IMLS Awards Museums for America Grants

From The Institute of Museum and Library Services:

The IMLS recently announced more than 150 awards totaling $18,113,376 for Museums for America Grants.  Mid-Atlantic recipients are listed after the break:


Trustees of the Walters Art Gallery – Baltimore, MD
Award Amount: $111,615; Matching Amount: $298,447
Category: Engaging Communities

The Walters Art Museum will support American Visions: Engaging the Community with American Art, a 23-month program designed to foster meaningful visitor experiences with the museum’s collection. By creating emotional and intellectual connections between audiences and works of art, the museum brings 18th- and 19th-century America to life. The museum will engage visitors through a series of activities including a special exhibition, with a publication, on the painter Richard Caton Woodville; public programs for school, family, and adult audiences; educational and interpretive materials; a companion student exhibition; an interactive resource to use online and in the permanent collection galleries; and the digitization of over 600 American works of art that will be made freely accessible.

New Jersey:

Newark Museum Association – Newark, NJ
Award Amount: $91,789; Matching Amount: $113,564
Category: Collections Stewardship

The Newark Museum will catalogue and digitize objects from its African Art collections in order to improve public access, intellectual control, and administrative oversight. The museum will photograph 300 works professionally to produce publication-quality images, photograph an additional 300 works in-house for its database and e-museum, catalogue 500 works to include basic descriptions and more detailed contextual information, and increase the number of African Art objects shared on the Newark Museum eMuseum site from 50 to 550. This work will help the museum meet the increasing demands of a growing audience for African art, create educational materials for a national audience of K-12 students and educators, and help with planning for exhibitions and related programming that will engage tens of thousands of visitors annually.

New York:

American Museum of the Moving Image – Astoria, NY
Award Amount: $149,095; Matching Amount: $170,952
Category: Collections Stewardship

The American Museum of the Moving Image will move 5,500 objects, including technical apparatus, production design materials, posters, and other oversized artifacts from a rented off-site storage space to the museum’s new onsite storage facility. The new facility will give collection staff direct, daily access to artifacts and thus improve collections care; enable exhibition staff to properly identify and select new pieces for the museum’s core exhibition and temporary exhibitions; enable curatorial staff to efficiently conduct research on the objects and facilitate research by outside scholars; and allow the general public controlled access to collections for tours and educational opportunities.

Palisades Interstate Park Commission – Bear Mountain, NY
Award Amount: $46,522; Matching Amount: $46,596
Category: Engaging Communities

The Palisades Interstate Park Commission will develop a conceptual plan to revitalize Trailside Museums and Zoo’s interpretation to create a satisfying and informative visitor experience. Trailside is home to the nation’s first self-guided nature trail and environmental education center. Intersected by the Appalachian Trail, Trailside features a nature trail along which visitors encounter signs, museums with exhibits of historical and geological collections, and native wildlife designed to introduce visitors to the history, flora, fauna, geology, and wildlife found throughout the park.


New York Botanical Garden – Bronx, NY
Award Amount: $132,000; Matching Amount: $133,935
Category: Engaging Communities

New York Botanical Garden’s Everett Children’s Adventure Garden opened in 1998 to teach children (aged seven to twelve) fundamental lessons in plant science. The garden has 12 acres of indoor and outdoor inquiry-based learning galleries, hands-on interactive exhibits, immersive natural environments, and programming. The New York Botanical Garden will conduct a detailed and comprehensive one-year evaluation study of the garden. The goals of the project include completing a thorough evaluation of the existing exhibit and landscape, researching the emerging theory that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) experiences can occur in a nature play setting, and evaluating the effectiveness of proposed new exhibits and space design. The proposed project will serve three core audiences: parents/caregivers and their children, teachers and students, and teen docents.


