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Grant number like: CZ-50049-04

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Oberlin Heritage Center (Oberlin, OH 44074-0455)
Patricia Murphy (Project Director: June 2003 to present)

Special Initiatives
Challenge Programs

[Grant products]

Totals (matching):
$100,000 (approved)
$100,000 (offered)
$100,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
12/1/2001 – 7/31/2006

Endowment for Museum Education Coordinator and Local History Symposium

Endowment to provide partial support for the position of museum education coordinator and for a local history symposium to be held every two years.

This application from the Oberlin Heritage Center/ Oberlin Historical and Improvement Organization is for the N.E.H. Challenge Grant Special Initiative for Local History. It is a request for a $100,000 challenge grant to establish a new endowment for a part-time museum education coordinator position and to establish a local history symposium to be held every two years, which would be planned in cooperation with Oberlin College, and especially its History and African-American Studies departments. Topics to be addressed could include Abolition and the Underground Railroad, Education for African-Americans and Women, African-American Abolitionists in Oberlin history, Oberlinians' roles in John Brown's Raid at Harpers Ferry, Voting Rights, the Oberlin-Wellington Rescue and its role in the outbreak of the Civil War, the Temperance and Moral Reform Movements as well as 20th Century topics such as Civil Rights, the city's Fair Housing Laws and other local history topics that are deserving of more research. Many of these topics relate to the new "We the People" initiative as the town's compelling history effectively conveys many of the principles important in defining the history of our country. The grant would help the organization to expand and upgrade its public programs, enhance its interpretation of its historic sites, incorporate humanities scholarship in its programming in a more systematic and focused manner than it has done previously, and build stronger, lasting relationships with humanities scholars and area educators. It will also help this small but dynamic local history organization to become less dependent upon short-term grant funds for the much-needed key staff position of museum education coordinator. The grant will help the organization to more effectively interpret and present the Oberlin community's rich, diverse, nationally significant history and to help it continue to enhance public awareness and appreciation of Oberlin's history.