Lilly Endowment awards $43M for exhibits

By The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded 18 grants totaling more than $43 million to museums and other cultural institutions across the U.S. to develop exhibitions and other programs that portray the role of religion in the society.

Smithsonian National Museum of American History is receiving an $8 million grant to establish a new Center for the Public Understanding of Religion in American History and to create 3,500-square-foot gallery space focusing on the influence of religion in American history and culture, the Indianapolis-based endowment said Wednesday.

Other grantees including Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History, Colonial Williamsburg and the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis will receive amounts between $500,000 and $2.5 million.

“These organizations will use the grants to help visitors understand and appreciate the significant impact religion has had and continues to have on society in the United States and around the globe," said Christopher Coble, the Indianapolis-based endowment’s vice president for religion.

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