News & Events - Press Releases

Museum Grants for African American History and Culture Announcement
August 2013

Alabama  |  Delaware  |  District of Columbia  |  Illinois  |  Kansas  |  New York  |  North Carolina

Ohio  |  South Carolina


Birmingham Civil Rights Institute - Birmingham, AL
Award Amount: $74,277; Matching Amount: $83,228

Contact: Mr. Wayne Coleman
Head of Archives

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) will use its grant to implement the Collection Storage Improvement Project, the goal of which is to safeguard its archival and fine arts collections to ensure that they will be available for use by current and future staff, scholars, and researchers. BCRI will 1) install additional SpaceSaver shelving, tripling what’s currently available; (2) install a new art storage system; (3) install environmental monitoring equipment in all collections storage spaces; and (4) promote the improved facilities and accessibility to encourage increased collection usage and donations.



Delaware State University - Dover, DE
Award Amount: $145,194; Matching Amount: $146,798

Contact: Mrs. Emily Cottle
University Archivist

Delaware State University, an HBCU, will use its grant to establish an archival fellowship program in the archival unit of the William C. Jason Library. Funds will be used to hire two nine-month archival fellows, as well as two summer interns. Collection materials will be arranged, described, and made available for use by faculty, students, alumni, and the general public. The archival unit will conduct campus outreach through the creation of a historic campus walking tour.


District of Columbia

African American Civil War Memorial Freedom Foundation - Washington, DC
Award Amount: $88,814; Matching Amount: $101,031

Contact: Ms. Dawn Chitty
Education Director

The African American Civil War Memorial Freedom Foundation and Museum will use its grant for the training of museum staff and volunteers in the interpretation and management of historic sites. The goal of the project is to provide the necessary skills to lead tours of twelve United States Colored Troops sites in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Once trained, the staff and volunteers will then lead tours for local teachers, who will have the opportunity to attend a special workshop that provides a certificate of completion and continuing education credits. Project content, including video of each site, will be available to the educational community, and to the public, on the foundation’s website. The training component will be sustained as a required, self-paced, web-based training program.



Bronzeville Children's Museum - Chicago, IL
Award Amount: $65,625; Matching Amount: $68,325

Contact: Ms. Pia Montes
Program Director

The Bronzeville Children’s Museum (BCM) will use its grant to hire its first outreach coordinator. By having a staff member visit schools, day care centers, and community organizations to make more people aware of the resources offered by BCM, the museum will be better able to achieve its primary goal of educating and building the self-esteem of African American children aged three to nine through exhibitions that inform them about nutrition, exercise, history, and STEM (Science, Technology, Math, and Engineering). A secondary goal is to educate children and families of other races about the significant contributions that African Americans have made to Chicago and to the world.



Kansas African American Museum - Wichita, KS
Award Amount: $149,950; Matching Amount: $173,986

Contact: Ms. Carole Branda

The purpose of the Kansas African American Museum’s funded project is to (1) build the museum’s capacity to provide a youth program in public history; (2) expand volunteers and docents through a new recruitment and training program; (3) upgrade the collections management system; and (4) address collection care and security needs identified in its CAP (Conservation Assessment Program) report. Specifically, the project will create a public history youth program in partnership with the University of Kansas Libraries, serving sixty youth annually; recruit and train twenty-five volunteer docents annually; implement the PastPerfect Collection Management System for much of its collections; and identify the most critical CAP recommendations and fully implement at least forty percent of them by October 2015.


New York

Society for the Preservation of Weeksville and Bedford-Stuyvesant History -
Award Amount: $150,000; Matching Amount: $191,120

Contact: Ms. Jennifer Scott
Director of Research

The Weeksville Heritage Center (WHC) will use its grant to hire a resource center manager and an oral history assistant. These positions will play critical roles in operating the 5th of July Resource Center, a research center for African American, Caribbean, and African history housed in WHC's new Education and Cultural Arts Building. With the opening of the 5th of July Resource Center, WHC will be able to provide public access to its important research resources for the first time in its forty-year history.


Studio Museum in Harlem - New York, NY
Award Amount: $128,000; Matching Amount: $155,555

Contact: Ms. Sheila McDaniel
Deputy Director, Finance & Operations

The Studio Museum in Harlem will use its grant to support Building Blocks, a staff development initiative that seeks to strengthen the museum’s institutional capacity and impact. The project will formalize professional development programs for staff and create a mechanism that allows the museum to train, support, and provide identified skill sets for its middle management team. Building Blocks is so named because it builds on a 2008 IMLS-funded professional development initiative that showed the need for a more structured professional development program at the museum.


North Carolina

Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture - Charlotte, NC
Award Amount: $150,000; Matching Amount: $183,000

Contact: Ms. Catherine McElvane
Director of Education and Outreach

The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture will use its grant to strengthen its public programming. The project will involve restructuring current staff, hiring an additional employee, and studying the center’s current programming and that of other museums. The Gantt Center will create systems, benchmarks, and new budgeting procedures to better deliver appropriate programming. Staff will be exposed to best practices of other organizations and receive training in dialogue facilitation.



National Underground Railroad Freedom Center - Cincinnati, OH
Award Amount: $150,000; Matching Amount: $209,220

Contact: Ms. Dina Bailey
Director of Museum Experiences

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center will use its grant for an apprentice program, recruiting recent talented graduates from colleges and universities across the country, with a focus on those from HBCUs. This year-round program combines on-the-job training and classroom instruction over a two-year employment experience, with the goal of providing the apprentices with the expertise and skills needed to strengthen African American museums and institutions.


South Carolina

South Carolina State University - Orangeburg, SC
Award Amount: $149,956; Matching Amount: $153,002

Contact: Ms. Ellen Zisholtz
Museum Director

South Carolina State University, an HBCU, will use its grant to provide a variety of learning experiences at its I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium. To accomplish this goal, the museum will hire an education assistant; a team will develop a pilot project to integrate the museum into curricula; and consultants will provide training to strengthen knowledge, skills, and creativity in all aspects of educational museums, including educational outreach, cross-disciplinary thinking, innovation, visitor diversity, and lifelong learning.


York W. Bailey Museum - St. Helena Island, SC
Award Amount: $84,458; Matching Amount: $84,810

Contact: Ms. Victoria Smalls
Interim Director of History and Culture

Penn Center's York W. Bailey Museum will use its grant to provide professional development and education to current staff, develop a user-friendly self-guided tour map of the historic grounds, and create a customer survey to assist in assessing and enhancing the visitor's experience. The museum will plan and conduct a docent and volunteer training program, hire a collections registrar, purchase equipment and software, expand resources to support current staff, and make site visits to view the Penn Center's collections at the Wilson Library, UNC at Chapel Hill.