The first is an award of $500,000 for a CT Cultural Fund Operating Support Grant. Administered in partnership with the Connecticut State Department of Economic Development/Connecticut Office of the Arts, with funds from the Connecticut State Legislature, the operating grants assist organizations as they recover from the pandemic and maintain and grow their ability to serve their community and the public. The Museum will use the funds in part to improve accessibility and wayfinding on the grounds, enhance online content and access for remote learning, and support the expansion and merging of its educational offerings under the umbrella of the soon-to-launch Center for Experiential Education (CEE). The CEE represents a commitment by the Museum to serve youth in a more holistic and comprehensive manner by engaging young people at critical junctures of their lives through experiential maritime education.
The second award is a $10,000 grant from the Sustaining Humanities through the American Rescue Plan (SHARP) Capacity Grants, funded by the NEH and the federal American Rescue Plan (ARP). The Museum will use the funds to support diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) training across all departments. The firm Lord Cultural Resources — a global practice leader in bringing DEAI principles to the museum field — has been engaged to guide this work.
The final award of $9,999 is a Capacity Building Grant to cover Lord’s external information gathering and reporting in order to help the Museum better understand and engage with a more diverse public.
“As we continue to recover from the economic impact of the pandemic we are working hard towards positioning the Museum as a more sustainable and culturally relevant institution to as broad an audience as possible,” said Peter Armstrong, president of Mystic Seaport Museum. “This generous support from Connecticut Humanities will help the Museum, working in partnership with other community organizations, to emphasize the diversity of the maritime story to a much wider public.”
The Museum was one of 624 organizations in Connecticut that received CT Cultural Fund support totaling $16M from CT Humanities. The operating grants are part of $30.7M of support allocated to arts, humanities, and cultural nonprofits through CTH over the next two years by the CT General Assembly and approved by Governor Ned Lamont. Funds were provided through the Connecticut State Department of Economic and Community Development and its Connecticut Office of the Arts.
Mystic Seaport Museum was one of 69 organizations in Connecticut that was awarded ARP funding totaling $640,192 from CT Humanities. CTH SHARP Capacity Grants provide organizations funding for projects including building their information technology infrastructure, making their collections more accessible, conducting strategic planning, and undertaking inclusivity, diversity, equity, and access work.