The Baseball Heritage Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, was selected as the International Sports Heritage Association member recipient of a $2,000 Special Project Grant made available through the organization’s Founders Fund.
The funds are to be used by the Museum to purchase supplies for its “Cabinets of Curiosity to Curated Exhibits” project. Another $1,820 is pledged by the museum to pay for salaries.
The Baseball Heritage Museum needs interpretive copy for its artifacts, Julia DiBaggio, grant coordinator for the Museum, wrote in its application.
The project will address the absence of interpretation by researching, writing, creating, and installing artifact labels and interpretive copy that focuses on the museum’s extensive Negro League, Industrial League and Hispanic and Latin American League collections. Culminating with signage, the project will establish a deliberate narrative highlighting the cultural and societal struggles faced by the various leagues.
The project will propel the Museum from a state which borders on cabinet of curiosity to an institution that delivers a powerful and timely narrative of cultural struggles within baseball’s past that echoes throughout history, DiBaggio explained. Museum Director and Curator Ricardo Rodriguez will head the research team with assistance from Programing Director Regan Starks.
There were a total of six applications for the Special Project Grant, Janice L. Ogurcak, Grant Committee chair, announced. Applicants who did not receive funding this year, may apply in the next round. All of the applicants have important projects, she said. The applications are reviewed by the Grant Committee and its top selection is presented to the ISHA Board of Directors for approval.
Money for the Founders Fund typically is raised through a Silent Auction, Reverse Raffle, donations, and other fund-raising ventures held at the annual conference and throughout the year. The Covid-19 Pandemic interrupted most of those plans.
Instead, the Founders Fund Committee plans to host an online auction (details to be announced soon) to buoy its coffers. Anyone wishing to donate a package or item for the auction should contact Janice L. Ogurcak, chair of the Founders Fund Committee, at [email protected]. Last year’s Special Projects Grant was awarded to the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame to rehouse the Museum’s oldest collection of rodeo and Wild West Show artifacts: the Hafley-Shelton Collection.