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Awarded Grants Search
The Boise Art Museum will assess its current overall state of accessibility and inclusiveness for visitors with a range of differing abilities and develop a plan to make the visitor experience better for everyone. Museum staff will work with a consultant to review institutional practices and services; establish a baseline; and create a strategy for the museum to better connect with all audiences. The museum will develop procedures to incorporate inclusive practice across departments. The process will help create systemic changes in the museum's approaches to interacting with audiences and provide a welcoming environment for everyone.
The Woodland Park Zoo will carry out a Guest Inclusion Program to empower staff to create an environment that offers meaningful learning experiences for guests with disabilities and allows them to engage with conservation through the zoo. The zoo will partner with an expert consultant in universal design principles to provide specialized best practices training for staff and volunteers. Staff will design an inclusive suite of programs that removes learning access barriers for individuals with disabilities. The new programs will make conservation more accessible and relatable to all guests and hopefully inspire them to take conservation actions.
The Minnesota Children's Museum will provide more sophisticated and systemic professional development to bolster intercultural competence for staff working in every facet of the museum. A group of staff "champions" will participate in train-the-trainer sessions using a consultant-developed intercultural competence curriculum. Those champions will then lead internal training for additional staff. Staff also will participate in the Forum on Workplace Inclusion, a three-day conference focused on workplace diversity, equity and inclusion learning experiences that brings cross-sector leaders together to share practices, exchange ideas, and engage in experiential learning. The museum serves an increasingly diverse community and this training is vital for its diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion work.
The New York Historical Society will conduct a comprehensive, institution-wide social media professional development program. The program will increase the knowledge base and skill set of all museum staff in using social media platforms in accordance with best practices and the organization's social media guidelines. Museum staff will integrate social media into existing digital content creation efforts and develop an internal system for content generation by department. With the new social media skills incorporated in all operations, the museum will increase its local impact; serve greater numbers of students, teachers, and on-site visitors; and significantly expand its national reach.
The Westmoreland Museum of American Art will launch a series of professional development training sessions for museum staff that will result in the implementation of a visitor-centered and culturally responsive interpretive planning process. Training sessions will build the capacity of museum staff across multiple departments to use audience and visitor research and to integrate new understandings into how they shape the visitor experience. The interpretive planning process will strengthen staff resources to serve a more diverse audience and result in the reinterpretation of several permanent collection galleries as well as the interpretative planning for a diverse slate of temporary exhibits.
Pacific Science Center will undertake a two-year institution-wide capacity-building initiative to increase staff knowledge and skills in best practices in data management and how to use new technology platforms. As a result of the project, all staff will utilize the same platforms for productivity, communication, collaboration, and storage needs. A new data governance policy will outline best practices that staff should integrate into their daily work. The training developed during the initiative will be integrated with their human resources on-boarding practices. The project will improve cross-departmental collaboration; empower staff as content/data stewards; and strengthen the institution's ability to deliver on its mission to ignite curiosity in every child and fuel a passion for discovery, experimentation, and critical thinking in everyone.
The Denver Zoo will implement two interrelated diversity and inclusion initiatives. The first will advance access to professional development opportunities within zookeeping for traditionally underrepresented students and young professionals. The second will create inclusive recruitment, hiring and retention practices to reach target audiences. The zoo also will hire a diversity consultant to review current practices and identify specific areas for improvement. Several departments will work in partnership on this effort, including Human Resources, Animal Care, External Relations, and Audience Research and Evaluation. They will apply successful lessons learned within the Animal Care Department's Intern and Apprentice programs across the institution
The Chicago Children's Museum will reinforce its commitment to diversity, equity, access, and inclusion through a professional development project focused on staff training related to race and ethnicity. To develop the program, the museum will work with Enrich Chicago - a cohort of 31 Chicago area arts and philanthropic organizations committed to ending racism and systemic oppression in the arts sector - and the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago. As a result of the training, museum staff will be more effective in working with diverse audiences and will use their newly acquired skills when creating new exhibits, programs, or community engagement strategies.
Pretend City, the Children's Museum of Orange County will strengthen and refine its programs through a more rigorous evaluation process. The project will incorporate evaluation activities into the three primary programs offered by Pretend City: 1) general admission visits to the museum's interactive exhibits; 2) field trips for school-aged children; and 3) the Baby Steps program for infants up to 18 months old. Working with consultants, Pretend City will build an evaluation capacity and framework that will enhance programming and support its work alongside county partners to improve school readiness throughout the county.
The New Children's Museum will conduct cultural competency training for its staff. The two-year program will include experiential, formal, and peer-to-peer training to help the museum better serve a rapidly changing, diverse population. The museum will survey existing members and invested community partners to better understand its current audience and help shape future plans for community outreach. The museum also will create an Advisory Committee composed of community members representing the cultural diversity of San Diego County to share expertise and feedback on the project. The long-term goal of the project is to create a museum that is open, welcoming, and engaging for all families and children.
The Armory Center for the Arts will develop and implement "Kitchen Cabinet to Communal Table: Nourishing Relationships Through the Arts" - a new initiative to strengthen the organization's ability to serve the public through a cultural equity lens and build on a foundation of community organizing strategies. This initiative will include sustained professional development opportunities - including anti-racism and community organizing training - for staff and board members. The Center will add a community organizer position to the staff, hold monthly community engagement events, and organize two corresponding culminating exhibitions. As a result of this initiative, the Center will be better able to deliver culturally relevant programs and respond to diverse community needs.
