Between 2008 and 2012, institutions and individuals in Maine received $6.8 million from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Maine Humanities Council for projects that explore the human endeavor and preserve our cultural heritage.
Below are some examples.
- With $345,000 in support, Maine History Online, a project of the Maine Historical Society, Portland, tells the varied stories of Maine’s people, including Swedish homesteaders near the Canadian border, the nation’s first African-American Roman Catholic bishop, and the French Canadian founder of America’s first snowshoe club.
- The Old York Historical Society, York, whose nine buildings and historical presentations encompass 300 years of New England history, received a $500,000 challenge grant to expand its education programs and exhibitions.
- In twenty-five states, Literature and Medicine: Humanities at the Heart of Healthcare has helped health-care professionals, including medical personnel at Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals, reflect on their work by discussing books. The Maine Humanities Council conceived and developed the project.
- A 1475 map of the Holy Land and the first map printed in North America are among the treasures in the Osher Map Library, University of Southern Maine, Portland. The library received a $466,000 grant to support rehousing of 100,000 rare maps, atlases, globes, and explorer accounts from 1475 to 1900.
- A $40,000 grant to the Abbe Museum, Bar Harbor, was used to evaluate the museum’s climate control systems and to protect its ethnographic and archaeological collections as well as beadwork, quillwork, and the largest public collection of Maine Native American baskets.
- Two grants totaling $398,000—one to prevent moisture infiltration, the other for watercraft storage—have enabled the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath’s shipbuilding district to better protect its renowned collections of art, ship models, tools, and manuscripts.
- The American Musicological Society, Brunswick, recipient of a $130,000 grant for its Music of the United States of America book series, has published volumes on Virgil Thomson and John Philip Sousa. A separate $240,000 challenge grant to develop books by promising young scholars supported Franya Berkman’s Monument Eternal: The Music of Alice Coltrane and Todd Decker’s Music Makes Me: Fred Astaire and Jazz.
- Bates College Museum of Art, Lewiston, received a $6,000 grant to hire three conservators to evaluate its Marsden Hartley Memorial Collection, which includes ninety-nine drawings by the great modernist who modestly described himself as “the painter from Maine.”
- New Books, New Readers from the Maine Humanities Council is a scholar-led reading and discussion program for adults seeking to increase their literacy by starting with the best in children’s literature. Since the early 1990s, parents in family literacy programs, English-language learners, literacy volunteers, and others from around the largely rural state have participated.