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The Museum of Science, Boston, will use universal design principles to develop and create the accessible, immersive exhibition, “Adventure! Exploring With Technology.” The museum will design the exhibit to represent a realistic Arctic environment. The exhibit will include interactive opportunities for visitors to engage with a range of technologies employed by scientists, researchers, and explorers. Working closely with an accessibility advisory committee as well as museum visitors with a wide range of ability levels, the museum will test universal design strategies to measure their effectiveness. The museum will conduct evaluation to ensure that visitors can physically interact with the space, cognitively engage with materials, and socially interact with one another. The project team will share a summative evaluation report and white paper that documents the project learnings.
The Long Island Children's Museum will plan, research, and develop the foundation for a permanent exhibition, “Saltwater Stories: Lured to the Sea.” The exhibit will explore local maritime traditions and their impact on the historical, cultural, and economic development of Long Island. Museum staff will work closely with evaluation and exhibition development consultants to research, develop, and test four possible themes for the exhibit. Key project activities will include content and thematic research, meetings with community advisors, site visits to other institutions, formative evaluation, and the creation of key documents to support the creation of the exhibition. Target audiences will review the museum's preliminary design, and focus group participants will discuss formats and techniques to promote lifelong learning for children and families.
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will create a free, bilingual educational website that will document the Latina/o/x mural-making culture that emerged in San Francisco's Mission District during the 1970s. During this time, murals served as powerful tools for addressing pressing socio-political issues and fostering a pan-Latina/o/x culture within the neighborhood. The museum will interviews artists - many of whom are now in their 70s and 80s - in order to capture their oral histories. The project team will digitally preserve endangered and lost mural sites and associated materials and create new scholarship. The Mission Murals Project will result in an online resource for artists, teachers, students, scholars, and the general public that will increase awareness and understanding of the Mission District's mural-making culture. An external consultant will conduct formative, remedial, and summative evaluation during the project.
Gunston Hall will conduct audience research, front-end evaluation, and rapid prototyping to help design connected interactive learning areas that meet the changing needs of audiences of all ages. The Families in Focus project will use learnings from staff research on museum spaces, analysis of historic house visitor evaluation data, and visits to more than three dozen sites to better understand the potential for visitor experiences. The project team will research and prototype ways for visitors to engage in free play and guided inquiry within the mansion, garden, and kitchen yard. They will also develop interactives to make these spaces more intellectually accessible and engaging. The completion of rapid prototyping and formative evaluation will position the museum to engage in final fabrication and installation of the new interactives.
Mystic Aquarium will develop, fabricate, and implement “Shark Encounter,” an interactive, multimedia, and fully-accessible exhibit and programming experience focused on sharks and shark conservation. Aquarium staff will partner with experts and stakeholders on the project. Exhibit elements will include a live shark “touch pool” and digital touchscreen interactives. Through the exhibit, audiences will learn more about sharks, the scientists who study them, current threats facing sharks, and how to support shark conservation. A swimming sharks video projection will provide a virtual underwater experience for visitors. The museum will also produce education and outreach kits with hands-on materials for use by exhibit interpreters as well as onsite and offsite educators. Public education events during Shark Week in 2020 and 2021 will complement the exhibit and engage audiences in the importance of shark conservation.
The Museum of History & Industry will conduct formative evaluation and community research to guide the redesign of its core exhibit, “True Northwest,” which traces the history of Seattle. The museum will engage external consultants to facilitate the project, which will begin with a marketing study to understand public perceptions of the museum and motivations for visiting. The museum will also engage the community in focus groups to explore physical access issues. Experts in developmental and physical disabilities and racial equity professionals trained in issues of representation will review the current exhibits. The findings will guide the creation of a scope of work and inform the future development of the new core exhibit experience.
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis will design and install "Malala's World" as a new component of its permanent exhibition, "The Power of Children: Making a Difference." The project team will create Malala's home as an immersive experience to tell the story of Malala Yousafzai, a young girl from Pakistan who advocated for education and equality under the threat of the Taliban. The exhibit space will also include first-person theatrical performances, third person theatrical room tours, sound and video shows, and activity area experiences. The museum will conduct formative evaluation to facilitate adjustments and redesign as the exhibit is being created, followed by summative evaluation activities to measure visitor impacts. The museum will develop a unit of study on the exhibit for grades 6-9 based on Indiana and national academic standards for social studies and language arts.