The Computer History Museum will develop a comprehensive social media strategy and train a cross-museum staff team in the use of social media tools and planning and execution of a new social media strategy. A digital marketing expert will provide training to a social media team of staff members from the collections, development, guest services, information technology, events, and education departments. The social media team will work with the museum's marketing staff to plan and implement a new social media strategy by creating posts and building their own followings. The project relies on a diverse group of staff from across the museum to work closely together, helping to create a more collaborative environment. The project will result in the orchestrated use of social media platforms that can reach new audiences across demographics largely untapped by the museum.
The Chicago Zoological Society - which operates the Brookfield Zoo - will design and implement an inclusion capacity-building program for zoo staff and volunteers in the Conservation, Education, and Training Department. An inclusion professional development consultant will join a team of staff members to create professional development training in inclusive education program development and implementation. A Zoo for All Advisory Council and Inclusive Education Programs Affinity Group will provide program feedback. This professional development training program will allow the institution to better meet the needs of all its audiences.
The Long Island Children's Museum will pursue succession planning by providing leadership development training for its staff and board. The museum will work with a consultant to develop a departure-defined succession plan and an emergency succession plan. Key full-time staff and members of the board will have access to leadership development training. Succession planning and leadership training will help the museum adapt to change quickly and be able to minimize the multi-faceted risks involved with leadership transition. The project also will support the museum's efforts to build a culture of leadership and a strong core of leaders to guide the organization's future.
The Cleveland Museum of Art will conduct a museum-wide evaluation project to promote data literacy and empower museum staff at all levels to confidently integrate data-informed decision-making into their work. The internal evaluation team will develop new methodologies for sharing and integrating visitor studies. The museum's Strategic Plan and its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan both call for audience data to be at the core of all decision-making. In line with those goals, this project will help educate staff to use analytical thinking and will empower them to use data to inform planning and practice.
Thanksgiving Point Institute - a five-venue, non-profit farm, garden, museum, and biosphere complex - will provide professional development training and skill mastery for Horticulture Collection and Maintenance department employees to develop a career training pathway for advancement and increased pay. A needs assessment identified nine areas of emphasis for horticultural proficiency as well as the optimal method of training delivery for the needs of the target audience. Three to five modules will be created for each proficiency and will include 20-30 minutes of video instruction as well as hands-on training working with staff that specializes in that topic. The museum will share digital training videos, available in both English and Spanish, with museums across the country to benefit their employee advancement efforts and horticultural cultivation and maintenance more broadly.
The Tennessee Aquarium will conduct a three-year, cross-departmental project to build capacity in evaluation and develop a sustainable evaluation mindset among its staff. The project will focus on developing staff understanding of evaluation across multiple departments, including education, husbandry, marketing and visitor services. An expert consultant will facilitate the project, helping staff to develop a framework for evaluation, provide ongoing training and coaching, and develop a culture of evaluation across the institution. To help develop evaluation capacity across the Chattanooga region, the aquarium will invite other local informal education institutions to participate in the professional development workshops.
The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum will conduct an extensive two-year professional development program to build capacity in diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion for all staff, board, and volunteers. Facilitators experienced in organizational change, inclusive design methodologies, and accessibility will conduct on-site workshops. The museum will organize two public programs to allow the community to engage in discussions around diversity and inclusion issues in New Mexico cultural institutions. This focus on inclusivity will guide the museum in making decisions that inform every aspect of its operations, from employee culture to the visitor experience.
Ford's Theatre Society will build institutional capacity to establish and sustain an inclusive workplace culture and become a model for other organizations in the public history field. The theatre is the site of President Abraham Lincoln's assassination, and is visited by nearly 650,000 people each year. It is also a working theatre producing plays that often address resonant issues in the American experience. Consultants with expertise in building cultural competency and discussing challenging topics with visitors will provide training and guidance for the project, which will empower front-line staff to responsibly engage with visitors - in person or online - and build an inclusive place for all to experience and enjoy.
The Ohio History Connection - which maintains a network of more than 50 historic sites and museums across the state that are managed by local partners - will conduct an online professional development program to help the network become better managed, more resilient and better able to serve the public. Local partners include parks and recreation departments, travel and visitors bureaus, and other non-profit organizations committed to preserving the stories of Ohio's communities. The professional development training modules will strengthen network members' capacity and organizational management. Modules will focus on topics such as board development; collections handling; engaging with local communities; and essential museum knowledge for boards, directors, staff, and volunteers from outside the museum field.
The Seattle Art Museum will create a Connected Content Plan to drive cohesive museum experiences that are reciprocally responsive to the communities it serves. A cross-divisional team representing leadership and front line staff - including Curatorial, Education and Public Engagement, Museum Services, Communications, Admissions, Development, and Technology - will guide the plan. Past and current exhibition community advisors will be important partners throughout the plan's implementation. The museum will work with a consultant to coordinate and assist in the development of evaluation tools and data collection. The new planning approach will align the in-gallery visitor experience with the museum's core values of equity and engagement.