The 2019 CWAM grant application is here! Four grants up to $500 each are available for CWAM institutional members. Projects must begin after July 1, 2019. Ideas include collections rehousing, education trunks, website enhancement, staff training and more! Applications are due Friday, June 14, 2019, by 5 p.m. Questions? Contact us.

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Past CWAM Grant Success Stories

Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum, Interactive Exhibit Programs

Jackson Hole, WY

“As a local museum in Jackson Hole, the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum (JHHSM) serves a variety of patrons of all ages and interests. The CWAM funding allowed the JHHSM to expand and enrich programming for young children, families, and visitors interested in a more interactive experience. We see many visitors throughout the summer and winter months that are looking for a fun way for their families to engage with local history—especially when the weather is snowy or rainy. Since many of our permanent exhibits are set up in “scenes” displaying homesteading, cattle ranching and dude ranching, we decided to use these surroundings as inspiration for our children’s activities.

We used the grant money to get Legos, stamps, postcards and a photo booth banner. The Legos encourages young visitors and students to create their own homestead and consider the challenges the original settlers had in “proving up their land”. Where would your water sources be? How would you grow food? What structures would you need? Research shows that using play to learn, allows students to internalize and apply their learnings. After observing and learning about a typical homestead cabin in the exhibit, visitors have a chance to design and construct their own homestead.

Additionally, we set up stamps and postcards to allow students to write home about their visit in Jackson Hole. Not only does this encourage literacy skills but is grounded in historical context as many dudes/dudines of the dude ranching era wrote letters home. This portion of the grant grew and expanded to provide content for other program areas. In our after school programming, we saw students excited to learn calligraphy skills so we also have a calligraphy station set up in the museum gallery space now. Lastly, our photo booth banner encouraged young visitors to play and have fun while engaging with history. In addition to putting up a banner, we also put out some of our previously acquired historic costumes for children. We saw children of all ages in fuzzy chaps and jean vest taking pictures and posing as cowboys and ranchers. We purchased a Polaroid camera and encouraged guests to take pictures to take home. (The Polaroid camera encouraged as many adults as children to have fun taking pictures in historic costumes!)

The CWAM grant allowed the museum to give patrons a chance to engage with history in a fun and unique experience. We saw children and adults alike taking pictures, playing with Legos and writing home on postcards. And as a result, they asked more questions about what it was like to be a cowboy or rancher at that time and thought creatively about past lifeways in Jackson Hole! Overall, through these visual and interactive additions to the exhibits, we achieved our goal of making the museum gallery more accessible for children and second-language learners.”

— Final report submitted by Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum, June 2019. (Download the JHHSM final report.)


Homelake Veterans History Center Museum

Homelake, CO

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Archive project, Homelake Veterans History Center Museum

The Homelake Veterans History Center Museum received $500 from CWAM to purchase metal shelving from Certified Business Services. Boxes full of Museum archives, once stacked on top of each other and in danger of being damaged, were safely stored on metal shelving.


Sweetwater County Historical Museum

Green River, WY

With a CWAM grant, Sweetwater County Historical Museum created an education trunk for elementary schools. Available for local teachers to use in their classroom, the trunk focuses on Sweetwater County’s multicultural history. Each summer the Sweetwater Museum hires an intern. The 2013 summer intern worked with the Museum Curator and Exhibits Coordinator to develop the “Discovering Diversity” trunk. The trunk meets several 3rd grade curriculum standards and includes lesson plans, touchable artifacts and activities. For more information on the trunk: http://www.sweetwatermuseum.org/index.php/learn/trunk-program


Overland Trail Museum

Sterling, CO

Through a CWAM grant, the Overland Trail Museum upgraded their PastPerfect museum database to the latest version. This upgrade allows the Museum to retrieve records in an efficient manner. The upgraded database also played a major role in the Museum’s flood recovery process. In September 2013, the Museum sustained significant damage to its buildings and collections. PastPerfect 5.0 allowed the museum to track damaged artifacts sent away for conservation. The database has dramatically improved the Museum’s collections tracking.