In October last year, the Institute of Museum and Library Services announced 15,255,733 $ in American Rescue Plan Act project grants to institutions across 49 states.
$15 Million American Rescue Plan
A federal government agency that works for supporting the libraries and museums across the USA reportedly spent around 15 million $ as funds from President Joe Biden’s 1.9 trillion $ COVID-19 relief package that focused on programs pushing the “anti-racist” education and “social activism” for children’s.
Apart from these 49 states, these grants were given to the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico with the motive of supporting the role of museums and libraries to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
A recent review of the grant recipients reveals that many projects which received funding from the relief package included ‘anti-racist’ education as well as ‘social activism’ for school-going children. Apart from these children, many others had virtually very little to do with recovery efforts.
For example, the Institute of Management and Library services granted $49,632 to the Rochester Museum and Science Centre in New York for organizing a field trip for third-grade students.
The intention behind organizing this trip was to utilize the ‘Take It Down’ exhibit, which tells the story of a community-led effort to remove the racist artwork from a historic carousel which is seen as a tool for anti-racism education in the country.
Along with all this 825K, $ went into the AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN FUNDS to the ‘ORAL HISTORIANS RESEARCHING ANTI-RACISM and LATINX HISTORIES.
According to the IMLS website, the institute also granted 43,400 $ to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to train the guides to incorporate noteworthy cultural rhythmicity as well as responsiveness into their tours by using an anti-racist lens.
Another motive was to introduce new tour topics for school children regarding social-emotional learning, identity building, empathy, as well as social activism.
The IMLS in addition awarded a 50,000 $ grant to the Whitaker Centre for Science and the Arts which is in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with the motive to expand its capacity to offer equity, diversity, and inclusion-oriented STEM programs for pre-K through 12th-grade students who study in schools in the greater Harrisburg area.
The STEM program includes subjects like science, technology, engineering, and maths. The Brooklyn Museum reportedly received 50,000 $, a grant to create a curriculum focused on intensive arts education for underserved schools as well as to produce content that addresses history and art through an anti-racist lens.
The IMLS said in a statement to a news agency that it awarded the ARP-funded grants to support the vital programs as well as services libraries, museums, federally recognized tribes, and non-profit organizations which are serving the Native Hawaiians provide to their communities.
IMLS also said, “These major institutions maintain the highest professional standards and have long traditions of engaging with their communities, they are respected for the work they do in, and for, the community including presenting topics that are not only important but sometimes difficult.”