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Humanities Endowment Awards Challenge Grants to 11 Institutions

Awards to generate up to $22.5 million in new funding for the humanities

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 22, 2005)--The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced that 11 U.S. cultural institutions will receive NEH Challenge Grants. NEH recognized three 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 challenge grants, which require the institutions receiving them to match the federal funds on a 4-to-1 or 3-to-1 basis, are offered only 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 $17.7 million in matching funds, the 11 institutions will receive more than $4.8 million in federal funds from NEH. Together the federal and nonfederal funds will provide $22.5 million in new funds to support the humanities.

A complete list of grants is available as a PDF in the box above.

"NEH Challenge Grants recognize the commitment of these institutions to strengthening their humanities programs," said NEH Chairman Bruce Cole. "By encouraging these institutions to meet the challenge of generating new support from individual, foundation, and corporate donors, these grants can produce significant, long-term benefits in the cultural life of our nation."

Institutions receiving their first NEH Challenge Grant--the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institution (Nicosia); the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center, Inc. (Virginia); the Levine Museum of the New South (Charlotte, N.C.); and the Vermont Humanities Council (Montpelier)--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. NEH awarded subsequent Challenge Grants to the Mark Twain House (Hartford, Conn.); the University of Kentucky Research Foundation (Lexington); Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Md.); Cornell University (Ithaca, N.Y.); the New York Public Library; Swarthmore College (Swarthmore, Pa.); and the South Dakota Humanities Council (Brookings).

In most cases, recipients have 56 months to raise funds from nonfederal sources.

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