Shawnee, Kan. – Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area has awarded the Johnson County Museum Foundation a $5,000 grant for the for the exhibit “Becoming Johnson County,” scheduled to open at the Johnson County Museum’s new location in the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center in May 2017.
This grant funding will allow the Johnson County Museum to support the direct costs associated with the section of the exhibit examining the Border War and Civil War period from 1855 to 1865. The exhibition, “Becoming Johnson County,” will provide museum visitors with a survey of Johnson County’s history and development from 1825 to 2000.
The Museum Foundation has spearheaded the financing of the exhibition, and started a capital campaign last year. To date, over $1.4 million has been raised. Major funding has been provided by the Regnier Family Foundation, and the Parks and Recreation Foundation of Johnson County. In addition, contributions have been received from Bright Ideas Signs; Kansas Humanities Council; DaVinci Roofscapes; Eclipse Roofing, Inc; William T. Kemper Foundation; Kansas City Power & Light; Stueck Family Foundation; Central Bank of the Midwest; as well as over 50 individual community members.
The Freedom’s Frontier Interpretive Grant program was started in 2012. Since then, more than 48 projects have been awarded grant funding. Grant projects have been completed on both sides of the Missouri-Kansas border, in the 41-county region that comprises the heritage area.
Projects awarded grant funding must interpret local history, and connect to one or more of the three major themes of the heritage area: the shaping of the frontier, the Missouri-Kansas Border War, and the enduring struggle for freedom. Grants range in amount from under $1,500 to $5,000. All awards over $1,500 require that the grant recipient show a local match of half the amount of the award. This match can be in the form of cash, or in-kind donations, and staff and volunteer time.
Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area is one of 49 heritage areas in the United States. Heritage areas are nonprofit affiliates of the National Park Service (NPS). They act as coordinating entities between the local organizations telling nationally significant stories and the NPS.
Freedom’s Frontier was established as a heritage area on Oct. 12, 2006, when signed into law by President George W. Bush. The heritage area’s management plan was approved by the Department of the Interior and the NPS in 2010. Freedom’s Frontier is headquartered in the Carnegie Building, 200 W. 9th St., in Lawrence, Kan.
Grant applications are accepted from organizations within the borders of the heritage area which have signed a partner pledge with Freedom’s Frontier, and meet all other qualifications for grant funding. Applications are reviewed quarterly by a peer group from the partnership. Organizations are asked to complete their grant projects within a year of the grant award. For more information about Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area, visit the website at www.freedomsfrontier.org.
The Johnson County Museum is funded by Johnson County (Kan.) Government, and operated and managed by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District (JCRPD), as of Jan. 1, 2016. The Johnson County Museum (JCM) operates three facilities: the main museum and the 1950s All-Electric House both located in the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center, Overland Park, Kan., and the Lanesfield Historic Site near Gardner, Kan. With the mission of “challenging you to explore the story and heritage of Johnson County, through an exceptional venue, collections, exhibitions, and programs,” the JCM collects materials of historical significance about Johnson County and its residents, develops exhibitions, and provides educational opportunities for the general public and school audiences.
In addition, the JCM provides a research library, special events, and online collections at www.JoCoHistory.net. In 2015, the JCM served a total of 129,747 people: 46,000 people onsite and over 83,000 via online resources.
The JCM also is supported by the Johnson County Museum Foundation, private 501c3 organization governed by a Board of Trustees. The Museum Foundation’s primary function is raising funds to support museum exhibit development, educational programs, and special events.