The Discovery Center ~ Great Lakes is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a major grant of $9,350 from the Michigan Humanities Council. The grant funds will be used to develop educational signs and interpretive panels for the upcoming Ship Shapes exhibit. This grant is in addition to a $6,000 grant from the Traverse Bay Sunrise Rotary Club for the construction of the exhibit and a significant commitment of in-kind support of materials from the Traverse City Preston Feather Building Center.
The Ship Shapes, exhibit will be an 850- to 900-square-foot interactive outdoor exhibit, displayed in the courtyard on the Discovery Center campus. It will be available to the public free of charge, for people of all ages and abilities to explore several different types of ships (including a historic Mackinaw Boat, a modern sloop, and a stylized model of a Coast Guard buoy tender) and see historic navigation lights. Through hands-on activities and interpretive text panels, visitors will learn about the rich cultural heritage of life on the Great Lakes, including maritime history and safe navigation. Click on the drawings below to see the exhibit layout.
Ship Shapes will be unique in the region, a free-of-charge exhibit offering residents and visitors a hands-on, informal educational experience where they can learn about the boats that ply the waters of the Great Lakes, today and in centuries past, as well as about the United States Coast Guard and its essential role in the safety and commerce of life on the Lakes. With its combination of interpretive text panels and actual boats to explore, Ship Shapes will appeal to all ages of people who value and are curious about these Great Lakes.
Discovery Center President, Mike Wills, said, “We are honored to receive this grant from the Humanities Council and are working to make the Discovery Center a valuable community resource and a preeminent cultural, recreational and educational attraction that will awaken a sense of wonder in people of all ages by encouraging understanding and stewardship of Grand Traverse Bay.”
The Michigan Humanities Council is a nonprofit organization created to foster a better understanding of each other and our state through local cultural, historical and literary experiences. It was founded in 1974 and is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and individual donors.