County Historical Society gets $400K grant from National Endowment for the Humanities

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CCHSThe Chester County Historical Society (CCHS) announced Tuesday that it had received an implementation grant of $400,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities for the upcoming exhibition Chester County: A Place in History.

The grant program is extremely competitive. Of the 212 grants awarded nationally, CCHS was one of only ten to receive funding in the Museums, Libraries, and Cultural Organizations Planning and Implementation category.

The Chester County Historical Society’s new 6,000 sq. ft. permanent exhibition Chester County: A Place in History will highlight CCHS’s nationally recognized permanent collections with a depth of interpretation that will enable visitors, local and distant, to understand more about this community and their relationship to it. This innovative re-installation and expansion project will feature stories about people, places and events that make this vibrant county unique. CCHS will be able to increase access physically and electronically to more objects, photographs, and manuscripts than ever before through the exhibit and an adjacent gallery featuring visible storage. The exhibition is scheduled to open in 2017.

“The NEH is excited to support Chester County: A Place in History,” said Karen Mittelman, NEH Director of the Division of Public Programs. “In this exhibition we see great potential to connect the community to the past in meaningful ways, enabling audiences to reexamine events in terms of ideas that make the past relevant to present concerns.  Our reviewers were enthusiastic about the multitude of creative techniques the project proposes to actively engage audiences in this type of critical investigation.”

“The Chester County Historical Society is very excited and grateful to partner with the National Endowment for the Humanities to bring Chester County: A Place in History to the public,” said David Reinfeld, CCHS Interim President & Vice President, Development.  “The partnership with National Endowment for the Humanities will aid in our efforts to preserve and share the remarkable history of Chester County, and provide a powerful and meaningful experience for our visitors.”

“The entire project team is thrilled to have this significant acknowledgement from the history and museum community,” said Ellen Endslow, CCHS Director of Collections/Curator.  “This support will help us build on the long legacy of CCHS to tell a wide range of stories about a diverse population. We are eager to explore new ways of exhibiting our collections.”

An anonymous donor who believes strongly in the importance of this project will match each gift in 2015 dollar for dollar, thus doubling every donation’s power.  To date, CCHS has successfully raised more than $2.1 million in gifts and pledges from members and community partners towards Chester County: A Place in History. For more information, please visit http://chestercohistorical.org/permanent-gallery-project

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