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The Colfax Railroad Museum will transfer its holdings of railroad-related print, photographic, and video materials into an accessible collection for researchers that is housed in professionally acceptable storage and environmental conditions. Working in coordination with the Head Special Collections Librarian and University Archivist at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, the museum will inventory the collection and arrange for its storage in a facility with appropriate temperature and humidity controls. The project will alleviate the potential for damage to the collection's documents, books, and videos, and make them accessible to researchers for the first time.
Through the Here and Now! Initiative, the Walt Disney Hometown Museum will expand its education and professional development programs for rural educators. The initiative is the result of a collaborative partnership that includes museum staff, K"16 educators, and others from the Marceline, Missouri, community. Educators will have the opportunity to participate in an immersive learning workshop program where they will experience and explore place-based learning opportunities alongside guided instructional planning. The initiative will solidify bonds between the museum and the community, as educators and museum personnel collaborate to strengthen their understanding of how local culture connects to learning.
The Art Center of the Bluegrass will expand its free field trip program and provide arts education experiences to 2,750 elementary students in rural Central Kentucky. The Art Center will collaborate on the program with teachers and administrators of public elementary schools in Boyle, Mercer, Lincoln, and Garrard counties. Each 90-minute field trip will align with the Kentucky Education Standards for Arts and Humanities. During an initial gallery walk, a professional artist will explain the core concepts of the exhibit and invite students to share their opinions. Students will then create their own age- and skill-level-appropriate art in response to the exhibited artwork.
The Children's Museum of New Hampshire will conduct the Advancing Play-Learning in New Hampshire project - a series of educational initiatives designed to help kindergarten teachers, parents, and caregivers implement play-based learning activities in children's early education. The museum will host two open houses and four workshops for kindergarten teachers, as well as an off-to-kindergarten family event. The museum also will develop 12 five-minute videos and use social media outlets to distribute tips and trends on play-based learning. School trips to the museum and museum outreach to classrooms will occur throughout the school year. All the activities are being designed to create deeper learning experiences for children as they explore, discover, and develop literacy, numeracy, and social skills.
The Westmoreland Sanctuary Nature Center and Museum will develop an interactive educational museum exhibition to teach visitors about pond ecology, watershed health, and sustainable resource management and encourage them to become more involved in environmental conservation. The museum will use its pond ecology curriculum, which comports with Next Generation Science Standards, to educate approximately 10,000 visitors annually. The interactive exhibition will include a touchable model of a pond's edge; a roll-out specimen drawer with additional taxidermy such as a green heron, frog, spotted salamander, or freshwater clam; and a microscope with slides of rainwater so students can see the "life" in a drop of water. Multi-level, take-home reading materials aimed at elementary, middle/high school, and adult learners will further promote science literacy and provide concrete ways individuals can get involved in their communities to support sustainable aquatic ecosystems.
The L.C. Bates Museum, a natural history museum on the rural campus of Good Will-Hinckley Homes, will conduct a collections stewardship project that will conserve and safeguard its historic taxidermy mounts, including 24 bird mounts and a blue fin tuna mount. The treatment of the mounts will comply with the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice. The museum will conduct a collections care workshop in partnership with Maine Archives and Museum. They will create a tuna presentation and conservation exhibit, including visitor conservation activities, and develop related programming.
The Nest: A Nature Inspired Space, Design Workshop, and Art Studio is a new project of the Massachusetts Audubon Society's Museum of American Bird Art designed to provide a dedicated space and robust mobile component for pre-K to grade 5 aged children, their families, and educators. Working with community partners, the museum will create an interactive exhibition integrating nature, art, and science, using existing underutilized space at the museum. The project team will test and develop prototypes of content, materials, and equipment for the Nest, along with curriculum and programmatic activities. Through the immersive exhibition and supporting programmatic activities, the museum will better serve an expanded group of learners with nature-based STEAM programs.
The Kentucky Museum at Western Kentucky University will improve the long-term care of its collections by upgrading the mechanical system at the museum's off-site, on-campus storage facility. They will institute a program to monitor the temperature of interior surfaces of external walls and investigate points of external air filtration in the building. The upgraded system and related efforts will help preserve the museum's collection of 30,000 artifacts for future exhibitions, programs, instructional opportunities, student work opportunities, and research.
