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Awarded Grants Search
The Adirondack Experience will partner with The Wild Center to build the capacity of both institutions to better understand and address the needs, interests, and expectations of the central Adirondacks' diverse populations. Working closely with a team of consultants and diversity and inclusion project advisors, the two museums will conduct audience research with African American and Latino communities. These groups are currently underrepresented in the institutions' audiences, staff, and boards. Full-time and seasonal staff at the museums will participate in cultural competency training. The museums will establish institutional diversity task forces; update recruitment, retention, and professional development policies and procedures; and create a regional community of practice.
The Brookfield Zoo will design and implement a professional development program in evaluation capacity building for the zoo's Conservation, Education, and Training department managers. The training will focus on building their understanding of the role of front-end, formative, and summative evaluation; understanding how logic models support program development and frame evaluation; interest in being a partner in evaluation; interest in evaluation-based program improvement; confidence to apply evaluation findings; and confidence to construct and use logic models. The project is designed to build managers capacity to be partners with the organization's professional researchers and evaluators in order to bolster their ability to develop outcomes-focused programs and act on evaluation findings. The zoo's published framework for educator engagement in program evaluation will provide the groundwork for project activities.
Boston Children's Museum will implement a series of professional development activities for its staff and Board to expand cultural competency and establish sustainable equity, diversity, and inclusion practices and programs. The museum will engage a consultant to lead a program of organizational change management to build trust and collaboration through workshops designed to strengthen communication skills, foster cultural competency, and provide opportunities for leadership development. Staff at all levels will develop a shared understanding of the museum's equity, diversity, and inclusion strategies and practices and their role in creating an inclusive work environment. The museum's audiences will benefit from the staff's expanded capacity to encourage positive intergroup behaviors and attitudes, and address issues of prejudice and bias. The museum's evaluator will develop and administer a variety of tools for staff, trustees, and visitors to evaluate progress toward the project goals.
Conner Prairie Museum will address institutional challenges relating to diversity, accessibility, equity, and inclusion (DEAI) and strengthen its relevance to the communities it serves by implementing policies, procedures, and trainings. Working with external consultants, the museum will identify organizational weaknesses through an audit, assessment, and research phase. Based on these findings, the museum will formulate a comprehensive plan to foster systemic change. The museum will create a series of theatrical vignettes based on the gathered data to provoke self-examination among staff, board, and volunteers. Workshops and role-play activities, led by both internal and external facilitators, will provide staff and volunteers with the tools necessary to be more culturally competent. Summative research will measure shifts or conceptual change in participant opinions, beliefs, and implicit biases.
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco will provide implicit bias training to its entire full-time staff to overcome the challenges bias presents and create a more welcoming and collaborative workplace. The museum will engage a consultant to conduct a series of trainings and follow-up meetings designed to deepen participants' understanding of the ways in which unconscious bias can influence their actions and attitudes. Project activities will also explore ways to mitigate bias to create an environment of equity, inclusion, and belonging among the institution's staff. The museum will work with the consultant to develop a customized plan to evaluate the trainings and the creation of actionable next steps, benchmarks, and tools to track progress toward desired project outcomes.
The Detroit Institute of Arts will adopt an institutional philosophy supported by policy and goals concerning inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility practices to incorporate into its organizational structure and strategic planning. The museum will form an internal steering committee to oversee project activities. Consultants will be engaged to facilitate diversity and inclusion training and conduct an assessment of all board members, staff, and volunteers on diversity and inclusion perceptions. The consultants will work with staff to develop a diversity and inclusion philosophy, policy statement, and goals for staff, board members, volunteers, audiences, and workplace culture. Action plans will be piloted and a team of evaluators will measure the extent to which the project achieves its goals.
The Discovery Museums will develop and implement a continuous improvement process to improve the impact of its STEM programming by strengthening staff skills in using evaluation data. The project will begin with a series of training sessions for learning programs staff based on feedback from youth regarding the quality of the museum's program delivery and an assessment of staff competencies in positive youth development. Participating staff will benefit from a deeper understanding of data and the ability to build ongoing evaluation and positive youth development practices into their program presentations in a way that supports Social-Emotional Learning outcomes. The project will potentially result in a process and set of tools to quantify the impact of STEM programming that can be shared with other informal learning organizations.
The Lehigh University Art Galleries will initiate staff-wide learning in strategic thinking to maximize their impact for the diverse communities that they serve. With the guidance of an external consulting firm, the staff will build competency in strategic thinking, including the use of outcomes-based tools and approaches that align activities with impact. Staff members will participate in immersive knowledge-building workshops, group and individual practice exercises, study trips to nearby institutions, visits with invited guest experts, and ongoing self-assessment. The project will result in a new strategic plan for the galleries that aligns with the larger goals of Lehigh University and includes measurable outcomes and a plan for continuous improvement. To measure success, an external evaluator will conduct a baseline evaluation, a mid-process evaluation, and a summative evaluation at the close of the project.
The Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley, will launch the Learning Technology Studio project to improve the ability of its staff to create digital technology tools and experiences that help youth, families, and adults learn about STEM topics. The museum will design and implement a professional learning program for staff from multiple departments to build their understanding of best and innovative practices for using digital technology to support STEM learning. The program will empower a subset of staff will to collaboratively design, test, and revise technology experiences using simulations, digital media, and AR that can elevate visitor engagement and enhance learning. The museum will create an institution-wide Learning Technology Framework that captures the findings and resources developed through the project to guide long-term professional learning and collaboration in digital technology design and integration.
