New Bedford Whaling Museum Apprentice Program to receive $128,000 federal grant

Whaling Museum will be recognized at Capitol Hill event, September 18

(NEW BEDFORD, Mass.)  — The New Bedford Whaling Museum High School Apprentice Program has been awarded $128,422 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The federal grant, which will be received over three years, is one of the 244 awards through the agency’s grant programs, part of nearly $30,000,000 in grants to museums across the nation.

Alison Smart, Senior Director of Development will travel to Washington, DC, for a workshop and ceremony on September 18, to be recognized for the award. IMLS Director Susan Hildreth will present a workshop and ceremony on Capitol Hill, on September 18, to recognize the 2013 museum winners and to highlight successful applicants and awards. The event will showcase the many ways museums support learning experiences, serve as community anchors, and are stewards of cultural and scientific heritage through the preservation of their collections.

 “IMLS recognizes three valuable roles museums have in their communities: putting the learner at the center, serving as community anchors, and serving as stewards of cultural and scientific collections,” said IMLS Director Susan Hildreth.  “It is exciting to see the many ways our newly announced grants further these important museum roles. I congratulate the slate of 2013 museum grant recipients for planning projects that advance innovation in museum practice, lifelong learning, and community engagement.”

Now in its third year, the Apprentice Program assists New Bedford area high school students achieve academic and workplace success through extensive training and personalized mentoring by museum staff. The program includes tangible results-oriented projects such as primary source research, web content development, public programming, and exhibit design. Apprentices earn a competitive wage and learn an appreciation for professionalism in a work environment, while broadening their horizons and aspirations by learning directly in a world-class museum.

“We thank the IMLS for its recognition and support of this important community program. Through the Apprentice Program, the museum makes a substantial impact in the lives of our youth and this grant award ensures that it continues to grow, opening new horizons for them and reinforcing their commitment to higher education, said James Russell, Museum President and CEO.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow IMLS on Facebook and Twitter.

The New Bedford Whaling Museum is the world's most comprehensive museum devoted to the global story of whales, whaling, and the cultural history of the region. The cornerstone of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the Museum is located at 18 Johnny Cake Hill in the heart of the city's historic downtown and is open daily. Wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit the Whaling Museum online at

For more information, contact:
Alison Smart
Senior Director of Development
(508) 997-0046, ext. 115