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Awarded Grants Search
Tribal museums have a valuable role to play as physical repositories of ritual objects that are currently in use, providing protection, care, and respect. The Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum will use its grant to establish a legal framework that spells out the responsibilities of museums in storing and protecting cultural heritage without transferring ownership, and outside a typical loan agreement. Sample legal agreements and contracts, along with standards and procedures, will be developed and made available through outreach programs for other museums to use.
The collection, storage, and care of large objects present ongoing challenges for museums of all sizes. The Center for Wooden Boats will test photogrammetry on large collection items, or macro-artifacts, to measure size and monitor changes over time. Changes in dimension can help alert collections managers to the need for active or preventative conservation treatment. The project team will develop, test, and refine a procedure for using photogrammetry to monitor dimensional stability on a variety of watercraft and other maritime macro-artifacts, resulting in procedures that will ultimately be usable in vastly different museum environments and subject areas.
The Indian Removal, a federal policy that relocated Native American tribes living east of the Mississippi River to lands west of the river, left little historical record and makes teaching and learning about both Native American history and contemporary Native American life in Ohio difficult. To address this undervalued topic, the Ohio Historical Society will implement The Oklahoma & Ohio Exchange, a collaborative project with the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, Ohio K-12 teachers, and Oklahoma K-12 teachers. The project will establish protocols and models that can be translated from this project to other museum partnerships that hope to forge relationships with educators in diaspora populations.
Natural History museums have identified a need to transform their traditional spaces into vital forces for science education. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History (CMNH) will implement “Seeing as a Scientist,” a design-based research initiative to develop and test gallery interventions that have the potential to increase scientific observation skills for family groups. Working with the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments (UPCLOSE), CMNH will pilot a series of quick changes and additions to dioramas and outline expectations for each. Visitors will be observed to measure the degree of engagement in scientific observation (deliberate looking in order to understand visual evidence)--an essential skill for learning across scientific disciplines. The four most promising interventions will be evaluated to determine which are most successful in providing the necessary support for families to establish shared focus and two-way, science-based conversation. The project will include a blog to share information and to disseminate the results to other museums.
The Afro-American Cultural Center will build institutional capacity by upgrading its current infrastructure as it transitions to a new facility in downtown Charlotte. The new facility will be known as the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture. Current staff members will be afforded the opportunity to participate in skill-building professional development programs. The museum will create the new positions of staff curator/collections manager and director of operations/facilities manager to help facilitate the move into the larger facility and implement programs and exhibits. The services of a consulting curator will assist with collections care and exhibition. The ambitious project also includes the enhancement of the museum’s Web site and the establishment of an internship program through a new partnership with Johnson C. Smith University to result in a digitization plan for the museum’s collections.
This grant award will create a greater role for The Black Archives History & Research Foundation to effectively interpret the rich tapestry of African American history in the South Florida region. IMLS funds will be used to hire an assistant archivist/collections manager and purchase equipment and supplies to inventory and accession the collection, which includes primary source materials, personal and professional papers, oral histories, photographs, billboards, and African American art. Students from nearby universities will be introduced to the museum profession through the creation of an internship program that will focus on collections management. Professional development opportunities will be provided for current staff members and an executive assistant will be hired to enhance the public impact of the foundation’s Historic Lyric Theater, allowing more time for the executive director to plan for the future of this growing organization.
The Northwest African American Museum will develop and strengthen its core curatorial capacity by hiring a curatorial assistant to participate in the planning and execution of upcoming exhibitions and related programming. Grant funds will also allow current staff members to build collegial networks by attending national conferences and enhance their skills through participation in intensive workshops on exhibit design and fabrication, developing institutional and collector relationships, techniques of community-based exhibit design, and integrating the discipline of an outcomes-based evaluation process with exhibit and program work. The museum will partner with the University of Washington’s Museology Program to create an ongoing curatorial internship program that will offer students a hands-on introduction to African American museum practice. These interconnected and collaborative initiatives will enhance this young museum’s capacity to interpret the history, arts, and culture of African Americans in the Pacific Northwest.
The American Jazz Museum will recruit ten undergraduate and graduate college students over a two-year period to launch a pilot internship program to catalog the John Baker Film Collection—one of the largest collections of jazz film in existence. Under the guidance of staff and expert consultants, interns will be introduced to museum work while learning best practices of film research and categorizing and gaining skills in the technical work of inspecting and cataloging these rare resources. The students will also research content and write detailed descriptions of films in the collection for use in the museum’s permanent exhibitions, Web site, educational programming, and the development of a film collection box set intended to generate revenue to sustain the program in the future. Museum staff will carefully select interns with specific qualifications based on prior coursework and technical skills.
The Living Classrooms Foundation's Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park will nurture two future museum professionals by establishing a paid summer internship program that will provide academic credit for students and strengthen partnerships between the museum and local universities. Interns will assist with the development of a three-year temporary exhibit plan as well as research to support the overall interpretation of this maritime history site of the first African American-owned shipyard in the United States. Funds will support student stipends and the necessary supplies and materials to support their work. The project will also provide new opportunities for staff members to expand their professional knowledge and skills by attending conferences and continuing education workshops.
In preparation for the opening of its new Education and Cultural Arts Building in 2011, the Weeksville Heritage Center will promote from within to establish a new department and the new position of director of preservation and collections. A fully functioning department of Preservation and Collections will result in a greater focus on historic preservation, collections, and preservation education for the community while dramatically increasing the use of objects and artifacts in the interpretation of this site—one of the first free African American communities in the nation. IMLS funds will also support graduate education courses for the senior education programs curator at Bank Street College.