The Union Museum of History and Art has been awarded a Rebirth Grant by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. The Endowment awarded 33 of these grants to organizations statewide to support their humanities programs with three of those organizations located in Ouachita and Union Parishes. The projects are based in 19 different parishes and totaled $163,726.
Jean Jones, Exhibits and Program Director for the Union Museum, is thrilled with this award and what it will mean for the museum and Union Parish. “For the last two years we have worked towards creating a permanent exhibit about the early Indian inhabitants of Union Parish,” said Jones. “This grant will catapult this exhibit to the professional level. It will allow us to bring in Jeffrey Girard, a professional and esteemed archaeologist in this field.” The museum received a $2,444 grant for Discovering the Uplands Indians: First People of Union Parish Exhibit.
The museum plans to have a seminar in the spring to unveil the exhibit along with a professionally produced video that will highlight the Indian mounds and waterways of Union Parish. “This grant will put Union Parish on the map of archeology research and both professionals and students will benefit.
Students of archeology will also learn all the new technologies that are being used in the world of archeology,” said Jones.
Now in its seventh year, the Rebirth Grants program supports projects that provide access to the humanities to Louisiana residents. Eligible projects include public humanities programs; documentary photography, radio, and digital humanities projects; and humanities-based educational initiatives. This year, the LEH was also able to award an additional 11 Rebirth PL Grants in support of Louisiana public libraries’ transition to virtual programming during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The types of funded projects include oral history and archaeological initiatives, lecture series, podcasts, exhibitions, and more exploring topics as varied as agricultural festival pageant queens, the lived experiences of enslaved people on Evergreen Plantation, French-speaking Cajun soldiers in World War II and the Louisiana transgender community.
The recipients in North Louisiana included University of Louisiana-Monroe, Union Museum of History and Art and Ouachita Parish Public Library.