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Historical Society awarded $500,000 challenge grant

The Dubuque County Historical Society has been awarded a $500,000 challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Funding from NEH will support campus improvements and restoration projects at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, the Mathias Ham Historic Site, and aboard the National Historic Landmark property the William M. Black.

“Investing in preservation and restoration through campus improvements ensures that our historic resources will be here to continue our humanities conversation with audiences for years to come,” said Erin Dragotto, Vice President of Development for the Dubuque County Historical Society.

NEH is an independent federal agency dedicated to the humanities and awards funding through peer-reviewed proposals. Funds were awarded as part of NEH’s new Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grant program, which leverages federal funds for cultural institutions. The $500,000 award represents one of 29 nationwide grants in this category.

The Dubuque County Historical Society, through its two museums and across 14-acres, proudly dedicates 80% of its campus to the humanities. Its mission is to create educational experiences where history and rivers come alive. The Society is comprised of the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, Mathias Ham Historic Site, National Rivers Hall of Fame, and RiverWorks Discovery. For more information and to donate to the project, visit