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Chicago History Museum Awarded Grant from National Endowment for the Humanities


Grant to Support Upcoming Exhibition, “City on Fire: Chicago 1871”, to Commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire

 The Chicago History Museum this month received a $376,503 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in the public humanities category to support upcoming exhibition, City on Fire: Chicago 1871. The family friendly exhibition commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire and will guide guests through the crucial events and conditions before, during, and after the fire – many of which draw striking comparisons to today’s social climate. City on Fire: Chicago 1871 opens to the public on October 8, 2021.

“The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 is part of the fabric of Chicago, shaping the city’s strength and resilience that defines us today,” said Donald Lassere, president and CEO of the Chicago History Museum. “We are grateful to NEH for allowing us to further our mission to share Chicago stories by making this pivotal history available for visitors of all ages and interests.”

The Chicago History Museum is one of 225 organizations that received grants from NEH, all directly supporting the preservation of historic collections, humanities exhibitions and documentaries, scholarly research, and curriculum projects. NEH grants totaled $24 million across the country. This grant will also support public programs and educational opportunities related to City on Fire: Chicago 1871.

Created in 1965, NEH is an independent federal agency and one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States. NEH awards grants to top-rated proposals examined by panels of independent, external reviewers.

For more information on City on Fire: Chicago 1871, please visit:


The Chicago History Museum is situated on ancestral homelands of the Potawatomi people, who cared for the land until forced out by non-Native settlers. Established in 1856, the Museum is now at 1601 N. Clark Street in Lincoln Park, its third location. As a major museum and research center for Chicago and U.S. history, the Chicago History Museum strives to be a destination for learning, inspiration and civic engagement. Through dynamic exhibitions, tours, publications, special events and programming, the Museum connects people to Chicago’s history and to each other. To share Chicago stories, the Museum collects and preserves millions of artifacts, documents, images and other items that are relevant to the city’s history. The Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chicago Park District on behalf of the people of Chicago. 

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago Stories