Shaker Museum awarded $550,000 grant from The National Endowment for the Humanities

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Shaker Museum awarded $550,000 grant from The National Endowment for the Humanities
Shaker Box. Photo: Courtesy of Shaker Museum.

CHATHAM, NY.- Shaker Museum, which stewards the most comprehensive collection of Shaker material culture and archives, announced today that it has been awarded a $550,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grant will be used to construct and outfit a climate-controlled collections storage facility within the new museum building planned for downtown Chatham, NY.

After being closed to the public for more than ten years, Shaker Museum has purchased a 19th century industrial building in Chatham, NY and is in the process of renovating and building an expansive addition to the facility with Selldorf Architects. The new facility is essential to the museum’s ability to deliver humanities programming to local, national, and international audiences. The new building, along with the climate-controlled storage facility supported by NEH, will allow the museum to share and preserve its unparalleled collection. The museum aims to tell the complete story of the Shakers, including their material culture as seen through furniture, costume, archives, and photographs; their social legacy of communalism, inclusion, and pacifism; and their technological innovations in manufacturing, architecture, agriculture, and engineering.

Shaker Museum Executive Director Lacy Schutz commented: “Shaker Museum is tremendously grateful to the National Endowment for the Humanities for this grant which will help us as we reanimate the museum and begin this new and exciting chapter. As stewards of this incredible collection, our first priority must be to preserve and protect this material so we can then in turn share it with generations to come. This grant will help us do just that. We are honored to be included in the NEH’s 2020 grant cycle which includes so many valuable cultural endeavors across the country.”

The Shaker Museum grant was one of 213 humanities projects in 44 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico that received $32.8 million in support from the National Endowment for the Humanities announced today.

NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede commented: “As we conclude an extremely difficult year for our nation and its cultural institutions, it is heartening to see so many excellent projects being undertaken by humanities scholars, researchers, curators, and educators. These new NEH grants will foster intellectual inquiry, promote broad engagement with history, literature, and other humanities fields, and expand access to cultural collections and resources for all Americans.”

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