Daytona State College Awarded Second Federal Grant for Southeast Museum of Photography National Endowment for the Humanities CARES Grant provides funding for expanding museum’s virtual platform

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 31, 2020) – For the second time in less than a year, Daytona State College has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) which provides additional funding for the Southeast Museum of Photography (SMP). The grant was made possible through the new CARES Act that allows cultural organizations to retain staff to preserve and curate humanities collections, advance humanities research, and maintain buildings and core operations.NEH Seal

The SMP is using the $55,351 grant to expand the virtual museum experience by completing the process of cataloging and digitizing its collections and making them available through a searchable database. The grant will also allow the museum to create new online content for a robust and interactive experience for all virtual museum visitors.

Additionally, the SMP was also awarded a General Support Grant from the Florida Department of Cultural Affairs (FDCA) to support exhibitions and programs throughout the 2020-21 season. This $13,234 grant is matched 1:1 by the college as well.

“We are so grateful and excited for the opportunity to expand digital access to our exhibitions and collections,” said Erin Gordon, Museum Director. “Funding from this grant will help grow the museum’s online audience and increase public awareness of the SMP's extensive photography collection. We are thrilled to be able to engage with the community in new and innovative ways, utilizing highly developed technology and specialized resources afforded by this award.”

Efforts to digitize the SMP’s collection began in 2017 and to date, more than 4,100 fully cataloged objects have been migrated into the new database. Nearly 700 object records remain to be cataloged and more than 1,200 objects still need to be digitized so high-resolution images can be added to the records. The grant will enable the SMP to complete the process that is required before the collection can be made fully accessible anytime and anywhere.

With $40.3 million available, the NEH received more than 2,300 eligible applications from cultural organizations requesting funding for projects between June and December 2020. Only 317 (14 percent) were funded and Daytona State was one of just six organizations in Florida to receive one of these prestigious grants. The College and SMP also earned a grant from the NEH last September.

The Southeast Museum of Photography currently owns approximately 5,000 total objects, which includes 4,700 photographs dating back to early processes from the late 1800s, through a range of contemporary images by prominent photographers working in the field today, such as National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry and award-winning war photojournalists Kate Brooks and Louie Palu. More than 300 other objects are vintage cameras and other photographic ephemera. The museum includes two galleries, a theater, library, gift shop, office space, preparation and work areas, and a collections vault. Photographs in the permanent collection are used in thematic exhibitions on-site and for curated exhibitions that are periodically loaned to other venues.

In its 40-year history, the Museum has held hundreds of free exhibitions and events, welcomes more than 3,000 visitors annually for its exhibitions and more than 1,800 for events catered to individuals of all ages. The

Museum creates diverse and interactive educational and cultural opportunities including artist lectures, scholar panel discussions, focused workshops, youth and family-oriented activities; and thematic film series with facilitator led discussion. Visit the SMP online at

About the National Endowment for the Humanities: Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at