Denver Museum of Nature & Science Receives National Endowment for the Humanities CARES Grant

Denver Museum of Nature & Science 
Maura O’Neal 
[email protected]  


Denver Museum of Nature & Science Receives National Endowment for the Humanities CARES Grant

Funds will support the move of 3,500 collection items into the Avenir Collections Center

DENVER – June 25 – The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded $150,000 to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science as part of the NEH CARES Grant program (Grant No. PB-275373). The funds will partially support salaries for 11 current Anthropology, Archives, and Collections staff members through December 31The project is designed to sustainably preserve 3,500 objects from the Museum’s internationally significant World Ethnology collections in its new, LEED Platinum Certified Avenir Collections Center.  

“This NEH grant will allow us to bring our African, Central, and South American ethnology collections into the same space as the rest of our Anthropology collections, providing better access to the objects for scholars, source communities, students, and the general public,” said Stephen E. Nash, Ph.D., director of anthropology and project co-director.  

“In addition to improved accessibility, reorganizing these objects in the world class Avenir Collections Center will preserve them in ideal conditions in perpetuity,” added Melissa Bechhoefer, director of integrative collections and project co-director.  

“The African, Central, and South American ethnology collections contain artifacts from dozens of important cultures on three continents,” said Erin Baxter, Ph.D., acting curator of anthropology. "The collection helps document these regions’ fascinating Indigenous cultures and history.” 

The NEH CARES grant project staff will reorganize objects, research their intellectual and cultural history, and make images of them available online. Each of the 3,500 items will receive a custom made archival storage box and will be photographed in detail, allowing researchers to access information about the objects via an online database instead of having to visit the Museum in person.  

For the highly competitive NEH CARES grant category, the Humanities Endowment received more than 2,300 eligible applications from cultural organizations requesting more than $370 million in funding for projects between June and December 2020. Approximately 14 percent of the applicants were funded. 

Since 1992, NEH has awarded the Denver Museum of Nature & Science over $1 million in grants. Past grants have supported the cataloging and preservation of digital images from the Museum’s archives, and processing and creating custom storage containers, of the internationally significant archaeology collections, as well as installing all of those collections into the Avenir Collections Center.  

For more information on the collection, visit 

About the Denver Museum of Nature & Science  

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is the Rocky Mountain region’s leading resource for informal science education. Our mission is to be a catalyst and ignite the community’s passion for nature and science. The Museum envisions an empowered community that loves, understands and protects our natural world. A variety of engaging exhibits, discussions and activities help Museum visitors celebrate and understand the wonders of Colorado, Earth and the universe. The Museum is located at 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO, 80205. To learn more about the Museum, visit or call 303.370.6000. Many of the Museum’s educational programs and exhibits are made possible in part by the citizens of the seven-county metro area through the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). The Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Connect with the Museum on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 



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