The Maine Maritime Museum in Bath announced it was recently awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities American Recovery Plan grant totaling $56,498. The funds will be used to support new and ongoing educational programs, including school programs that were paused during 2020.

Students in the Maine Maritime Museum’s Crosscurrents program perform water-quality tests on samples from the Kennebec River. Photo courtesy of Maine Maritime Museum

The award will fund new museum programs designed to advance the study of U.S. maritime history in an increasingly globalized world with a focus on the impact that this framework has on indigenous cultures and racial inequities. One project, a collaboration with Bowdoin College’s Africana Studies department, will culminate with a student-curated exhibit at the museum that recontextualizes the museum’s collection to confront and grapple with Maine’s role in the slave trade.

Other education initiatives that will be supported by the grant funds include offering ecology cruises to Merrymeeting Bay for schools in surrounding communities; resuming the Sense of Place program, which welcomes students from Regional School Unit 1 schools to the museum throughout the year; and providing scholarships to Crosscurrents, a summer educational experience for middle-schoolers.

“We are excited and grateful to be awarded the NEH grant, which will significantly grow the reach of Maine Maritime Museum’s education initiatives,” said Sarah Timm, manager of education. “The education team can now begin the important work of inviting more inclusive voices in shaping our future programs, increasing accessibility through new online content and student scholarships, and investing in new technologies for hands-on learning at the museum.”

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