CVM Awarded Federal Grant for Community Engagement Project

Posted: September 13, 2013

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) recently announced nearly $30,000,000 in grants to 244 museums across the nation. The Chippewa Valley Museum is receiving $150,000 through the Museums for America program for a project to enhance the cultural life of Eau Claire County and create more ways for residents and visitors to engage in it. 

IMLS Director Susan Hildreth will present a workshop and ceremony on Capitol Hill, on September 18, to recognize the 2013 museum winners and to highlight successful applicants and awards. The event will showcase the many ways museums support learning experiences, serve as community anchors, and are stewards of cultural and scientific heritage through the preservation of their collections.

"IMLS recognizes three valuable roles museums have in their communities: putting the learner at the center, serving as community anchors, and serving as stewards of cultural and scientific collections," said IMLS Director Susan Hildreth. "It is exciting to see the many ways our newly announced grants further these important museum roles. I congratulate the slate of 2013 museum grant recipients for planning projects that advance innovation in museum practice, lifelong learning, and community engagement."

In 2012, the Chippewa Valley Museum in partnership with local government and community organizations produced the study, The Good Life: A Cultural Direction for Eau Claire County, which focused on the community's cultural identity and made recommendations for its future. The museum is now leading an effort to act on the report's recommendations working with the community to increase the visibility of local history and culture and building a sense of place tied to the county's rivers and water heritage.

The project, dubbed Thinking, Local, will develop publications, websites, and new digital programs; create resources that serve residents and attract visitors; and study issues of access identified in The Good Life study. Project partners include the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center, L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Visit Eau Claire, Downtown Eau Claire, Inc., and Western Dairyland Community Action Agency.

"The Chippewa Valley Museum is honored not only to work again with our community partners for the benefit of Eau Claire and Eau Claire County but also to have the support of the Institute of Museum and Library Services," said CVM director Susan McLeod. "In the past, IMLS support has often made a significant difference in the scope and level of CVM's program, letting us work at the top of our capabilities."

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

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. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow IMLS on Facebook and Twitter.

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