News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

City of Palo Alto Awarded Competitive Institute of Museums and Library Services CARES Grant
Funding will Enhance Community Virtual Programming During this Challenging Time
Contact : Ken Heiman, Marketing Coordinator, Palo Alto Art Center    6506173511

PALO ALTO, CA– The Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded a CARES grant totaling more than $129,000 to the City of Palo Alto, furthering a collaboration between the Palo Alto City Library, Palo Alto Art Center and the Junior Museum & Zoo (JMZ) to support Onsite to Virtual: Expanding Access to Community Learning Resources, a project enhancing community virtual programming during the continued public health emergency.

“Palo Alto City Library is grateful to the Institute of Museums and Library Services for this grant

opportunity as we continue to adapt and transform library services to meet the needs of the Palo Alto community”, said Gayathri Kanth, acting library director. “This funding will further the City’s efforts to offer additional virtual community programming and provide new tools as we look to continue to serve the community through this ongoing pandemic.”

The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced $13.8 million in IMLS CARES Act Grants to support the role of museums and libraries in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. Palo Alto’s unique project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services grant award. Grants will support programming throughout the nation with only 11 west coast libraries and museums and four other California agencies awarded grant funding, such as the Lawrence Hall of Science at University of California, Berkeley, and a cohort of museums from the National Informal STEM Education Network, and the Children's Creativity Museum; Museum of Natural and Cultural History, University of Oregon; and Seattle Public Library.

“A critical element of this new Palo Alto programming involves virtual opportunities for art engagement, education, and dialogue,” said Karen Kienzle, Palo Alto Art Center director. “The Art Center is thrilled to substantially increase the quality and volume of its digital offerings to the public.”

“The Junior Museum & Zoo delivers core science curriculum to students in San Mateo and Santa Clara County and this funding will increase access to students in schools with hands-on science learning during the pandemic,” says John Aikin, director of Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo.

IMLS Director Crosby Kemper said, “We’ve seen unprecedented need expressed by museums and libraries on behalf of their organizations and communities, and many are on the brink—financially, emotionally, and otherwise, While the pandemic’s widespread impact has changed how museums and libraries engage with their communities, it has not stopped them from providing information, education, support, entertainment, and other incredible resources. We deeply appreciate the work that museums and libraries are doing as they continue their missions in the face of hardship. We urge other funders, local governments, and foundations to partner with their communities to fund more of this critical work and explore additional ways to stabilize these essential organizations now and for the future.”

The Onsite to Virtual: Expanding Access to Community Learning Resources project will start with an in-depth staff training in digital content development with the Mid-Peninsula Media Center and result in the creation of a digital playbook of best practices for virtual programming that can be employed by museums and libraries across the country. The library and its partners will also increase their digital offerings by 25 percent.

About the Palo Alto Art Center:
The Palo Alto Art Center is your place to discover art. See, make, and be inspired because everyone is anartist. Created by the community, for the community in 1971, the Palo Alto Art Center provides anaccessible and welcoming place to engage with art. We serve approximately 150,000 people every yearthrough a diverse range of programs.

The Palo Alto Art Center, Division of Arts and Sciences, Community Services Department, City of Palo Alto is funded in part by grants from Silicon Valley Creates and the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation. The Palo Alto Art Center Foundation gratefully acknowledges support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Yellow Chair Foundation, private donations, and members.

About the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo:
The Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo is a place that nurtures a child’s curiosity through multisensory, hands-on science exhibits and a diverse community of live animals living in a verdant landscape. For 86 years the JMZ has served as a primary resource for science learning through educational programs, which serve 18,000 students per year, and through its museum and zoo, which had 184,000 visits annually. The museum & zoo is currently being rebuilt and will open in Spring 2021. During construction, a temporary museum was located at Cubberley Community Center but has been closed during the recent pandemic.

The Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo, Division of Arts and Sciences, Community Services Department, City of Palo Alto is supported in part by the Friends of the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo, which led the $25 million Capital Campaign for the new facility. The Friends gratefully acknowledge their major campaign donor, the Peery Family, as well as other private donations, and their members.

About the Palo Alto City Library:
The Palo Alto City Library connects our diverse community through knowledge, resources, and opportunities.  We nurture innovation, discovery, and delight.

The Palo Alto City Library benefits from the combination of the superb Friends of the Palo Alto Library and an extremely generous public constituency. Through this support, the library is able to provide programming for all ages, enrich our collections and furnish our facilities.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services:
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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