Newport Restoration Foundation has won a grant to make its collection of 18th-century, Newport-made furniture more accessible to the public . The funding is through the Herman H. Rose Civic, Cultural and Media Access Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation.

“By providing the means to support libraries and other civic, cultural and literacy-focused organizations, we can bolster their position as community centers that encourage discussion around important topics,” said philanthropist Herman Rose, who created the fund. Over the years, it has awarded more than $400,000 in grants.

The Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF) received $2,000 to assist in designing professional interpretive materials and to purchase an interactive digital kiosk and multimedia educational tool to upgrade the exhibition space at Whitehorne House Museum.

“The kiosk and new materials will allow us to tell compelling narratives about 18th-century Newport furniture, and to share information about the style, identification and significance of Newport colonial furniture, the artisans who designed and made the furniture, and the 18th-century global trade system,” said Mark Thompson, executive director.

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NRF will use the grant to hire a graphic designer to develop new signage that reflects the updated narratives surrounding 18th-century, Newport-made furniture, and to purchase upgraded technology to present interactive videos and information about the collection in an intuitive manner for museum visitors.

“We want to spark curiosity about process, materials and design and make connections to modern practices of craftsmanship. Funding from this grant will help us transform the museum into a community-oriented site that introduces new generations to the history and significance of 18th-century Newport furniture and related decorative arts,” he said.

Newport Restoration is among 16 organizations to have won grants through the Rose Fund. The other projects include preparing a collection of women’s material for access at the University of Rhode Island, documenting the history of Latin Americans living in Rhode Island and digitizing the records of the R.I. Council for the Humanities.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island.  Working with generous and visionary donors, the Foundation raised $114 million and awarded $52 million in grants to organizations addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities in 2018. Through leadership, fundraising and grantmaking activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential. For more information, visit rifoundation.org.

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