Skip to main content


NEH in the News

Selected articles on NEH-supported projects.
Posted: July 12, 2018 Teachers learning the value of storytelling at Shepherd summer workshop
Herald-Mail Media

Appalachia has some special traditions, and storytelling is one of those being shared this summer with a select group of teachers — including a local educator.

Shepherd University is hosting the fourth annual National Endowment for the Humanities summer institute, “Voices from the Misty Mountains and the Power of Storytelling.”

Twenty five teachers from across the country were chosen as participants. They will experience Appalachian music, literature, theater, culture, folk and musical art, according to a news release. The goal is to “reveal the power of storytelling by exposing teachers to the voices of some of the region’s novelists, dramatists, poets, and oral and musical storytellers.”

Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt, director of the university’s Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities, said the program’s interdisciplinary offerings make it a favorite with educators, according to the release.

Shepherd alumna Jen Nicholson, who teaches English language arts at Washington High School in Charles Town, was chosen to participate.

She plans to use this experience to develop a full teaching unit on Appalachian literature, the release states.

“I have lived in Appalachia my entire life, but had always felt like it was something about which to be ashamed,” Nicholson said in the release. “However, at Shepherd I will learn to appreciate the beautiful and complex culture and history of Appalachia.”

Posted: July 12, 2018 Rosie visits Ripley
Ledger Independent

Kelly O’Connell Brengelman from Midway, will tell you the story of Rose Leigh, one of the many women credited as “Rosie the Riveter.” Kelly has been a Chautauqua actress for Kentucky Humanities for more than a dozen years.

Kentucky Chautauqua is an exclusive presentation of Kentucky Humanities with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. This presentation is locally supported by the Ripley Friends of the Library.

Posted: June 28, 2018 Gary offering historic tours beginning Saturday
Chicago Tribune

Downtown Gary likely will have an overflow of out-of-towners Saturday – many of whom will be armed with their cameras so they can take pictures of many of the once-prominent buildings along Broadway on a historical tour.

Last year, the Gary Redevelopment Commission coordinated a Historic Preservation Tour meant to show off the architectural beauty that once existed – and of which traces remain to this day.  The experience was so positive in 2017 that city officials are going to try to do it again this year.

On Saturday, people will be able to check out sites from the the one-time Union Station at 2nd Avenue and Broadway to the one-time Sears store at 839 Broadway, while including places such as the City Methodist Church and the former post office.  Also, there will be a portion of the tour that includes sites in the Horace Mann and Morningside neighborhood. That portion is by reservation only on Saturday, with people having had to make reservations in advance through in order to see it.

A second day of the tour on July 14 will be open to all and will include those neighborhood locations, said Robyn Robb, an AmeriCorps volunteer who works with the Gary Preservation Tour in putting this year’s event together.

The groups assisted with fundraising efforts that are covering the costs of the event. City officials received approximately $12,000 in private donations, including money from Indiana American Water and the Barnes & Thornburg law firm, while the National Endowment for the Humanities contributed $2,500.

Posted: June 28, 2018 New Exhibit Tackles Jim Crow Repression and Resistance
ColorLines Magazine

In recognition of the 150 years since the ratification of the 14th Amendment, New York City’s oldest museum will launch a new exhibit about Black disenfranchisement and empowerment following the Civil War.  The New-York Historical Society announced the September 2018 opening of Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow today (June 27). According to an emailed statement, the exhibit will cover the years between the Civil War and World War I. It seeks to highlight how African Americans survived Jim Crow and built a resistance that led to the Civil Rights Movement. 

The exhibit will include several key art pieces and artifacts, including a painting of Dred Scott, a formerly enslaved couple’s marriage certificate and Ida B. Wells’ “Southern Horrors.” “The exhibition also looks at how housing segregation in Manhattan eventually led to community-building in Harlem, where local individuals and organizations laid the foundation for the Harlem Renaissance, with a focus on the area around Harlem’s important 135th Street nexus, including Black churches,” the statement adds.

The New-York Historical Society developed Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow in collaboration with Dr. Henry Louis Gates and the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). The National Endowment for the Humanities and New York City Council contributed funds for the exhibit. 

Posted: June 27, 2018 Chautauqua series features three American heroes
The Star Democrat

Maryland Humanities brings Frederick Douglass, Thurgood Marshall, and Eleanor Roosevelt back to life through its 24th season and the program, "Chautauqua: Seeking Justice."

Actor-scholars portraying these three giants of social justice will travel to eight counties throughout the state, including performances in Talbot County from July 9 through July 11.