The Science History Institute will build an institutional culture of evaluation by providing a series of training, mentoring, and coaching opportunities for multi-departmental staff and members of the museum's board. An external evaluation firm will design and deliver a series of workshops addressing outcomes-based program design and evaluation and assessment practices as tools for broadening institutional impact, encouraging risk-taking, and supporting collaboration. The museum will record and edit the training sessions to create a training library, ensuring that new staff and board members have access to this work as part of their onboarding process. Project outcomes will include enhanced skills at all levels of the organization in defining, measuring, and reporting on programmatic impact, adoption of outcomes-based program design and evaluation, and new institutional structures for aligning resources with effective projects.
The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden will scale up its animal welfare practices to establish a sustainable culture of animal excellence. Over 100 full-time employees and many seasonal staff and volunteers will participate in training courses, efficiency coaching, and leadership coaching designed to increase their knowledge, teamwork, and resources surrounding animal welfare. Select animal care staff and curators will attend offsite courses for more advanced training. Based on the priorities outlined in a logic model session, the museum will work with a consultant to deliver customized training for staff in five-day workshops focused on team-building, leadership, and "train the trainer" techniques. Project results will include the creation of an Intranet digital resource center for staff use, a leadership plan for 11 animal management leaders, a public messaging strategy on animal excellence, and documented improvements to animal welfare.
The Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas will implement a professional development program to build its staff, board, and volunteers' intercultural communication and collaboration skills. The museum will provide a series of trainings facilitated by external experts for staff and volunteers. These trainings will center on the topics of inclusive hiring, recruitment, and retention as well as communication and collaboration with diverse communities. The museum will host four community forums to solicit input from the public and gauge external perspectives on project progress. Twelve staff members will attend professional conferences, where they will share institutional progress and contribute to conversations about field-wide change. The museum plans to complete an institutional plan addressing diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion. This will also incorporate collections and interpretative plans and inform ongoing strategic planning.
The Museum of Science, Boston will integrate inclusive and culturally-responsive practices into its ongoing evaluation work. The museum's Research & Evaluation department will lead the project, which will include professional development workshops conducted by external evaluators for museum staff followed by mini-experiments to allow participants to practice what they've learned. The project is prompted by recent literature suggesting that many of the currently employed methodological frameworks for research and evaluation are inherently biased in ways that do not support the goal of broadening participation of underrepresented audiences. The museum will produce a position paper that outlines how it will sustain the integration of inclusive and culturally responsive evaluation practices into its work as well as training materials that can be used by staff after the project ends.
The McWane Science Center will improve learning opportunities for its visitors by establishing an institutional science engagement interpretive plan and training staff members and volunteers through the National Association of Interpretation workshops and certification programs. Staff and volunteers will learn the theory and practice of oral interpretive communication skills in a 32-hour training program, followed by a formal testing and certification process. Two education staff members will be trained to serve as Certified Interpretive Trainers. One exhibit staff member will become a Certified Interpretive Planner, which will help ensure that the knowledge and best practices learned through the project will be incorporated into the museum's ongoing comprehensive planning activities. The museum will work with an external consultant to develop the science engagement interpretive plan, which will guide the reformatting of education programs and development of new visitor experiences.
The National Museum of Women in the Arts will launch a professional development program to build institutional capacity for creating original video resources, increasing its ability to serve the needs and expectations of diverse audiences. Fourteen staff members, representing eight departments and varying leadership levels, will increase their knowledge and skills related to video technology/production, best practices, and effective storytelling methods through in-person classes, webinars, and online courses. The learning cohort will continually share information and skills with other museum staff and create process, workflow, and strategy documents to establish sustainable capacity to use video and stories efficiently and effectively and deliver essential content to the museum's visitors.
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry will build the foundation for long-term institutional change by addressing critical elements of its new Equity Action Framework to embed equity, diversity, accessibility, and inclusion (EDAI) into the fiber of its institutional culture. Outside organizations will present at quarterly staff meetings on critical topics to build a stronger baseline understanding of critical EDAI topics. A staff Equity Education Action Committee will coordinate the trainings and develop EDAI modules for OMSI's new employee and volunteer orientations. The museum will empower other teams to host community listening sessions, explore partnership relationships, and develop systems and tools to support board development, program delivery, and hiring and selection policies and practices. A series of evaluation activities with public program participants, staff members, and community partners will track success in achieving the project goals.
The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum will implement a comprehensive leadership training and development program to support long-term institutional sustainability. With the goal of developing the next iteration of professional leadership, the museum will expand current training opportunities to a wide variety of staff members. This will help staff supplement their content knowledge with additional leadership and managerial skills. The museum will partner with the University of Texas at Austin and others to develop custom trainings on leadership, biases and decision making, organizational communication, change management and organizational culture, and diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. The project will also develop a training curriculum for onboarding new staff members.
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will train staff members on the design and delivery of accessible content for its public programs and exhibits. The museum will engage the Institute for Human Centered Design to facilitate training, guide the testing process, and evaluate a model for sustainability. All 144 staff members will participate in five trainings, increasing staff's competency in accessibility and inclusion. The staff members who work most closely with visitors will participate in a hands-on program that supports the facilitation of systemic institutional change. The museum will establish an advisory committee of diverse community partners to ensure that the needs of external audiences are consistently represented.