The Watkins Museum of History will complete the development and installation of the final phase of its core exhibit areas. Project activities will include research, exhibit content development, and script writing and editing. The museum will engage external contractors to prepared detailed designs, fabricate interactive elements, and install the exhibits. The exhibits will explore how economic development, communications, and entertainment in Lawrence, Kansas, from the late 1800s to the early 2000s have shaped the present day community. The project will be designed to support multiple learning styles for rural and urban residents of the region, heritage tourists, and students from kindergarten to university level.
The Palo Alto Art Center will collaborate with two school districts to develop, implement, and evaluate a more cost-effective model for its arts-integrated curricula for K to 5th grade students. The project builds upon the museum's Cultural Kaleidoscope program. Run by the two districts for more than 25 years, the program uses the visual arts to build bridges between diverse communities with dramatic academic achievement disparities. The museum will develop new curriculum packages that are aligned with national standards. These will support the development of critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills. A core component of the curricula will engage students in exercises that build empathy and cross-cultural understanding. The project will also help classroom teachers use the arts-integrated curriculum to teach social studies, science, and English language arts. The project will also provide professional development on the new arts-integrated curricula for the museum's teaching artists.
The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston will better support teens as they navigate into adulthood by extending its engagement and launching a pilot program for Teen Program alumni. Activities will include out-of-school programs that span two school years/summers and empower more than 4,500 teens to develop as individuals, creatives, and leaders. The programming will emphasize the development of social/emotional well-being, empathy, community, a person-centered approach, and contemporary art engagement. The programs will include many students from the Boston Public Schools who are low income, English Language Learners (ELL), former ELL, or students with disabilities. The museum will conduct research to understand outcomes for more than 200 Teen Program alumni. The findings will help strengthen the program's infrastructure for communicating and connecting with alumni and expand alumni program opportunities. The project will also serve teens and educators from around the country through a 2021 Teen Convening.
The Leventhal Map and Education Center at Boston Public Library will foster increased critical thinking and visual information literacy skills through an initiative focused on how maps influence ideas, emotions, and opinions. A six-month-long exhibition, titled Persuasion, will feature maps dating from the 15th century to present. These maps were created during periods of colonization, political elections, commercial enterprises, military conflict, and social movements. The initiative will also include a series of public talks with scholars, workshops for adults, and K to 12 programs. A two-day workshop for middle and high school teachers will focus on integrating digital mapping tools into their curriculum. The exhibition will be presented during the 2020 presidential election season when voting and other data maps will be part of the public discourse. The touchscreens will be frequently updated with maps displaying election data.
Building on more than five years of community research, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science will redesign and expand its Space Odyssey exhibition with a renewed focus on inclusive and accessible informal learning opportunities. The museum will contract with an external design firm to produce and install new exhibits, software, and media. The museum will also train staff and volunteers. The museum's audience research and evaluation team will evaluate the exhibit after launch by involving the same stakeholders from the community research phase. This evaluation will gauge the exhibition's success in incorporating their needs and values. A highly qualitative product evaluation will be conducted six months after the opening to measure the exhibition's success in meeting its performance and experience goals.
The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens will design, fabricate, evaluate and install three new components to enhance learning opportunities for its visitors. A learning hub will provide seating and shelter, information on gardens and facilities, and in-depth information about a particular garden or topic. The learning hub will be tested and evaluated as a prototype for future hubs to be located throughout the garden. A new nature play space with hands-on activities and interactive structures will encourage young children to learn about plants and nature through music, hands-on creations, and imaginary play. Improved and critically-needed orientation and wayfinding elements will also be installed at the garden's new entrance. The project will introduce multimodal learning experiences to the site as part of a 20-year Master Interpretive Plan.
The Cincinnati Museum Center will develop a permanent exhibition to showcase its invertebrate paleontology collection and develop related educational programming that builds on a strong commitment to gender equity. Using focus groups, prototypes, surveys, and feedback from existing programs, the museum will incorporate community input from key audiences into the design of the 4,800 square-foot immersive gallery, which will blend science, history, and technology. The museum will engage external designers to create schematic and final exhibit designs. The museum will develop and test related educational programs for families and students, with a special focus on engaging girls ages 7 to 14 in STEM activities.
