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Stories of Impact: Stanly County Museum


Stanly County Museum designs and presents exhibitions, public programs, and educational experiences that promote the understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of Stanly County’s diverse population and history.


In 2021, Stanly County Museum received a North Carolina Humanities American Rescue Plan Humanities Grant to help build a new community exhibit.


“The museum was recently accepted into the Smithsonian’s Starter Kit program*. In this program, the Smithsonian works with small-town museums to create a Smithsonian caliber exhibit for the local community,” said Megan Sullivan, Stanly County Museum Director. The kit provides the curatorial framework for exhibits, including graphic designed exhibit panels and a selection of optional images and quotes.


With help from NC Humanities, the museum will be able to physically build the exhibit.


The museum will create “an immersive and humanities-based exhibit that will connect the community to their past, foster a sense of pride, preserve local stories, and create a space for much-needed conversations. The grant will also provide the funds needed to let local businesses turn their windows into small exhibition areas. Empty storefronts will instead showcase art installations. This will help revitalize our downtown and increase foot traffic,” Sullivan said.


Stanly County Museum is a department of the Stanly County Public Library and works closely with the Stanly County Historical Society, whose office is housed in the museum’s building.


*You can learn more about Smithsonian Exhibit Starter Kits at


North Carolina Humanities awarded a total of $1,271,060 in American Rescue Plan Humanities Grants to 90 North Carolina cultural organizations in September 2021. Funding for North Carolina Humanities American Rescue Plan Humanities Grants was provided to North Carolina Humanities by the National Endowment for the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP), approved by Congress and signed into law by President Biden in March 2021. To see a list of all 90 grantees visit


Stories of Impact is a limited-time blog series that highlights various North Carolina Humanities American Rescue Plan Humanities Grant recipients and their amazing work across the state.