Grant for Native American museum will help preserve 'integral piece' of R.I. history
By G. Wayne Miller
Journal Staff Writer
Posted Sep. 2, 2015 at 11:01 AM
EXETER, R.I. – A recently awarded $30,000 federal grant will enable the Tomaquag Museum to further develop an inventory and catalog system for its extensive and unique collection of Native American artifacts and other materials.
And that, says museum executive director Lorén Spears, will greatly enhance the museum’s mission while benefiting the public.
“Visitors only see about five percent of our collections on exhibit,” Spears said. “This work will allow visitors, researchers and educators to view our collections via a computer kiosk in the near future and later through our website.”
The United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development, Rural Business Development Grant was announced by U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin, who will visit Rhode Island’s only Native American museum on Thursday.
“These funds will go a long way in supporting their efforts to preserve and promote an integral piece of our state’s history,” Langevin said. “The Tomaquag Museum is a tremendous resource for Rhode Islanders who want to research and learn more about our state’s vibrant Native American culture.”
As museum directors move toward a new building, Tomaquag’s popularity continues to increase.
“Last year, visitors came from 17 states and seven different countries, and through the Indigenous Artways video podcast, we have reached 72 countries and 43 states in just over six months,” said museum marketing associate Michael Johnson.
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