The Denver Zoo will enhance and expand its nature play program for early childhood learners by refining its work with family groups. Targeting at-risk students at three urban schools, the zoo will conduct a needs assessment, expand its advisory family group, and offer nature play modeling and coaching workshops. The zoo will redesign its current family engagement programming and offer new activities, such as pop-up learning events and take-home kits. The project will help parents and caregivers become active partners in their children's nature exploration during their 3- to 5-year-olds' critical brain development phase. The zoo's Nature Play Facilitation Training Module will be enhanced to focus on the specific needs of an urban audience, and zoo staff members will attend enhanced nature play facilitation training.
The Thinkery will develop research-based exhibit materials and community resources to support adults as learning facilitators for their children. The museum will formalize a decade-long research relationship with a nationally recognized expert in child development and learning to establish new infrastructure and capacity to translate best practices from learning sciences into museum operations. The museum will create a 180-foot learning hub that blends elements of an exhibition and research space, allowing the prototyping and evaluation of exhibits by engaging visitors as active participants in research studies. The project team will produce bilingual exhibit prompts cards, signage, and enhancements to educate and inform parents by offering STEAM knowledge, inquiry questions, play-based learning and child development information. Additional project activities will include the development and implementation of related staff trainings and the establishment of an online parent resource gallery.
The Farnsworth Art Museum will expand, enhance, and evaluate its arts-integration education programs for rural, mid-coast Maine schools. This will help enrich the Maine Studies curriculum and other curricula studied by grades three through twelve. To support this project, the museum will increase dedicated staff time and compensation to support the program. The team will work with pedagogy consultants to add program content. They will also recruit more teaching artists, provide them with training, and conduct program-specific training for museum docents. The project will also support opportunities for staff to attend regional and national conferences. The museum will expand access to its dedicated arts-integrated education website, which provides curricular resources, access to the museum collection, and downloadable materials for teachers. The project will conclude with an exhibition of student creative work related to their studies.
The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey will work with the Elizabeth Public Schools to engage and empower immigrant students and build English-language skills by implementing curriculum and lesson plans in connection with its contemporary art exhibitions. The project team will develop the curriculum for 8th grade bilingual classes and for 9th grade point-of-entry students. The new curriculum will align with existing Spanish, English Language Arts, and Social Studies curricula. The project will strengthen the relationship between the museum and the public school system while providing a visual, nonlinguistic entry point to language learning for an expanding community of English Language Learners from disparate languages and cultures. An external project evaluator will develop an assessment plan to measure whether participants incorporated knowledge, gained skills, and changed attitudes in their classrooms and at the museum.
The Portland Children's Museum will open a new exhibition, “Drip City,” which focuses on water as a precious natural resource that has shaped the region's geography, weather, and culture. Following an IMLS-funded evaluation and design process, the museum will engage a local fabrication company to construct and install exhibit components that explore concepts in science, engineering, and art. The museum will also engage community members in the design and testing of associated programs that target families and children ages 0 to 7. Museum staff will evaluate all exhibit elements to ensure they are working properly, accessible as intended, and making children's learning visible to adult audiences.
Young At Art Museum of Broward will partner with the University of Miami/Nova Southeastern University's Center for Autism & Related Disabilities to strengthen its ability to serve children and adults with autism as well as others with behavioral and social challenges. Building on an earlier phase of testing and piloting, the museum will modify exhibit galleries including the designation of quiet/cool down areas with sensory kits, visual guides, and alert maps identifying areas with loud noises. The museum will augment art stations with theme-based, sensory-rich activities. Museum staff from all departments will participate in quarterly training sessions and the museum will create a dedicated page on its website to offer a sensory friendly guide to the museum and tips for visiting. A Sensory Sunday will be offered once each month, and a Parent Advisory Group will provide ongoing support with the initiative.
Building on program assessments and feedback, the Plains Art Museum will scale up its youth leadership-building program, Buzz Lab. The paid summer internship program engages teens in student-led, project-based learning in art and science. The program inspires the teens to lead community change while highlighting the art museum's role in addressing community needs. The program centers around the museum's pollinator garden, and the next phase of the project will engage interns with new and diverse project partners and guest speakers. For example, the interns will help find creative ways to streamline Buzz Lab projects for mass appeal and engage citizens around the pollinator crisis. The museum will also create a support network for interns entering post-secondary education programs by leveraging relationships with regional universities. Project assessment will be responsive to intern feedback so the teens become co-collaborators on the program's future.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio will expand its professional development program for educators in Chicago Public Schools and surrounding suburbs with low-income populations. The Teaching by Design program integrates design-based inquiry and problem-solving into K-12 curricula. It connects Wright's design philosophy to contemporary issues in STEAM subjects. Following a multi-year pilot, the trust will bring the project to scale by delivering 12 professional development seminars, developing 100 new lesson plans, enhancing the program's online platform, evaluating the project's short- and long-term impact, and cultivating a sustainable Teaching by Design learning community. The seminars will provide educators with a fully immersive artmaking and design experience that can be replicated in the classroom and connected to cross-curricular themes and learning standards. The project aims to reach 90 educators in at least 40 schools, 9,000 students, and an estimated 3,000 website users.
