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NEH Announces $23 Million in Awards and Offers for 371 Humanities Projects

WASHINGTON (December 9, 2010)— The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced today $23 million in grants for 371 humanities projects. This funding will support a wide variety of projects, including research fellowships and awards for independent scholars and college and university teachers, traveling exhibitions, the preservation of humanities collections in smaller institutions, and educational programs to prepare libraries, museums, and archives to preserve and enhance access to their collections. The grants will also support humanities initiatives at historically black, high Hispanic enrollment, and tribal colleges and universities and help institutions improve and secure long-term support for their humanities programs and resources.

Among the grants announced are research fellowships to produce a biography of Ella Fitzgerald and an examination of the U.S. State Department’s sponsorship of musicians as part of its Cold War cultural diplomacy programs. Funding will also allow the Newark Museum to renovate and expand its African art galleries and support a project to collect, preserve, and develop curricular resources from the oral histories of elders of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community. Thirty libraries across the country received grants to develop public programming around the life and work of Louisa May Alcott.

Several grants awarded this cycle will assist libraries, museums, and archives in environmental monitoring of humanities collections, disaster preparedness planning, and training staff in conservation techniques. Grants in this area will help preserve valuable humanities collections, including archival materials documenting Alexander Graham Bell’s work with the deaf, a collection of 5,000 rare books that includes first editions of Ernest Hemingway and a 16th-century edition of The Aeneid at Pepperdine University, and the State Historical Society of Missouri’s collection of oral histories documenting Missouri politics, rural life, and interviews with former WWII prisoners of war.

This funding cycle also marks the first Bridging Cultures through Film grant awards. This new grant program, part of NEH’s signature Bridging Cultures initiative, supports documentary film projects that examine international and transnational themes in the humanities. Among the projects supported in this category is a film exploring the evolution of economic, social, and cultural relations between China and Africa from the fifteenth century to the modern day, and a documentary on the Balkan civil war and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia’s prosecution of war crimes against women.

This award cycle, institutions and independent scholars in 49 states and the District of Columbia will receive NEH support. Complete state-by-state listings of grants are available at the top of the page.

Selected projects have received a We the People designation for their efforts to strengthen the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture. In this cycle, grants were awarded in the following categories:

  • America’s Historical & Cultural Organizations Planning and Implementation Grants support traveling or long-term museum exhibitions, library-based projects, interpretation of historical places or areas, websites, and other project formats that engage audiences in exploring humanities ideas and questions. Planning grants develop the content, interpretive approach, and formats of projects; implementation grants support their final development, design, and production.
  • Bridging Cultures through Film Grants support the development and production of documentary films that examine international and transnational themes in the humanities.
  • Challenge Grants strengthen the humanities by encouraging non-federal sources of support and helping institutions secure long-term improvements in and support for their humanities programs and resources. Recipients are required to match NEH funds on a three-to-one or, in some cases, two-to-one basis.
  • Faculty Research Awards support advanced research in the humanities by teachers at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Institutions with High Hispanic Enrollment, and Tribal Colleges and Universities.
  • Fellowships support college and university teachers and independent scholars pursuing advanced research.
  • Fellowships for Advanced Social Science Research on Japan is a joint activity of the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission (JASFC) and the NEH. Awards support research on modern Japanese society and political economy, Japan’s international relations, and U.S.- Japan relations.
  • Humanities Initiatives for Faculty Grants are intended to strengthen and enrich humanities education and scholarship at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Institutions with High Hispanic Enrollment, and Tribal College and Universities.
  • NEH On the Road Grants extend the reach of museum exhibitions redesigned for travel to smaller-scale institutions in cities throughout America.
  • Preservation Assistance Grants help institutions—particularly small and mid-sized institutions—improve their ability to preserve and care for their humanities collections, including special collections of books and journals, archives and manuscripts, prints and photographs, moving images, sound recordings, architectural and cartographic records, decorative and fine arts, textiles, archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, furniture, and historical objects.
  • Preservation Education and Training Grants help the staff of cultural institutions obtain the knowledge and skills needed to serve as effective stewards of humanities collections. Grants also support educational programs that prepare the next generation of conservators and preservation professionals, as well as projects that introduce the staff of cultural institutions to recent improvements in preservation and access practices.
  • Small Grants to Libraries: Louisa May Alcott support library programming examining the life and work of Louisa May Alcott, building upon the NEH-supported documentary Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women and companion biography of the same name.

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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: Paula Wasley at (202) 606-8424 or pwasley@neh.gov