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NEH Announces $24.8 Million in Awards and Offers for 171 Projects

Awards include 54 We the People projects in U.S. history and culture

WASHINGTON (June 8, 2006)--The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced that 171 successful applicants will receive a total of $24.8 million in grants and offers of matching funds for projects designed to advance humanities research and prepare scholarly editions, provide high quality public programming on television and in libraries, support projects in U.S. history and culture offered by state humanities councils, preserve and stabilize significant humanities collections, and support long-term plans for strengthening humanities programming at cultural institutions.

Fifty-four of the successful grants announced today are designated as We the People projects, a special recognition by the NEH for model projects that advance the study, teaching, and understanding of American history and culture.

"The humanities convey important stories of our world, and today's NEH grant recipients are deeply engaged in advancing those stories through scholarly research, increased efforts to preserve our cultural heritage, and new public programs that engage our minds and broaden our understanding of human history," said NEH Chairman Bruce Cole. "NEH supports projects that are rigorous, wide-ranging, and substantial in their examination and illumination of the great events and great ideas of the past in our own nation and throughout the world."

In this award cycle, scholars and institutions in 43 states and the District of Columbia received support from the NEH. A complete state-by-state listing of grants and offers is available in three Adobe PDF files, located in the box above. [Some of the projects cited in the release and included in the linked files have received an offer of an award; in such cases, the exact dollar amount and duration may be subject to change.] The 171 new NEH grants and matching offers come from five of the Endowment's major program areas--challenge grants; federal/state partnership; preservation and access; public programs; and research programs--with examples of each:

  • NEH Challenge Grants 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. First-time recipients of NEH Challenge Grants, which must raise non-federal funds on a 3-to-1 matching basis, include Alaska's Anchorage Museum of History and Art, California's Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., Maine's Old York Historical Society in York, Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth, Mass., Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., and the Rare Book School in Charlottesville, Va.
  • Federal/State Partnership awards include 23 We the People projects, each sponsored by a state humanities council to explore significant events and themes in American history and culture. For example, the Arkansas Humanities Council will enhance the online component of the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and develop a new eighth-grade Arkansas history textbook; the Idaho Humanities Council will offer a teacher institute on the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, implement a multi-faceted initiative examining American "roots" music, and expand its speakers' bureau and other public programming; the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, through its program "In the Crosshairs," will engage communities in the exploration of the state's hurricane experience through articles in its magazine and a series of readings and scholar-led discussions; Humanities Texas will sponsor two teacher institutes examining the U.S.-Mexico border in American history and offer additional public programming; and Mass Humanities will explore the theme of "liberty and justice for all" in a variety of public programs throughout Massachusetts.
  • Preservation and Access stabilization grants assist cultural institutions in their efforts to preserve significant humanities collections by supporting improved housing and storage, environmental conditions, security, lighting, and fire protection. For example, the University of Maryland at College Park will install heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems to preserve its special collection of books, manuscripts, still images, audio-visual recordings, and other items housed in the R. Lee Hornbake Library; the International Folk Art Foundation in Santa Fe, N.M., would rehouse and improve environmental controls for a collection of 68,000 objects of folk art from around the world; Alaska's Valdez Museum and Historical Archive will acquire storage furniture to consolidate its holdings of more than 1,600 cubic feet of archival records pertaining to state and local history; and Ohio's Akron Art Museum would rehouse and relocate to a new storage facility 3,300 works of modern and contemporary American art, making future expansion of the collection possible and increasing access of these materials to scholars and teachers.
  • Public programs awards promote lifelong learning in the humanities for broad public audiences and support projects that go beyond the presentation of factual information to encourage thought and conversation about humanities ideas and questions. This new round of awards includes 50 awards of $1,000 each to libraries throughout the nation to support a film viewing and discussion program about the history and interpretation of jazz. Additional awards will support the planning, scripting, and production of documentary films on humanities topics for television. For example, NEH awarded television production grants to the Greater Washington Education Telecommunications Association, Inc. (GWETA), Arlington, Va., for "The Jewish Americans," a four-hour series of documentaries that will tell the 350-year story of Jewish immigration to North America and examine the integration of Jews into the fabric of American life; to the WGBH Educational Foundation in Boston, Mass., for two one-hour episodes of "We Shall Remain," a five-part television series on Native American history, produced by American Experience for PBS; and to KCET-TV in Los Angeles, Calif., for "In the Name of God and King: The Spanish Empire," a three-hour documentary film series chronicling the rise and fall of Spain's global empire from the reign of Isabel and Ferdinand through the reign of Philip II.
  • Research awards include NEH grants and offers for collaborative research projects and scholarly editions. Collaborative research encompasses a variety of activities, including research conferences, translation of humanities documents and textual materials into English, and field archaeology. New awards include ones to Stephen Railton of the Harriett Beecher Stowe Center in Hartford, Conn., for a conference exploring the meaning and significance of Uncle Tom's Cabin for American culture; to Carla Zecher of the Newberry Library in Chicago, Ill., for a translation of the memoir of Dumont de Montigny; and to independent scholar William Honeychurch of North Potomac, Md., for excavation, analysis, and interpretation at archaeological sites in the Eurasian steppe to study social and political organization among pastoral societies during the Mongolian Empire. NEH will support scholarly editions projects by Robert Faggen of California's Claremont McKenna College for publication of the collected letters of poet Robert Frost; by Holly Shulman of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, for an online documentary edition, Women of the Founding Period; and by Peter Greenfield at the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Wash., for preparation for publication of county records of early English drama.

Programs, total number of projects, and total dollar amounts for grants and offers of matching funds included in this announcement are as follows:

Challenge Grants (11) $5,681,560 in matching offers

  • Challenge Grants (11) $5,681,560 in matching offers that must be matched by non-federal funds to be raised by the grant recipients on either a 3-to-1 or 4-to-1 basis.

Federal/State Partnership (23) $2,177,840 (plus $345,000 in matching offers)

  • We the People Projects at State Humanities Councils (23) $2,177,840 (plus $345,000 in matching offers).

Preservation and Access (11) $3,371,687 (plus $361,152 in matching offers)

  • Stabilization Grants (11) $3,371,687 (plus $361,152 in matching offers).

Public Programs (75) $5,531,826 (plus $350,000 in matching offers)

  • Implementation Grants for Humanities Projects in Libraries and Archives (50) $50,000.
  • Television Projects: Planning Grants (10) $294,447.
  • Television Projects: Scripting Grants (7) $487,379.
  • Television Projects: Production Grants (8) $4,700,000 (plus $350,000 in matching offers).

Research Programs (51) $5,248,996 (plus $1,782,529 in matching offers)

  • Collaborative Research (29) $2,678,996 (plus $115,660 in matching offers).
  • Scholarly Editions (22) $2,570,000 (plus ($1,666,869 in matching offers).

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