ECHO will enhance its capacity to deliver impactful STEM learning experiences for its visitors through the implementation of a re-energized volunteer program. The museum will research innovative practices from the field and build upon best practices from across institutions to overhaul its volunteer training and management systems. Project activities will include building a blended training curriculum, in which volunteers participate in asynchronous and in-person interpretive content, and diversity and inclusion trainings. The museum will also improve its volunteer tracking systems, strengthen staff supervisor training, and revitalize its volunteer recognition and engagement activities. A community of practice will engage three other science centers to inform project activities and assist with the dissemination of a set of training tools adaptable across institutions.
The Kohl Children's Museum will create a new museum entry installation called Gateway to Learning, which will help parents and caregivers foster early learning during their visit. The museum will work with external exhibit design and fabrication firms to produce five exhibit components for the new installation. Four of the educational components will demonstrate how play experiences in the museum can positively affect cognitive, social/emotional, language, and physical development. A fifth exhibit component will highlight how caregivers play a pivotal role in fostering development and promoting play-based learning. The museum will measure the achievement of project goals through visitor surveys and follow-up interviews.
The Shelburne Museum will conduct a needs analysis and audience research to develop a strategic focus for improved visitor orientation and engagement. The museum will work with two planning consultants, who will conduct an internal assessment, which will include a seminar on Imaginative Education theory for staff members involved with visitor experiences. The consultants will work with key internal and external stakeholders to gather detailed information on current strengths and weaknesses in visitor orientation and to develop materials to help shape visitor orientation concepts to be tested in subsequent phases of the initiative. The project will result in an actionable visitor orientation enhancement plan and an implementation timeline to guide fundraising, design, and related structural work.
In response to a growing demand for early learner, in-school services for New York City's Universal Pre-kindergarten program, the Brooklyn Children's Museum will expand its outreach to schools in surrounding districts. The museum will create 24 new collections cases containing cultural and natural science objects. It will also develop related curricula and activity guides. A pre-K educator advisory council will work with the museum to ensure that the themes of the cases align with New York State Learning Standards for Pre-kindergarten and Pre-school students. The museum will also provide professional development workshops for up to 100 pre-K educators to support inquiry and object-based learning.
Strawbery Banke Museum will develop and implement new interpretive strategies and programs in the Captain Walsh House, an eighteenth-century historic home located on the museum's ten-acre campus. The reinterpretation of the house is informed by a Long-Range Interpretive Plan developed through an IMLS-supported planning process. The first-floor rooms will be furnished with reproductions which visitors can use and handle, creating an immersive, interactive experience and allowing for testing of new pilot programs for specific audiences such as teachers and visually impaired visitors. Project activities will also include the creation of an accurate period garden and the development and provision of resource materials and training for staff. Visitor feedback will be gathered throughout the project to guide the museum in refining the interpretive strategies and programming for visiting schools and the general public.
The Sun Valley Center for the Arts will develop an online resource center for Idaho teachers to help them incorporate art into a variety of curriculum lessons. The project team will create eight classroom lessons and format them for the new website, which will be accessible to teachers throughout the state. Each lesson will include detailed instructions, materials lists, images, and videos that will model classroom implementation. The museum will provide a stipend for art supplies for a select group of teachers who will evaluate the lessons and offer feedback to the staff. The new tools are intended to increase student self-expression and engagement with learning at the middle school level in Idaho's schools, three-quarters of which are in rural areas.
The Montpelier Foundation will complete the final design, fabrication, and installation of an interactive exhibition to foster conversations about fairness, justice, and race between children and their caregivers. The museum will work with an exhibit design firm and media specialists to complete the concept design. This design will be peer reviewed by museum colleagues, early childhood education specialists, and child psychologists. A committee from the Montpelier descendant community will also review the content design and assist with the creation of an audio collage. Following on-site beta testing, the museum will finalize design, graphics, and text and complete the installation. Interpretive staff members will be trained on methods to engage early learners. The museum staff will coordinate two rounds of evaluation by observing and speaking with visitors in the space and by conducting onsite and online surveys.
