Sue Ryan | January 6, 2021
The University of Notre Dame has received a five-year, $2.4 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. through its Religion and Cultural Institutions Initiative to implement Inspiring Wonder: An Initiative on Religion, Spirituality, and Faith in the Visual Arts.
Designed to invite diverse audiences into meaningful conversation, Inspiring Wonder will significantly advance the Snite Museum’s efforts to deepen its constituencies’ understanding of religion, spirituality and faith in a deliberate and mission-driven way.
Notre Dame is one of 18 organizations from across the United States receiving grants through the Lilly Endowment initiative. The group includes fine arts museums, historical societies and history museums, museums dedicated to serving children and families and museums dedicated to particular locations and cultures.
“On behalf of the entire museum, I express our deepest gratitude to Lilly Endowment and their Religion and Cultural Institutions Initiative,” said Joseph Becherer, director of the Snite Museum. “Such generosity is a profound investment in the future of the museum and countless lives that will be touched through education and programming. More than just faith in the future good work of this museum and University, this grant is a commitment to regional and national audiences through a deepened appreciation of and enlightenment through art that we can uniquely provide.”
The primary project component is the Museum Education Fellowship in Religion and Spirituality in the Visual Arts. The endowed, two-year fellowship will allow for the creation of innovative programming around religion and spirituality, and will help train the next generation of museum professionals and bring their fresh perspectives about museum education into the Inspiring Wonder initiative. This grant-funded work at the Snite Museum includes the development of two major thematic exhibitions, course development, research mini-grants, academic symposia and strategic acquisitions during the grant period.
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