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Humanities Endowment Awards First Grants in New Program for America's Historic Places

Eight We the People projects will receive $1.1 million

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 13, 2004) -- The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced the first awards in a new program, America's Historic Places, which is part of NEH's We the People initiative for model projects that advance the study, teaching, and understanding of American history and culture. Eight historic sites and historical organizations will receive more than $1 million in grants for implementation, consultation, or planning for humanities interpretations of historic sites.

"Our nation's historic sites provide millions of visitors with engaging and compelling stories about central themes in American history," said NEH Chairman Bruce Cole. "Supported by outstanding humanities scholars, these projects will deepen the public's knowledge and appreciation of our cultural heritage."

Grants for America's Historic Places encourage historic sites, communities, or regions to develop interpretive programs that address central themes and issues in American history, and to focus on the development or implementation of interpretive content that tells a significant national story appropriate to the place. A complete list of the grants is available in the above box.

Implementation grants offer up to $300,000 each to support interpretive programs for historic sites. Pennsylvania's ExplorePAHistory.com will develop an interactive Web site that uses new technology to expand and deepen interpretation of Pennsylvania and American history that appears on the state's historical markers. Tennessee's The Hermitage will implement a site-wide reinterpretation to place Andrew Jackson and his home in the context of United States history from the Revolution to the Civil War era. Virginia's Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation will implement an introductory exhibition and interpretations of the dependencies at Monticello, emphasizing plantation work and the interactions of Jefferson's family with African Americans on the plantation. Maryland's Historic St. Mary's City will implement a new interpretation at the VanSweringen archaeological site's complex of building and what they show about Maryland's history between 1670 and 1700.

With a planning grant of $15,000, Tracks Across Wyoming will plan an audio CD, a virtual tour on DVD, and a small traveling exhibition for the state's residents and visitors to illuminate the southern Wyoming corridor as a significant place in the history of American migration, transportation, and settlement. New NEH consultation grants of $10,000 each will support Maryland's Frederick Community College, which will work to develop a regional Civil War Web site and other activities concerned with the battlefields and the home front in the border region of Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania; the District of Columbia's Cultural Tourism DC will work with scholars and programming experts to select interrelated stories for interpretation at historic sites and cultural venues in the city's Greater Shaw area; and Illinois's Newberry Library will consult with scholars and library and institutional staff to establish the intellectual framework for the interpretation of Hull House and other settlements in the historic Chicago neighborhood.

NEH grants are awarded on a competitive basis. Throughout the year, humanities experts outside of the Endowment and members of the National Council on the Humanities consider all applications and advise NEH on the quality and significance of each proposed project.

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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