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Vizcaya and HistoryMiami awarded grants from the NEH

logo for the National Endowment of the Humanities

July 24, 2020

Funding critical to cultural institutions in time of COVID-19 pandemic

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded grants under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to two outstanding cultural institutions that exemplify what it means to be “Miami”: Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and HistoryMiami Museum.

With $190,000 to Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Trust, Inc. to help the organization retain staff and pursue art conservation and digital access projects and $118,000 to HistoryMiami Museum for support of its educational programs, the NEH has provided critical funding at a time when non-profits are in dire need of support. Vizcaya and HistoryMiami are the only institutions in South Florida to receive this competitive NEH CARES funding; their awards are the two largest of only six such grants made by the NEH throughout the state of Florida.

Engaging Community

Vizcaya is a century-old estate on Biscayne Bay that has been operating as a public museum and gardens for two-thirds of its history. Today, Vizcaya’s mission is to preserve its cultural and environmental resources to engage people in connecting with the past, understanding the present and shaping the future.

HistoryMiami Museum, first founded as the Historical Association of Southern Florida in 1940 and opening its first museum in 1962, safeguards and shares Miami stories to foster learning, inspire a sense of place, and cultivate an engaged community.

 Vizcaya and HistoryMiami are the only institutions in South Florida to receive this competitive NEH CARES funding..

Safeguarding history

HistoryMiami Museum’s award will be used to support full and part-time staff responsible for educational programs under the direction of Dr. Tina Menendez. This award will support the museum’s commitment to implementing a variety of programs and outreach in order to engage and support our communities.

“As we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to create ways for us all to connect. A critical way we do that at HistoryMiami Museum is through diverse programming and outreach,” says Jorge Zamanillo, Executive Director of HistoryMiami Museum. “This grant will offer HistoryMiami the opportunity to continue providing innovative and meaningful initiatives, such as our Story Time Program with ASL interpreters and our Virtual History Lessons from our museum educators.”

Vizcaya’s award will be used to support staff salaries within the organization’s Collections and Curatorial Affairs Department. The retention of key staff will support important preservation, conservation, and research efforts. Through the project, Vizcaya will digitize and provide public access archival documents, publish on its website images of its collections, and conduct research to better tell the story of the estate’s social and cultural history.

“In these difficult times, we are grateful to the National Endowment of the Humanities for valuing the important work of cultural institutions in preserving our history and embracing new technologies to tell the stories of our communities and our heritage,” says Joel Hoffman, Executive Director and CEO of Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Trust, Inc. “The vital work of Vizcaya’s staff helps ensure that this National Historic Landmark is preserved for future generations.”

These awards are part of NEH’s $40.3 million in new CARES Act economic stabilization grants awarded to 300 cultural institutions across the country.

To learn more about Vizcaya Museum and Gardens visit vizcaya.org. To learn more about HistoryMiami Museum visit historymiami.org.

About Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is a National Historic Landmark that preserves its cultural and environmental resources to engage people in connecting with the past, understanding the present and shaping the future. Built between 1914 and 1922 as the winter home of farming manufacturer James Deering, Vizcaya is one of the most intact remaining examples from this era in United States history, when the nation’s most successful entrepreneurs built estates inspired by the stately homes of Europe. Vizcaya features a Main House filled with a decorative art collection, 10 acres of formal gardens, a rockland hammock (native forest), mangrove shore, and a historic village that is being restored to tell Vizcaya’s full story and provide additional spaces for programs and community outreach, including those on agriculture. Vizcaya has been a community hub since it opened to the public in 1953; it currently welcomes about 320,000 visitors annually.

Located on Biscayne Bay at 3251 South Miami Avenue, Vizcaya is open Thursday through Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. For more information and updates to operating hours due COVID-19 Miami-Dade County Emergency Orders, visit www.vizcaya.org, connect via social media, or call 305-250-9133.

About HistoryMiami Museum

HistoryMiami Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, safeguards and shares Miami stories to foster learning, inspire a sense of place, and cultivate an engaged community. Through education, collections, research, exhibitions, publications and city tours, HistoryMiami Museum works to help everyone understand the importance of the past in shaping Miami’s future. Located in the heart of downtown Miami, HistoryMiami Museum is a 70,000-square-foot facility and home to more than one million historical images and 30,000 three-dimensional artifacts, including a 1920s trolley car, artifacts from Pan American World Airways, and rafts that brought refugees to Miami. HistoryMiami Museum is located at 101 W Flagler St, Miami, FL 33130.

About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this release do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.