I.P. Stanback Museum & Planetarium awarded $149,956 grant to increase cultural and civic engagement

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded South Carolina State University’s I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium a grant in the amount of $149,956  for African American history and culture. The Stanback was one of 11 museums in the nation to receive funding in this category.

The funding, awarded through the institute’s five museum grant programs, its cooperative and interagency agreements and the National Medal for Museum Service, supported 244 projects. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums.

SC State students participate in a conservation training at the Stanback. The workshop was funded through an IMLS grant.
The Stanback’s funded project, “Building a Learner Centered Museum,” focuses on the needs of the learner  - students, staff, faculty, pre-K through 12th grade students and the diversity of the community. The Stanback will provide a variety of learning experiences that enhance appreciation of the museum by a wide range of audiences so that the museum can increase community involvement and student participation.

To accomplish the goals, an education assistant with IMLS internship experience will be hired; a team will develop a pilot project to integrate the museum into curricula and consultants will provide training to strengthen knowledge, skills and creativity in all aspects of educational museums including educational outreach, integrating the museum into curricula, cross disciplinary thinking, innovation, visitor diversity and lifelong learning. In addition, the education assistant and interns will present at national conferences, representing SC State.

Since reopening in 2007, the Stanback has established itself as a viable facility with high quality collections, exhibitions and educational programs. With the grant, the next few years will encompass the comprehensive and purposeful development of the Stanback into a learning centered museum where students and the community are at the center of all activities.

Ellen Zisholtz, Stanback director, stated, “We appreciate the opportunity to work with IMLS in creating a greater understanding of the importance of the museum experience to students and the community, providing less formal educational opportunities that will optimize the potential for life-long learning.”

On Sept. 18, IMLS Director Susan Hildreth honored the grant award receipients at a workshop and ceremony in Washington, D.C. Funding for IMLS grants is provided through an appropriation from Congress. The event was an opportunity for members of Congress and their staff to see how museums across the country will use the funds to support learning experiences, serve as community anchors and safeguard the nation’s cultural and scientific heritage represented by their collections.

“The nation’s 17,500 museums are trusted spaces where people can follow their passions and connect with their communities in new ways, where treasured collections are used to create unique learning places,” said Hildreth. “The American people can be proud of these federal investments that help support the educational and cultural life of the nation.”

For additional information about programs or visiting the Stanback, contact the I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium at (803) 536-7174 or visit www.scsuCRASH.blogspot.com.