The Museum of Ventura County receives NEH Grant

The Museum of Ventura County has received a Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections Planning Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The grant will allow the museum to create a collections risk assessment, a fire suppression assessment report, and a disaster response plan for the entire organization. The Museum of Ventura County serves county residents, researchers, scholars, and the public, caring for a vast collection of 180,000 historical artifacts, art works, official documents, and agricultural machinery and implements.

“The Museum of Ventura County is the only museum dedicated to serving the entire Ventura County region and its combined holdings form the largest collection on Ventura County history,” says The Barbara Barnard Smith Executive Director Elena Brokaw. “Taken as a whole, the various collections tell the story of the region’s social, political, and economic development from the 1850s onward. Given today’s raging wildfires and a global pandemic, it is paramount that we protect the collections of our county and region and this grant will allow us to prepare for calamity and also ensure the continued preservation of at-risk items.”

David Fukutomi is a member of the Museum’s Board of Directors and he will serve as Board Liaison and advisor to the project. Mr. Fukutomi serves as an advisor, subject matter expert, and facilitator to federal, state, and local government agencies and the private sector, specializing in the areas of holistic disaster resilience, recovery, and public policy. Research Library & Archives Director Deya Terrafranca, MLIS, Collections Manager Renee Tallent, Thomas F. R. Clareson of the Lyrasis Company, Mr. Jack Collings of CFP Engineers, Irena Calinescue of Fine Arts Conservation, and Christina Bean of 805 Conservation are also on the team.

“The Museum has the great responsibility to protect our community’s cultural resources and that includes preparing for and mitigating disasters,” says The Smith-Hobson Family Collections Manager Renee Tallent. This grant is vital because it allows us to prioritize how we preserve our collections and it brings in experts to provide a fresh perspective on things our staff sees every day. It balances the health and safety of people and our collection.”

Marking the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, the Museum of Ventura County has launched a new virtual exhibit, Amendment 19: Votes for Women, featuring stories of Ventura County suffragists and the suffrage movement. The Museum received a $5,000 California Humanities for All Grant from California Humanities to create the exhibit that will be shared with all school districts and libraries in the County.

“This exhibit was a blast to create in conjunction with the community,” says Research Library and Archives Director Deya Terrafranca, who curated the exhibit. “Not only were we able to unearth and make available untold stories, we were able to create a platform for the community to talk about why voting is important to them.”

Originally scheduled to be an in-person exhibit that was built to travel to schools, the exhibit was created for virtual viewing. This will enable the Museum to more easily share the exhibit with school districts and teachers across the county.

“Since March, the Museum has been able to quickly move all programming to being entirely virtual and our exhibits are no different,” says Denise Sindelar, Deputy Director of the Museum of Ventura County.

The public is invited to visit the exhibit online to learn more and there is even a place for the community to add additional voting stories. The exhibit is available at:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email