The Maine Maritime Museum was recently awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) “American Rescue Plan” grant totaling $56,498. The funds will be used to support both new and ongoing educational programs, including school programs that were paused during 2020.
The award will fund new museum programs designed to advance the study of US maritime history in an increasingly globalized world with a focus on the impact that this framework has on indigenous cultures and racial inequities. One project, a collaboration with Bowdoin College’s Africana Studies department, will culminate with a student-curated exhibit at the museum that recontextualizes the museum’s collection to confront and grapple with Maine’s role in the slave trade.
Other education initiatives that will be supported by the grant funds include offering ecology cruises to Merrymeeting Bay for schools in surrounding communities; resuming the Sense of Place program, which welcomes students from RSU 1 schools to the museum throughout the year; and providing scholarships to Crosscurrents, a summer educational experience for middle-schoolers.
“We are excited and grateful to be awarded the NEH grant, which will significantly grow the reach of Maine Maritime Museum’s education initiatives. The education team can now begin the important work of inviting more inclusive voices in shaping our future programs, increasing accessibility through new online content and student scholarships, and investing in new technologies for hands-on learning at the museum,” said Sarah Timm, manager of education.
NEH awarded $87.8 million in American Rescue Plan funding to nearly 300 cultural and educational institutions to help them recover from the economic impact of the pandemic, retain and rehire workers, and reopen sites, facilities, and programs. Grant awards were made in all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and Northern Mariana Islands.
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.