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Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School in the Midwest

Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops for School Teachers

Postmark Deadline: March 4, 2013

Two one-week workshops for eighty school teachers on the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School in Mason City, Iowa.

This workshop focuses on Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School of architecture, led by co-directors Paula Mohr (architectural historian, Iowa State Historic Preservation Office) and Patricia Schultz (chair, Wright on the Park's Education Committee). The Historic Park Inn Hotel, the world's last remaining hotel designed by Wright, serves as workshop headquarters, for seminars as well as participants' lodging, and is itself the focus of a detailed tour on Monday. Architectural historian Richard Guy Wilson (University of Virginia) offers several sessions in the first few days, discussing the role of architecture in the study of history and culture, the origins of the Prairie School and Wright's early work, and the relationship between the Arts and Crafts movement and the Prairie School. Midweek in the Rock Crest and Rock Glen neighborhoods, participants tour the Stockman House, designed by Wright, alongside three houses by Prairie School architects Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony. Historian Paul Kruty (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) gives presentations on Griffin and Mahony and on the design for the neighborhood. Dennis Domer (American studies, University of Kansas) discusses Prairie School landscape design, and art historian Barbara Mooney (University of Iowa) places the Prairie School's work in the context of other Midwestern architecture of the time. The program's final day includes a Mason City walking tour aimed to "illustrate how the study of any community's architecture can serve as an effective tool for teaching art, history, and culture." A roundtable of participant presentations and concluding sessions on Wright's legacy and pedagogical strategies bring the workshop to a close.

Dates: July 14-19 or August 4-9
Director(s): Patricia Schultz and Paula Mohr
Grantee Institutions: Wright on the Park, Inc.
Location: Mason City, IA

About NEH Landmarks of American History: Workshops for School Teachers

The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent grant-making agency of the federal government. As part of the NEH’s We the People program, we offer the following Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops for School Teachers. NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops provide the opportunity for K-12 educators to engage in intensive study and discussion of important topics in American history and culture. These one-week programs will give participants direct experiences in the interpretation of significant historical and cultural sites and the use of archival and other primary evidence. Landmarks Workshops present the best scholarship on a specific landmark or related cluster of landmarks, enabling participants to gain a sense of the importance of historical places, to make connections between what they learn in the Workshop and what they teach, and to develop enhanced teaching or research materials.

Amount of Award

Teachers selected to participate will receive a stipend of $1,200 at the end of the residential Workshop session. Stipends are intended to help cover living expenses, books, and travel expenses to and from the Workshop location.


These projects are designed principally for classroom teachers and librarians in public, charter, independent, and religiously-affiliated schools, as well as home schooling parents. Other K-12 school personnel, including administrators, substitute teachers, and classroom professionals, are eligible to participate, subject to available space.

Teachers at schools in the United States or its territorial possessions or Americans teaching in foreign schools where at least 50 percent of the students are American nationals are eligible for this program. Applicants must be United States citizens, residents of U.S. jurisdictions, or foreign nationals who have been residing in the United States or its territories for at least the three years immediately preceding the application deadline. Foreign nationals teaching abroad at non-U.S. chartered institutions are not eligible to apply.

Applicants must complete the NEH application and provide all of the information requested to be considered eligible.

New this year: An individual may apply to up to two NEH Summer Programs in any one year (Landmarks Workshops, Summer Seminars, or Summer Institutes), but may participate in only one. Please note that eligibility criteria differ significantly between the Landmarks Workshops and the Seminars and Institutes Programs.

How to Apply

Please e-mail, telephone or send by U.S. Post a request for application information and expanded Workshop descriptions to the Landmarks directors listed here; in many cases, these materials will also be available on project Web sites. You may request information about as many Workshops as you like, and, as noted above, you may apply to up to two programs but participate in only one.