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Museum of Idaho awarded grant

On Tuesday, the Museum of Idaho accepted a $500,000 grant to fund their expansion campaign project.

The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded the donation.

Congressman Mike Simpson said they have been working with the museum for almost seven years to make this possible.

“These grants are awarded on a competitive basis and only 10 of them were awarded across the country. The $500,000 grants, two of them in the northwest and Idaho Falls was one of them,” said Simpson.

A conference was held Tuesday to celebrate and discuss future plans for the museum.

The expansion is projected to cost $6 million, said David Pennock, executive director.

“Much of the money that has been raised has been through grants, through interactions with specific organizations and individuals that you heard from.”

The expansion will offer more space to showcase historical artifacts and exhibits.

“All the exhibit space that we currently have will be used to display Idaho exhibits and artifacts from our collection which usually are not seen. So we are getting a gigantic increase in exhibit space, and I’m just thrilled,” said Claire Smith, museum curator.

So far they have raised over $2 million for their building fund.

A date has not yet been set to break ground.

Pennock said, he hopes to have the money raised within five years.

From Dec. 11 through Jan. 2., the museum is displaying Christmas artifacts, the exhibit is called Old Fashioned Christmas and Winter Festivals.

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