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NEH Grants to Leverage $22 Million for 10 Cultural Institutions

Four receive special recognition as part of We the People initiative

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 23, 2005)--The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced that 10 U.S. cultural institutions in seven states and the District of Columbia will receive NEH Challenge Grants. NEH recognized four of the institutions as part of the Endowment's We the People initiative, which supports projects that strengthen the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture.

These new grants, which require the awarded institutions to match the offered federal funds on a 3-to-1 or 4-to-1 basis, are offered when NEH funds will make a significant improvement in humanities programs, help institutions carry out long-term plans for strengthening their basic resources and activities in the humanities, and enhance financial stability through increased nonfederal support. If successful in raising the required $17.3 million in matching nonfederal funds, institutions will receive more than $5.2 million in federal funds from NEH. Together the federal and nonfederal funds will provide $22.5 million in new support for the humanities.

"NEH Challenge Grants contribute to the long-term viability and strength of America's leading cultural institutions and their humanities programs," said NEH Chairman Bruce Cole. "These grants encourage support from individual, foundation, and corporate donors to benefit the cultural life of our communities and our nation."

Institutions receiving their first NEH Challenge Grant must raise from nonfederal donors three times the amount offered. Recipients of subsequent challenge grant awards are required to raise four times the amount offered. In most cases, recipients have 56 months to raise funds from nonfederal sources.

Four institutions received special recognition under the Endowment's We the People initiative:

  • The Old Independence Regional Museum, Batesville, Ark., will receive up to $62,500 in NEH funds that must be matched 3-to-1. Funds raised will provide an endowment for a half-time humanities educator position to expand programming.
  • The Trustees of Reservations, Beverly, Mass., will receive up to $450,000 in NEH funds that must be matched 3-to-1. The funds raised will provide an endowment to hire a full-time archivist and a part-time historic resources manager, and they will provide direct support for equipment purchases and reproduction costs.
  • The Arkansas State University, Main Campus, will receive up to $1,000,000 in NEH funds that must be matched 3-to-1. The funds raised will support the restoration of two historic sites that are integrated with the university's Heritage Studies Ph.D. Program-the 1858 Lakeport Plantation near Lake Village and the 1930s Mitchell-East Building in Tyronza.
  • The Liberty Memorial Association, Kansas City, Mo., will receive up to $500,000 in NEH funds that must be matched 3-to-1. The funds raised will support an endowment for a historian/educator director, for educational programming, and for related acquisitions.

The following institutions also are receiving new NEH Challenge Grants:

  • Emory University, Atlanta, Ga., will receive up to $500,000 in NEH funds that must be matched 4-to-1. The funds raised will provide an endowment for junior/post-doctoral fellowships, staff, and general programming at Emory's Center for Humanistic Inquiry.
  • The Washington (D.C.) Drama Society, Inc./Arena Stage will receive up to $500,000 in NEH funds that must be matched 3-to-1. The funds raised will provide an endowment to enhance humanities-related audience enrichment and educational programming.
  • The University of California Press, Berkeley, will receive up to $400,000 in NEH funds that must be matched 4-to-1. The funds raised will provide an endowment to support publications in history, literature, and film studies.
  • Minnesota Public Radio, St. Paul, will receive up to $800,000 in NEH funds that must be matched 4-to-1. The funds raised will support construction and renovation of an expanded production and broadcast facility.
  • The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Mo., will receive up to $500,000 in NEH funds that must be matched 3-to-1. The funds raised will provide an endowment for the position of Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art, as well as related expenses for research travel and conservation.
  • The Durham (N.C.) Library Foundation will receive up to $500,000 in NEH funds that must be matched 3-to-1. The funds raised will provide an endowment to support a part-time humanities coordinator, humanities programming, and related acquisitions.

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