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Museum Makeover


Museum Makeover is a new effort designed to improve the visitor experience at cultural heritage organizations throughout Connecticut. Successful applicants receive two free site visits from a team of traveling museum curators who will examine the exhibit areas, period rooms, or collection storage areas and develop a plan to improve these areas and elevate the visitor experience. Members of these cultural heritage organizations will be actively involved in all phases of Museum Makeover and will work closely with the Traveling Curators to implement the recommendations. Each participating institution will also receive up to $3,000 to help cover the costs of upgrading exhibition and storage areas.

Traveling Curators

  • Stephen Bartkus, Curatorial Consultant
  • Barbara Bradbury-Pape, Development Director, Roxbury Land Trust  
  • Nicole Carpenter, Curator, Westport Historical Society  
  • Stacey Danielson, Curatorial Consultant  
  • Maggie Dimock, Curator of Exhibitions & Collections, Greenwich Historical Society  
  • Alex DuBois, Curator of Collections, Litchfield Historical Society  
  • Elysa Engelman, Director of Exhibits, Mystic Seaport Museum
  • Ben Gammell, Director of Exhibitions, Connecticut Historical Society  
  • Diane Lee, Collections Manager, Fairfield Museum & History Center and Connecticut Collections Project Manager, CLHO
  • Laurie Pasteryak, former Curator of Exhibitions, Fairfield Museum & History Center  

2022 Museum Makeover Recipients

15 organizations received Museum Makeover grants in 2022. To learn more about their projects and see photographs of the results, visit the Conservation ConneCTion website or watch our video about the program.

  • The Amistad Center for Art & Culture (Hartford County), to redesign collection storage areas to ensure proper housing and safe object retrieval.
  • Avery-Copp House Museum (New London County), to develop outdoor interpretation and signage to encourage public use of museum grounds.
  • Danbury Railway Museum (Fairfield County), to curate outdoor exhibit and develop signage for the rail yard.
  • The Dudley Farm Museum (New Haven County), to reinterpret the tool, granary, and agricultural exhibit areas in the North Barn of the farm.
  • Finnish American Heritage Society (Windham County), to create new dynamic and interactive displays for the permanent collections.
  • Haddam Historical Society (Middlesex County), to develop a plan to reorganize archive storage and workspace.
  • Historical Society of Glastonbury (Hartford County), to provide guidance and design for new climate-control storage rooms.
  • The New England Carousel Museum (Hartford County), to develop plan to include the carousel restoration studio as part of the visitor experience.
  • Sharon Historical Society (Litchfield County), to plan and implement an exhibit on immigration and the iron industry as part of revisions to the permanent exhibit.
  • Simsbury Historical Society (Hartford County), to expand the interpretation of the Ensign-Bickford Co. exhibit, makers of safety fuses for the mining industry, and to include stories on immigration and female industrial workers.
  • Slater Memorial Museum (New London County), to develop new interpretive materials for their historic exhibit of Greek and Roman plaster casts.
  • Stanley-Whitman House (Hartford County), to develop an interpretation plan for the permanent exhibit on Farmington that includes the stories and voices of Indigenous and enslaved people.
  • Trumbull Historical Society (Fairfield County), to update permanent exhibit interpretation to include stories of Indigenous and enslaved people.
  • Wilton Historical Society (Fairfield County), to redesign collection storage areas to make better use of available space.
  • Windham Textile & History Museum (Windham County), to develop plans to make the museum collections more accessible and consolidate collection storage on site.

Learn More and Apply for 2023

The 2023 round of Museum Makeover grants closed on January 13. Please visit the Conservation ConneCTion website for more information about the program. Applicants will use the CT Humanities grant portal to submit their applications.

Watch the recording of our info session to find out more about year two of Museum Makeover.

Questions? Contact Kathy Craughwell-Varda at

Museum Makeover is a program of Conservation ConneCTion and is supported through a partnership with the Connecticut League of History Organizations and funded by a grant from the CT Cultural Fund. The CT Cultural Fund is administered by CT Humanities, with funding provided by the Connecticut State Department of Economic and Community Development/Connecticut Office of the Arts from the Connecticut State Legislature.

Conservation ConneCTion          CLHO 

CT Humanities

Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Office of the Arts



Connecticut League of Museums
Central Connecticut State UniversityDepartment of History
1615 Stanley Street
New Britain, CT 06050
(860) 832-2674

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