1) Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs awards $1.2 million in arts grants for quality of life and cultural vitality in 40 Iowa communities.

The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library is pleased to announce that it has received a Cultural Leadership Partners grantfrom the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. Grant funds will support arts, culture, history and humanities programming at the NCSML.

“With these investments, we continue to partner with artists and organizations who are making our communities more culturally vibrant and attractive to people who want to live and work in our state,” Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Cownie said. “We congratulate our grant recipients and encourage all Iowans to experience and enjoy the arts in Iowa.”  This funding will create a positive impact on the artistic and cultural vitality of Iowa, and public value for over 45,000 people who will be served by the NCSML’s educational programs each year.

“On behalf of the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library Board of Trustees and staff, I would like to express thanks for the funding support from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. The value of public funding in educational programming and the arts and culture sector is so significant to our mission-delivery and we are very grateful. With this funding, the NCSML will impact thousands of children, students, and life-long learners of every background[/su_quote] and connect them to stories of history, heritage and culture.” – President/CEO, Gail Naughton.

Funding for the Cultural Leadership Partners grant is made possible by Iowa Arts Council. The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and its three divisions – the Iowa Arts Council, Produce Iowa-State Office of Media Production and the State Historical Society of Iowa – empower Iowa to build and sustain culturally vibrant communities by connecting Iowans to the people, places and points of pride that define our state. The department’s work enables Iowa to be recognized as a state that fosters creativity and serves as a catalyst for innovation where the stories of Iowa are preserved and communicated to connect past, present and future generations. www.iowaculture.gov.

2) The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs  awards nearly $600,000 for 27 historic preservation and country school projects in 22 Iowa communities.

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs today announced it has awarded $595,922 to 27 historic preservation and country school projects in 22 communities across the state. Awarded through the Historical Resource Development Program and the Country School Grant Program, the grants cover a wide range of projects, including a documentary and collections project at the NCSML.

Historical Resource Development Program grants help individuals and organizations preserve, conserve, interpret and educate the public about historical resources in three different categories – documentary collections, historic preservation and museums. Since 1990, the program has awarded more than $16 million to 1,200 historical projects across the state to conserve museum collections, microfilm newspapers, preserve photographs, install exhibits, survey historic neighborhoods, nominate buildings and districts to the National Register of Historic Places, and more.

The NCSML was awarded the HRDP grant for a project titled “Transcribing Oral History Interviews of Iowans of Czech Descent” in the Documentary Collections category. The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (NCSML) will transcribe 70 oral history interviews from two oral history projects featuring 89 Iowans of Czech descent in nine historically Czech Iowa communities. As the transcripts are made available, NCSML staff will analyze them for their content and will regularly comment about them on the NCSML’s blog. Summaries of each interview will be added to the NCSML’s digital collections.


3) The NCSML awarded grant from the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation to put museum’s artifact collection online.

The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation Program Fund supports new, innovative programs and sustains current and/or ongoing programs that impact the quality of life in Linn County, Iowa.

In 2014 and 2015, the NCSML was awarded funding from the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation to display the museum’s entire artifact collection online. There are over 12,000 artifacts in the museum’s permanent physical collection, and about 3 percent are able to be on display at any given time. In keeping with national trends concerning the future of museums, the NCSML applied these funds to increase the accessibility of its collection nationwide.

The online collection site will not only allow users to view images and read a description of the artifacts, but also to comment on artifacts and to curate their own exhibits. This proposed interaction with the collection is critical to the museum’s mission delivery locally and with  national and international audiences. As exponentially more of the world around us is translated to digital content, visitors to museum websites expect to see an online collection feature. Additionally, visitors will be able to use mobile devices to access the collections database while viewing the exhibits. Much more information will be available online than is possible to write on a label next to an item on display.

Finally, the NCSML Education Team will be able to design classroom lessons around artifacts and share them digitally with teachers. This will allow the museum’s classroom enrichment programs and curriculum to reach students in schools outside of driving distance, or to enrich the pre-visit and post-visit lesson plans provided to local teachers for their museum study-trip.

The online collection is projected to be live on NCSML.org by December 2016.

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