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NEH Offers $750,000 for Stabilization of Gulf Coast Humanities Collections

Endowment's commitment to regional hurricane relief efforts rises to $2 million

WASHINGTON (June 2, 2006)--The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) will designate $750,000 for grants to stabilize humanities collections at libraries, museums, colleges, universities, and other cultural and historical institutions in Gulf Coast areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The new NEH grant initiative was announced by First Lady Laura Bush on Wednesday at a New Orleans conference sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Tulane University.

"These grants will support projects at cultural institutions in the Gulf Coast region to provide long-term preservation and protection of their significant humanities collections, many of which sustained major damage in the aftermath of last year's hurricanes," said NEH Chairman Bruce Cole. The application deadline for hurricane-related NEH stabilization grants is Oct. 2, 2006.

In addition, NEH has awarded 20 recent emergency grants of up to $30,000 each to preserve books, records, manuscripts, art, and cultural artifacts damaged by the hurricanes and the flooding that followed. The Endowment announced its special initiative for hurricane relief projects within days of Hurricane Katrina's landfall; since then, NEH has awarded more than $1 million for 39 projects. The first 19 awards were announced in November. With an additional $250,000 made available by Chairman Cole--for a total of $1.25 million--NEH continues to accept eligible applications for hurricane-related emergency grants.

With new funding announced for regional stabilization grants, the total funding for hurricane-related recovery efforts offered by the National Endowment for the Humanities has risen to $2 million.

"Hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused terrible damage to lives, livelihoods, and cultural resources throughout the Gulf Coast region," said Cole. "These grants from NEH will help advance the efforts underway in the affected states to restore and recover the region's distinctive contributions to the history, literature, music, and art of our nation."

Today's announcement includes 20 awards of $30,000 each (unless otherwise indicated) to the following institutions:

  • The Acadian Heritage and Culture Foundation, Erath, La., to help cover some of the costs of mold abatement, consultation with a textile conservator about treatment of damaged collections, and the replacement of damaged collections cabinetry;
  • The Archdiocese of New Orleans, New Orleans, La., to support recovery, freeze-drying, and restoration of archival records and temporary relocation of the Archdiocesan Archives to Baton Rouge;
  • The Bay St. Louis Library, Hancock County Library System, Bay St. Louis, Miss., ($24,050) to restore five storm-damaged historic sculptures by Harlem Renaissance sculptor Richmond Barthé;
  • Fort Jackson Museum, Plaquemines Parish Government, Belle Chasse, La., to support the temporary storage of materials, purchase of conservation supplies, and treatment of artifacts;
  • Humanities Texas, Austin, Texas, to support efforts by the state council to provide grant relief to cultural and educational organizations affected by Hurricane Rita;
  • Longue Vue House and Gardens, New Orleans, La., to support emergency steps taken to stabilize the environment and re-establish climate control in the historic house museum;
  • The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH), New Orleans, La., to support the LEH's transition back to its New Orleans office (from Baton Rouge);
  • The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, New Orleans, La., ($7,500) to support recovery efforts for "Prime Time Family Reading Time," a Coming Up Taller award recipient in 2000;
  • The Louisiana Museum Foundation, New Orleans, La., to assess the condition of its collections and provide temporary storage in Baton Rouge;
  • The Mississippi Cultural Crossroads, Port Gibson, Miss., ($7,500) a Coming Up Taller award recipient in 2000, to support their program's recovery efforts;
  • The Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Jackson, Miss., to support freeze-drying, cleaning, irradiation, and stabilization of damaged collections;
  • The Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Perkinston Campus, Perkinston, Miss., to support the services of a photographic conservator for their significant photographic collections, the purchase of storage materials to rehouse prints and negatives, and the services of a technician to rehouse the collection;
  • The Mississippi Humanities Council, Jackson, Miss., to support efforts by the state council to provide grant relief to cultural and educational organizations affected by Hurricane Katrina;
  • The Mississippi Humanities Council, Jackson, Miss., to support a clearinghouse to coordinate efforts by other state agencies to help cultural organizations and institutions recover from hurricane damage;
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation, Washington, D.C., to support housing and board for preservation professional who are donating their time and expertise and to support National Trust field staff who are coordinating hurricane-related recovery efforts;
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation, Washington, D.C., ($5,000) to help defray the costs of a regional conference, "Rebirth: People, Places, and Culture in New Orleans," at Tulane University;
  • The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, New Orleans, La., to support assessment of the foundation's collection, identification of mold for abatement, and establishment of treatment protocols;
  • The New Orleans Recreation Department/New Orleans Ballet Association, New Orleans, La., ($7,500) a Coming Up Taller award recipient in 2002, to support their program's recovery efforts;
  • The University of New Orleans, New Orleans, La. ($21,508) to support the purchase of conservation materials and equipment to recover the university's Louisiana and Special Collections; and
  • Young Aspirations/Young Artists, Inc., New Orleans, La. ($7,500), a Coming Up Taller award recipient in 1999, to support their program's recovery efforts.

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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