Digital Interactive Grant
How Medicine Became Modern
In 2015, I co-wrote a successful proposal to NEH Museums, Libraries, and Cultural Organizations Implementation Grant for 400K–the largest award given in the start of Ohio that year. These funds supported the innovative digital project HOW MEDICINE BECAME MODERN at the Dittrick Medical History Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. The 10x4 interactive touchscreen aimed to make history more accessible and less linear. But more than this, it provides historical and social contexts for scientific and medical innovations to explore how technology shapes (and is shaped) by culture. This exhibit allows users to critically investigate the ethical implications of medical progress and to apply them to health today. In addition to writing the grant, I worked on content creation and implementation. I see a future for projects such as these to be turned into educational platforms supporting high schools and centers, and welcome the opportunity to collaborate with museums on a mission.
Incredible opportunities exist for museums to expand their reach through exhibits and programming. The Dittrick Museum houses an incredible collection, but operated on a small budget with a permanent staff of only three. While smaller institutions might shy away from big innovations, even large projects can be implemented to scale, and funds remain available through the NEH and NEA, and through more local foundations (like the Mt. Sinai Foundation in Cleveland, who also supported the project).
The project has the potential to improve health care both by getting medical professionals to think about these humanities themes and by educating the public about the themes and the history […] an exciting new benchmark in exhibitions in the history of medicine. –NEH award committee
Because grant proposals take time and energy, and because small institutions do not have dedicated staff for either fund raising or implementation of the funds once they are granted, I serve to coordinator efforts. I came to the Dittrick on a short run of funds, time enough to win the grant and (funded by the grant) work on content and simultaneously develop programs around the project itself. These included talks and roundtables with community members and stake holders through a three year lecture series called “Conversations,” and frequent appearances on public radio. Such efforts take content beyond the walls.
Have a project idea to implement?
Get in touch with Brandy for more information on her work as grant writer, public outreach, and project coordinator