DEARBORN — The city of Dearborn is home to many prestigious cultural institutions and one of them – the Dearborn Historical Museum – is being recognized as such through grants from two organizations, Michigan Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
“We really feel like we’ve been generating some positive momentum at the Historical Museum,” said Paul Talpos, assistant chief curator. “It’s so great to have these grants helping us continue that momentum.”
Michigan Humanities awarded the Historical Museum a Humanities Organizations Pandemic Emergency (H.O.P.E.) grant for $5,000 in September. The grant is being applied toward part-time staff salaries and to avoid utilization of the Museum’s limited savings. The Museum also received this grant for $6,600 as part of CARES Act funding in May 2020. Funding for both grants has been provided by Michigan Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the American Rescue Plan. Individuals can visit www.michiganhumanities.org for more information on Michigan Humanities.
In addition, the Historical Museum received a $10,000 grant in October from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), to be used toward revamping and revitalizing the Historical Museum’s Commandant’s Quarters. Originally constructed in 1833, the Commandant’s Quarters is Dearborn’s oldest building in its original location and a member of the National Register of Historic Places. It opened as a museum just over 71 years ago in October 1950.
Through the IMLS grant, the Historical Museum is pursuing a long-term goal of revamping the museum into a more traditional and inclusive space, with rooms covering different eras and topics of Dearborn history, including Henry Ford and automotive history, the city’s history as a center of immigration and more.
“We’re so excited to be able to tell the whole history of Dearborn,” Talpos said. “We’ve done a good job of focusing on the arsenal, but there are so many other Dearborn stories we’re going to be able to tell.”
This is the first time in the Historical Museum’s 70-year history that it has received a grant from the IMLS.
The Historical Museum was awarded the grant due to the commendable strides it made to better reflect the community, connect with it and accurately demonstrate the history of the entire community. The IMLS felt that the extra influx of funding will help new exhibition spaces become more professional, long-lasting and provide a quality experience for new and returning visitors who may now feel better represented.
This project was made possible in part by 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 libraries and museums,” the IMLS says on its website. “We advance, support and empower America’s museums, libraries and related organizations through grantmaking, research and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.”
“We would like to thank Michigan Humanities, the ILMS, as well as all of our elected officials whose support made the American Rescue Plan possible,” Talpos said.
To learn more about the Dearborn Historical Museum and its programming, please visit www.thedhm.com or call 313-565-3000.