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Delaware 250 announce first round of grant recipients

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DOVER – Delaware 250 has announced the first cycle of grants awarded to support the planning and programming for museums, heritage groups and non-profits in preparation of the United States Semiquincentennial Anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 2026.

“The 250th anniversary of our country’s independence is a significant milestone for both our state and our nation, and an opportunity to enrich our understanding of Delaware’s past, present, and future,” Dick Carter, chair of the Delaware Heritage Commission, said in a press release. “Since its formation ahead of our nation’s 1976 Bicentennial, the Delaware Heritage Commission has served as a steward of Delaware’s rich history; we look forward to continuing that work as we approach this important anniversary.”

The Delaware Art Museum, one of the most visited museums in the state, has received a grant of $25,000—the highest amount awarded—for its Art and Democracy Project, which will reflect Delaware’s collective history.

“DelArt is thrilled to receive this funding from Delaware 250 to support our 2026 exhibition and research project that will shine a light on the connection between art and democracy. As Delaware’s largest art museum, we continue to play a leading role in using art to consider our collective past and invest in our shared artistic future,” Molly Giordano, executive director of the Delaware Art Museum, said.

Recipients of the Spring 2024 grants:

  • Delaware Art Museum ($25,000), for its Art and Democracy Project, which reflects Delawareans’ shared history and imagines their collective future.
  • The Newark Partnership ($20,000), to support the Knowing Newark series.
  • Lewes Historical Society ($15,000), to support the From Revolution to Republic: The Neill Household (1792-1803) exhibition.
  • Wisdom 2 Witness ($14,976), to develop an oral history project of Delaware’s past, present, and future.
  • Greater Harrington Historical Society ($14,000), to improve collections management for researchers.
  • Delaware Historical Society ($12,000), to create a series of “book talks” focusing on inclusive and relevant histories of the Revolutionary era through the theme “We the People.”
  • Delaware Institute for Arts in Education ($10,000), to develop a series of in-school artist residencies culminating in a public dance performance and scholar’s talk.
  • NSDAR/Lafayette Bicentennial ($7,840), to support programming for the October 2024 bicentennial commemoration of Major General Lafayette’s farewell tour.
  • Milford Museum ($5,000), to produce the documentary film The Colored Balcony, centering on the history of the then-segregated Schines Theater in downtown Milford.

The funding can be used for developing programs or supporting site improvement to get sites “visitor-ready.” Grants applicants are encouraged to consider an inclusive interpretation of the anniversary that reflects a public history understanding of Delaware’s past.

Three rounds of grants remain, with the next application deadline on July 15. Applicants will be considered in quarterly cycles through 2026. All funds must be spent within twelve months and a final report must be submitted within three months of the program’s conclusion.

“Delaware 250 is committed to representing the many stories across this state,” Margaret Hughes, coordinator for Delaware 250, said. “We are inspired by the revolutionary ideals that formed this country and to which we continue to aspire. Each in their own way, the Spring 2024 grant recipients contribute to a deeper understanding of our past.”

 

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