National Award Recognizes MNHS’ Work with Memory Loss Community

For immediate release

Release dated: 
September 21, 2017
Media contacts: 

Lauren Peck, 651-259-3137,
Jessica Kohen, 651-259-3148,

National Award Recognizes MNHS’ Work with Memory Loss Community

Over $200,000 grant supports development of programming for those with memory loss and their care providers

Updated Sept. 22, 2017 

The Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) is pleased to announce it is the recipient of a prestigious Museums for America Community Anchors grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

This grant award of $205,212—plus $212,751 in cost sharing covered by MNHS and Legacy Amendment funds—will allow MNHS to develop the first U.S. version of National Museums Liverpool’s “House of Memories” program, focused on serving those living with memory loss and their care providers. Today an estimated 47.5 million people worldwide live with dementia, and that number is expected to grow to 75.6 million by 2030.

The Community Anchors grant is designed to help museums serve as essential partners in addressing the needs of their communities by leveraging their resources to create livable, sustainable communities. This funding will allow MNHS to develop and launch a U.S. version of the innovative House of Memories app. Users will be able to explore more than 100 objects and photographs from MNHS collections in the app, which offers opportunities to learn about museum objects and share memories. The featured collections items have been reviewed and approved by people living with dementia.

MNHS will also produce training videos and a toolkit for professional providers and family care partners, aimed at helping them develop new skills and understanding in caring for those with dementia. Charter House at the Mayo Clinic, Rakhma Homes and St. Paul African American Faith Community Task Force are community partners on this project.

This initiative will complement MNHS’ other memory loss programming at various historic sites, including sensory-based tours, memory cafes and a baking lab. MNHS is also a member of the Spark Alliance, a museum organization focused on serving the memory loss community.

Additional support has been made possible through a 2014 IMLS planning grant and the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.


About the Institute of Museum and Library Services 
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

About the Minnesota Historical Society 
The Minnesota Historical Society is a nonprofit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. MNHS collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, MNHS preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.

The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partners: Xcel Energy and Explore Minnesota Tourism.