Heritage Frederick will improve stewardship of the Davis Photography Studio Collection, making it more accessible to scholars, researchers, and visitors. The collection of photographs and negatives documents important events in the history of Frederick County from 1941 to 2009. The museum will conduct an itemized inventory of the collection, noting year, storage location, client names, subjects, and condition of each photo, and create a detailed account of negatives, prints, and formats. The information will help the museum better understand the collection's scope and to plan and budget for its rehousing, treatment, and access.
The Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian will improve protection, sustainable preservation, and access to its collection of jewelry, metalwork, carvings, basketry, folk art, and textiles of the Navajo, Rio Grande Pueblos, and other Native peoples of New Mexico. Protection and preservation efforts will improve environmental monitoring and management; enhance integrated pest management monitoring; and upgrade collections storage and documentation. A new database will facilitate the creation of online exhibitions and provide greater access to the collections for the general public.
The Percussive Art Society's Rhythm! Discovery Center will work with subject area experts to evaluate, revise, and sustainably expand its educational programming and more effectively use inquiry-and object-based learning models. Museum staff will work with an evaluation firm to develop a sustainable assessment system for current and future educational programming. Staff will then conduct an audience needs assessment and environmental scan of similar offerings in the community. The museum will work with an education consultant to develop a series of new programs to better align with audience needs.
The Forbes House Museum will undertake a collections stewardship and public access project to improve physical and intellectual control over its collections and provide more public access to them. Better environmental controls will allow for better storage of the collection. The project team will inventory and number objects and artifacts so that they can be more easily tracked and create a a Collections Management Plan. The museum will also develop training modules on collections care and conduct a training workshop for staff and volunteers.
Zoo New England's Stone Zoo will update its conservation education graphics and interactive experiences for children and families, school groups, and other visitors at its two locations. New graphics will include messages that will foster appreciation for wildlife and encourage conservation behavior. They will update information about the conservation status of the animals to reflect current realities and implement multi-sensory experiences to engage visitors of all education levels, interests, and abilities. A consultant who specializes in behavior change theory will assist staff in considering all the drivers, motivations, barriers, and benefits to changing behavior in relation to conservation, animal welfare, and the environment.
The Museum of Russian Art will conduct object-specific surveys of its entire permanent collection and publish the updated information on its website. The museum will renovate its collections storage area to accommodate recent growth, expanding linear storage from 241 feet to 750 feet through a system of modular racks arranged on rails. A new web-based collections management system will ensure each object receives an updated record and condition report, including any associated photographs. That information will live on the museum's website, making the full collection available to the public for the first time, free of charge.
The Kansas Children's Discovery Center will procure and install three exhibitions to provide new experiences related to STEAM learning for children up to age 11, as well as their teachers and families. The museum will add a large color wheel and giant pixel peg board to the paint gallery. They will replace the existing Bernoulli table - which demonstrates how low pressure creates lift or fast-moving air creates low pressure - with a new, more engaging version. The new exhibitions will expand arts and science learning experiences for visitors, spark an interest in learning, and ignite a desire to study STEAM-related fields.
The Virginia Air and Space Center will enhance its Space Gallery exhibit and increase its capacity to deliver high-quality, high-impact STEM programming. The museum will purchase, adapt, and install three interactive, digital exhibits that will complement existing displays and enhance visitors' overall experiences. The digital exhibits will include a moon lander that users can pilot; a simulated Mars rover and micro-copter that will allow guests to navigate a Martian atmosphere and surface; and a stellar playground where users can build their own solar system through an intuitive touch-interface that incorporates planets, stars, violent supernovas, black holes, and other space oddities. The project team will develop new curricula related to the exhibits to use with school groups and summer camps.
