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Photo: WWI Museum and Memorial.

National World War I Museum receives grant to raise awareness of religion and war

The Lilly Endowment has given a grant of $2.5 million to the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City to establish an endowed curator position on faith and religion; strengthen public programming on religion and war; enhance online exhibitions and resources on religion; and increase its collection of religious objects and materials.

Through this program, the museum will strengthen its capacities to explore the enduring impact of World War I on religion and faith. This grant will enable the museum to preserve artifacts related to faith, religion and spirituality in World War I, deepen its body of knowledge about the history of faith, religion and World War I and make these learnings accessible to the general public.

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The museum’s 2020-2026 strategic plan outlines three concepts that are enhanced by this grant — to create a richer visitor experience; tell the stories of minorities, women and indigenous people who served/ and make the collection accessible to a global audience.

“We are thrilled to have the support of Lilly Endowment for this strategic initiative that fits within our three big ideas,” President and CEO Mathew Naylor said. “The endowed curatorial position and accompanying support will allow us to provide global leadership to this area of World War I research and add considerably to our understanding of the Great War and its enduring impact.”

Lilly Endowment awarded grants totaling more than $43 million in grants through the initiative. These grants will enable organizations to develop exhibitions and educational programs that fairly and accurately portray the role of religion in the United States and around the world. The initiative is designed to foster public understanding about religion and lift up the contributions that people of all faiths and diverse religious communities make to our greater civic well-being.

“Museums and cultural institutions are trusted organizations and play an important role in teaching the American public about the world around them,” said Christopher Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion. “These organizations will use the grants to help visitors understand and appreciate the significant impact religion has had and continues to have on society in the United States and around the globe.”

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice