Philadelphia, PA-The Heritage Philadelphia Program, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and administered by the Independence Visitor Center Corporation, has awarded seven grants totaling $413,491 to historic sites in the Greater Philadelphia region. The funds will go toward planning new exhibits, developing special experiences for visitors and doing research at churches, museums, mills and other historic places in the region.
The Heritage Philadelphia Program, established in 1998, provides grant funding, support and professional development services to museums and historic sites in the Greater Philadelphia region. HPP's mission is to foster a single vision, a united focus and comprehensive services for interpreting and preserving Philadelphia's historic treasures.
Since its inception, the Heritage Philadelphia Program has received international recognition for its creative, holistic and practical approach to the challenges facing the region's house museums and other historic places, and it remains the only program of its kind in the nation. Terry Davis, president and CEO of the American Association for State and Local History notes, “The Heritage Philadelphia Program is leading the way with its creative and practical approach to the public presentation and preservation of historical resources.”
“We are proud to be recognized as the most innovative program in the country that presents history to the public,” said HPP executive director Barbara Silberman. “Greater Philadelphia is home to an unparalleled national treasury of buildings and collections covering a wealth of historical periods and themes. It's our job-- and it makes good cultural and business sense--to ensure that these resources are available to the public through the support and funding provided by our program.”
The awards were judged by a national panel of museum professionals, historians and architects. Assisting panel chair Gretchen Sullivan Sorin, director of New York's Cooperstown Museum Studies program, were: Martha Dyckes, director of interpretive services for the Colorado Historical Society; Pamela Hawkes, AIA, vice president of Ann Beha Associates in Cambridge, Mass.; Mike Jackson, FAIA, state historic preservation officer and chief architect for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency; Janet Kamien, former vice president of the Franklin Institute and exhibit developer for the National Constitution Center; Susan McLeod, executive director of the Chippewa Valley Museum in Eau Claire, Wisc.; and Sheldon Wolf, former development and marketing director for the New England Aquarium.
In alphabetical order, the awards are as follows:
The Pew Charitable Trusts serves the public interest by providing information, policy solutions and support for civic life. Based in Philadelphia, with an office in Washington, D.C., the Trusts make investments to provide organizations and citizens with fact-based research and practical solutions on challenging issues. In 2003, with approximately $4.1 billion in dedicated assets, the Trusts committed more than $143 million to 151 nonprofit organizations.