Image by Ken Graham Photography

Image by Ken Graham Photography

Anchorage Museum Awarded in First Round of NEHClimate Smart Humanities Organizations Grants 

Sept. 12, 2023

ANCHORAGE, Alaska  As energy costs rise and natural disasters become more frequent, humanities organizations - such as museums, libraries, archives, historic sites, and colleges and universities - face an enormous task: to anticipate operational, physical and financial impacts of climate-related events on their institutions, while also reducing their own impact on the environment. 

To recognize and prepare for the potential impact on arts and cultural institutions, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) recently awarded the Anchorage Museum and five other institutions nationwide sustainability planning grants through its new Climate Smart Humanities Organizations grant program. The Anchorage Museum will use the funds to conduct comprehensive energy and carbon audits and develop a climate smart sustainability plan to reduce its carbon footprint. 

About 56% of cultural institutions reported increased damage to collections due to water or moisture between 2017-2019. Of that damage, about 10% was the result of natural disasters. To address these and other challenges due to the climate crisis, the museum will also carry out a climate change threat assessment related to its collections and mission.“We are pleased to have the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities for efforts to respond to one of the most challenging issues facing communities,” Anchorage Museum CEO/Director Julie Decker said. “We are committed to conversation and progress in considering our own footprint and practice and in convening discussions, supporting solutions and innovation, and working collectively, creatively, and collaboratively for a better future for all.”

The Anchorage Museum has long been focused on climate and ideas around climate and resilience. It is one of 29 signatories of the mindful museum materials pledge, a public statement of commitment to making more informed choices and to engaging in an ongoing dialogue with manufacturers to help them improve the transparency and the sustainability of their products. A climate and sustainability work group comprised of museum employees hosts monthly lunchtime climate “cafes” where fellow employees meet for conversations about climate change. The museum’s Teen Climate Communicators program provides Anchorage-area 9-12 grade students the opportunity to use museum artwork, objects and resources to investigate and discuss climate change. Other recent Anchorage Museum climate-related programs have included a free climate resource fair and participation in the Museum of the UN’s "Global We" portal, at the museum’s Seed Lab.

About the Anchorage Museum 
The Anchorage Museum shares the art, history, culture and stories of Alaska and the North from diverse perspectives through exhibitions, public programs, and community projects focused on people, place, planet and potential. Located in Anchorage, Alaska, the museum sits on the traditional homeland of the Dena’ina Eklutna. Learn more at

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:

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this communication, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Media Contacts

Hank Davis
Communications Manager

Leroy Polk
Communications Manager

Zakiya McCummings
Communications Manager

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