By Gina Martinez
Flushing’s Lewis H. Latimer House Museum has been given a $24,950 grant in Support of African American Heritage.
Latimer house was one of 16 grantees in the 2017 fiscal year to receive a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
The museum said it will use this grant to further its education mission by upgrading its School Program, including lesson plans and packages connected to Lewis Latimer and meeting the New York City Common Core and New York State standards. The funding will also enable the museum to carry out extensive outreach activities in surrounding school districts.
Latimer House, a New York City Landmark, was the house of the African-American inventor, Renaissance man, and son of fugitive slaves. The museum now calls attention to Latimer’s and other African- Americans’ contributions to science, technology, arts, poetry, and American life, through innovative tours, exhibits, public and educational programs.
Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) expressed her support for this program and said the grant will allow kids to learn more about Latimer’s legacy in science and technology.
“I’m pleased that the Lewis Latimer House Museum has been awarded this federal grant and it was a pleasure to help them secure it,” she said. “With this money, the museum will be able to increase its exposure to young people by developing a plan for local schools to visit their facility. The funds will cover the costs of outreach to schools and pay for the preparation and development of lesson plans. As a result, more kids will learn about the life and history of Lewis Latimer, and the pioneering contributions he made to society, particularly his role in developing the telephone and incandescent light bulb. It is critical that we preserve and promote our local history, and that we educate our children about it.”
This year IMLS received 32 applications requesting a total of $3,076,510. Of the 32 projects, 16 were selected to receive funding totaling $1,485,955. IMLS’s peer reviewers evaluated all eligible and complete grant applications, assessing the merit of each proposal and its fit with the goals of the grant program.
IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew said she is proud to support applicants’ work through the grant, as they informs and inspire all in their communities.
“As centers of learning and catalysts of community change, libraries and museums connect people with programs, services, collections, information, and new ideas in the arts, sciences and humanities,” she said. “They serve as vital spaces where people can connect with each other.”
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart