Founded in 1960 as the Philadelphia Maritime Museum, Independence Seaport Museum (ISP) is a repository of art, artifacts, and archival materials documenting the diverse maritime history of the Greater Delaware Valley, and the history of major urban ports of the Delaware River. ISP also houses one of the largest collections of maritime art and artifacts in the country, and it operates the National Historic Landmark ships Cruiser Olympia and Submarine Becuna.
Independence Seaport Museum will investigate the potential of a contemporary art-making program to increase audience engagement with the institution and deepen the public’s understanding of the region’s waterways. The museum will bring together an advisory committee of experts, led by artist and Pew Fellow Teresa Jaynes, for a year-long discovery process that will consider best practices and effective strategies for creating a socially relevant, contemporary arts initiative. Jaynes, who has extensive experience in creating artistic work based on research of special collections and libraries, will assess the Museum’s past arts-based installations and programming and will lead consultative visits with artists, curators, and grassroots groups in relevant fields. In focus group sessions, the advisory committee will discuss its findings and programming ideas with regional artists, community advocates, scientists, and urban planners. The results of the exploration will be presented internally at the museum and in a public community gathering.
Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.