Below, you’ll find the press release for an exciting new project that I’m doing. PROCLAIMING COLORADO’S BLACK HISTORY will present a comprehensive celebration of the Black experience in the Centennial state. The exhibit is scheduled to open September 2023.
THE MUSEUM OF BOULDER at Tebo Center
Presents: PROCLAIMING COLORADO’S BLACK HISTORY
Institute of Museum and Library Services: Museums for America
An Announcement Breakfast took place on 10/29/21 featuring, Author Adrian Miller, Civil Rights Advocate Glenda Robinson, Business Leaders Wanda James and Katrina Miller. The three year project is now underway. Note, the new name – recommended by the project’s Advisory Council.
LOCATION: THE MUSEUM OF BOULDER
2205 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80302
Lori Preston, Executive Director – 303.449.3464
As the Museum of Boulder celebrates its 77th year, we are honored and very excited about receiving an IMLS FY2021 Museums for America award. We believe its impact will add value to Boulder and surrounding communities.
|The Museum of Boulder, in partnership with the Boulder Public Library and Boulder County NAACP Chapter, will develop activities to highlight the history of Black people in Colorado. Over three years, the museum will employ a community-centered process and develop an exhibit and educational curricula to address the lack of Black histories in Colorado. The program will collect original oral histories and research, consolidate research data and make it publicly available, and host a series of programs about race. This will give Coloradans a more inclusive understanding of the state’s history by illuminating the stories of Black Coloradans, help the local community examine attitudes about and knowledge of the experience of Black people in Colorado, and ultimately serve as a launching pad for community dialogue and a basis for community action.|
Mission: to advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development.
This year IMLS received 394 applications requesting $70,744,085. Of these, they selected 126 projects to receive funding totaling $23,305,670. IMLS’s peer reviewers evaluated all eligible and complete grant applications, assessing the merit of each proposal and its fit with the goals of the grant program. IMLS staff presented this information to the IMLS Director, who then made the final funding decisions.
“As pillars of our communities, libraries and museums bring people together by providing important programs, services, and collections. These institutions are trusted spaces where people can learn, explore, and grow,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “IMLS is proud to support their initiatives through our grants as they educate and enhance their communities.”
Here are a couple responses to the Museum’s application:
- This proposal uses the current national crisis of racial reckoning as its primary justification for the project and does an effective job of showing the local context for those issues and the reasons why their institution is positioned to be a catalyst in community work. The institution has established its identity around serving as a vital community resource and has illustrated effectiveness (or at least award winning response) to previous exhibitions designed to serve this role. The proposal put a lot of effort into illustrating the stakeholders and securing their support and commitment, illustrating that this project will be done in concert with the audiences and stakeholders it is designed to serve and support.
- This is one of my favorite pieces of museum writing of the past year. Strong, clear and unafraid to openly state the challenges facing the community. The site’s willingness to acknowledge and aim to change the self-congratulatory liberal whiteness of the local area gives a much stronger chance of success in the program and is a refreshing first step. Additionally, the centering of a variety of Black voices, connected by multiple relationships is also a critical factor in the likely impact of this project. That the museum is seeking to actively form and transfer power goes from strength to strength. I also appreciate that the understanding of this is deep historically and broad in the current era, acknowledging the multifaceted nature of the problem faced today. This is an outstanding justification.
What’s the Museum of Boulder’s Mission/Strategic Goals as it relates to the award?
The Museum of Boulder, in cooperation with the Boulder Public Library and local NAACP chapter, has proposed an exhibit and oral history project focused on telling Black histories from Black perspectives, to be accompanied by related programming. Framed as a response both to the events of 2020 and longer negligence of Black experiences by the Museum and the Boulder community, this suite of research, interpretation, and discussion fulfills a community and institutional need, fulfilling the Museum’s new 2020 mission and strategic plan goals to prioritize inclusive histories and “effect positive change” by being a “vital community resource.”
How much is the award, and how is the money used?
