Challenge Programs: Challenge Grants

Period of Performance

12/1/2010 - 7/31/2016

Funding Totals (matching)

$425,000.00 (approved)
$425,000.00 (offered)
$425,000.00 (awarded)

"History is Moving" Capital Campaign: MOHAI Endowment Fund

FAIN: CH-51021-12

Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) (Seattle, WA 98109-4330)
Leonard Garfield (Project Director: May 2011 to April 2016)

Endowment for increased collections staff salaries and benefits for enhanced programming at a new facility.

The Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) requests a National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant of $500,000 toward its "History is Moving" Capital Campaign. After nearly 60 years of serving the community from its current site, MOHAI’s existing 24,000 square foot facility will be demolished to make way for the widening of State Route 520. MOHAI has been given the unique opportunity to relocate to the 52,000 square foot Naval Reserve Armory at Lake Union Park and significantly expand its exhibits, programming, and audience outreach. MOHAI expects to see its annual attendance grow from 60,000 to 120,000 in the new museum. The NEH Challenge Grant and matching funds of $1.5 million will be used to increase MOHAI’s Endowment Fund which will provide an increased and reliable stream of operating funds to support the museum's expanded humanities programming and service to the community.

Media Coverage

More good news for the arts (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Melissa Davis
Publication: ArtsPage
Date: 12/9/2011
Abstract: Two grant announcements: --The Museum of History & Industry received a $425,000 challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). MOHAI's award is a challenge grant, intended to help the museum secure long-term improvements. The funds will support capital expenditures and sustaining the operations of the museum. MOHAI is also required to match the NEH funds on a three-to-one basis. --National Endowment for the Arts awarded $10,000 Fast Track Grants to Theatre Puget Sound (for annual Arts programs); Northwest Symphony Orchestra (support for activities commemorating the organization's milestone of performing 125 works by Northwest composers over the past 25 years); and Kirkland Performance Center (supporting support the premiere of "ASTITVA: Heroines and Revolutions of India," a new dance work).

The Museum that's a Ship (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Jen Graves
Publication: The Stranger
Date: 12/26/2012
Abstract: Review of the new museum

Wawona Installed at MOHAI (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Seattle Times Staff
Publication: The Seattle Times
Date: 10/27/2012
Abstract: photographs of Wawona, a sculpture inside the new museum

A Place Comfortable With Boeing, Anarchists and ‘Frasier’ (Review)
Author(s): EDWARD ROTHSTEIN, Jen Graves, Seattle Times Staff
Publication: The New York Times
Date: 12/28/2012
Abstract: A review of the new museum

Associated Products

True Northwest: The Seattle Journey (Exhibition)
Title: True Northwest: The Seattle Journey
Curator: Lorraine McConaghy
Abstract: "We have the means and talent to make the city we want in our own time". This quote by civic activist Jim Ellis concisely captures the theme that underlies MOHAI’s premier core exhibit. By sharing stories from our past, MOHAI helps make sense of the present, and ultimately inspires decisions that help lead to a better future. True Northwest: The Seattle Journey explores some of the trials and tribulations of Seattle on its long and bumpy journey from wilderness to world city. Visitors stroll through twenty five different "snapshots" of the city through the years, each with a unique display of artifacts, images, and multimedia. Interspersed throughout the exhibit are one-of-a-kind interactive experiences, such as the Great Fire Theater and the Canwell Trials reenactment, that let visitors truly immerse themselves in the lives and stories of our past. The Joshua Green Foundation Theater helps contextualize the exhibit through a seven minute multimedia presentation on Seattle's cultural place in the region, the country, and the world.
Year: 2012


Best Exhibit in Washington State
Date: 5/1/2013
Organization: Washington Museum Association

Award of Merit
Date: 6/1/2013
Organization: American Association of State and Local History

Muse Multimedia Installations Bronze Award
Date: 5/1/2013
Organization: American Alliance of Museums
Abstract: Award for The Great Seattle Fire Theater, part of True Northwest: The Seattle Journey

Muse Gold Award for Best Museum Experience, Interactive Kiosks
Date: 5/1/2014
Organization: American Alliance of Museums |
Abstract: Awarded to Our Neighborhoods, a kiosk in the exhibit True Northwest: The Seattle Journey

Maritime Seattle (Exhibition)
Title: Maritime Seattle
Curator: Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society
Abstract: Continuing MOHAI’s 50+ year partnership with the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society (PSMHS), Maritime Seattle celebrates Seattle's long relationship with water, and illustrates how maritime and industrial activities have ultimately shaped what the city has become. Hosted in the historic bridge room, the gallery features stunning views of Lake Union and its bustling world of boats, planes, paddlers, and wildlife. These modern activities are juxtaposed alongside some of MOHAI and PSMHS’s most engaging artifacts such as a working WWII-era TANG periscope with 360 degree views of the city, and a 1885 Fresnel Lens from the Smith Island Lighthouse. Make sure to test out the real, working ship's wheel, as well.
Year: 2012

Celluloid Seattle: A City at the Movies (Exhibition)
Title: Celluloid Seattle: A City at the Movies
Curator: Robert Horton
Abstract: Curated by celebrated Seattle film critic Robert Horton, Celluloid Seattle: A City at the Movies explored both the image of Seattle captured in films, and how the idea of “going to the movies” has changed in this city over the years. Along with film clips and historic artifacts, the exhibit helped visitors truly engage with the historic movie experience through a set of recreated mini-theatres, interactive games, and activity kiosks.
Year: 2012

