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Grant number like: CH-50299-06

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Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center, Inc. (Fredericksburg, VA 22404-0922)
Edwin W. Watson (Project Director: May 2005 to October 2010)
Ellen Killough (Project Director: October 2010 to November 2010)

Challenge Grants
Challenge Programs

Totals (matching):
$400,000 (approved)
$400,000 (offered)
$400,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
12/1/2004 – 7/31/2010

NEH Challenge Grant for Endowment for the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center

Endowment for staff coordinators for school and public programs, as well as website development and stipends for humanities scholars.

The Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center (FAMCC) collects and interprets the history and culture of a significant community in the mid-Atlantic region, and the museum offers the only comprehensive story of the region's past. No longer just an outer commuter suburb of the nation's capital, Fredericksburg today is at the forefront of the nation's next big demographic movement. As a rapidly growing "exurb," the region we interpret has the power to tell a broad American story, linking a varied past with the current major transformation in the way Americans organize their society. The museum itself has matured since opening in 1988, but it, too, like its community is poised for further change. Our strategic plan sets a goal to enlarge the museum's collection, number of exhibitions, and offering of public programs, and to expand the humanities base of interpretation by presenting the history of the region within a larger intellectual framework. As we engage in a self-study for re-accreditation, and bring to bear the results of a $7.5 million campaign, we have reached the critical mass of resources and conceptual willingness to transform how we interpret the history of Fredericksburg. The capital campaign jump started the process and has funded key changes to strengthen the humanities by adding humanities staff and humanities scholars. The FAMCC seeks an NEH Challenge Grant of $400,000 to leverage an additional $1,200,000 for an endowment to sustain these changes. Specifically, endowment income from the Challenge Grant and its match will enable the museum to (a) endow two humanities positions--a full-time school programs coordinator (now half-time) and a new half-time public programs coordinator, (b) redesign the museum's website to incorporate new components on the history of the region for the public and for school programs, and (c) have sustained use of humanities scholars after campaign funds expire.