff in collection cataloging and management with the goal of bringing collections maintenance in-house in the future and making the collection more available to researchers and the public. Continued professional development will be offered to staff with a focus on training in museum-specific skills and nonprofit management.


New York

Museum of Contemporary African Diasporian Arts - Brooklyn, NY
Congressional District: NY_11
Award Amount: $108,954; Matching Amount: $139,543

Contact: Ms. Isissa Komada-John
Exhibition Coordinator

The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts Curatorial Fellowship is designed to immerse young curators of African descent in a training program that will orient them to the conceptual and vocational components of working in the curatorial field. For a year, two fellows will work full time at the museum. Fellows will focus on three areas: organizational structure, professional development in the field, and museum curation. Fellows will work on the development and implementation of the museum exhibitions, public programming, catalogues, publicity, grant writing, and web branding. Fellows will build a professional network through artist talks, symposia, research, travel, and site visits to art organizations and artist studios. The fellowship will culminate in an exhibit curated by the fellows.


North Carolina

North Carolina African American Heritage Commission - Raleigh, NC
Congressional District: NC_04
Award Amount: $149,601; Matching Amount: $154,960

Contact: Ms. Michelle Lanier
Acting Director

The Gathering Place Project, a training and outreach initiative of the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission, will provide statewide assistance to African American cultural institutions. A series of 12 regional workshops on collections care and museum education concepts will be held at locations throughout the state, reaching over 500 participants. The Gathering Place project is designed to improve the knowledge and skills of staff and volunteers at African American museums. In partnership with the International Civil Rights Museum, Historic Stagville, Fayetteville State University, and Bennett College, the project will offer professional development opportunities for students from eleven local Historically Black Colleges and Universities.



National Underground Railroad Freedom Center - Cincinnati, OH
Congressional District: OH_01
Award Amount: $29,841; Matching Amount: $32,420

Contact: Ms. Yolanda Sherrer
Human Resources Director

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center will develop an institutional succession plan to provide professional development opportunities to mid-level managers and to mentor and train identified managers and directors to enhance their leadership and managerial skills. The program directly responds to the need for more highly skilled and experienced professionals in the nonprofit sector generally, and in African American museums specifically. By developing a succession plan, identifying emerging leaders within the organization, and providing the leadership and management training necessary to enhance management and museum-specific skills, the Freedom Center will increase institutional sustainability, reduce turnover rates, and improve leadership capacity.



August Wilson Center for African American Culture - Pittsburgh, PA
Congressional District: PA_14
Award Amount: $72,700; Matching Amount: $73,545

Contact: Ms. Cecile Shellman
Education Director

The August Wilson Center for African American Culture will launch a collections management initiative designed to better understand and manage its collections. The initiative will focus on optimal preservation practices and establishing policies for the handling and exhibiting of objects. It will produce a database, which will house an inventory of collections, and a collections policy, which will document the history and significance of the collection as well as the policies and procedures regarding the receipt, acquisition, cataloguing, storage, and de-accessioning of items in the collection. The museum will hire a collections specialist who will be responsible for creating and maintaining the database.



Lorraine Civil Rights Museum Foundation, National Civil Rights Museum -
Congressional District: TN_09
Award Amount: $97,527; Matching Amount: $227,038

Contact: Tracy Lauritzen Wright
Director of Administation & Special Projects

The National Civil Rights Museum, located at the Lorraine Motel, the site of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, is entering the final phase of design for the renovation of its permanent exhibitions. New Beginnings-New Challenges will address the museum’s need for intensive staff development, training, and education. Specific project activities include professional development opportunities and the development of a staff succession plan that will guide the hiring and training of visitor service staff, tour guides, and docents. Additionally, a partnership with LeMoyne Owen College will provide paid internships to local African American students designed to introduce students to the museum field.



Hampton University Museum - Hampton, VA
Congressional District: VA_03
Award Amount: $77,462; Matching Amount: $113,973

Contact: Mr. Nashid Madyun
Museum Director

Hampton University will use grants funds to hire a registrar to make the museum archives more accessible to scholars, educators, and community members. The museum registrar will transfer the card catalogue references of the 10 million-item archive to a digital system, enabling researchers to get more direct access to rare documents such as original letters and speeches by Booker T. Washington. Additionally, the Hampton University archives will facilitate a program that pairs K-6 students and retired professionals who will use items from the archives to develop thematic presentations. The project will culminate with the presentation of 50 gallery talks over a two-year period throughout the Hampton Roads area.