To mark the 50th anniversary of the New Jersey Historical Commission (NJHC) and emphasize the significant work of history organizations and programs across the state, we asked our FY2017 and FY2018 grant recipients to submit a short narrative and photos describing the impact of NJHC funding. Each week until the end of our fiscal year in June, we will post a spotlight featuring the responses of our grant recipients. Whether NJHC support contributed to general operating, a brand new exhibit, an engaging education program or the restoration of a historic object, it’s truly amazing to see what New Jersey’s history organizations, libraries, and individuals have to offer.
This week we spotlight The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities!
Of the countless blessings that NJHC funding has bestowed on the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC), one standout is its role in enabling our World War II Lookout Tower project. When this coastal artillery lookout tower (Fire Control Tower No. 23) was acquired by the State Park Service in the early ‘00s and then leased to MAC, NJHC funding underwrote a Historic Structure Report that uncovered its fascinating history and created a blueprint for its restoration. Equally important, annual General Operating Support grants from NJHC have allowed us to create and sustain a staff of museum professionals. This staff, in turn, took the lead in securing over $1 million in grants to cover the cost of restoration, overseeing the construction, developing interpretive panels and displays and managing a public tour schedule that has welcomed over 100,000 visitors to the Tower since its opening in 2009. In short, thanks to NJHC funding, MAC was able to add a third historic site to its roster (joining the Emlen Physick Estate and the Cape May Lighthouse), expanding our historical reach to the mid-20th century and engaging large new audiences of visitors and supporters in the military, veterans and World War II history enthusiasts.
Photo caption: Fire control tower no. 23 is a coastal artillery lookout tower from World War II now restored and open for public tours by MAC.
For questions about NJHC Grantee Spotlights, please contact Greer Luce, Communications Officer, at 609-633-0776 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The New Jersey Historical Commission (NJHC) is a state agency dedicated to the advancement of public knowledge and preservation of New Jersey history. Established by law in 1967, its work is founded on the fundamental belief that an understanding of our shared heritage is essential to sustaining a cohesive and robust democracy.