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Conner Prairie receives $500,000 grant from Lilly Endowment for new African American storyline

The project will "explore the vital role of religion in the lives of antebellum Black settlers."
Credit: WTHR

INDIANAPOLIS — Conner Prairie received a $500,000 grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help with a new storyline on the role of religion in African American history in the early 19th century. 

The project will "explore the vital role of religion in the lives of antebellum Black settlers, who often thought of the Northwest Territory as their Promised Land."

"Conner Prairie is well known as a unique, historic place that inspires curiosity and fosters learning by providing engaging and individualized experiences for everyone," said Norman Burns, president, and CEO of Conner Prairie. "Our hope for this transformative project is to showcase how our doors are always open to a diversity of voices and limitless experiences. This will be yet another unique way for us to expand the boundaries of our historical and natural resources by exploring, celebrating, and improving the human experience."

Lilly Endowment launched the Religion and Cultural Institutions Initiative in 2019 and awarded planning grants to organizations to help them explore how programming in religion could further their institutional missions. 

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