Museum Interpretation Initiative

Program Benefits


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Free training, equipment, and support to tell the stories of your collection and community! The Museum Interpretation Initiative (MII) program offers hands-on learning experiences about museum interpretation and exhibit development. Workshop participants learn how to research, design, and produce their own interpretive exhibits, receive resources and equipment to help them do so, and develop lasting relationships along the way with other museum staff, volunteers, and in-state experts.

Each participating museum will receive:

  • new harmoniesThree full-day workshops giving hands-on knowledge and skills concerning curatorial, exhibit, and educational best practices.
  • Equipment (e.g., laptop computer, color printer, digital camera, label-making tools, education hands-on bags).
  • Written resources (e.g., reference books, technical leaflets, and exhibit planning materials).
  • Annual membership to American Association for State & Local History or other similar professional association.
  • One-on-one guidance as requested toward the completion of exhibit project.
  • Individual site visit from workshop leaders to assess and discuss your project.
  • Participation in group project evaluation to share peer experiences.
  • Contact information and networking with peer professionals and in-state industry experts.
  • Promotion of final exhibit project and museum on the MII website.

In return, participating museums will:

  • Confirm status as an eligible museum with an annual operating budget of less than $200K.
  • Apply for participation by articulating goals and confirming ability to carry out exhibit project.
  • Send the same two staff members to attend all three workshops.
  • Follow through with workshop assignments related to their exhibit project.
  • Complete interpretive exhibit project. 
  • Participate in site visit and exhibit project assessment.
  • Participate in the program evaluation process, including a dedicated session at the Utah Museums Association (UMA) annual conference.
  • Attend annual UMA conference (registration fee required, but scholarships generally available).
  • Absorb and document travel, lodging, and meal expenses of workshop participants (as part of the in-kind IMLS grant match).
  • Provide visual and written documentation of a successful project outcome.


"Without the materials and equipment it would have been impossible for a museum of our size and scope to accomplish what we did… The program was a great step-by-step guide to a novice museum volunteer."

—Jennifer Archibeque, Morgan County DUP Museum