Museum Makeover Grants Awarded
March 14, 2022 • CTH Funded, Features & News, Grants

March 14, 2022
Contact:  Kathy Craughwell-Varda /

Conservation ConneCTion has awarded Museum Makeover grants to 15 organizations, in partnership with the Connecticut League of History Organizations (CLHO). In the first year of this program, 63 applications were received from organizations in all eight counties of Connecticut. The funded projects range from outdoor exhibits, new interpretations of local history, and collection storage upgrades.

Museum Makeover grant recipients will receive free site visits from a team of museum curators who will examine exhibit areas or collection storage areas and develop a plan to improve these areas and elevate the visitor experience. Members of these cultural heritage organizations will be actively involved in all phases of their Museum Makeover and will work closely with the Traveling Curators. CT Humanities is also providing up to $3,000 to each participating institution to help cover the costs of upgrading exhibition and storage areas. All participants in the Museum Makeover program will receive a free consultation with a marketing professional who will provide guidance on how they can promote the transformations completed by the Museum Makeover program.

The Traveling Curators are a dynamic team of eleven professional curators who have worked with cultural heritage organizations of all sizes and are experts in museum exhibitions and collection storage.  Team members are currently employed at the Connecticut Historical Society, Mystic Seaport Museum, Litchfield Historical Society, Fairfield Museum & History Center, Greenwich Historical Society, Gunn Historical Museum, and Westport Museum of History & Culture, in addition to some being independent museum consultants with many years of experience working in Connecticut.

The Museum Makeover recipients are:

Avery-Copp House Museum, (New London County), to develop outdoor interpretation and signage to encourage public use of museum grounds.

Danbury Railway Museum, (Fairfield County), to curate outdoor exhibit and develop signage for the rail yard.

Finnish American Heritage Society, (Windham County), to create new dynamic and interactive displays for the permanent collections.

Haddam Historical Society, (Middlesex County), to develop a plan to reorganize archive storage and workspace.

Historical Society of Glastonbury, (Hartford County), to provide guidance and design for new climate-control storage rooms.

Sharon Historical Society, (Litchfield County), to plan and implement an exhibit on immigration and the iron industry as part of revisions to the permanent exhibit.

Simsbury Historical Society, (Hartford County), to expand the interpretation of the Ensign-Bickford Co. exhibit, makers of safety fuses for the mining industry, and to include stories on immigration and female industrial workers.

Slater Memorial Museum, (New London County), to develop new interpretive materials for their historic exhibit of Greek and Roman plaster casts.

Stanley-Whitman House, (Hartford County), to develop an interpretation plan for the permanent exhibit on Farmington that includes the stories and voices of Indigenous and enslaved people.

The Amistad Center for Art & Culture, (Hartford County), to redesign collection storage areas to ensure proper housing and safe object retrieval.

The Dudley Farm Museum, (New Haven County), to reinterpret the tool, granary, and agricultural exhibit areas in the North Barn of the farm.

The New England Carousel Museum, (Hartford County), to develop plan to include the carousel restoration studio as part of the visitor experience.

Trumbull Historical Society, (Fairfield County), to update permanent exhibit interpretation to include stories of Indigenous and enslaved people.

Wilton Historical Society, (Fairfield County), to redesign collection storage areas to make better use of available space.

Windham Textile & History Museum, (Windham County), to develop plans to make the museum collections more accessible and consolidate collection storage on site.

A new round of Museum Makeover grants will be available at the end of 2022, with applications becoming available in October and awards announced in early 2023.

Museum Makeover is a program of Conservation ConneCTion and is supported through a partnership with the Connecticut League of History Organization with a grant from the CT Cultural Fund, administered by CT Humanities (CTH), with funding provided by the Connecticut State Department of Economic and Community Development/Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) from the Connecticut State Legislature. 

Conservation ConneCTion is a collections care and conservation collaborative representing and open to all collection holding institutions but not limited to museums, libraries, archives, and historical societies. The goals of Conservation ConneCTion are to identify collection care needs and to develop a statewide plan to meet them.

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