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  • Strawbery Banke Museum awarded $291,000 National Endowment for the Humanities Grant

    PORTSMOUTH—The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded Strawbery Banke Museum a $291,000 Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge grant award for the preservation of the museum’s historic Penhallow House.


    This federal matching grant supports the $1.2 million initiative to restore and rehabilitate the c. 1750 Penhallow House. In addition to preserving the historic saltbox building for future generations, the restoration project will create space for an exhibit featuring the 20th-century history of an African American family.   

    Former Penhallow resident Kenneth Richardson was the first African American supervisor at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and was an active member of Portsmouth’s Black community during the 1950s Civil Rights Movement. His story will enable the museum to interpret American history in a more inclusive, accurate way. The exhibit will be the first of its kind at the museum and the first furnished house exhibit in Portsmouth dedicated to presenting the Black experience.


    “Strawbery Banke Museum celebrates this monumental grant announcement from the National Endowment for the Humanities,” said Lawrence J. Yerdon, Strawbery Banke Museum president and CEO. “As a major, nationally recognized benefactor, support from NEH, both moves this project forward exponentially and serves as a ‘stamp of approval’ from an important Federal agency. As this grant helps Strawbery Banke move closer to the goal of increasing the inclusivity and accuracy of the American history interpreted for visitors here, we are deeply grateful for this support.”


    The project will restore the exterior and interior of the Penhallow House as a part of Strawbery Banke’s Heritage House Program. This program provides restored exhibit space for visitors but also creates rental units in underused space to generate sustainable income for the museum’s educational and preservation programs. The project will create three apartments in Penhallow House, and the museum plans to utilize one of the apartments for a new visiting humanist-in-residence program at Strawbery Banke.


    For information about the Penhallow House restoration and the Heritage House Program, visit https://www.strawberybanke.org/penhallow.cfm


    About Strawbery Banke Museum

    Strawbery Banke Museum’s mission is “to promote understanding of the lives of individuals and the value of community through encounters with the history and ongoing preservation of a New England waterfront neighborhood.” Strawbery Banke interprets 300+ years of history through a ten-acre waterfront neighborhood, including thirty-seven historic structures, decorative art and archaeological collections, and eight historical gardens. The museum offers educational programs that give adults and children traditional and innovative ways to gain life-changing and inspirational learning experiences, plus special events throughout the year.

    For information about Strawbery Banke Museum, visit strawberybanke.org or call (603) 433-1100.


    About The National Endowment for the Humanities

    The National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom. Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at www.neh.gov.