Please Touch Museum (PTM) has received a $318,200 recovery grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage to support the Museum’s Recovering & Reimagining Relationships: Digital Engagement with Members & School Groups initiative. The grant includes recovery project funding and an additional 20% in unrestricted, general operating support.
Funding from the Center’s recovery grant will allow PTM to build the technical and organizational infrastructure needed to develop dynamic digital engagement with children aged 3-8, their families, and their schools — and, as a result, broaden the Museum’s reach and impact. The Museum will use the funds to purchase the necessary technological infrastructure and hire a Director of Digital Engagement who will work collaboratively with current staff and a panel of thought leaders.
Dr. Natalie Nixon is a Creativity Strategist and President of Figure 8 Thinking, LLC. She serves as a strategic advisor to help privately held and publicly traded companies as well as non-profits achieve customer facing business goals and innovate for the future of work. She applies her expertise in strategic foresight, qualitative research, and design thinking. This results in aligned decision making to reduce risk, increase ROI, and improve internal best practices for a collaborative organizational culture.
Dr. Nancy Proctor is Chief Strategy Officer and founding Executive Director of the Peale in Baltimore, MD. Previously, Nancy was Deputy Director of Digital Experience and Communications at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Head of Mobile Strategy and Initiatives at the Smithsonian Institution, and Head of New Media Initiatives at Smithsonian’s American Art Museum. She lectures and publishes widely on technology and innovation in museums in French, Italian, and English.
Vijay Ravindran is an entrepreneur and technology executive. He is currently cofounder and chief executive officer of Floreo, a venture-backed start-up developing virtual reality therapy for children with social and communication delays. Previously, he was the Chief Digital Officer for the Washington Post Company where he founded WaPo Labs and oversaw the development of digital and personalized news products and platforms. Additionally, Vijay worked at Amazon, where he led the team that launched Amazon Prime.
“During the Museum’s 56-week closure, we did not have the proper infrastructure in place to sustain ongoing engagement and digital learning with children,” said Please Touch Museum President & CEO Patricia D. Wellenbach. “We see this recovery grant as a critical runway to develop meaningful, research-based digital programing to meet children and families in their homes, which will extend our reach and impact in brand new ways. Our mission may be more relevant today than it was pre-pandemic. We are grateful to be awarded a recovery grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and look forward to all that will come as result of this work.”
The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage is a multidisciplinary grantmaker and hub for knowledge-sharing, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, dedicated to fostering a vibrant cultural community in Greater Philadelphia. The Center invests in ambitious, imaginative, and catalytic work that showcases the region’s cultural vitality and enhances public life, and engages in an exchange of ideas concerning artistic and interpretive practice with a broad network of cultural practitioners and leaders.
For more information on the Center, visit pewcenterarts.org
For more information about the 2021 grantees, visit: pewcenterarts.org/2021grants