The Pensacola MESS Hall will create and deliver "Science Sprouts" - a four-session classroom program for kindergarten students, including related professional development for teachers. The program will focus on 10 underserved elementary schools in the community, providing students and teachers access to quality math, engineering, and science experiences. Trained museum educators will engage children in hands-on exploration while engaging teachers in effective methods to enhance classroom learning. The lessons will include a story followed by small group activities that reinforce key concepts. To increase the teachers' comfort in program delivery and application to other curricular units, the activities will utilize common materials and connect to children's literature.
The Museum of Rexburg will create a design plan to install a new HVAC system in the 109-year-old historic building. A committee of experts who understand the importance of maintaining the integrity of the historic building and who have knowledge of HVAC systems will guide the project, considering the type of system that will work best for the museum's needs and the specifications for its design and engineering. The committee will then develop a request for the proposal and release it to the public for bids.
The Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center will implement a collections management project to inventory, catalog, and document the museum's artifacts. The museum will hire a collections specialist to conduct a complete inventory of the collection, including cataloguing all digital and material artifacts and making recommendations for their safe storage. The collections specialist will work with the museum's executive director to articulate a collections policy that will guide future preservation, access, digitization, and acquisition activities. As part of this project, the museum will expand the executive director position to a full-time, paid role.
The University of Vermont Natural History Museum will clean and restore its collection of bird and mammal mounts, intended for display when the museum completes a renovation project. Two conservators will train staff in cleaning the 149 mounts and will restore a subset of approximately 30 of the mounts that need repairs. Museum staff will work alongside the conservators to clean the remaining mounts and will install improvements to their cases before replacing them. A preservation specialist will then consult with staff about further steps to mitigate environmental hazards.
Providence College Galleries will implement an Art Collection Documentation, Interpretation, and Digitization project to make part of its art collection accessible online. Through the project, they will digitally photograph 600 modern and contemporary works - including several by prominent women from Providence and New England - and craft interpretive texts and further-research reading lists for 400 of those pieces. All of the newly generated images and texts will go into a collection management system. To make the collection more accessible to broad audiences, they will create and launch an online catalog.
The Boot Hill Museum will bring the collections storage area in its recently acquired facility up to professional standards, controlling for temperature and humidity and making it less susceptible to seasonal flooding. The museum will purchase and install a combination of static and compact storage systems and high-density storage. As objects in the museum's collection are moved from existing storage to a new facility, a review will ensure that all are catalogued and correctly identified. Along the way, the museum will note conservation and preservation needs and, when the move is complete, will prioritize object care based on importance to collection, fragility of the artifact, and the urgency for conservation.
The Jackson Hole Children's Museum will expand its K"5th grade STEAM programs, which serve more than 1,300 students in Teton County School District #1. The STEAM programs provide inquiry-based, hands-on programming to all K"5 District students in accordance with the Wyoming State Science Standards. An additional 500 students are reached through homeschool groups, summer school, childcare and therapy organizations, and nearby Idaho schools. Each two-hour program opens with interactive, student-centered, scientific method lab stations. Students are then challenged to use newly acquired vocabulary and knowledge to complete a hands-on building project. The program is designed to contribute to increasing science and engineering literacy in the community and to support the development of students' 21st century skills.
Triton Museum of Art will improve the management, preservation, and accessibility of works on paper in its permanent collection. The collection includes photographs and graphic-arts prints such as lithographs, drawings, and paintings on paper created by California artists over the last three decades. The museum will hire a fine art photographer to digitize 491 works on paper to improve the quality of existing digital images; many of the existing images were taken with smartphones and some works have never been digitally documented. The museum will also hire a part-time digital imaging assistant to support post-production, including metadata encoding and migration. The project will support efforts to inventory, assess the condition of, and catalog each work in the collection.
The Bisbee Science Lab will solicit five open calls for proposals from science/arts collaborators for the co-creation of locally sourced, affordable, accessible, interactive exhibitions based on selected STEAM themes. They will solicit proposals on STEAM topics such as the environment, water, astronomy, geology, biology, and technology. In addition, they will conduct workshops for potential collaborators who wish to submit proposals. The process will encourage collaborations between STEAM enthusiasts, STEAM experts, artists, students, and any other interested persons or organizations. They will feature the winning exhibitions at two organization-operated facilities.
