Today the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced $33 million in grants for 173 humanities projects nationwide. Mystic Seaport is thrilled to be included in this group and is the recipient of two substantial grants.
The Museum was awarded $450,000 to support public programming related to the 38th Voyage of the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan. The funds will be used for dockside and onboard activities and programming during the ship’s ceremonial voyage in 2014. The grant will also help fund a new permanent exhibit on whaling at Mystic Seaport titled “In the Wake of the Whalers.”
“This grant will help us fully express the Morgan’s significance to maritime heritage and indeed American history,” said Mystic Seaport President Steve White.
The Morgan will go back to sea on her 38th Voyage in May 2014 to visit historic ports of New England in celebration of America’s maritime heritage. After a period of refitting and sea trials based in New London, the vessel will sail to Newport, Vineyard Haven, New Bedford, and Boston. She will also venture onto the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and participate in the centennial celebration of the Cape Cod Canal. The 38th Voyage will be a commemoration of the role of the sea in America’s history and an appreciation of our changing relationship with the natural world.
The NEH award is an America’s Historic & Cultural Organizations Implementation Grant, which is used to support museum exhibits, library-based projects, interpretation of historic places, websites, and other formats that excite and inform “thoughtful reflection upon culture, identity and history,” according to the NEH. Mystic Seaport was awarded a $40,000 planning grant in the same category for the Morgan in 2011.
The NEH also awarded $164,280 to support the 2014 NEH Summer Institute “The American Maritime People” at the Museum’s Frank C. Munson Institute. The grant will enable the Institute to bring 20 college and university faculty members to Mystic Seaport in the summer of 2014 to teach them about the cultural influence of the nation’s maritime past so they can share that knowledge with undergraduates across the country.
“It is very rewarding to receive our fourth NEH grant in the last nine years,” said Dr. Glenn Gordinier, Robert G. Albion Historian at Mystic Seaport and the Co-Director of the Frank C. Munson Institute of American Maritime Studies. “That kind of affirmation from such an esteemed body confirms the importance of our work and gives a great boost to everyone involved.”
Mystic Seaport is grateful to the NEH for its continued support.