Friends of THC receive IMLS CARES Act Grant

The Friends of the Texas Historical Commission was awarded a grant of $201,335 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Grant Fund for the development and implementation of a "Digital Engagement and Crisis Response Program for Texas State Historic Sites."  

The program will help the Texas Historical Commission (THC) address the need for distance learning content by creating online educational and interpretive programming that is accessible to users with varying levels of access to online content. This project will allow the THC to create an online educational platform that will be a critical tool for the agency's digital engagement beyond the scope of this grant.

The digital engagement program will provide remote-learning software for state historic sites staff to implement video-based virtual field trips that tell their sites’ unique history. These field trips will include documents, quizzes, and other learning tools. For other learners and history enthusiasts, the software will be used to develop digital experiences such as exhibits and tours. 

The grant will also allow THC state historic sites to develop a “Crisis and Trauma Management Toolkit” that will be a guided program using facilitated dialogue that staff at historic sites can use to address community trauma and healing. 

“We are eager to utilize this grant and provide these services to our host communities, who have suffered through both natural disasters and, in El Paso, a hate crime that outraged the nation,” said THC Executive Director Mark Wolfe.  

This toolkit will facilitate dialogue to first help staff address self-care after a trauma and enable them to lead community healing, memorialization, and recovery. Caddo Mounds State Historic Site in Alto will pilot this development as they recover from an F3 tornado that impacted the community and site during Caddo Culture Day in April 2019.   

Fulton Mansion in Rockport and the Magoffin Home in El Paso will use the toolkit to support their communities that continue to recover from Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and a racially motivated mass shooting in 2019.   

"As pillars of our communities, libraries and museums bring people together by providing important programs, services, and collections. These institutions are trusted spaces where people can learn, explore, and grow,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “IMLS is proud to support their initiatives through our grants as they educate and enhance their communities."  

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services - The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums. They advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Their vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit and follow on Facebook and Twitter.