Two federal grants will help projects at James Madison’s Montpelier in Orange County.
Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger announced the grants on Thursday, which will go toward digitization projects and children’s programming initiatives at the presidential residence.
“Virginia’s Seventh District is home to many sites like Montpelier that play a prominent role in the history of our Commonwealth and our nation,” she said. “These grants will play an important part in ensuring that this historic location and its excellent educational programming are preserved for decades to come and made accessible for Central Virginia families and children of all ages.”
The grants are coming from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, through the Museums for American Program.
The first grant, worth $129,049, will be used to enhance and modernize Montpelier’s children’s’ programs.
“We believe strongly that these conversations should not be reserved for adults, and the learning of the truth of American history, and the topics of justice, fairness and race is vital for our younger visitors,” said Dennis Kernahan, the chair of the Montpelier Board of Directors. “It’s incumbent upon us to be intentional and thoughtful about how we provide places and spaces, for our younger visitors to interact with, and learn about, the whole trust of the American founding.”
The second grant, worth $250,000 will go toward the digitization of records related to the restoration and historic preservation of the home.
“This grant will enable us to organize, digitize, and make publicly accessible in a 3-D environment the records relating to the 2003-2008 restoration of James Madison’s historic residence at Montpelier,” said Matt Reeves, Montpelier’s Director of Archaeology and Landscape Restoration. “By collecting evidence about the house’s historic fabric in a single spatial database, this project will substantially improve Montpelier’s ability to care for and interpret our most important artifact, the Madison house. It further provides a starting place for Montpelier’s larger plans to create a digital 3-D catalogue of all the thousands of objects that have been recovered from over two decades of archaeological and architectural investigations.”
These two grants are among 112 Museums for America-funded projects across the United States.