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UMMA receives grant to endow, sustain humanities initiatives

Students listen to a lecturer in the University of Michigan Museum of ArtsThe University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) has received a $1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that will endow and sustain the Museum’s signature humanities initiatives. Specifically, $750,000 will support a challenge grant to endow the Museum’s Academic Coordinator position, and $250,000 will support UMMA’s Collections Assistant and UMMA-History of Art Fellowship for three more years.

“This significant grant from the Mellon Foundation will enable UMMA to continue and enhance our ongoing development of humanities-based initiatives long into the future,” said Joseph Rosa, UMMA Director. “Along with our endowed support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, this Mellon grant confirms that UMMA will, in perpetuity, be a vibrant partner in engaged learning experiences for U-M students.”

Initially funded in 2011 by a 40-month grant from the Mellon Foundation to support new efforts in collections-based teaching and learning, UMMA’s Academic Coordinator manages campus collaborations and facilitates the integration of the Museum’s collections and exhibitions into more courses and research projects. UMMA’s Collections Assistant works closely with the Academic Coordinator to build relationships with faculty at U-M and other area colleges and universities to stimulate use of the Museum’s research and study resources, resulting in a 95% increase in collections use last year alone.

The new Mellon grant will sustain UMMA’s focus on increasing the number and frequency of requests for collections access—as well as the continued expansion to new fields of study, building awareness of resources, and updating records to highlight the collection’s value to scholars. Further, by endowing the Academic Coordinator position, UMMA can ensure that a dedicated Museum employee will be a resource to enhance multidisciplinary explorations by faculty and students for decades to come.


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