NEH Announces $28.6 Million for 233 Humanities Projects Nationwide

Grant awards support cultural infrastructure projects, advanced scholarly research, humanities exhibitions and documentaries, and the preservation of historic collections.

NEH march 2019 grants graphic
(March 28, 2019)

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced $28.6 million in grants for 233 humanities projects across the country.

“These new NEH-supported projects will help shore up the nation’s most valuable assets: its history, literature, historic sites, regional traditions, and cultural institutions,” said NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede. “NEH is proud to support the advancement of learning and sharing of knowledge nationwide.”    

Grant awards announced today will preserve the papers of American writer Eudora Welty and create a digital repository of her manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, and sound recordings, and enable production of a documentary by filmmaker Ric Burns on the life and work of Dante Alighieri, author of The Divine Comedy.

This funding cycle marks the second round of grant awards made under NEH’s Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants program, which seeks to leverage federal funds against private investment to help create and sustain the nation’s humanities infrastructure. Newly awarded NEH infrastructure grants will provide for the restoration of the steeple and tower of Philadelphia’s Christ Church, a national historic landmark, whose congregation once included George Washington, Betsy Ross, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams. NEH Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants will also help the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians construct a tribal museum and cultural center in southwest Oregon focusing on the history and culture of the region’s Native American people and support renovations to the John Steinbeck Library in Salinas, California, to allow the library to exhibit and hold community educational events around its special collection of Steinbeck works.

Several grant projects will provide essential resources for the study of American history and culture. Three decades after the broadcast of the landmark PBS series Eyes on the Prize, a new NEH grant will, for the first time, ensure public access to 100 hours of original interviews of prominent civil rights leaders and grassroots activists upon which the documentary was based. Other grants will create an online archive documenting 100 years of women’s rights activism leading up to the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, and digitize a collection of 65,000 handwritten survey responses by WWII soldiers reflecting on war and military service, collected by the Army between 1941 and 1945.

Other NEH awards will support a national “Warrior Chorus” initiative at Aquila Theatre to bring discussion programs and staged readings by military veterans of Homer’s Odyssey to veterans groups around the country. 

Education grants for curriculum innovation in the humanities will enable the creation of a minor in Appalachian studies at West Virginia Wesleyan College, implementation of a medical humanities program at the University of South Florida, and the development of an undergraduate certificate in cultural heritage recovery at the University of Rochester. NEH Dialogues on the Experience of War grants will support nine different humanities-based programs for military veterans and their families, including a veterans’ discussion project in Maui, focusing on ancient Native Hawaiian practices celebrating warriors’ homecoming. 

NEH Summer Stipends for scholars will enable archival research for more than eighty publications, including a book on the popularity of the writings of Ernest Hemingway in the Soviet Union, and a biography of 7th-century French Queen Balthild, who was born an Anglo-Saxon slave, became queen of the regions of Burgundy and Neustria, and was venerated as a saint after her death.

NEH Documenting Endangered Languages grants, administered in partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF), will provide for the documentation and creation of language-learning materials to help revitalize Sugpiaq, an endangered Alaskan Yupik language. And grants awarded through Humanities Open Book, a joint venture between NEH and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will give second life to important out-of-print humanities books on regional U.S. history, Victorian literature and philosophy, and Germanic languages and literatures.

A full list of grants by geographic location is available here.

Grants were awarded in the following categories:


Dialogues on the Experience of War

Support the study and discussion of important humanities sources about war and military service.

9 grants, totaling $827,712

Documenting Endangered Languages Fellowships and Preservation Grants  

Joint initiative between NEH and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support fieldwork and other activities relevant to recording, preparation, and archiving endangered languages, as well as the preparation of transcriptions, databases, grammars, and lexicons of languages that are in danger of being lost.

8 grants, totaling $943,145

Fellowship Programs at Independent Research Institutions

Provide scholars with research time and access to resources beyond what is available at their home institutions.

10 grants, totaling $1.9 million

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Grants  

Allow institutions to preserve and provide access to collections essential to scholarship, education, and public programming in the humanities.

39 grants, totaling $8.9 million

Humanities Connections

Expand the role of the humanities in the undergraduate curriculum at two- and four-year institutions.

23 grants, totaling $1 million

Humanities Open Book  

A joint program with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to give a second life to outstanding out-of-print books in the humanities by turning them into freely accessible e-books.

3 grants, totaling $419,454

Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants


Leverage federal funding to strengthen and sustain humanities infrastructure and capacity-building activities at cultural institutions.

22 grants, totaling $9 million

Media Projects: Development and Production Grants

Support the preparation of media programs for distribution.

7 grants, totaling $2.2 million

NEH On the Road

Bring NEH-funded traveling exhibitions to small and mid-sized museums across the country.

11 grants, totaling $11,000

Public Humanities Projects: Community Conversations   

Support one- to two-year-long series of community-wide public programs that are centered on one or more significant humanities resources, such as historic artifacts, artworks, literature, musical composition, or films.   

2 grants, totaling $500,000

Public Humanities Projects: Exhibitions  

Support permanent exhibitions that will be on view for at least three years, or traveling exhibitions that will be available to public audiences in at least two venues in the United States (including the originating location).

12 grants, totaling $1.3 million

Public Humanities Projects: Historic Places

Support the interpretation of historic sites, houses, neighborhoods, and regions.

3 grants, totaling $395,000

Summer Stipends 

Support full-time work by a scholar on a humanities project for a period of two months.

82 grants, totaling $492,000