The National Endowment for the Humanities comes to North Texas bearing gifts — to preserve history
Jon Parrish Peede, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, is, you might say, concerned — but hopeful.
"In this age of media consolidation and the closing of regional newspapers, it's even more vital to have a National Endowment for the Humanities," Peede said Friday before heading to North Texas for a three-day visit starting Tuesday. He plans to stop in both Dallas and Fort Worth.
What our society needs, he said, is "a national voice that's looking at the best of local culture and helping preserve that. I do fear that sometimes we're losing our regional distinctiveness."
What Peede and the NEH can offer is money — in the form of grants — and several D-FW area organizations have benefited greatly from its largesse. For instance, the Dallas County History Foundation has received two such grants in recent years for the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, the largest being $40,000 that has helped the museum develop and enhance its massive oral-history project.
Jon Parrish Peede, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, is in North Texas this week.
Peede applauded the undertaking, citing the lingering shock of President John F. Kennedy's assassination, "the depth of the grief, the very personal way we all grieved." What the museum captures with its oral-history project is, he said, "everyday citizens talking about the Kennedy assassination and the impact it had on them. For a nation to go forward, it has to understand and come to terms with its past."