Chicago History Museum Receives $100K National Endowment Grant to Give Guests Up-Close-and-Personal World's Fair Experience

Exterior of Chicago History Museum in Chicago's Lincoln Park (photo courtesy of the Chicago History Museum).

The Chicago History Museum was recently awarded a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to create an augmented reality experience that transports audiences to the World’s Columbian Exposition, the site of the very first Ferris wheel.

The museum’s award is part of $14.8 million in grants to support 253 humanities projects in 44 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. The museum’s grant is one of 20 nationwide in the Digital Projects for the Public category. NEH announced the awards in a press release issued on December 12.

“This award allows the Chicago History Museum to continue to share its historical images in a bold new way,” said John Russick, Vice President of Interpretation and Education at the Chicago History Museum. “Through virtual reality and augmented reality, we are able to explore the complexity and relevance of defining moments in Chicago’s history and offer users more immersive and visceral encounters with the past.”

The grant will advance the museum’s Chicago 00 project, an ongoing series of mixed-reality experiences created by the museum in collaboration with Geoffrey Alan Rhodes, filmmaker and associate professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Each Chicago 00 experience draws images from the museum's prints and photographs collection to connect users with critical events from Chicago’s past.

​The Chicago 00 Project experiences include: Chicago 00, The 1968 DNC Protests, a virtual reality experience of Grant Park on August 28th, 1968 when protestors and police violently clashed; and Chicago 00: St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, an award-winning virtual reality experience that brings photographs and documents from the Museum's archive to the site of the 1929 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, among other virtual reality experiences rooted in Chicago’s rich history.

For more information on the Chicago 00 project visit For more information about Chicago History Museum programming, visit your paragraph here.

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