MIDDLEBURY - The Henry Sheldon Museum has received a $9,460 Cultural Facilities Grant, from Vermont taxpayers via the Vermont Arts Council, to make its front entrance wheelchair accessible.
The project will complete the Museum's recent reopening of its historic front door entrance by making it welcoming to all its visitors. Elements will include creating a paved earthen ramp to the south end of the museum's front porch, adding historically sensitive wrought iron handrails and fitting the original double doors with automatic door openers. The Sheldon will now be seeking required matching funds so that the work can go forward this spring.
The Cultural Facilities Grant program is administered by the Vermont Arts Council in conjunction with the Vermont Historical Society, the Vermont Museum and Gallery Alliance, and the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation. The program is funded through an annual appropriation in the State of Vermont's Capital Budget.
Grants totaling $201,628 were awarded to 14 institutions to improve existing facilities and expand their capacity to provide cultural activities for the public. The recipients were honored in a ceremony at the Vermont State House Jan. 6.
The purpose of the program is to assist Vermont nonprofit organizations and municipalities to enhance, create or expand the capacity of an existing building to provide cultural activities for the public. As a result of these grants, improvements to public cultural facilities have enabled citizens of all ages and abilities to enjoy more cultural events while increasing their participation in the heritage of their communities. More than 90 organizations have been funded in the past six years alone.
"We are thrilled and grateful to have received this grant from the Vermont Arts Council," said Sheldon Museum Executive Director, Jan Albers. "It will help the Museum to ensure that all people who want to explore the region's history will have equal access to our programs and resources. We want the public to know that everyone is welcome to come through our front door."