The Gannett House Project First Amendment Museum recently received a $7,430 grant from the Maine Humanities Council, according to a press release from the museum.

These funds will support the development of a travel-ready exhibit that will introduce visitors to the origins, evolution and contemporary issues around the five freedoms of the First Amendment. The exhibit will bring together stories that highlight the complicated subjects fostered by the First Amendment to expand public discourse around what this amendment means to democracy.

“The development of the exhibit will help the new museum build its capacity to be a trusted source of stimulating resources around the First Amendment,” Executive Director Rebecca Lazure said in the press release.

Planning for the exhibit is underway with help from project scholars including Dmitry Bam of Maine Law and Joshua Roiland of the University of Maine at Orono, who are helping the new museum capture the essence of the First Amendment’s freedoms using relevant national and regional stories. The exhibit will be displayed at venues including libraries and schools around Maine while capital improvements are underway at the Gannett House in Augusta.

Additional funding for the exhibit comes from the John and Patricia Gannett family, who has made an initial contribution making the 2015 purchase of the Gannett House possible as well as initial startup and building envelope maintenance costs. Additional grant support and donations are also being sought for the project.

The Maine Humanities Council, Maine’s affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) since 1975, offers humanities programs and grants for all Mainers.

Rehabilitation of the Gannett House continues with exterior building work underway this spring. Lead abatement of the exterior trim is complete. Two chimneys have also been repaired by Dixmont-based G. Drake Masonry. The south chimney was taken down to the roofline and rebuilt using the original Flemish bond method. This month, Lewiston-based Hahnel Brothers Co. will be on site beginning removal and restoration of the red slate roof.

Located at 184 State St. in Augusta, just steps from the State House, The Gannett House Project is a 501c3 nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to stimulating and inspiring public understanding of the rights and responsibilities inherent in the First Amendment. For more information, to go

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