New Orleans African American Museum, Blacks in Wax Receive IMLS Museum Grants

From Press Release:

Washington, DC-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.

For more information about this year’s grantees, please go to

The next deadline for the Museum Grants for African American History and
Culture program is January 18, 2011. For more information, please go to

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of
federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums.
The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that
connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the
national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to
sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and
innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about
the Institute, please visit

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