NEA Grant Funds Mobile Museum Project

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - EducationThe University of Illinois at Chicago has received a National Endowment for the Arts grant to create a public history museum on wheels. The $20,000 grant will be used to design and develop History Moves, a mobile gallery for the public display of history and art, to reach Chicagoans who don’t frequent local cultural institutions.

“History Moves is a space for enacting a project of collecting and displaying Chicago’s history,” says Jennifer Brier, UIC associate professor of gender and women’s studies and the project’s lead investigator. “It allows for a direct relationship between interdisciplinary scholars at UIC, community co-curators and the neighborhoods they inhabit.”

Prior to the project’s public launch, a team of historians, architects, graphic designers, and museum professionals from UIC will develop a full-scale model display system and floor plan for testing by focus groups. The final product of this phase will be construction documents for the design of one prototype gallery.

The gallery, which aims to increase the visibility of community-based organizations, will feature a flexible interior design. Early concepts of the layout allow for “changing spatial configurations that are vibrant and physically engaging,” according to Julie Flohr, clinical assistant professor of architecture and lead architect.

UIC was among 817 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive a 2013 NEA Art Works grant, which were awarded in support of projects in 13 artistic disciplines. Community partners for History Moves include the Immigrant Youth Justice League, South Side Community Arts Center, Chicago Cultural Alliance, Chicago Freedom School and Read/Write Library. Additional UIC partners are the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum and the Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement, which also provided seed funding. For more information about UIC, visit

Comments are closed.