Gateway to Science will partner with the University of Mary Early Childhood Education Program to develop interpretive materials for a new Science First exhibition. Science First will serve young children up to age 5 and their parents, caregivers, and educators. It will increase adults' knowledge and confidence to facilitate children's science learning experiences in their daily lives. Adult visitors will gain an increased understanding of how children learn science. The program will equip them to engage young children in science inquiry and to build 21st century skills.
The Lehigh University Art Galleries will digitize and describe 1,700 photographs from the university's art collection, which includes works from Latin American and Caribbean artists. They will train staff and students to professionally photograph and/or scan the artworks and collect and assign standardized metadata to the digitized objects. From there, they will create a publicly accessible, searchable online database of the artworks, which will then in turn be discoverable through the university's library discovery layer and the museum's website. The project will make the collection more accessible to faculty, students, scholars, and the general public.
The Housatonic Community College's Housatonic Museum of Art will implement a collections stewardship project to increase storage space for current and future acquisitions and ensure proper care and preservation of its collections. Due to limited storage space, the museum will install new modular units in a reconfigured storage area for framed works on paper. They also will relocate artworks while the new units are installed. After inspecting and evaluating each piece, staff will develop a condition report and enter it into a database that will reflect donation provenance, appraisal valuations, installation and exhibition histories, loans, and current locations.
The Alice Austen House Museum will implement "Redefining the Artist's Garden: The Landscape of Alice Austen's Studio," a project to showcase the importance of photographer Alice Austen's role in gardening society on Staten Island and its implications for Victorian women's social history. A group of scholars will advise the museum on contextualizing, expanding, and updating the museum's interpretation of Ms. Austen's use and documentation of the historically significant landscape surrounding her home, revise educational programming, and build community support for presentation of Austen's history through public park space.
As part of a major expansion project, the Dungeness River Audubon Center on Washington's Olympic Peninsula will develop an interpretive design plan for its exhibitions and educational spaces. A team will design a wildlife observation room with wildlife watching equipment and reference materials and a children's discovery area where groups can gather and learn. The project is led by the Center with the assistance of three formal partners: Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe, Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society, and National Audubon Society. Community stakeholders will provide input, evaluation, and review throughout the design process.
The University of Texas at El Paso's Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens will increase accessibility and collections stewardship of its herbarium through digitization activities. A project manager will lead efforts in barcoding, imaging, and georeferencing 26,897 specimens from the Southwest United States and Mexico. The project will facilitate access to physical specimens and digital images of specimens and enable discovery and use of biodiversity data by researchers, educators, students, artists, and the local community. In addition, the project manager will develop an exhibition and programming to celebrate the local history of science, plants, and art.
The Ava Gardner Museum will conduct a collections stewardship and management project. A collections manager and collections assistant/archivist will inventory, photograph, catalog, and store the complete collection of more than 20,000 objects, including textiles, artwork, photography, media, and other artifacts. They will address humidity and temperature control, handling and storage of textiles, and other issues relating to care and storage of the collection. The museum will photograph and digitally store each object. Once the entire collection is catalogued, scanned, and digitized, the project team will upload the images to use in an exhibition display, allowing visitors to access them through an interactive kiosk.
The Pennsylvania State University Herbarium will expand the online presence of its collection, providing a ready reference for Penn State as well as the larger botanical community. The project team will augment the existing digital herbarium by imaging, transcribing, and georeferencing 32,000 additional plants. The digital images will help reduce the amount of specimen handling by staff, students, and researchers. Penn State will partner with Arizona State University to make the images available to the public through the Mid-Atlantic Herbaria regional data portal. As a result of this project, 90 percent of the Penn State collection will be available online.
The Vermilionville Living History Museum will implement the Historic Vermilionville Artifact Catalog Project to accelerate the cataloging and digitization of approximately 2,000 artifacts accessioned over 30 years. Staff will conduct a thorough, professional inventory of artifacts, including condition reports. The inventory will provide data for decisions about preservation projects and the potential deaccession of artifacts from the collection. The inventory represents a first step in making the collections more accessible, as staff will use the information to create an online database for the Louisiana Digital Library, giving researchers and people of all ages, backgrounds, and interests access to the collection.
