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Art museums, Findlay Market among those landing grants for America's 250th birthday

Bill Rinehart

Ten efforts to celebrate history and culture in Hamilton and Butler county are getting grants from the America 250 Ohio Commission's latest round of funding.

The grants are part of a nationwide celebration of the America’s 250th birthday coming up in 2026. The grants are for nonprofits who aim to tell the stories of Ohioans past and present from the time before its official founding to now.

Findlay Market will get $15,000 to create and install 31 plaques around the market detailing the histories of its buildings and individuals who immigrated to Cincinnati.

The Cincinnati Art Museum will get $25,000 to create exhibitions around the works of world-renowned Cincinnati artists Charley Harper and Nancy Rexroth. Those exhibitions will be the focal points of the museum's fall 2026 programming featuring Ohio artists.

The Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati is also among the recipients. The museum is getting $35,000 to expand its Duncanson Artist in Residency Program. It's named after Robert S. Duncanson, a 19th century Black artist who settled in Cincinnati and achieved renown for his landscape painting. The Duncanson residency has been a two-week program, but the Taft will use the America 250 grant to expand it to a year-round effort to provide opportunities for underrepresented artists.

Another $22,000 from the America 250 Ohio Commission will go to the University of Cincinnati to help establish the Wyandot Removal Trail. The memorials across 13 Ohio communities will tell the story of the Wyandot people. The Indigenous group was forced off its land in Northwestern Ohio in 1853 and walked all the way to Cincinnati to board steamboats to Kansas. The Wyandotte Nation is now headquartered in Oklahoma and will partner with UC on the project.

Another grant will provide about $27,000 to install memorial markers around the Norwood Mound, an Indigenous earthwork believed to be built by the Adena people in pre-Columbian times. The grant will also fund an educational history walk and landscape beautification involving native plants in the neighboring park.

In Butler County, Miami University will get more than $12,000 for a project documenting Ohio's agricultural communities. Photographer Tina Gutierrez will use still photos and video interviews to capture stories from family farmers, including those with ties to indigenous and immigrant communities. The project will also explore the history of agriculture in Ohio.

You can read more about the grants and all local recipients here.

Nick has reported from a nuclear waste facility in the deserts of New Mexico, the White House press pool, a canoe on the Mill Creek, and even his desk one time.