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Museum Receives Smithsonian Community Grant To Support “Jim Henson’s Fantastic World,” April 3-June 27, 2010

Jim_Henson_and_his_characters The National Heritage Museum announced today that it has received a grant from the Smithsonian Community Grant program to support the upcoming exhibition “Jim Henson’s Fantastic World,” opening April 3, 2010. This competitive grant was awarded to assist in the development and implementation of all aspects of the show from educational programming to promotion.

“Jim Henson’s Fantastic World” opens at the Museum on April 3, 2010 and will remain on view through June 27, 2010. The exhibition features 100 original artworks, including drawings, cartoons and storyboards that illustrate Henson’s talent as a storyteller and visionary. It offers a rare peek into the imagination and creative genius of this multitalented innovator and creator of Kermit the Frog, Big Bird and other beloved characters. Among the variety of exhibition objects are puppets, and television and movie props, photographs of Henson and his collaborators at work and original video productions, including excerpts from Henson’s early career and experimental films.

The Smithsonian Community Grant will allow the Museum to present an array of educational programming. Says Hilary Anderson Stelling, Director of Exhibitions and Audience Development, “We are thrilled to be able to bring this wonderful exhibition to New England. The generous support from the Smithsonian Community Grant program allows us to offer visitors a rich selection of programs related to the exhibition from activities for families, to lectures exploring his little-known work in television commercials. There are a lot of Henson fans out there. Our programs will give people of all ages a chance to further understand his creativity and contributions.” For more information on the exhibition and related programming, please visit our web site.

The Smithsonian Community Grant program, funded by MetLife Foundation and administered by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), is used to strengthen the connections between museums nationwide and their communities. The grants allow exhibitors to enhance current program offerings or to create a new program suited to the topic of the SITES exhibition that they will be hosting. Grants up to $5,000 are awarded based on criteria that each exhibitor must meet. For more information on Smithsonian Community Grants, visit or email

 “This is an excellent opportunity to encourage our exhibitors to engage their audiences in new and exciting ways,” said Anna R. Cohn, SITES director. “We are pleased with this tremendous show of support from MetLife Foundation and we recognize the impact that their support will have for museums and their visitors.”

The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for more than 55 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. For more information, including exhibition descriptions and tour schedules, visit


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