The Great American Songbook Foundation will implement the "Preserving the Soundtrack of Our Lives" project, designed to deepen user engagement with the museum's collection. The museum will hire a music librarian to process and catalog a portion of the Paramount Theatre Collection - a collection of more than 150,000 items documenting the music and history of West coast radio stations from the 1920s to 1950s. Researchers, performers, and the public will have access to the catalogued resources via the museum's website. Staff will create a detailed processing manual grounded in appropriate theory and practice to support future processing of the museum's entire collection.
The York County History Center will implement a comprehensive storage plan to move its archives from an existing space to a state-of-the-art storage area. The museum will purchase high density storage units that will preserve the greatest number of documents, photographs, and other archival materials in the smallest amount of space possible, while also leaving room for 10 to 20 years of collections growth. The project will double the space for rare books and documents and create a new cool storage room that will extend the life of photographic collections. The project positions the museum to better serve visitors and researchers.
The Art Museum of Southeast Texas will professionally photograph and digitize the John G. Fairey Collection of Mexican Folk Art, which includes textiles, sculptures, vessels, toys, glassware, and masks. The project team will photograph objects in the collection and create catalog records for each artwork, as well as launching a website to provide online access to the collection. The digitization will increase the accessibility of the collection, allowing local, national, and international communities to benefit from knowledge of its objects.
The Dubuque Museum of Art will upgrade its collections management software through a four-phase project that will increase public access to the museum's collection. The project team will analyze and consolidate collection data into a master file, and photograph and digitize the items. From there they will edit and upload the images into a new online database, training the staff on how to use the new software. The project will increase public access to and foster engagement with the museum's growing collection of American art, including holdings of works by Grant Wood and Edward S. Curtis.
Providence Children's Museum will expand and refine its Cultural Connection program, which brings diverse arts and humanities organizations from across Rhode Island to the museum on a monthly basis to enhance their work with young children and families. Arts organizations will have the opportunity to work with museum staff on translating their content into family-friendly presentations and to co-develop in-depth learning opportunities and events. The museum will provide free tickets or vouchers to families to attend an upcoming event at a featured arts organization. By tapping into the museum's team of experts in child development, arts and cultural organizations will learn how to create accessible experiences and open doors to new audiences of young children.
The Whaling Museum and Education Center will conduct "Big Boned," a new project centered on the permanent display of a full-size whale skeleton. The project will include the installation, marketing, and evaluation of an exhibition and programming designed to benefit a general audience of 20,000 individuals annually. A marine biologist will oversee the fabrication, transportation, and installation of the whale skeleton and exhibition components. "Big Boned" will enhance public awareness and appreciation for the key role whaling played in the country's maritime heritage, strengthen understanding of whale biology, and sensitize the public about the need for whale conservation.
The Old Stone House and Washington Park will expand its permanent exhibition to include a digital component that acknowledges the museum's presence on the land of the Lenape. The museum will develop, implement, and assess the impact of the digital exhibition and corresponding education programs. Museum educators will present hands-on classes at the Old Stone House using real and replica artifacts and other learning materials that support the digital exhibition content. Project activities also will include environmental education programs in the 1.5 acres of gardens that contextualize the Lenape heritage of the site using native and useful plants. The project will benefit the museum's 45,000 annual visitors, including 6,000 students in grades K"12, as well as those who access museum's website.
The Stearns History Museum will update the catalog system for its archival collections by migrating data to a new catalog management system and creating a website interface and new control language and filters to make the catalog more accessible online. The director of archives and archivist will support the migration and clean-up of metadata into the new system. Three work-study students from St. Cloud State University will take the migrated metadata from the archival catalog and build a digital catalog with identifiers for e-commerce. The new catalog will support a new revenue stream for the museum by making it easier for patrons to order photos and prints via the museum's website.
