The Benton County Historical Society was recently awarded a nearly $2,000 grant from the Missouri Humanities Council, which it will use for a permanent display at its new museum, slated to open in April.
An affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the MHC works to foster connections between cultural organizations and humanities scholars through grants and support for local museums and libraries, among other programs. MHC Director Geoff Giglierano said he was impressed with the Benton County Historical Society’s proposal for the grant, saying it was “an easy choice” to award the money to the group.
“Benton County is a really dynamic area and they have great historical stories to tell,” he said. “We were very impressed, start to finish, with what they’ve accomplished so far and their plans for the future of the Benton County Historical Museum.”
The $1,899 grant will be used to support research and production of a display highlighting events that occurred from 1835 to 1985 in Benton County, the U.S. and the world. The timeline will be on permanent display at the new Benton County Historical Museum, which will open April 5. Giglierano noted that despite the old museum’s roof collapse, the historical society made an effort to keep historical exhibits open on an ongoing basis.
“They’ve made a remarkable amount of progress and the fact that they were so committed to keeping this part of history alive really shows the dedication they have for local history,” he said. “This grant, though modest, will help them continue to refurbish the museum. I can’t wait to see the finished product.”
Giglierano said one of MHC’s goals is to help support smaller communities’ efforts to fund historical societies because “unique stories are everywhere.”
“Grants like this one help our communities share their stories,” he said. “A town or region’s place in history can be an incredible source of pride and great tool in thinking about, and planning for, the future. It can also draw people into a town or allow longtime residents a new perspective on a place they thought they knew. Preserving history is always a great thing for a town.”
For more information about the Benton County Historical Society or the Benton County Historical Museum, go to bchs-mo.com.