Lynnette Overby Joins the National Council on the Humanities

Lynnette Overby
Photo caption

Lynnette Young Overby 

Courtesy University of Delaware

(February 4, 2022)

WASHINGTON, D.C. —Lynnette Young Overby, professor of theater at the University of Delaware and director of the university’s Community Engagement Initiative, was sworn in today as a new member of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)’s advisory board, the National Council on the Humanities.

“We are delighted to welcome Professor Overby to NEH’s National Council on the Humanities,” said NEH Acting Chair Adam Wolfson. “Overby’s long experience and passion for fostering collaboration between university research and arts and culture groups and community partners will make her a valuable resource for the agency and its grantees.”

Overby was nominated to the National Council on the Humanities by President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in May and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in December 2021.

The 26-member National Council on the Humanities meets three times a year to review grant applications and to advise the NEH chair. National Council members serve staggered six-year terms. Overby will join the next meeting of the National Council of the Humanities in March 2022.

Lynnette Young Overby, PhD, is a Professor of Theatre and Dance at the University of Delaware, Director of the Community Engagement Initiative, Founding Director of the Partnership for Arts & Culture, and Artistic Director of the Sharing Our Legacy Dance Theatre.

Overby works at the University of Delaware and with several local, national, and international organizations developing community engagement programs and projects designed to address racial justice issues. For example, as Scholarship Chair of the Engaged Scholarship Consortium, and as Director of the Partnership for Arts & Culture, Overby has administered social justice grant programs for faculty and community partners. Over the years, thousands of community partners have benefited from the work of these projects.

She is the author or coauthor of over 60 publications, including 14 edited, coauthored and authored books. Her contributions have earned her more than 20 state, district, and national awards and honors, including the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award for the National Dance Education Organization. Overby has served as an officer/board member in several national and international organizations, including The National Dance Association and Dance and the Child International. She is currently collaborating with literary historian P. Gabrielle Foreman on “Performing History” research. Her Sharing our Legacy Dance Theatre productions, including “Mary Ann Shadd Cary, Her Life and Legacy” have taken place in Delaware, Texas, Alabama, Virginia, Washington, DC, Australia, South Africa, and Belize. Through arts and community engagement collaborations, Overby has facilitated projects focused on increasing empathy and knowledge in communities.  


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

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