The Port Townsend Marine Science Center will complete an exhibition master plan as part of a larger facility improvement project. The expanded and renovated facility will create an accessible, unified, cohesive exhibition experience with strong content linkages and seamless indoor-outdoor integration that gives the feeling of a journey into the Salish Sea. The process of developing the exhibition master plan will involve formative evaluation, including site visits, surveys, focus groups, and consultations with professionals. Representatives of key stakeholder groups, including educators and students, volunteers, marine conservation professionals, and other Salish Sea environmental organizations will provide input on the plan concept and exhibition content. The center intends to inspire responsible stewardship of global oceans through the development of immersive, informative content.
Historic Saranac Lake will implement a project designed to gain intellectual and physical control over its collection in preparation for a major expansion into the historic home adjacent to the museum. The project represents the next step in the museum's recently completed Collections Preservation Plan. The project team will create catalog records for approximately 2,000 photographs and postcards from the museum's collections. They will rehouse and reorganize objects as needed and give individual objects unique identifiers. They also will create guidelines for appropriate storage in the new location based on data collected in the cataloging process. The catalog records will make it easier for museum staff to respond to requests from researchers and to better utilize collection images for exhibitions and programs.
The Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden will implement a comprehensive program of free community workshops and Spanish-language museum tours. The project is designed to expand the museum's reach and increase engagement with its East Harlem neighborhood and New York City's Latino population. The museum will hold 10 workshops at community partners' locations, at which staff will offer an introduction to the museum. Participants will attend a Spanish-language tour of the museum during one Saturday each month. Each tour will have a theme that will highlight Latin American and Caribbean influences on 19th century New York City.
The Museum of Chinese in the Americas will process and digitize oral history collections central to the museum's archives on the experiences of the Chinese in the United States. A project team will process, time code, and convert the stories from an analog format, preserving them for future use. They will create a system for cross-referencing the stories in all three of the museum's collections databases. To expand public access to the oral history collections, the content will be available online through the museum's Oral History Archive.
Historic Cherry Hill will work with a consulting interpretive planner, designer, and evaluator to develop a fresh plan for the site's interpretation. The plan will incorporate insights from a newly formed Community Advisory Board, audience research, and a panel of interpretive specialists and scholars. The new plan will better address and engage target audiences, including heritage tourists, millennials, immigrants, and refugees. The museum's staff and trustees will work with a team of consultants to identify resonant themes, interpretive messages and modalities, and potential technologies for use in a new interpretive plan and introductory exhibition to the historic house. The plan will help reshape the museum for the next generation of visitors.
Adkins Arboretum will improve the management of its collections data and reach a broader public audience by expanding the depth of information available about its living collections. The arboretum will refine protocols for maintaining its new open source living collections database, add a process for resurveying the collections, and create a collections manual as a shareable resource and reference for staff. The database will include plant-animal interaction information, which will allow staff and volunteers to develop program content and serve as a greater resource to the public.
Hot Springs County Museum and Cultural Center will implement the 1920 Middleton Schoolhouse Immersion Program and Online Classroom project. This project will involve developing curricula based on life and education during the 1920s in rural Wyoming, which will immerse students and visitors in an authentic 1920s school environment with school supplies, clothing, and books from the era. The project will result in a new hands-on learning exhibition in the schoolhouse foyer highlighting rural Wyoming schools. It also will create a website that will include free online curricula, an audio/video tour, and an educational video. The project will benefit Wyoming school children, the neighboring Wind River Indian Reservation, low-income and rural populations, and minority populations in the town of Thermopolis and surrounding counties.
The Living Arts and Science Center, in partnership with other organizations serving residents of the East End and North Lexington neighborhoods in Lexington, Kentucky, will implement the Community LEAD (Learning, Engagement, and Development) Labs project. The project will expand capacity to address the needs of low-income families by increasing access to and use of the museum's Maker Space and Innovation Lab. In addition, the project will develop programs for those spaces throughout the year that engage children, teens, and adults in exploration, project-based learning, and collaborative problem solving. It also will develop a program to involve teens in weekly hands-on career exploration activities and integrate new activities into existing programs, including an afterschool program for middle school students, field trips for elementary and middle school students, and badge-earning workshops for Girl Scouts.