Detroit — The Michigan History Foundation has been awarded $1 million to help gather personal stories about race in Michigan and examine related issues through museum exhibits, programs and educational materials.
The three-year grant announced this week from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation will be used to support the “Sharing Michigan’s Untold Stories” project of the Michigan Historical Center.
“This grant will help us work with communities across the state whose stories are not always told,” Michigan Historical Center Director Sandra Clark said in a statement. “It will advance our goal of ensuring that everyone who visits the Michigan Historical Museum sees themselves in our exhibits.
“It also will help us explore new ways of sharing all of Michigan’s stories, both inside and outside our walls.”
The endeavor is part of the Exhibits for a New Century effort to refresh the displays at the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing, which is part of the Michigan Historical Center. In all, the Michigan History Foundation said it’s working to raise $3 million for the Exhibits for a New Century effort.
The goals include increasing the diversity of voices and people represented in exhibits; providing more opportunities for children to explore history; creating online resources for teachers, students and families; and using technology more effectively.
“Updating the exhibits in the museum is critical to its mission of telling the great stories of Michigan,” said Cindy Hales, executive director of the Michigan History Foundation. “Using the latest in technology will ensure that the visitor experience is fresh and relevant.”
The first phase will update the “First People, Territorial Capitol and Settlement” and “Civil War” exhibits. The second phase will add Native American voices to the “Growing Up in Michigan” exhibit and improve exhibits on lumber, mining and late-19th-century exhibits.
The Michigan Historical Center, which is part of the state Department of Natural Resources, includes the Michigan Historical Museum, 10 regional museums, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve and the Archives of Michigan.