Today U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) announced that the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS) has awarded $175,965 in federal funding to two Maryland institutions. The Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center has been awarded $31,515, and the University of Maryland, David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans has been awarded $144,450. The grants are available through IMLS’s Museum Grants for African American History and Culture Program.
“These grants give critical support to Maryland institutions dedicated to preserving African American history and culture,” said Senator Van Hollen. “This investment will preserve historic material and support the museum professionals who are dedicated to educating inspiring future generations.”
“These grants represent a federal investment in the preservation of African-American history, which is often overlooked, yet absolutely indispensable to any understanding of this country and its roots,” said Senator Cardin. “I’m thrilled that Maryland’s African-American community is getting the recognition it deserves and the resources needed to be able to tell its stories to future generations.”
The Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center will use award funds for capacity building and professional development of its board of directors and staff and expand outreach to foster stronger institutional and community based partnerships.
The University of Maryland David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans will use award funds for a Digitalization Project which will preserve, reformat, digitize, and increase access to the Center's 1,550-object art collection and 150 audio tapes, 90 visual reels, 1,500 photographs, and 3,500 slides, which are a selection of fragile, aging, and discolored objects from the David C. Driskell Papers archival collection.
IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation's approximately 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums.
In December 2003, Congress passed and the National Museum of African American History and Culture Act. In addition to providing authority to create the new Smithsonian museum for African American History and Culture, the Act provided new authority for IMLS to support African American museums. Museum Grants for African American History and Culture support projects that improve the operations, care of collections, and development of professional management at African American museums.