Museum of Contemporary African Diasporian Arts – Brooklyn, NY
Award Amount: $120,000; Matching Amount: $201,300
Category: Engaging Communities

The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts will support “MoCADA City” a community-based initiative that provides direct services to the museum’s immediate surrounding Brooklyn neighborhoods. “MoCADA City” is an innovative approach to the contemporary role of the museum. Events will include KIDflix Annual Film Festival in Fulton Park; the MoCADA Apprentice Program held at Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus; Public Exchange Series in partnership with the Walt Whitman and Ingersoll Public Housing Projects in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, in conjunction with the New York City Housing Authority; and Satellite Exhibition Series, Outside of the Museum Walls. The museum will curate or co-curate five satellite exhibitions in non-traditional spaces.


Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences – Buffalo, NY
Award Amount: $150,000; Matching Amount: $885,610
Category: Engaging Communities

The Buffalo Museum of Science will use its grant to create a Motion Science Studio, one of eight science studios being developed at the museum, each based on a scientific concept and focusing on regional science. These studios will provide several layers of engagement for visitors and include hands-on activities and interactive exhibits that will strengthen multigenerational learning and engagement. As part of each new studio, the museum will highlight regional achievements and organizations to support stronger connections to contemporary physical science, engineering, and biomedicine, and provide the museum with ongoing opportunities to collaborate with and showcase the science done at local businesses and universities. The museum hopes that these studios will serve as models for other collecting museums to transform their engagement experiences with the public.


Louis Armstrong House Museum – Corona, NY
Award Amount: $42,305; Matching Amount: $43,297
Category: Collections Stewardship

The Louis Armstrong House Museum will arrange, preserve, catalogue, and make available to the public the contents of the recently acquired Gösta Hägglöf Collection of Armstrong material. Approximately 192 cubic feet in extent and covering at least four decades, the collection is especially strong in European concert recordings, news clippings, periodicals, photographs, and correspondence. The work will be supported by interns from the Queens College Graduate School of Library Studies and the College’s Aaron Copland School of Music. Once the materials are processed, the museum will make them available to researchers, students, scholars, and the general public via its website. The materials may also be exhibited and, when appropriate, lent to other organizations.


Explore and More: A Children’s Museum – East Aurora, NY
Award Amount: $20,613; Matching Amount: $21,485
Category: Building Institutional Capacity

Explore & More: A Children’s Museum will develop a long-range education plan to correspond with its move to a new site in the City of Buffalo. The education plan will focus on the first year of educational programming in the new site and the necessary expansion prior to the move. It will focus on the museum’s changing audience with regard to numbers and demographics and develop strategies to ensure the museum is meeting the needs of this audience. The plan will build capacity by enabling the museum to better serve a multigenerational audience that includes children aged one to ten and the adults who care for them. The overarching outcome of this work will be a detailed plan of work for the museum’s staff, board, and committees that includes specific strategies, responsibilities, timelines and costs.


Long Island Children’s Museum – Garden City, NY
Award Amount: $150,000; Matching Amount: $527,514
Category: Engaging Communities

The Long Island Children’s Museum will support the fabrication, installation, and evaluation of a new exhibition called Broken? Fix It! This 1,200-square-foot exhibition has been developed as part of the museum’s participation in the Youth Museum Exhibit Collaborative and is scheduled to open at the museum in June 2013 before traveling to the five other venues. Broken? Fix It! explores the collective experience of fixing broken things while supporting hands-on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning. Visitors to the exhibition will encounter problems, determine and implement solutions, and recognize how others have responded to similar challenges. The intended audience for this exhibition is children (aged four to twelve), their family members, and school groups.


Slate Valley Museum – Granville, NY
Award Amount: $27,902; Matching Amount: $28,851
Category: Engaging Communities

The Slate Valley Museum will launch its Website Implementation and Community Education Project. This one-year initiative is aimed at using the museum’s digital collection to make information, images, and recordings accessible to the public. The initiative will upgrade the website to a user-friendly, educationally focused website that will increase the museum’s online presence. This strategic project is built on improvements from previous IMLS-funded initiatives and has several goals: creating an interactive, educationally focused website based on constituent feedback and the website plan; linking the museum’s new website with the digitized collection; providing educational introductions of the new digital collections database and website to local educators through school district-supported workshops; and gathering, evaluating, and reporting constituent feedback.


