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Ten museums affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita have been awarded special grants from the MIT-based Museum Loan Network (MLN). The organization has provided $4500 to each institution for museum staff to travel to other museums in order to research grant opportunities.

In the wake of the major natural disasters, much controversy has surrounded New Orleans, the Gulf coast, and Florida. While much of this discussion has centered on the poor and disaffected, and our government's failures to respond to the needs of its citizens, the MLN has recognized that cultural organizations are suffering as well.

From the press release:

"Some museums are still working out of trailers," said Lori Gross, director of the Museum Loan Network (MLN), which began at MIT in 1995 to facilitate the long-term loan of art and objects of cultural heritage among U.S. institutions. Gross says the MLN was concerned not only with the museums' physical damage, but also with the collateral damage of decreased funding, staff reductions and drastic declines in museum attendance.

"Our travel grants have always been about getting people in museums to work together and develop collegiality," Gross said. "We thought these special grants might break down the huge challenge into more manageable bits as one museum collaborates with another in an effort to rebuild its spaces and audiences."

The grants were awarded to the following instutitions:

African American Museum, St. Martinville, LA
Amistad Research Center (Tulane University), New Orleans, LA
Delta Blues Museum, Clarksdale, MS
Imperial Calcasieu Museum, Lake Charles, LA
Louisiana Children's Museum, New Orleans, LA
Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MS
New Orleans Museum of Souther Art, New Orleans, LA
Ogden Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA
Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art, Biloxi, MS
Museum of Mississippi History, Mississippi, Jackson, MS

The Museum Loan Network at MIT

Image of hurricane damage found here.

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