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Humanities Endowment Awards $7.6 Million for 25 Film Projects

Seventeen earn recognition as We the People projects

WASHINGTON (July 1, 2004)--The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced that documentary filmmakers and cultural institutions in nine states and the District of Columbia will receive $7.6 million for 25 film projects in the humanities. Seventeen of these have been named We the People projects, a special recognition by the NEH for model projects that advance the study, teaching, and understanding of American history and culture.

"Documentary films invite the viewer to experience the images, sounds, and narratives of history," said NEH Chairman Bruce Cole. "NEH is proud to support the collaboration of talented filmmakers and distinguished scholars to create films that disseminate knowledge, broaden perspectives, and illuminate the events of the past."

Film projects announced today received funding for one of three separate stages in a project's development: planning, scripting or production. Several grant recipients have received offers of federal matching funds totaling $700,000; organizations receiving such offers must generate equivalent support from individual, foundation, or corporate donors.

Eleven of the announced grants will support production of documentaries, including grants of $1 million each to Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, Minn., for a two-part television documentary on Alexander Hamilton, and to WQED in Pittsburgh, Pa., for a four-hour documentary film on the French and Indian War. Other projects receiving NEH production grants include ones to the Greater Washington Educational Television Association, Inc., in Washington, D.C., for the first two episodes of The War, a 10-hour documentary by Ken Burns about the American experience of World War II from 1941-45; the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore for a two-hour documentary film on the life of Benjamin Henry Latrobe and his contribution to the architecture of the new American Republic; WGBH Educational Foundation in Boston, Mass., for a television documentary and interactive website on the California Gold Rush; the Educational Broadcasting Corporation in New York, N.Y., for a 90-minute documentary film on Ernest Hemingway; and Film/Video Arts, Inc., also in New York, for a 90-minute documentary examining the life and times of Annie Oakley. All of these projects were recognized by NEH as We the People projects.

NEH awarded nine scripting grants that included ones to Community Television of Southern California in Los Angeles for a three-hour documentary on Andrew Jackson; the Filmmakers Collaborative in Waltham, Mass., for a documentary on the life of Louisa May Alcott; and Freedom Forum, in Arlington, Va., for a 90-minute documentary film about James Madison and his role in the drafting and ratification of the Bill of Rights.

A complete list of NEH Grants for Media Projects is available as a 4-page PDF, located in the above box.

The Endowment's We the People initiative was announced by President Bush in a Rose Garden Ceremony in September 2002.

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About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.

Media Contacts: Office of Communications at (202) 606-8446 or info@neh.gov