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NEH Awards We the People Grants to 55 State Humanities Councils

More than $4.1 million to support projects in NEH initiative on American history and culture

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 6, 2005)--Fifty-five state and territorial humanities councils will receive more than $4.1 million in grants and matching funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to support local projects designed to advance the study, teaching, and understanding of American history and culture. The Endowment made these awards as part of the agency's We the People initiative.

"These We the People projects will offer insights to people from all walks of life into subjects that include the First Amendment, the Lewis and Clark expedition, the legacy of the Voting Rights Act, Alaska's statehood and constitutional convention, and the principles of American democracy," said NEH Chairman Bruce Cole. "Our state humanities councils have assembled talented scholars and other experts to encourage program participants and others to deepen their knowledge and understanding of our nation's history and culture."

In 2002 President George W. Bush announced the NEH We the People initiative, which included a call for grant applications to explore significant events and themes in our nation's history. These We the People awards are made in addition to the NEH funding distributed each year to support the work of state and territorial humanities councils.

Projects conducted by the state humanities councils include teacher seminars and institutes, public lectures, Chautauqua programs, speakers' bureaus, student essay contests, reading and discussion groups, and media projects for radio and television, such as the following:

  • The Ohio Humanities Council (Columbus) will hold a statewide forum on the First Amendment, work with teachers to extend the reach of humanities programming on public television, and it will continue the second phase of the council's "Gateway to History" website for the state's teachers;
  • The Idaho Humanities Council (Boise) will use its grants for a summer teachers' institute on Native American literature and reading and discussion programs exploring themes of the Lewis and Clark expedition and American identity;
  • The Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities (Northampton) will expand resources for the state's teachers through its "Mass Moments" Internet and radio project, and it will present a public symposium this fall on the legacy of the Voting Rights Act of 1965;
  • In preparation for the 50th anniversary of its statehood in 2009, the Alaska Humanities Forum (Anchorage) will produce the "Alaska Constitutional Convention Almanac Radio Broadcast" series, and it will hold a statewide convention for high school and college students; and
  • The Oregon Council for the Humanities (Portland) will hold a series of regional discussions that build upon the 2004-05 radio series "On Principle," which explored five principles of American democracy: individual freedoms, equality, economic opportunity, civic engagement, and justice.

A complete list of these grants is available in the box above.

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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