Institute of Museum and Library Services awards Conner Prairie federal grant to create new maker space, programming


    Duane Brodt
    Director of Public Relations
    Conner Prairie
    (800) 966-1836

    FISHERS, Ind. (Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015/Conner Prairie) – The nation’s primary supporter of museums and libraries with federal dollars has awarded Conner Prairie funds to help create new programs that support the modern maker movement.

    Conner Prairie will receive $125,000 and match those funds to fund a planned maker program in 2017. Maker programs include spaces dedicated to creativity and innovation through hands-on exploration with technology, materials and ideas. Individuals and groups called “makers” create, invent, tinker, explore and learn using a variety of tools and materials.

    Conner Prairie plans to draw inspiration for its space and programming from its existing historic crafts and trades programs that visitors experience daily.

    “Creating maker programs is an evolutionary step in initiating more science, technology, engineering and math experiences into our programming,” said Vice President of Events, Programs, Interpretation and Facilities, Cathy Ferree. “We strive to foster learning through hands-on experiences that inspire curiosity and the maker programs do just that, for individuals and groups.”

    The Institute of Museum and Library Services, which is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums, awarded grants for a total of 217 museum projects totaling $25.9 million this year. Museums were selected from nearly 600 applications requesting a more than $73.9 million and were awarded through the highly competitive Museums for America and National Leadership Grants for Museums programs.

    Museums that received the awards are matching them with a total of $33.8 million in non-federal funds.

    The mission of the Institute of Museum and Library Services is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning and cultural and civic engagement. For more, visit www.imls.gov.

    Spanning 850 wooded acres in central Indiana, Conner Prairie welcomes more than 360,000 guests of all ages annually. As Indiana’s only Smithsonian Institute Affiliate, Conner Prairie offers various outdoor, historically themed destinations and indoor experiential learning spaces that combine history and art with science, technology, engineering and math to offer an authentic look into history that shapes society today.

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    Conner Prairie is a nationally acclaimed interactive history park. Its mission is to inspire curiosity and foster learning about Indiana by providing engaging, individualized and unique experiences. Created by Eli Lilly in 1934, Conner Prairie combines history with science, technology, engineering and math and encourages visitors to explore Indiana’s natural and cultural heritage through hands-on, immersive and interactive experiencing. Inspiring visitors of all ages to discover more about the events, discoveries and forces that shaped the American Midwest, Conner Prairie offers various historically themed, indoor and outdoor experience areas throughout its 800 acres of wooded property in Fishers, Ind. Indiana’s only Smithsonian Institute Affiliate and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, Conner Prairie is a 501(c)3, non-profit organization that relies on grants and philanthropic donations from corporations and individuals for sustainability and growth. Visit connerprairie.org or call 317.776.6000 or 800.966.1836 for admission dates, hours, ticket prices and opportunities to donate. Connect with Conner Prairie on Facebook at facebook.com/connerprairie, Flickr at flickr.com/people/connerprairie, YouTube at youtube.com/user/ConnerPrairie and Twitter at twitter.com/connerprairie.