Naper Settlement to receive $30K grant for digital exhibition at new welcome center

Exterior image of Birck Family Innovation Gateway welcome center at Naper Settlement
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Naper Settlement will be receiving a $30,000 grant to be used to help create content for a digital exhibition experience inside its Birck Family Innovation Gateway.

The National Endowment for the Humanities is providing the funds as part of the Digital Projects for the Public Grant program.

Digital exhibition experience a showcase of Naperville’s history

The newly constructed Birck Family Innovation Gateway will provide an initial welcome area for visitors to the museum, with the planned digital exhibit inside to help show off the history of Naperville. The experience will take viewers on a trip from the early days of Naperville as indigenous land, through its farming period, and into modern day, as a business and technology center.

Guests to the museum will also be able to share their own stories to be entered into the city’s history through a portal on the digital exhibit.

“This project allows for a wider view of history by sharing hundreds of stories that showcase the transformation of this land and community,” said Jeanne Schultz Angel, associate vice president at Naper Settlement in a news release. “The historical journey of growth and change provides fertile ground to contemplate how America evolved and changed, especially as we prepare for America’s 250th commemoration in 2026.”

Birck Family Innovation Gateway a welcome addition to museum’s campus

The Birck Family Innovation Gateway is a 4,800 square-foot visitor center that’s been years in the making at Naper Settlement. The Naperville Heritage Society hopes that its addition will help it broaden the 19th-century history featured throughout the buildings on the settlement’s site into more modern-day Naperville information, providing learning opportunities about the city’s people and industry throughout the years as it weaves the past with the present.

“Thank you to the National Endowment for the Humanities for their support of this important project and its role in expanding the museum’s continued transformation into an innovative, inclusive campus that engages, reflects, and represents the community of today and its connections to regional and national history,” said Rena Tamayo-Calabrese, president and CEO at Naper Settlement.

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