(JACKSON, Miss.) – Thanks to a grant from the federal Institute of
Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University will put in place a feasibility study for a state-of-the-art research complex dedicated to the African-American experience.
The grant will not only determine the expected size, cost, and design of this new venue, but will enable the staff of the Margaret Walker Center and its partners at Jackson State, including students from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and the Department of Art, to engage leaders at museums and archives across the nation in discussions about best practices.
“This IMLS grant is the first step in a process that will protect all archival collections at JSU and will enable the Margaret Walker Center to solidify its future, especially as we implement a strategic plan taking us to Margaret Walker’s centennial year in 2015,” said Robert Luckett, center director. “We are extremely excited.”
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.
“This year’s funding will help African-American museums train staff, improve business practices and increase the use of technology to preserve and share African-American history and culture,” said IMLS director Susan Hildreth. “These organizations, their exhibits, programs and collections, and the people who lead them are truly inspiring. We are proud to support them.”
Museum grants for African-American history and culture are intended to enhance institutional capacity and sustainability through professional training, technical assistance, internships, outside expertise, and other tools.