(Photo courtesy of the High Desert Museum)
A collaborative project between the High Desert Museum and The Museum at Warm Springs has received a $110,662 Museums for America grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in support of Weaving Stories: Creating Stronger Institutional Partnerships to Enhance Culturally Relevant Visitor Experiences. The project will empower museum professionals at both institutions to expand their capacity to develop place-based exhibits, programs and practices that honor Indigenous perspectives, both past and present.
Based on the successful National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded Cosmic Serpent and Native Universe models, the Weaving Stories project will use multiday workshops and intensive learning experiences to foster relationships across organizations and advance staff expertise. These NSF-funded models explore the commonalities between western science and native knowledge.
The three-year project is divided into three phases built around intensive learning experiences. The cultural engagement phase (December 2017-December 2018) will center on a foundational four-day workshop that will advance understandings of land, place and culture among stakeholders.
In addition to benefiting staff, volunteers and board members at the two institutions, the project will ultimately benefit museum visitors and the Central Oregon community by increasing public awareness and understanding of different cultures and worldviews and sparking community dialogue.