Museum Awarded AHA Grant

Grant to support research of African American History in Gaston County

Gaston County Museum of Art and History Awarded Pandemic Recovery Grant from the American Historical Association

July 2022

• Gaston County Museum one of only 50 National Recipients of American Historical Association grant, only museum recipient in N.C.
• Grant will support research and interpretation of African American historic sites in Gaston County
• Grant funds will provide year-long stipend for a historic preservation fellow beginning Summer 2022 

Gastonia, North Carolina – Gaston County Museum of Art and History (GCM) has been awarded funding from the American Historical Association’s Grants to Sustain and Advance the Work of Historical Organizations Program, which provides relief to institutions adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This opportunity was made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

The primary goal of this project is to increase the research on African American history in Gaston County and incorporate that research into the interpretation at the Gaston County Museum. This project will help identify post-Civil War community development as well as expand upon historic figures that were instrumental in the growth of the prominent African American communities throughout the county. Work conducted by the historic preservation fellow will be incorporated into research and survey reports on four key African American historical sites within the county that could be designated as local landmarks by the Historic Preservation Commission.
GCM is one of fifty grant recipients, which include site-based organizations, membership associations, and history departments at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Awardees will implement short-term projects that explore new ideas or build on experiments initiated during the pandemic—from online programming or publications to using new technologies or expanding audiences and accessibility.

“The past two years have been challenging for small history organizations,” said James Grossman, executive director of the American Historical Association. “Our awardees have made compelling cases for their status as essential resources, making vital contributions to public culture. The American Historical Association (AHA) is pleased to provide funding for our colleagues to promote historical work, historical thinking, and the presence of history in public life.”

“NEH is grateful to the American Historical Association for administering American Rescue Plan funding to help history organizations around the country recover from the pandemic,” said NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo). “Small museums, historical societies, college history departments, historic sites, and community archives are essential to keeping and telling America’s story. These ARP awards will allow these institutions to develop new programs and resources that will expand access to this important history.”

About the Gaston County Museum

The mission of the Gaston County Museum is to interpret the art and history of Gaston County and the region through education, preservation, and collection. The museum strives to inspire diverse audiences to consider their shared histories through the art and history of Gaston County, NC and its surrounding region.

The American Historical Association: Founded in 1884 and incorporated by Congress in 1889 for the promotion of historical studies, the American Historical Association provides leadership for the discipline and promotes the critical role of historical thinking in public life. The Association defends academic freedom, develops professional standards, supports innovative scholarship and teaching, and helps to sustain and enhance the work of historians. As the largest membership association of professional historians in the world (nearly 12,000 members), the AHA serves historians in a wide variety of professions and represents every historical era and geographical area.

About the National Endowment for the Humanities: Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at

For job description and application information, download the History_Fellow_Job_Description.pdf