Museum of the Earth at the Paleontological Research Institution – Ithaca, NY
Award Amount: $145,000; Matching Amount: $145,658
Category: Engaging Communities

The Museum of the Earth at the Paleontological Research Institution will mount Our Changing Earth Glaciers, a new 1000-square-foot permanent exhibit. The interactive and interdisciplinary exhibit will focus on the evolving nature of global earth changes. The exhibit will include educational programming on glaciers and their link to global change. The museum will use its collection of over 3 million specimens—the 10th largest in the United States—to bolster the exhibit’s focus on earth science education for children between the ages of two and eight.


Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum – Long Island City, NY
Award Amount: $50,000; Matching Amount: $60,699
Category: Building Institutional Capacity

The Noguchi Museum will upgrade its technology infrastructure to further strengthen its institutional capacity and commitment to public responsibility. New systems, servers, workstations, and software will increase the museum’s capacity to further advance its public mission now constrained by inadequate technology to support the management of digital material, effective communications, and day-to-day operations. This project will enable the museum to reach technological competency while providing the flexibility to meet future information technology needs. The museum houses a comprehensive collection of the artwork of renowned Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988) and is the prime resource by which his extensive production in sculpture, architecture, and designs are kept alive.


Mohonk Preserve – New Paltz, NY
Award Amount: $18,770; Matching Amount: $18,845
Category: Collections Stewardship

Mohonk Preserve will hire a Special Collections Librarian/ Collections Manager to inventory, catalogue, and assess the condition of all the Daniel Smiley Research Center’s collections, and unite them into a PastPerfect database. The materials address landscape architecture, horticulture, and natural and cultural history in the northeastern United States and the northern Shawangunk Mountains of New York State. Developed as the result of recommendations made in a 2009 IMLS CAP report, the project will enable staff to gain intellectual control over the collection, provide a learning opportunity for graduate students, and increase accessibility to the collection for researchers, students, and the general public. The inventory will be uploaded to the Southeastern New York Library Resources Council’s Koha (web-based integrated library system) Virtual Union Catalog and thus be available online.


Eldridge Street Project – New York, NY
Award Amount: $149,906; Matching Amount: $175,904
Category: Engaging Communities

The Museum at Eldridge will use its grant to develop and implement a new orientation experience for visitors. The disorientation visitors now experience upon approaching, entering, and making their way through the building’s entryway, and the confusion generated by the building’s multiple identities—museum, landmark, and synagogue—has presented a challenge to visitors. The museum will create an inviting, informative, and engaging introductory experience focused on how a visitor first encounters the museum. The project will benefit approximately 150,000 visitors.


Children’s Museum of the Arts – New York, NY
Award Amount: $80,600; Matching Amount: $82,801
Category: Engaging Communities

The Children’s Museum of the Arts will develop and implement an education initiative called “Pop-Up Museums.” The program will make the museum’s 2,000-piece international collection of children’s artwork available to new audiences in underserved New York City communities. Over a two-year period, the museum will curate and present three themed traveling exhibits, which will be based on selected works from its permanent collection. The museum will also develop print enrichment guides for the exhibits. Each of the pop-up museums will be installed at one community partnership site. To accompany each exhibit, the museum will present an eight-week-long series of museum education workshops exclusively for pre-teens and teens aged 10 to 15. Each of the exhibits and related workshop series will be based on a theme exploring questions of personal identity.


New-York Historical Society – New York, NY
Award Amount: $150,000; Matching Amount: $2,183,628
Category: Engaging Communities

The New-York Historical Society will fabricate a 6,700-square-foot exhibition called The New Art Spirit: The Armory Show at 100, which will use the 1913 Armory Show to revisit a milestone moment in American history. The 1913 Armory Show, often remembered for the introduction of avant-garde European painting and sculpture, represents not only an important art world event, but a moment of political, social, and cultural change that marks the genesis of the 20th century’s spirit and its relation to the origins of trends still vital today. The exhibition will include a selection of 80 to 90 paintings and sculptures that were in the 1913 exhibition as well as prints and photographs from the museum’s collections.


