Canton Museum of Art Awarded the Trillium Local Activity Grant for Program Commemorating America’s 250th Anniversary

Canton Museum of Art Awarded the Trillium Local Activity Grant for Program Commemorating America’s 250th Anniversary
The project is one of 23 community-based projects chosen as part of the America 250-Ohio Commission $1 million grants program
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Canton, Ohio): January 23rd, 2024 – The Canton Museum of Art announced today it received a Trillium Local Activity Grant  from  the  America 250-Ohio Commission for its upcoming project titled, “Telling Ohio Stories and Amplifying Diverse Voices through Two Exhibits at the Canton Museum of Art: Eyes to the Soul: The Fiber Art of Margene May (August 27- October 27, 2024) and El Albañil (November 26, 2024- March 2, 2025).” These exhibits and accompanying programming will commemorate the America-250 celebration and celebrate the accomplishments of the late Canton artist Margene May and Kent-based artist J. Leigh Garcia.

Eyes to the Soul is a memorial exhibit of the textile mixed media portrait work of local fiber artist Margene May who unexpectedly passed away in July of 2022. This exhibit was originally conceived in collaboration with the artist; she had planned to make new work for the exhibit. However, after her passing, this was reconceived as a memorial exhibit. Her work highlights African American life and self-reflection through her art.

El Albañil is an exhibit featuring sculptural papermaking/printmaking-based work by artist J. Leigh Garcia exploring her grandfather’s profession of tile setting. J. Leigh Garcia is an artist born and raised in Dallas, TX, now living in Kent, OH where she is an Assistant Professor and Co-Area Head of Print Media and Photography at Kent State University. Following the roots of her own biracial ancestry, Garcia explores the complex relationship between Texans and Mexicans-particularly, the racialization and displacement of unauthorized Latinx immigrants.

Engaging collaborative programming is planned alongside the exhibits; designed to connect and engage participants with the exhibit themes. This will include Curator’s Talks, lectures, Schools Out FREE Mondays family programming, and more.

“We thank the America 250-Ohio Commission and Ohio Humanities for recognizing the awesome impact we can bring in our mission to connect art to life for everyone,” said Max Barton, Executive Director and CEO of the Canton Museum of Art.  “The Museum is a place for storytelling, and art has a unique way of doing just that — placing all of us in a storyline about ourselves and our shared experiences.”

The Trillium Local Activity Grants offer up to $5,000 for projects with a local or community-wide impact. These projects may include exhibitions, interpretative panels, local commemorative programs or activities, local public events, educational, public programs, and smaller digital and documentary media projects.

“The America 250-Ohio Commission congratulates Canton Museum of Art on this grant award.  Their efforts in educating the public and honoring Ohio’s illustrious history are deeply appreciated,” said Doug Preisse, co-chair of the America 250-Ohio Commission. “As we near America’s 250th anniversary, these projects will play an essential role in elevating our state’s history and bolstering our communities’ efforts to execute impactful initiatives during such a monumental celebration.”

Canton Museum of Art was one of the 23 recipients chosen from the more than 70 statewide applications during the grant program’s fall 2023 funding cycle. The America 250-Ohio Commission grants program will work with Ohio Humanities to distribute $1 million in grants by June 30, 2024, and it is designed to showcase the achievements, struggles, honors, innovations and significance of all people in Ohio since before its founding to the present day. Themes identified for Ohio’s commemoration of America’s 250th anniversary programming include:

  • Celebrations and Signature Events: Impacting tourism and economic development
  • Ohio Originals: Highlighting points of pride and unity
  • Engaging Youth and Lifelong Learners: Education and scholarship
  • Inclusive Statewide Engagement: Museums, arts and culture
  • Telling Ohio Stories: Highlighting stories of Ohioans past and present

The winter 2024 funding cycle is now open with applications due March 15, 2024. During this round, the America 250-Ohio Commission will award approximately $600,000 in grant funding. The period of performance for winter 2024 recipients will be June 15, 2024, through May 31, 2025. Eligible parties must be non-profits registered within the State of Ohio, educational, and local governmental organizations located in Ohio. Individual artists, authors, or performers must apply through a non-profit fiscal agent/sponsor. For more information on eligibility, project guidance and information on applying for a grant, visit

For more information on Canton Museum of Art visit To learn more about the America 250-Ohio Commission’s grants program visit

About Canton Museum of Art
Recognized for powerful original exhibitions and national touring exhibitions focused on American art and its influences, the Canton Museum of Art makes the discovery and exploration of art accessible to all. The Museum’s education outreach programs, School of Art classes, and workshops serve thousands of students of all ages. CMA’s acclaimed Collection focuses on American works on paper, primarily watercolors, and contemporary ceramics. The CMA Shop (formerly known as the Artisan Boutique) is open during regular Museum hours. Founded in 1935, CMA serves more than 45,000 visitors each year. Visit and follow the Museum on Facebook for updates, or call 330.453.7666 for more information.

About America 250-Ohio
In 2026, the United States will celebrate its semiquincentennial, which is the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Each state has been encouraged to create a celebration and commemoration of this anniversary to reflect the unique character and contributions of each state to the nation over the past 250 years. Ohio is fully embracing this opportunity. The Ohio Commission for the Semiquincentennial (aka America 250-Ohio Commission or AM250-OH) was created by the Ohio legislature and launched on March 1, 2022. The charge of the AM250-OH Commission is to “…to plan, encourage, develop, and coordinate the commemoration of the two hundred fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the United States and the impact of Ohioans on the nation’s past, present, and future.” — Ohio Revised Code (149.309). More information can be found at

About Ohio Humanities
Ohio Humanities is a statewide nonprofit that shares stories to spark conversations and inspire ideas by hosting programs and awarding grants that support storytellers statewide, from museums to journalists to documentary filmmakers. For more information, please visit our website at

Visual Assets: The America 250-Ohio logo is available for download here.

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