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New Mexico Humanities Council grant recipients

The Blackwater Draw Museum is a proud recipient of a New Mexico Humanities Council American (NMHC) Rescue Plan (ARP) grant.

About the Grant:

"The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) previously received $135 million in supplemental funding to assist humanities organizations and other cultural institutions affected by the coronavirus pandemic as part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) approved by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Joseph R. Biden.

With funding from NEH, the New Mexico Humanities Council provides recovery funding to museums, archives, historic sites, and other nonprofits impacted by the pandemic. NMHC provided approximately $500,000.00 in recovery funding to humanities organizations. The primary purpose of ARP was to provide assistance to entities that have suffered major setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. NMHC ARP grant funds are intended to help prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from the coronavirus in order to sustain and grow the public humanities in the state." - NMHC (

About the Project:

The Blackwater Draw Museum (BWDM) is utilizing this grant to fund student collections assistants and supplies to assist in inventorying the Miles Collection. This collection has nearly 3,000 artifacts and arrived at Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) in the 1960s; it has been in need of a full scale inventory project. ENMU student assistants will inventory and rehouse artifacts to update collections records. Each object will also be photographed and this data will be added to the BWD website at the end of the project to improve public access to this amazing collection.

This initiative will foster research and interest in this diverse collection. Researchers and interested public members world-wide will be able to see what artifacts the Miles Collection holds.

Background on the Miles Collection:

The Miles Collection was purchased by ENMU in 1966 from Fred and Gladys Miles (Roswell, NM). The collection was split between the Anthropology department (archaeology and ethnology artifacts) and the Geology department (minerals). Previously, the Miles family had displayed their collection in their gas station in Roswell, NM. They had been collecting since their arrival in town in 1928.

The artifacts cared for by the Blackwater Draw Museum, and included in this grant program, include a wide variety of types from all over the Southwest, such as pottery, basketry, textiles, kachinas, and stone tools.

"I wanted to get this collection into a school where the students could enjoy it" -Fred Miles

Examples of the variety of materials in the Miles Collection.


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