Still Afloat: Seattle's Floating Homes (Exhibition)
Title: Still Afloat: Seattle's Floating Homes
Curator: Erin Feeney
Abstract: Still Afloat: A Contemporary History of Seattle’s Floating Homes offered a unique perspective of floating homes through stories, pictures, and artifacts, illustrating both the cultural and technological intricacies of this one-of-a-kind community. The exhibit was curated by local author Erin Feeney, who recently worked with community members and archivists to produce a new book entitled Seattle’s Floating Homes, released as part of Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series. “Not only is the floating home community one our city’s most intriguing neighborhoods,” Feeney said, “ but it’s also historically been one of the most misunderstood. I’m thrilled to partner with MOHAI and shed some light on this fascinating part of our maritime culture.” A scale model of a floating home allowed visitors to see the complex systems and structures that keep these homes afloat.
Year: 2013

Bezos Center for Innovation (Exhibition)
Title: Bezos Center for Innovation
Curator: Margaret O'Mara
Abstract: Explore how innovation shaped our region and changed the world. Through interactive exhibits, community and educational programs, and first-person insights from leading innovators, discover Seattle's role as a nexus of big ideas and new directions - and ignite the innovator within! Generously supported by Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos, this is the place to discover the past and future of creativity and invention in our region. What does innovation look like? Who innovates, where does it happen, and how do great ideas evolve? To find out more, tackle a challenge in the Idea Lab, discover a Seattle-made invention in the Patent Tree, and check out cutting-edge concepts in What's Next. Through lectures, special programs and changing displays, Seattle innovators will share their latest projects and invite you to take a look at the future as it unfolds.
Year: 2013


Muse Best Museum Interactive Award
Date: 5/1/2014
Organization: American Alliance of Museums

Civil Engineers that Built Seattle (Exhibition)
Title: Civil Engineers that Built Seattle
Curator: Seattle Section of American Society of Civil Engineers
Abstract: Developed by the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE), the Civil Engineers that Built Seattle exhibition was a panel display exploring the story of civil engineering projects, policies, and the people that were essential and transformative to the development of the Puget Sound region. Featuring milestones in Northwest civil engineering, visitors had the opportunity to learn about the creation of several regional engineering landmarks and the people that made them possible, including: ? Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard ? Railroad Tunnels at Stevens Pass ? Snoqualmie Falls Power Generation Station ? Lacey V Murrow (I-90) Floating Bridge and Mount Baker Tunnels ? George Vancouver’s Mapping of the West Coast of North America
Year: 2013

Revealing Queer (Exhibition)
Title: Revealing Queer
Curator: Erin Bailey
Abstract: Revealing Queer explores how the Puget Sound LGBTQ community has grown, changed, become more visible, and worked towards equality. Informed throughout by the lived experiences of this incredibly diverse population, the exhibit traces its history from an emerging underground group in the years before the Stonewall Riots of 1969, to the large and politically active community that helped make marriage equality law in Washington State in 2012. Visitors will be able to discover this complex history through a variety of themes, including language, significant cultural spaces, queer celebrations, regional law, and more. The artifacts, photographs, and documents that fill the exhibit have come both from MOHAI’s collection and from donors across the country—many have not been seen before by the public.
Year: 2014

Shalom! Open for Business | (Exhibition)
Title: Shalom! Open for Business |
Curator: Washington State Jewish Historical Society
Abstract: From the mid-19th century through the early-20th century, Jewish immigrants from Central Europe, Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean arrived in Washington state. Many left their homelands to escape religious persecution, political turmoil or military conscription. Isolated from each other by the diversity of their origins, customs and languages, their common faith provided the basis for a community – albeit not always a cohesive one. In search of opportunities within a new frontier, they set up shop – and shops – to build better lives for their families. Wholesalers and retailers, these enterprising immigrants – most speaking little or no English – served the unique needs of the Jewish community and met the commercial demands of a growing region. Early Jewish merchants did everything from peddle fish at Pike Place Market to supply goods to Alaska gold prospectors. They made livings as butchers, bakers and luggage makers. They dealt in scrap metal and fine jewelry. They ran corner groceries, tailor shops and movie theaters. As generations passed, several of the once-modest family businesses have grown into companies of national and international repute.
Year: 2014

A Place at the Table: Over 100 Years of Greek Restaurants, Culture & Entrepreneurial Spirit (Exhibition)
Title: A Place at the Table: Over 100 Years of Greek Restaurants, Culture & Entrepreneurial Spirit
Curator: Greek American Historical Museum of Washington State
Abstract: Greek restaurateurs have been a consistent presence in Washington State for more than a century. Well over 200 Greek-owned restaurants have existed in the Puget Sound region alone, a few continuously since the early 1900s, and over 300 throughout the State of Washington. Restaurants represent the intersection of Greek food, culture, and entrepreneurship, and the profession of choice for many Greeks who put down roots in the area. But beyond the menu, Greek traits were still evident and relationships were the key. Greek traditions of hospitality and building lasting connections with patrons combined to create a code of business that elevates customers to friends.
Year: 2015

The Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop (Exhibition)
Title: The Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop
Curator: Aaron Walker-Loud
Curator: Jazmyn Scott
Abstract: Curated by Seattle natives Jazmyn Scott (The Town Entertainment) and Aaron Walker-Loud (Big World Breaks), this interactive exhibit will immerse visitors in the sights and sounds of our region’s growing Hip-Hop culture through audio recordings, photography, artwork, artifacts, and more. The exhibit will explore many facets of the Seattle Hip-Hop scene including graffiti, deejaying, break dancing, production, and emceeing, linking our region to the continuously evolving global Hip-Hop movement. Throughout, the exhibit will bring the first-person narratives and experiences of Seattle performers and artists to the forefront, creating an intimate and human look at this dynamic art form.
Year: 2015


Leadership in History Award
Date: 5/1/2016
Organization: American Association of State and Local History