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Family program at the Louisville Slugger Museum. Courtesy Louisville Slugger Museum



NEWS
Media only: Jennifer Schommer
(202) 633-3121 schommerj@si.edu
Public only: (202) 633-3120


MetLife Foundation Awards $250,000 Grant to
Support Smithsonian Community Grants Program

The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), the largest traveling exhibition service in the world, announced today that it has received a $250,000 grant from MetLife Foundation. The money will be used to deepen the connections between museums nationwide and their communities by supporting the new Smithsonian Community Grants program.

“This is an excellent opportunity to encourage our exhibitors to engage their audiences in new and exciting ways,” said Anna R. Cohn, SITES Director. “We are pleased with this tremendous show of support from MetLife Foundation and we recognize the impact that their support will have for museums and their visitors.”

The grants will enable exhibitors to enhance current program offerings or to create a new program suited to the topic of the SITES exhibition that they will be hosting. Potential programs include, but are not limited to, community outreach, lecture/film series, family days, or educational workshops/classes. Grants up to $5,000 will be awarded based on criteria that each exhibitor must meet. For more information on how to apply for a Smithsonian Community Grant, visit www.sites.si.edu or email sitesgrants@si.edu.

“This will allow our exhibitors to broaden their base audiences,” said Cohn. She added that, “As SITES continues to bring the Smithsonian beyond Washington, this financial support from MetLife Foundation will enrich the experience of museum visitors nationwide.”

“Museums are a vibrant force in our communities. They bring together people from all walks of life and play an important role in the education of both children and adults,” added Sibyl Jacobson, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation.

SITES is the largest traveling exhibition in the world. Each year, SITES shares the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside of Washington, DC. One of the Smithsonian’s four National Programs, SITES makes available a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown not only in museums but also in libraries, science centers, community centers, botanical gardens, and shopping malls. SITES exhibitions range from tiny, 500-square-foot panel exhibitions for rural communities to 5,000 square-foot blockbusters. On average, SITES exhibitions visit between 7 and 12 venues, staying about 12 weeks in each location. During 2005-2007, SITES will bring approximately 150 exhibitions to 750 venues in 50 states. To learn more about SITES, visit www.sites.si.edu.

MetLife Foundation was established by MetLife to carry on its longstanding tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Grants are made to support health, educational, civic and cultural organizations and programs. Recognizing the vital role museums play in building communities and educating young people, MetLife Foundation supports initiatives to increase opportunities and access and reach broader audiences through inclusive programming. For more information about the Foundation, please visit its website at www.metlife.org.

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