Published on December 18, 2020

MABA Receives $48,000 Grant for "The Nest"

Young child drawing a coneflower from real specimen at MABA

In October 2020, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced they were awarding the Museum of American Bird Art (MABA) a $48,000 grant to engage young learners in a multisensory, hands-on art and design project.

The Nest will be a welcoming community space where students and other visitors can create and discuss collaboration with a focus on science, the environment, and art. 

The project aims to cultivate a stronger bond between youth and the natural world while also enhancing their understanding of essential STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) concepts.

The project, which will be managed by MABA's Sean Kent, also seeks to address several perceived needs in the communities the Museum serves—insufficient access to high-quality STEAM programming for many children and families; limited resources for school districts and educators to stay current with rapidly evolving changes in STEAM curricula; and the worrisome reality that too many young people still lack opportunities to forge connections to nature.

"When The Nest opens to the public, children, families, and adults will have access to cutting-edge equipment, including laser cutters and 3D printers," Kent said. "They'll be able to use these amazing tools to create art inspired by nature and come up with innovative solutions to urgent environmental challenges, especially climate change."

"Art and nature," he stressed, "are two essential components of what makes life worth living."