Award will support the Sounds of Religion exhibition and programming

MSU Museum has been awarded a grant of $24,000 from the State of Michigan Arts and Culture Council (MACC). The grant was awarded through the MACC peer review process and was one of 639 applications to compete for MACC fiscal year 2023 funding. The grant will allow the Museum to present an exhibition and public programming that explores the myriad ways the sounds of religion permeate our daily lives.

American Religious Sounds Project logo.Titled Sounds of Religion, this new exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services (SITES) was developed in partnership with the American Religious Sounds Project, a collaborative initiative of Michigan State University and The Ohio State University. For more than seven years, students and faculty in Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and elsewhere worked together to document the sounds of local religious life. Most of the recordings and images presented in this exhibition come from their work.

Beginning in January 2023 and extending through June 2023, Sounds of Religion will educate and engage an estimated 25,000 Michigan residents around issues of religious diversity in ways that are compelling and accessible to a wide audience. Visitors to the Museum’s lower-level exhibition gallery will experience immersive sounds from churches, mosques, temples, shrines, homes, streets, campuses, forests, and more. Different life sounds will invite new ways of listening and connecting to one another.

“We’re honored and grateful to receive support from the Michigan Arts and Culture Council to bring this exhibition, which was developed by the Smithsonian and Drs. Amy DeRogatis (Michigan State University) and Isaac Weiner (The Ohio State University), to our communities here in mid-Michigan,” states MSU Museum director Devon Akmon. “It reinforces our new mission, strategic plan, and work towards serving our communities as a creative collaboratory.”

Organizations receiving a MACC grant award are required to match those funds with other public and private dollars. In sum, MSU Museum will provide $73,660 in matching dollars to support the award.

“The arts are such an important and valued part of our community,” states State Representative Julie Brixie (D-Okemos). “The MACC’s support of cultural exhibits such as Sounds of Religion to become accessible and available to our region is such an amazing benefit. Congratulations to MSU Museum.”

The MACC peer review process allows for each grant application to be competitively considered by a panel of in-state and out-of-state arts and culture professionals. This ensures the taxpayers, who support this project through legislative appropriations, and all other visitors or residents in Michigan will have access to the highest quality arts and cultural experiences.

A complete list of grant awards around the state is available by contacting MCACA at (517) 241-4011, or by visiting the MACC website at

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