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NEH Awards $500,000 Infrastructure Grant to JANM

LOS ANGELES, CA – Today the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awarded the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) a $500,000 Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grant for the project, Protecting the Museum’s Collections.

The project will replace JANM’s current HVAC system with a state-of-the-art system, enhancing JANM’s ability to maintain climate control throughout the building and allowing the Museum to not only care for and prolong the life of items in its collection but also borrow a wider range of items from other institutions to expand the collaborative scope and diversity of its exhibitions.

“Protecting the Museum’s Collections is a major component of JANM’s comprehensive campaign to secure the support it needs to ensure that future generations explore and learn from the Japanese American experience. In addition to these tangible improvements, our comprehensive campaign will build the Museum’s endowment and create resources to maintain the highest level of collections care and access that is essential to our mission,” said Ann Burroughs, President and CEO of JANM.

JANM has the country's largest exhibition space devoted to the Japanese American community. It continues to amass and care for the largest collection of Japanese American material culture, artwork, and archives in the world with over 160,000 items—including photographs, fine art, documents, moving images, and artifacts—that tell the community’s stories. The collection is the basis for many of the Museum’s exhibitions, education programs, and research services.

“Our collection is literally at the heart of JANM’s Pavilion and also integral to much of the work that the Museum engages in. Preserving it and ensuring its care for future generations is central to advancing JANM’s mission. With this NEH grant, JANM will continue to provide the best possible care for its unique collection of cultural and historical objects that represent the Japanese American experience and items borrowed from other institutions,” said Dr. Kristen Hayashi, director of Collections Management and Access and curator.


About the Japanese American National Museum (JANM)

Established in 1985, JANM promotes understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience. Located in the historic Little Tokyo district of downtown Los Angeles, JANM is a center for civil rights, ensuring that the hard-fought lessons of the World War II incarceration are not forgotten. A Smithsonian Affiliate and one of America’s Cultural Treasures, JANM is a hybrid institution that straddles traditional museum categories. JANM is a center for the arts as well as history. It provides a voice for Japanese Americans and a forum that enables all people to explore their own heritage and culture. Since opening to the public in 1992, JANM has presented over 100 exhibitions onsite while traveling 40 exhibits to venues such as the Smithsonian Institution and the Ellis Island Museum in the United States, and to several leading cultural museums in Japan and South America. JANM is open on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday–Sunday from 11 a.m.–5 p.m. and on Thursday from 12 p.m.–8 p.m. JANM is free every third Thursday of the month. On all other Thursdays, JANM is free from 5 p.m.–8 p.m. For more information, visit or follow us on social media @jamuseum.