Children’s Museum of Manhattan – New York, NY
Award Amount: $149,703; Matching Amount: $300,810
Category: Engaging Communities

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan will plan and design a new exhibition called Muslim Worlds. Upon its completion, Muslim Worlds will be the third in a series of exhibitions designed to translate complex cultural issues into engaging educational experiences for children aged 7 to 12. The project will further three core areas of the museum’s strategic plan by expanding its key mission area of “exploring world cultures,” reaching new and diverse audiences both locally and nationally, and engaging adult caregivers in activities that help support children’s educational and cultural development. The exhibit will be designed for a long-term run in New York City with the potential to travel nationally.


Museum of the City of New York – New York, NY
Award Amount: $150,000; Matching Amount: $152,118
Category: Engaging Communities

Museum of the City of New York will redesign its website in order to increase public access to the museum and provide a richer online experience to its diverse and growing audience. The museum’s 2003 strategic plan launched a series of projects, including a capital project; the advancement of the stewardship of the museum’s collections; and the launch of ambitious new exhibitions, publications, and public and educational programs. The redesigned website advances key strategic goals of accessibility, visibility, and mission enhancement. With an effective online presence, the museum will continue to build an engaged audience.


Queens Museum of Art – New York, NY
Award Amount: $147,683; Matching Amount: $147,778
Category: Engaging Communities

Queens Museum of Art will launch Corona Urban Studio, the next phase of an eight-year project in community engagement. The museum will develop a series of community-driven seasonal programming in Corona Plaza, a space located a few blocks away from the museum, featuring a mix of independently produced events by community coalition members and those presented by the museum. Additionally the museum will produce two annual art and design commissions for artists and continue a long-term art residency program. The primary audience is residents of Queens, where 167 languages are spoken and 46 percent are foreign born. Project outcomes will include art projects successfully initiated and completed in Corona; community participants engaged in the process; a student body versed in social practice; documentation posted on a blog; and a workbook, Corona Plaza Report: Queens Museum’s Engagement with Local Livability Issues, an in-depth case, available for online download.


Margaret Woodbury Strong Museum – Rochester, NY
Award Amount: $150,000; Matching Amount: $404,430
Category: Engaging Communities

The Strong Museum of Play will fabricate and install a 4,200-square-foot thematic zone featuring games and puzzles, one of five components in the museum’s expansive America at Play exhibit. The museum’s game and puzzle collection is the largest diversified collection of such artifacts in a public institution in the United States, showcasing not only how play and game design have changed over time, but also how these changes have reflected and influenced American culture in general. This zone will focus on the history of board games, card games, puzzles, and more public amusements such as electromechanical coin-op games, pinball machines, and products for home or public game rooms such as foosball and air hockey.


Rochester Museum and Science Center – Rochester, NY
Award Amount: $149,733; Matching Amount: $315,897
Category: Engaging Communities

The Rochester Museum and Science Center will develop an interactive exhibit component—the “Inventor Center”— of the larger Inventing Futures exhibit. The primary purpose of the “Inventor Center” is to create a participatory space where museum visitors will develop creative critical thinking and social skills through hands-on engagement. Visitors are invited to design and build based on authentic problems faced by the industry and academics. The exhibit will reach over 400,000 annual visitors. Visitors will understand the inventive process and find it accessible and relevant to their lives, get interested and excited in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), learn skills that promote critical and creative thinking, and understand the social and scientific processes that contribute to contemporary innovation and invention.


National Women’s Hall of Fame – Seneca Falls, NY
Award Amount: $140,000; Matching Amount: $163,225
Category: Engaging Communities

The National Women’s Hall of Fame has collected the stories of nearly 250 influential women who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame in recognition of their contributions to the United States. They cover a wide range, from the early history of the United States to contemporary times, and are drawn from politics, business, arts, science, and sports. The museum will tell their stories in a new way by recording and digitizing the inductees’ oral histories. Digitizing the stories through the use of oral histories will enhance accessibility at the Hall of Fame, through an enhanced website, and as part of educational kits for field trips or classroom use.


