CAKES FOR STL250 (February 2014)
The Urban Museum Collaborative is proud to announce that all three of its founding institutions were selected to receive STL250 cakes as part of the celebrations in honor of the 250th Anniversary of the founding of the City of St. Louis. Visit Campbell House, the Eugene Field House, or the Griot Museum of Black History today to see their birthday cakes and experience the unique stories and perspective presented at each institution! Read more about the cake project.
MISSOURI HUMANITIES COUNCIL FUNDS UMC IN 2014(November 2013)
The Urban Museum Collaborative, a partnership of three small St. Louis, Missouri museums, is very pleased to announce its selection for receipt of a grant from the Missouri Humanities Council in the amount of $2,330. The grant will support the production of educational materials including improved theme-based teacher booklets, new gallery education materials and website improvements.
In 2009, under the direction of Barbara Decker with support from the Council, the Urban Museum Collaborative (UMC) was formed by the coming together of the Campbell House Museum, the Eugene Field House & St. Louis Toy Museum, and the Griot Museum of Black History. The goal was to build upon individual strengths, reach out to new audiences, and overcome many of the difficulties familiar to small museums, such as isolation, skeletal staffing, and limited funding.
With the goal of shifting relationships and perceptions on a local and national level through innovative planning, the UMC developed a set of common goals that focused on education outreach as well as site-specific museum projects that would increase accessibility at each museum. By pooling resources, stories, and personnel, the UMC created multi-disciplinary programming that philosophically and concretely connects the three museums. There have been many surprising and productive discoveries along the way, including research that would cause one of the museums to reinterpret its history.
Since its founding, the UMC’s efforts have been recognized as a small museum model by the National Trust of Historic Preservation and received high honors from the American Association of State and Local History.
The Urban Museum Collaborative Featured in the National Trust For Historic Preservation publication "Forum Journal" (July 2013)
The Urban Museum Collaborative Honored with the American Association of State and Local History Award of Merit, October 2012
The Urban Museum Collaborative Presents Exhibit at the
Richmond Heights Public Library, December 2011 to January 2012
The Urban Museum Collaborative is the featured display at the RIchmond Heights Public Library. The exhibit includes items from each of the UMC's three touch trunks in addition photos and feedback from our pilot program.
Missouri Humanities Council Supports Founding of Museum Collaborative
In May of 2009 the Missouri Humanities Council (MHC) awarded funds to the newly established Urban Museum Collaborative that brings together the Campbell House Museum, The Eugene Field House Museum, and The Griot Museum of Black History; Barbara Decker is the director of the project. A second grant, awarded in December of 2009, allows the UMC to continue focusing on new audiences through the development of educational resources, programming, and community events. This initiative was the largest grant the MHC has awarded and reflects their commitment to support small vibrant community-centered organizations through collaborative programs. (The Missouri Humanities Council is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the State of Missouri, and through grants and donations)
Read more on the Missouri Humanities Council website.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Students Inspired by Three St. Louis Urban Museums Create Their Own “Museum Day”
When does a dollhouse become a lesson about race or a sewing machine the path to freedom or a coat a symbol of compassion? Students at St. John the Baptist School in south St. Louis are participating pilot project developed by the Urban Museum Collaborative. After using the UMC website, touch trunks, and lesson packets as well as visiting each of the museums—the Eugene Field House Museum, the Campbell House Museum, and the Griot Museum of Black History—the 3rd and 8th graders are sharing what they’ve learned by creating their own “Museum Day” at school on Thursday, April 7, 2011.
Six weeks exploring life-stories and close-looking at artifacts is helping students learn how this information can be woven together to create a deeper understanding of 19th century St. Louis. Using the newly developed “Discovering Our Stories” lessons and activities, these students have been taking notes, using mini-journal “one-liners,” writing, drawing, discussing, doing more research and then putting what they’ve discovered into a series of projects that will in their “hands-on” museum. Museum consultant and UMC director, Barbara Decker, has been working with the museums, school staff, and educators on the curriculum team to develop this dynamic, experiential project.
The collaborative was formed in 2009 with generous funding from the Missouri Humanities Council. It brings together the knowledge and creativity of museum staff and the rich collections housed in each museum—all gems in the St. Louis landscape. Together they create something larger than the sum of their parts—a museum without walls. The rich array of resources developed by the Urban Museum Collaborative weaves together a more inclusive narrative and connects local history to that of the nation. What about the dollhouse, the sewing machine, the coat, and the life-stories? They are the tools and inspiration for these young people. By exploring our common humanity, each will be better prepared to be a citizen of tomorrow and to “make a difference” in the communities in which they live. They’re on the way.
Interview with UMC Project Director Barbara Decker
St. Louis Tour guide and blogger Maureen Kavanaugh writes about the collaborative in a November 2010 post on her blog From 'The Lou'.
The Urban Museum Collaborative Presents at Fontbonne University ConferenceCollective Memory in St. Louis: Recollection, Forgetting and the Common Good organized by Fontbonne University and scheduled for the weekend of October 21-23, 2010 will include a panel presentation by members of the UMC entitled Discovering Untold Stories: Touchstones to a Changing Landscape. Lois Conley (Griot Black History Museum), Barbara Decker (UMC), Barbara Faupel (Eugene Field House Museum), and Andrew Hahn (Campbell House Museum) will explore the narrative content contained within three small distinctly different museums and how, by examining this material as interconnecting strands, something larger than the sum of the parts is created.
The Eugene Field House Receives Highly Competitive National Grant
In May 2010 The Eugene Field House was awarded the Institute of Museum and Library Service’s highly competitive American Heritage Preservation Grant. This grant provides funds to improve storage of the Field Family Collection—items which belonged to the Field family members. The IMLS grantors felt that the project was a compelling one deserving of support and that it would help promote improved collections care among our nation’s museums.