With very little money and many dedicated volunteers, dozens of non-profit historical societies and small museums across Arkansas toil to preserve and protect their local history and heritage. Now, some of them are getting a financial break.
Twenty organizations received a Small Arkansas Museum grant this year. The grants were announced during a ceremony at Historic Arkansas Museum in Little Rock. Presenting the grants were Marynell Branch, deputy director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, and Pat Ramsey, president of the board of the Arkansas Humanities Council. This is the second year that the agencies have partnered to fund and administer the grant program targeted at small Arkansas museums.
“As our staff travels the state, we are always impressed with the efforts of many small communities to keep their heritage alive for future generations, and we are delighted that these funds can help support those endeavors, Branch said.
More than 25 organizations applied for the grants, Ramsey indicated. “Local history is the bedrock of the humanities, and we are so pleased to have these opportunities to work with the small Arkansas museums in their efforts to promote and protect their local histories. Administering this program is a real boost for our humanities work across the state, and we are proud to be a part of the Small Museums Project,” she said.
To be eligible for the grants of up to $2,500, applicants had to be non-profit museums or historical societies with annual operating budgets of up to $250,000 and at least one staff person, either paid or unpaid. Staff time must be devoted primarily to the care of the museum and its collections, and the museum must be open to the public at least 90 days per year.
South Arkansas museums receiving grants:
Cotton Belt Rail Historical Society/Arkansas Railroad Museum, Pine Bluff
Dallas County Museum, Fordyce
Desha County Museum, Dumas
Garland County Historical Society, Hot Springs
Little River County Historical Society, Ashdown
Sevier County Historical Society, De Queen