Staten Island Museum – Staten Island, NY
Award Amount: $150,000; Matching Amount: $240,869
Category: Engaging Communities

The Staten Island Museum will exhibit Tales from the Mastodon in the museum’s new facility at Snug Harbor Campus. The exhibition will introduce a generation of visitors to the museum and demonstrate its redesigned exhibition strategy. The 500-square-foot mastodon exhibition helps fulfill the museum’s commitment to serve as an incubator for a new generation of naturalists and science teachers. Tales from the Mastodon will be an accessible gateway for the general public designed to increase scientific literacy. The museum will use an interdisciplinary approach, integrating art and history in support of science. The exhibition will dramatically increase the visibility of the museum within the community, put objects that have been in storage on display, and establish new partnerships with other institutions engaged in educating on biodiversity and the extinction of species.


People Inc. – Williamsville, NY
Award Amount: $48,364; Matching Amount: $48,441
Category: Engaging Communities

The Museum of disABILITY History will research and develop a project called Writing the Wrongs: Journalism and disABILITY History. The project will highlight journalism’s role in exposing the harsh conditions faced by people with disabilities in custodial care facilities operating under the prevailing standards of treatment for their time, and it will document journalism by and for people with disabilities and its continuing role in illuminating social injustice. Products will include a traveling exhibit, an exhibit pamphlet, an On-Cell guided tour, a virtual museum exhibit, a grade-four-to-twelve curriculum, and a book and e-book.



Philadelphia Museum of Art – Philadelphia, PA
Award Amount: $150,000; Matching Amount: $444,884
Category: Collections Stewardship

The Philadelphia Museum of Art will research, photograph, and digitize more than 4,000 paintings and decorative art objects in its Chinese collection in order to increase accessibility and enhance the information available to scholars, researchers, and the general public. Collection objects range in date from the Neolithic Period to the present with particular strengths in Tang, Ming, and Qing dynasty ceramics. This digitization project will increase the amount of publicly available information about the museum’s Chinese art collection and will inform planning for the first comprehensive publication of the Chinese collection and the major reinstallation of its East Asian galleries.


Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia – Philadelphia, PA
Award Amount: $149,911; Matching Amount: $150,335
Category: Engaging Communities

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, in partnership with the New Jersey Academy of Aquatic Science and the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, will support “Changing Attitudes Towards Autism Access.” The intended outcomes of the project include increased visitation by families with children on the autism spectrum, improved engagement between staff and families, greater participation in social and collaborative learning and interaction, and enhanced quality of community engagement for families with autistic children.


College of Physicians of Philadelphia – Philadelphia, PA
Award Amount: $149,777; Matching Amount: $210,001
Category: Engaging Communities

The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, in partnership with Mütter Museum will support a multi-layered project that explores a medical narrative of the Civil War through personal experiences. Broken Bodies, Suffering Spirits: Injury, Death, and Healing in Civil War Philadelphia includes two key components: an innovative long-term exhibit scheduled to open in July 2013; and unique educational resources, including ten lesson plans that meet Pennsylvania curriculum standards. Both the 1,000-square-foot exhibit and the web resources will draw from specimens, objects, photographs, and primary source material from the college’s unique museum and library collections.


Moore College of Art and Design – Philadelphia, PA
Award Amount: $149,869; Matching Amount: $291,852
Category: Engaging Communities

The Galleries at Moore College of Art & Design will create a new Learning Through Photography (LTP) Regional Resource Hub for arts education and integrated learning strategies. It will also extend the existing LTP program through community arts projects in LTP neighborhoods. The project will include creating guidelines for evaluating the impact of LTP on students, classrooms, and teachers as the program grows in schools across the city. This project will involve home and family, building on the success of the galleries’ Learning Through Photography, a pilot outreach project implemented and sustained in ten Philadelphia schools.


