KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — More money is coming to help spotlight the Native American Burial Mound on the University of Tennessee’s Knoxville campus.

The mound is on the agriculture institute’s portion of campus. On March 15, it was announced that the McClung Museum on campus received $145,000 to support an art exhibit titled “A Sense of Indigenous Place: Native American Voices and the Mound at the University of Tennessee.” The grant was awarded by the Terra Foundation for American Art, which was established in 1978 and has offices in Chicago and Paris. It supports organizations in creating “intercultural dialogues and encouraging transformative practices that expand narratives of American art,” according to the University of Tennessee.

“This new exhibition is a testament to the critical role that the McClung Museum plays in connecting the university to the community,” said Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor John Zomchick. “It is evidence of UT’s continuing commitment to honoring the Native nations connected to this land.”

The mission of the exhibit is to change perceptions and educate audiences with Native American perspectives and inspirations. The exhibit will feature contemporary works from native artists. It’s set to open in early 2025.

Lisa King, associate professor of English, and Cat Shteynberg, the museum’s assistant director and curator of exhibitions, curated the exhibit. In addition, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, the Cherokee Nation, the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, and the Muscogee Nation of Oklahoma have agreed to collaborate with the creation of the exhibit.

“This project is at the heart of our new mission development at the museum,” said Shteynberg, who is the lead principal investigator of the grant. “The most important outcome is the strengthening of relationships and trust between the museum and Native nation communities. This co-curation and collaboration with our Native nation partners will guide us in new and exciting directions.”

This is not the first grant the McClung Museum also received to support the exhibit. The Henry Luce Foundation gave the museum a $300,000 grant in early 2022.

“The funding that we have received for ‘A Sense of Indigenous Place’ is transformative,” said McClung Museum Jefferson Chapman Executive Director and co-principal investigator Claudio Gómez. “It will help us create an engaging experience that not only showcases extraordinary Native artists but also emphasizes the vital role that candid conversations and shared decision-making play in making an exhibition like this possible.”

The project for the exhibit also includes a related website, educational outreach and programming, and coordinating traditional care of the Mound.