The amount awarded and split over the three year project is $250,000.00, with a required match. The Museum of Boulder will be seeking community sponsorship for the match. The budget covers a portion of the exhibit design and development, some educational and marketing materials, funds for the oral history project, and limited travel and meeting support. The partial salaries and wages of administrators, managers, contractors, curators, and designers will be covered, spreading the funds to experts in the community, beyond the Museum of Boulder. IMLS and the Museum are especially pleased to note that $16,000 will go towards university students (yet to be selected) who will be participating in the research. A matching opportunity for individuals, businesses and organizations is often mission appropriate and an easy structured way to support vetted, meaningful work in Boulder and surrounding areas. For more information on matching the IMLS funds, reach out to Beverly Silva, Community Outreach Liaison for the Museum of Boulder, Beverly@nullmuseumofboulder.org. 303.449.3464, ext. 16
Who is involved?
Adrian Miller will serve as co-project director, managing the research and content direction in collaboration with community partners. Mr. Miller is a Colorado social historian who graduated from Smoky Hill High School in Aurora and Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in international relations. He earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law School. Adrian served as special assistant to the President of the United States, Bill Clinton and he was the Deputy Director of the President’s Initiative for One America. He also served as a deputy legislative director and policy analyst for Colorado Governor Bill Ritter before fully exploring his interest in historical food writing. He is the author of three books, including Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time, that won the 2014 James Beard Foundation Book Award for Reference and Scholarship. It is also named a nonfiction honor book by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. His second book, The President’s Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas, was a finalist for the 2018 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work Non-Fiction and the Colorado Book Award for History. Adrian serves in a variety of nonprofit organizations. He is on the board of Colorado Humanities, Colorado Public Radio, Artists Against Racism, Campbell Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Colorado Wine Industry Development Board, Iliff School of Theology, and Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. He currently serves as the Executive Director of Colorado Council of Churches, and is the first African American and layperson to hold that position.
Key collaborators include the archivists and researchers at the Boulder Public Library’s Maria Rogers Oral Histories Program. Video content and filming original interviews will be produced by Blackat Productions, led by Katrina Miller of Boulder, 2021 Rising Star Award winner, Boulder Chamber of Commerce. The Boulder Valley School District will support the construction of standards-aligned educational content. A series of facilitated dialogues and colloquia, in conjunction with the exhibit, will be conducted by a professional coach and facilitator. Laureen Trainer, of Trainer Evaluation will serve as an independent evaluator for the project, and will be responsible for all evaluation activities, including front-end, design-based formative and summative evaluation.The core project team is composed of the Museum’s staff, Lori Preston, Executive Director, serving as the project director, along with Emily Zinn, Director of Education, serving as the project manager. Preston is responsible for the overall direction and administration of the thirty-six month effort.
We Are Seeking People and Input!
An independent Advisory Council, made up of community members, leaders in history, research, business, and academia will guide how we frame the story, the format for delivering content, asset acquisition, and relationship-building. The Boulder NAACP Chapter, led by Annett James will support the research by identifying key histories and recruiting partners for focus groups and listening sessions. The additional individuals selected for the Advisory Council as evidenced through the letters of support submitted with the application for this award, have an excellent grounding of knowledge and thought and should help to drive this process forward thoughtfully and responsibly.
|The Mission of the Museum of Boulder: History happens here. The Museum of Boulder showcases inclusive community stories, preserves them for the future, and inspires all of us to effect positive change.|
TIMELINE: “Proclaiming Colorado’s Black History” Exhibit Opens: September, 2023
MUSEUM’S HOURS OF OPERATIONSunday | 9am – 5pmMonday | 9am – 5pmTuesday | ClosedWednesday | 9am – 8pmThursday | 9am – 5pmFriday | 9am – 5pmSaturday | 9am – 5pm
|ABOUT THE MUSEUM OF BOULDER|
Founded in 1944 as the Boulder Historical Society, the Museum of Boulder is an arts and cultural institution that showcases the remarkable accomplishments of Boulder through innovative exhibits, programs, and social engagement. Located on the corner of Pine and Broadway at 2205 Broadway, the Museum serves as a private institution holding over 44,000 objects in its Collection of Boulder’s history, featuring the AASLH National award winning gallery, The Boulder Experience highlighting innovators, scientists, athletes, artists, natural foods, and high tech interactives. The venue offers event spaces throughout and on its scenic view rooftop, making the Museum a unique community hub and resource venue.
CONTACTS: ADRIAN MILLER, Co-Project Director and Research Leader, firstname.lastname@example.org, 303.917.3864
EMILY ZINN, Director of Education, Museum of Boulder email@example.com 303.449.3464, ext. 3
LORI PRESTON, Executive Director, Museum of Boulder, firstname.lastname@example.org 303.449.3464, ext. 1