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The Newport Historical Society announced on Monday that it has received a $1 million grant  –  the largest single grant the NHS has ever received  – from the Alletta Morris McBean Charitable Trust. The grant, which will support a campaign to increase endowment and support essential staffing, is also a challenge. NHS now must raise $1 million to match this grant, which will bring its total endowment to $5 million. Completing the Alletta Morris McBean Trust’s $1 million challenge will also complete our Challenging the Future campaign.

The first phase of that campaign supported the complete rehabilitation of our Touro Street headquarters, which is now a modern facility prepared to house, make accessible to research, and exhibit our extensive collections of Newport history. Increased endowment funding will specifically ensure that curatorial and education staff are available to offer the history embodied in the NHS collections to the public in print, exhibitions, lectures, events, and in various digital formats, as well as facilitate research. This will permit NHS to better serve the 160,000 people it reaches each year virtually and in real life.

Recent accomplishments and initiatives include the revitalization of the essay contest program with a new focus and prize – Rhode Island high school students can now write their way to see Hamilton: An American Musical in New York City; an integrated program focused on food and history – Newport Eats – which includes a new annual fundraiser and the Community Garden partnership at the Great Friends Meeting House as well as lectures and exhibits; the reprogramming of Newport History: the Journal of the Newport Historical Society; the creation of digital and costumed interpretation programs; Newport History Videos; and the Buchanan-Burnham Visiting Scholars Program.

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