Google.org granted $1million and the first of its kind 3D exhibition to the newly opened Smithsonian National Museum for African-American History and Culture. The grant is part of Google.org’s ongoing work on racial and social justice issues. The partnership began when Lonnie Bunch, NMAAHC director, shared his vision with Google to make the museum the most technologically advanced in the world. In the press release, Travis McPhail, software engineer, Google Maps and team lead, Project Griot, says he knew museums are limited in what they are able to showcase, so his team aimed to enhance the museum experience. The interactive exhibit allows visitors to see artifacts such as a powder horn or homemade dish from different angles. It is slated to open in the Spring of 2017.
In addition to the 3D exhibit, McPhail launched two new Google Expeditions that take students on a journey through African-American history. To complete the project the team formed the African American Expedition Council with a group of Black culture experts, leading academics and curators to tell the stories. With help from the National Parks Service the team launched the first expedition that takes participants on the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail which commemorates the events, people and route of the 1965 Voting Rights March. The second expedition takes you around Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s childhood home and Ebenezer Baptist Church where he preached.