With input from its community and benchmarking against other natural history museums across the nation, the Delaware Museum of Natural History will transform its exhibits from static, taxonomy-based dioramas to interactive, ecosystem-driven engagement areas with more relevant STEM content and stories. The museum will work with an exhibit design firm to develop interpretive content, exhibit design, and related elements. Project activities will also include testing of exhibit prototypes and workshops for museum staff on best practices in evaluation. A final design development package will be presented to the Board of Trustees for approval and the museum will change its name to the Delaware Museum of Nature and Science.
The American Museum of Natural History will pilot a new facilitation and visitor engagement strategy that reflects current standards and research on science education and learning. The project will shift the training of its diverse cohort of college youth facilitators to prepare them to engage visitors in deeper understandings of science, rather than simply conveying facts. The museum will develop and implement a new facilitator training curriculum that integrates teaching practices aligned with Next Generation Science Standards. By positioning youth as effective facilitators of conversations, observations, and practices of science, the museum aims to further their interest in the possibility of future careers in the museum field. An external evaluator will work with museum staff to measure the strategy's impact on visitor engagement and facilitators' attitudes about their careers. The museum will document and disseminate project results to the field.
The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate will develop a project-based learning program to train teachers to facilitate civil discussions about critical policy issues among students with differing perspectives. The pilot Civil Conversations program will be designed for 8th and 11th graders taking advanced placement government classes. The museum will engage a formal partner to assist with program development and train at least eight teachers to test the model with 200 students. Following the testing phase, the museum will train 10 master teachers from other states, who will share the program with teachers in their regions. The project will also create a community of practice for participating educators. An evaluator will design instruments to assess changes in educator and student knowledge, skills, behavior and attitudes.
Monticello will develop a handbook for facilitating effective teacher learning at historic sites and museums. The handbook will be based on earlier IMLS-funded research and teachers and museum educators' feedback on about what and how teachers learn from professional development programs at historic sites and museums. Sample discussions, case studies, and profiles from teachers will be combined into a how-to guide. This will help museum educators assist teachers in building connections between museum resources and their classroom practice. Project activities will also include the redesign of a website to disseminate resources such as instructional videos for museum educators. The museum will facilitate virtual and on-site workshops to share project findings and best practices for facilitating professional development for P-12 teachers.
The Science Museum of Virginia will launch a three-year initiative that empowers participants to effect change in their neighborhoods using citizen science as a tool. The museum will lead a team of residents, business owners, government officials, nonprofits, and health system partners in assessing air quality concerns at the neighborhood level and implementing evidence-based solutions. The museum will also introduce a new platform and interactive software system to display air quality data from this project as well as other visualizations reflecting citizen science data captured in other initiatives. An external evaluator will conduct front-end and formative evaluation to address challenges as they occur and assist the museum in disseminating learnings from the project to the field. The project is designed to build community consensus on strategies necessary to build resilience to climate change while strengthening the museum's position as a catalyst for science-based decision-making.
Chabot Space & Science Center will expand its work in youth development and community outreach by launching the Oakland Connected Learning Partnership program targeting underserved children and youth. Over the two-year project period, the museum will hire 12 teens each year from a Title I high school as paid interns. Museum educators will provide training and mentorship to prepare the interns to present STEM-based after-school programs for children aged 6-12 at local Girls & Boys Clubs. The teens will help to organize and present additional project activities, including Community Science Events at local libraries, public schools and places of worship. Each year of the project will culminate with a free Community Day at the museum for all participants. Community listening sessions at strategic intervals will help the project team understand resources and needs and obtain feedback on the program.
The Children's Museum of Manhattan will install learning hubs for children ages 0-3 in eight homeless shelters across Harlem, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. Project activities will be designed to respond to city-wide challenges surrounding the growing number of families living in homeless shelters and barriers to early learning for children in low-resourced communities. The museum will install graphics and exhibit components in the shelters and design and implement skill-building workshops for approximately 700 children and their adult caregivers. Project activities will also include organizing and leading community meetings and sustaining relationships with each shelter through family festivals, online resources, and other strategies. The museum will work with an external evaluator to measure program impact and sustainability.