Maryland Humanities is a statewide nonprofit organization that creates and supports educational experiences in the humanities that inspire all Marylanders to embrace lifelong learning, exchange ideas openly, and enrich their communities.  Maryland Humanities is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the State of Maryland, private foundations, corporations, small businesses, and individual donors.

Posted: June 27, 2018 Celebrating 500 years of maritime history
St. Augustine Record

A free historical and archaeological speaker series, “500 Years of Maritime Florida” will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 28, at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum. A new program will be featured each month through March 2019. All lectures will begin at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.  To launch the series, Gifford Waters, Ph.D., will discuss “The Missions of St. Augustine” Thursday.

A pivotal navigation tool and unique landmark of St. Augustine for over 140 years, the St. Augustine Light Station is host to centuries of history in the Nation’s Oldest Port. Because of its unique place in history, the lighthouse is a fitting venue for the speaker series.

In addition to the lighthouse and keeper’s house, the museum offers interactive exhibits, guided tours and maritime research.

Funding for the speaker series is provided through a grant from The Florida Humanities Council with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Posted: June 21, 2018 Dallas Will Get First Look At Sally Hemings' Life At Monticello In Exhibit's National Tour

A landmark exhibition that addresses former President Thomas Jefferson’s long-debated relationship with Sally Hemings, one of his slaves who bore six of his children, will begin its national tour in Dallas this fall.

The exhibition, “Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello,” was originally organized in 2012 by Jefferson’s estate in partnership with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Its subject was the wider issue of the daily lives of slaves at the Founding Father’s Virginia plantation.

Thanks to a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, Monticello has expanded that show to include new material about Hemings. During an archaeological excavation of Monticello’s south wing in 2017, thousands of artifacts were uncovered, as well as a kitchen and a bedroom adjacent to Jefferson’s bedroom. That room has since been restored and recently opened as an exhibition dedicated to what little is known of Hemings’ life. (There is, for instance, no known image of her.)

The updated touring version of “Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello” will feature some 340 items, several of them never seen before. The exhibition will begin its tour at the African American Museum in Fair Park and run from Sept. 22 through Dec. 31.

Posted: June 21, 2018 Communities First to host dialogues on Michigan water, Great Lakes

Communities First Inc. was recently awarded a $5,000 grant to engage the Flint community in conversations around the cultural, social, historical, and environmental impact that the Great Lakes have on Michigan residents. Communities First was one of 15 organizations to receive the grant, awarded by The Michigan Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“This grant allows us to combine aspects of our popular Culture Shock and Green Life programs to offer a unique experience for Flint families. We are excited to receive this grant and look forward to the dialogue this project will create,” said Glenn Wilson, Communities First Inc. CEO and president.

Communities First's Green Life program will use the funds to facilitate three different community conversations about the topic of Michigan water and shorelines. The conversations will explore the personal connections minority or underserved Flint residents may or may not feel with the "Third Coast" and the importance of Michigan's coastline to the entire state and its residents.

Posted: June 20, 2018 Duluth Students Take First Place at National History Day Contest
Fox 21 Online

Two Duluth students won first place in the Junior Group Exhibit category at the national finals for the National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland, College Park on June 14.

Colin McShane and Chase Baumgarten took the top prize with their project titled, The U.S. Government vs. the Reserve Mining Company: A Compromise of Environment and Industry.

Both students attend Stella Maris Academy – St. John’s Campus in Duluth and received a $1,000 cash prize sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the title of NEH Scholar.

Contest officials say that more than half a million students from all 50 states, and some international schools, competed in this year’s contest.

“The National History Day Contest requires intensive research and analytical thinking skills,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “Each student involved in the competition spends countless hours researching, writing, and editing. Only the top projects make it to the National Contest and it requires a truly superb entry to win. These students should be proud of this accomplishment.”

National History Day is a nonprofit organization based in College Park that seeks to improve the teaching and learning of history.

Posted: June 20, 2018 East Haddam Student Awarded At National History Day Contest
The Haddams Patch

Last week, 66 students represented Connecticut at the prestigious 2018 National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland. Having won statewide competitions, they joined more than 3,000 students from the U. S. and overseas to compete at the national level.

According to a news release, high school and middle school students wrote papers, created exhibits, produced documentaries, designed websites and staged performances Inspired by the theme "Conflict & Compromise in History," exploring topics ranging from discrimination and child labor to women's rights.

Mia Porcello, from St. Timothy's School in West Hartford, was selected to attend the June 13 National Endowment for the Humanities Day on the Hill event. She journeyed to Capitol Hill with 20 other National History Day Contestants to meet with her members of Congress and tour the U.S. Capitol.