Wagner Free Institute of Science – Philadelphia, PA
Award Amount: $111,987; Matching Amount: $141,867
Category: Engaging Communities

Wagner Free Institute of Science’s Science, Nature and Art in Philadelphia (SNAP) is an out-of-school science program for middle school students that aims to increase academic achievement, decrease youth involvement in delinquent behavior, and improve youth attitudes. The museum will incorporate many of the essential components of the Wagner’s successful children’s education programs for elementary school children but at a more complex level appropriate to middle school students. Planned activities involve standards-based, hands-on science activities and will require cooperative small-group work. Students will learn science process skills and will engage in learning activities that require different levels of structured critical thinking. The program will target the low-income community surrounding the museum, where many of the institute’s current participants live.


Wyck Association – Philadelphia, PA
Award Amount: $148,643; Matching Amount: $172,108
Category: Engaging Communities

Wyck Historic House, Garden and Farm, a National Historic Landmark in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia, will expand its “Home Farm and Farmers Market” and youth education programs by piloting a series of “Second Saturday Festivals.” The museum will develop targeted programs to meet the needs of specific constituents: underserved school children in Germantown needing a safe place to experience and learn from nature; neighborhood residents seeking nutritious, affordable local produce; and community members and students interested in broadening their knowledge in horticulture, preservation, and history. It serves as an outdoor classroom for children and adults. The farmers market increases access to fresh, low-cost/subsidized produce for residents of the Germantown neighborhood and extended community.


Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh, PA
Award Amount: $150,000; Matching Amount: $291,892
Category: Engaging Communities

The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and its partners, Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center and the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out of School Environments, will use its grant to support the MakeShop project. The MakeShop, a new hands-on “maker space” within the museum, will nurture informal learning opportunities and research-based understanding, fusing old and new technologies with project-based activities. The project integrates digital-learning technologies with do-it-yourself “Maker” elements to produce a robust place for exploration and creativity. Youths will participate in guided and self-directed making experiences. MakeShop was inspired by the museum’s ongoing commitment to exploring new avenues of learning for its varied audiences.


Carnegie Instititute – Pittsburgh, PA
Award Amount: $50,068; Matching Amount: $56,288
Category: Collections Stewardship

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History will devote one year to planning the reunification of its 134,000-item mammal collection. The project will entail a inventorying the 2,000-specimen large mammal skeleton collection, currently stored ten miles away from the main collection space; cross-referencing to skins stored in a separate fur vault; reconfiguring the space into which the skeleton collection will move; and benchmarking with other institutions that have made recent changes to their collections of oversize mammal skeletons and skulls with horns and antlers. Reunification will provide currently isolated specimens, many of which are threatened or endangered African species, with the appropriate storage environment, a high level of security, and easy access for museum collections staff as well as visiting researchers, university classes, and lay audiences. The museum will make data from the inventory and archival research as well as novel storage solutions available to the museum community through websites and formal publications.

Washington D. C.:

Corcoran Gallery of Art – Washington, DC
Award Amount: $149,180; Matching Amount: $204,576
Category: Collections Stewardship

The Corcoran Gallery of Art will implement Corcoran Access, a collections management system that will allow users to access records on the more than 30,000 works of art within its collection. The project will begin with cleaning existing data by checking individual records, correcting errors, standardizing terminology, scanning existing transparencies and negatives, and adding them to database records. Clean data will be migrated to an industry-standard collections management system, and then the information will be made available via a web publishing tool to K-12 teachers and students, art historians, researchers, gallery visitors, and the general public, as well as to staff and Corcoran College of Art + Design faculty. Entries in the database will be picked up by most Internet search engines, and individuals searching various names or pieces of art will be brought to the Corcoran’s website and thus introduced to its deep and historic permanent collection.


National Trust for Historic Preservation – Washington, DC
Award Amount: $79,956; Matching Amount: $90,385
Category: Engaging Communities

President Lincoln’s Cottage, operated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, will launch a year-long interpretive planning process to review key aspects of its guided tour experience and implement a new system design focused on cost-effective, adaptable equipment. The cottage will upgrade its methodology to create a cost-effective, multisensory experience for visitors while giving interpreters an array of tools and means of storing notes for themselves and fellow interpreters to build a base of shared knowledge. Lincoln developed his Emancipation Proclamation and led the country through the Civil War during his 13 months in residence at the cottage.