Explora will expand its work with local students to increase their awareness of STEM career fields. Working primarily with low-income teens of color and their families, the museum will partner with local organizations to co-create an inquiry-based exhibit that highlights STEM research and practice in Albuquerque that can lead to career paths for jobs in STEM fields. The museum will revise its current exhibition development process to reflect a community engagement strategy that it has used successfully for public programs, incorporating community voice, public knowledge, and local STEM content experts. Additional project activities will include capacity-building for museum staff to improve their ability to engage deeply with community partners and a series of Teen Science Cafes in the new exhibit space that provide opportunities for teens to meet and talk with local STEM professionals and employers.
Discovery Place will create a community engagement model to inform the development of new exhibition and program experiences as it plans for a new building and interpretive exhibitions for its Discovery Place Nature facility. The two-year project will support planning activities designed to assess community needs and identify community assets. The museum will develop new community partnerships and expand existing ones, match organizational resources to community challenges and problems, and test approaches for elevating the connections between nature and the lives of Charlotte's residents. The museum will also collaborate with peers who are working across the country on community engagement projects and consultants with expertise in audience research/evaluation and diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion. To sustain the work of the project, the museum will apply findings across its multi-facility organization, adapting approaches for application to its other three museums.
The Ohio History Connection will continue its work to empower New Americans to become community leaders and advocates for their communities of origin. Originally funded through the IMLS Community Catalysts initiative, the project connects New American leaders with established community resources and fundamental civic education in order to build a base of knowledge that increases their sense of belonging in the larger metropolitan community. The ENACT Ohio project will create a second, one-year cohort of emerging New American leaders in Central Ohio. The museum will implement the program with multiple partners including the Columbus Metropolitan Library, Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services, Bhutanese American Student Organization, and the Dayton Metro Library. The museum will combine the learning of the first two cohorts into a sustainable model and implementation guide to assist other organizations in empowering New Americans in their own communities.
The Aspen Art Museum will explore the role that art plays in catalyzing connectivity and civic engagement in rural communities. The museum will establish a Leadership Network of arts and culture leaders from fourteen towns across western Colorado. A summit will facilitate the identification of both collective and targeted community needs helping the museum to develop a core program criteria to support a variety of activities in each community such as lectures, art making, performances, bilingual discussions, and community exhibitions. The project team will use evaluation data to refine the core program criteria and develop promising examples of new program designs. The museum will host a Rural Art Museum Convening for education staff from rurally based art museums across the United States to share project findings, in addition to creating reports that will be posted online for the field.
The Desert Botanical Garden will work with community partners to sustain a joint project to improve community wellness through affordable access to healthy food, active living, and cultural roots. The museum will hire a bilingual community engagement and marketing coordinator to develop activities to support the sustainability of a 19-acre farm and community garden that is transforming a food desert in the economically disadvantaged south Phoenix community into a food oasis. The coordinator will develop, promote, implement, and assess plans, tools, and resource materials that increase authentic communication, collaboration, and connection with the community, with the objective of increasing participation and farmers market sales. Project activities will include a series of onsite community events, communications systems for participants, a new website, a social media campaign, and events with four nearby elementary schools.
The Cincinnati Art Museum will expand art experiences for new and existing audiences by developing a comprehensive accessibility audit and plan to accommodate more visitors and better reflect the communities it serves. The museum will establish an accessibility community advisory council and work with individuals in the disability community and a variety of local partners to become a leader in accessibility practices for regional cultural institutions. A robust series of project activities will include a baseline survey of staff, community partners, and visitors followed by focus groups to identify accessibility needs and concerns. The museum will plan and implement a mandatory staff and volunteer accessibility training program. The project will also include a review of the museum's building, website, hiring policies and marketing materials and updating of policies and procedures with the assistance of community partners and the focus groups.
Arts Westchester will implement the Teen Leadership Through the Arts Program, designed to enhance civic engagement, develop communication and leadership skills, and improve self-confidence and self-expression for students in grades 7-12. The project will double the attendance in an existing Teen Tuesdays & Thursdays program, providing a series of 42 artist-led workshops each year relating to the current exhibitions over a three-year period. The museum will establish a more structured Teen Leadership Council for older teens by engaging them with artist-led workshops, docent-led tours, community-based art projects, and peer-to-peer presentations. The museum will partner with the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester and five other youth organizations and local shelters to identify and involve youth in transition. A third-party evaluator will collect qualitative feedback to measure the museum's success in reaching and engaging this target audience.
