Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, Mass., Nov. 8 - Plimoth Plantation is proud to announce that it has been awarded two grants totaling $314,000 from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
The first of the IMLS grants awarded to Plimoth Plantation will be used to create a new visitor orientation film. The other will be used to create a program called The Plymouth Ancestors Project, in partnership with the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), which is designed to encourage visitors to become personally involved in historical investigation. Both grants require the museum to raise additional funds from corporate and private donors.
The new visitor orientation film will be a first step in a whole new orientation experience planned over the next several years. An innovative new media experience, the film will introduce visitors to the idea of multiple perspectives of history and encourage them to become active participants in the living history immersion experiences offered at Plimoth Plantation. To achieve maximum dramatic effect, the film will be shot in HDTV (high definition television) and will be shown on state-of-the-art projection with surround sound technology in the museum's two existing orientation theaters.
The Plymouth Ancestors Project is being created to encourage visitors to actively participate in historical investigation by providing them with the basic tools for introductory-level genealogical work. Among the tools being developed are three touch-screen computer kiosks to be used on-site at Plimoth Plantation, a free curriculum for classroom teachers, a website with links to NEHGS resources, and an annual newsletter. The project is intended to serve as a national model for museum and library collaborations.
The IMLS visitor orientation film grant is for $150,000. The museum must raise an additional $150,000 from corporate and private donors by the spring of 2006 under the terms of the grant. For the Plymouth Ancestors Project grant, which is in the amount of $164,000, Plimoth Plantation must raise $43,000 in matching funds, with the remainder of the budget coming from NEHGS.
Nancy Brennan, Executive Director of Plimoth Plantation at the time the grant proposals were submitted and awarding of the grants was announced, said "receiving the grants is both an honor and an important affirmation of the museum's direction." In the "Museums for America Grant" category (in which the museum received the grant for the new orientation film), the museum received one of 190 awarded. In the "National Leadership Grant" category, the museum was awarded one of only 19. This was for the Plymouth Ancestors Project.
Robert Martin, Director of the Institute, said of the grants: "At IMLS we recognize that museums and libraries share a fundamental educational mission. They exist to support learning. When museums and libraries join forces, their partnerships can be more powerful and their projects can reflect the best thinking in the realm of lifelong, informal learning. It is our hope that today's grants will provide models for the best practices of tomorrow's museums and libraries."
Plimoth Plantation is an hour south of Boston in Plymouth (Exit 4, Route 3 south) and 20 minutes north of Cape Cod. The museum is a private, non-profit educational institution supported by admission fees, contributions, memberships, function sales and revenue from our dining programs/services and museum shops. Plimoth Plantation receives support from private foundations, corporations, local businesses and the Massachusetts Cultural Council and can be visited on the web at http://www.plimoth.org.