The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) today awarded $1,485,000 to 14 organizations committed to preserving and sharing the history of African American life from the period of slavery to the present day as part of the Museum Grants for African American History and Culture (AAHC) program.
“With these grants, museums dedicated to the African American experience will be able to preserve their collections, train their staff, and reach out to their communities,” said Acting Director Marsha L. Semmel. “IMLS is proud to support these institutions as they work to protect our shared American history.”
Over the past four years, AAHC grants have helped African American museums and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) build capacity by supporting professional training, technical assistance, internships, and expert consultations. The grant program is authorized by the National Museum of African American History and Culture Act and developed in consultation with the Council and Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
This year, awardees have proposed significant projects that will strengthen the African American museum field, including the following:
- New Orleans African American Museum of Art, Culture, and History, New Orleans, LA, will enhance its institutional capacity by recruiting, hiring, and providing professional development opportunities for a curator of collections to develop and direct its collections management program and a museum educator to coordinate and manage educational programs. The museum’s long-term sustainability will be further strengthened by a mentorship program with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the Historic New Orleans Collection.
- Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, will develop a collections management program for the University Museum that will enhance the knowledge and skills of current staff members about the process of digitizing works of art. An experienced archivist will be hired to work alongside the museum registrar and current archival staff members to coordinate a program to provide safekeeping, cataloging, indexing, and storage of the documents and items within the collections.
- The Great Blacks in Wax Museum, Baltimore, MD, will strengthen its school tours program by hiring a director of education to develop a new interactive school program, which will be aligned with the Maryland State Standards of Learning. The museum will also hire two part-time educators to engage in strategic outreach to local schools and other organizations serving Baltimore’s at-risk youth population.
The next deadline for the Museum Grants for African American History and Culture program is January 18, 2011. Click here for more information.