Imagine Children's Museum will work with community partners to develop the Positive Futures program to support resilience in children who have experienced trauma. The program will focus on two populations--those in kinship care and children who have an incarcerated parent or loved one. A taskforce of museum staff and community partners will incorporate the experiences learned in a previous pilot program by adding elements to specifically address social emotional and core life skills. Using playful learning formats, the museum will present monthly programs for 12-15 families/group, and take-home materials will build on the learning at the museum between sessions. Working with an evaluation consultant the project team will measure child learning and refine the programs based on feedback from caregivers. The museum will also develop a playbook for other children's museums interested in offering similar programs for their communities.
The National Public Housing Museum will train a diverse group of community-based oral historians and implement plans for an oral history archive of stories of people who lived in public housing. The museum will work with a social justice archivist to develop and present a workshop series with an emphasis on collection, preservation, archiving, and ethics. Participants who complete the training will become part of the Oral History Corps. The project includes developing a finding aid for the archive that shares authority with the narrators in preserving their stories. Museum staff will use the oral histories in a monthly series of programs as a catalyst to inform public policy around housing insecurity. In collaboration with faculty at Roosevelt University, museum staff will develop a class for public policy and library science students about collaborative research and creative scholarship methodologies.
The New York Botanical Garden will collaborate with the James J. Peters Veterans Administration Medical Center Resilience and Wellness Center to create a new horticultural therapy intervention for veterans. The Garden will create multi-session programs for veterans that are designed to reduce symptoms of social isolation and foster healthy and active lifestyles. A licensed horticultural therapist will facilitate a series of sessions, each consisting of four weeks of seasonally based activities that include planting, seed starting, watering, weeding, cooking, and nutrition education. Each month, at the end of each cohort's session, there will be a culminating weekend celebration for the veterans and their families. Serving groups of 8-10 individuals per session, the project will serve up to 300 veterans. The garden will create a scalable program model for other organizations to support veteran populations with wellness opportunities using horticultural resources.
Explorations V Children's Museum will expand its long-term partnership with United Way of Central Florida and Polk County Schools to prepare more students for kindergarten by strengthening and centralizing services. Working together as the Early Learning Alliance, the organizations will position the museum as the hub for the United Way's established Family Fundamentals program by creating a model classroom at the museum's more centralized location. The program will host parent education sessions, playgroups and teacher trainings, as well as providing other resources to support kindergarten readiness. Participants will receive free admission to the museum for a day, while also receiving information about its financial health counseling programs, tutoring services, and play-based exhibits. Following two years of testing, the museum will host a permanent classroom in its new facility located in closer proximity to target families.
The Museum of the Earth will increase public access to specimens in the recently-donated Cornell University Malacology Collection. The museum will digitize the specimens, geo-reference associated localities, photograph primary and secondary type specimens, and digitize the original labels. The museum will then physically integrate the Cornell collection into its existing modern mollusk collection. All specimen data, including images, will be publicly available online through the institution's searchable database and other data aggregators. Completion of these activities will enhance the collection's long-term preservation and increase public access, making it easier to use the specimens in exhibits, teaching, public outreach, and research.
The Lightner Museum will improve the management, preservation, and accessibility of its collections by upgrading the storage environment for its framed works on paper, textiles, and chandeliers. The museum will complete the renovation of six storage rooms and purchase new storage furniture and archival materials to rehouse 3,000 objects. Museum staff will work with a collections consultant to rehouse and update catalog records. The project will be the second phase in a long-term plan to improve object accessibility and collections care practices and documentation. Objects will be more readily accessible for scholars and students, and staff will be able to research and incorporate objects into exhibits, public programs, and special projects.
The Imperial Valley Desert Museum will improve the care and management of its collections by renovating its storage areas. The museum will restructure the internal layout of its storage spaces from a grouping of four separate rooms into a single integrated space. The space will be further expanded by replacing fixed-shelf storage with rolling shelf storage units. Collections will be reboxed and relabeled as part of the rehousing project. The project will allow the museum to address priorities identified in earlier assessments through both the Museum Assessment and Collections Assessment for Preservation programs. The new storage area will support enhanced environmental and pest control monitoring in addition to allowing the museum to accommodate larger groups of visiting researchers and students.