Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum receives grant for traveling exhibits

July 16, 2018

Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum has received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to create two traveling exhibits highlighting women who played key roles within the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

The more than $119,000 grant received by the museum was one of 26 awards made nationally through the IMLS African American History and Culture program.

Once completed, the exhibits – “The Legacy of Rosa Parks” and “Women of the Montgomery Bus Boycott” – will be taken to K-12 schools, universities, places of worship, public libraries and museums.

“The Rosa Parks Museum is so excited to have been selected to receive a 2018 Museum Grants for African American History and Culture award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services,” said Dr. Felicia Bell, the museum’s director. “The award of $119,000 will fund two traveling exhibitions, one about Rosa Parks and the other about women of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. This bold outreach effort will help elevate the Rosa Parks Museum to a national level and expand our audience as schools and other organizations across the country reserve the exhibitions. Interactive elements such as iPads and augmented reality will ensure an immersive experience for visitors.”

“The Legacy of Rosa Parks” exhibit will provide an overview of the history of the Rosa Parks Museum, the life of Mrs. Parks, the success of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the relevance of nonviolent disobedience today.

“Women of the Montgomery Bus Boycott” will utilize oral history interviews, digitized archival material and court documents to tell the heroic stories of Jo Ann Robinson, Aurelia Browder, Claudette Colvin, Mary Louise Smith and Lucille Times. Important grassroots political organizations such as the Women’s Political Council will also be highlighted through the exhibit.

Each 12-panel exhibit will contain graphics and text content, photographs and interactive exhibits via iPads. An online component for the exhibits will include interactive learning activities for children and adults that will be accessible through the iPads. The exhibits are expected to be available in fall 2019.

The Rosa Parks Museum, located on TROY’s Montgomery Campus, was opened on Dec. 1, 2000, with the mission of preserving and interpreting the story and lasting legacy of Mrs. Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott for future generations. Constructed on the site of the former Empire Theater, the museum stands on the spot of Mrs. Parks’ historic 1955 arrest for refusing to relinquish her seat on a Montgomery city bus to a white male.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 120,000 libraries and 35,000 museums and related organizations. The agency’s mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Its grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow the Institute on Facebook and Twitter.