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NEH in the News

Selected articles on NEH-supported projects.
Posted: May 12, 2017 NU Libraries receives federal grant to digitize folk music festival archive
The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University Libraries received nearly $300,000 from a federal grant, which will be used to digitize, describe and make available online a historic folk music archive, the University announced Wednesday.

According to a news release, the digitization of the Berkeley Folk Music Festival Archive will be funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, an independent federal agency that funds humanities programs in the U.S. The archive –– which features more than 30,000 items, including photographs, audio and film recordings, brochures, buttons, posters, tickets and business records documenting the festival between 1957 to 1970 –– was acquired by NU’s Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections in 1974, the release said. The archive was compiled by the festival’s founder, Barry Olivier.

Scott Krafft, curator of the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections, said in the release that the archive will benefit the fields of history, American studies, music studies and performance, African American studies, digital humanities and political science.

Posted: May 12, 2017 Historian to tell about "Forgotten Abilene"
Abilene Reporter-News

Events, places, people and animals that most Abilenians know nothing about will be front and center May 18 when Jay Moore presents “Forgotten Abilene” at the Paramount Theater.

The presentation, which has been a year in the making, is scheduled to last 90 minutes, with Moore’s talk and 200 photos in a PowerPoint or “modern day slide show,” as Moore puts it. Moore promises some surprises and amazing historical tidbits.

The stories were gleaned from Abilene Reporter-News files and from stories that people told Moore or sent to him. They fall into four categories — crowds, unseen spaces, commotions, and animals. One of the unseen places is the federal courtroom in the downtown Post Office building.

Few people have been inside it. Those who have are amazed at the area where prisoners are held while awaiting their day in court.

“The holding cell looks like it’s straight out of Mayberry,” Moore said, referring to the fictional rural town where the 1960s Andy Griffith Show was set.

Moore, an Abilene High School history teacher and creator of the “History in Plain Sight” DVD series, recently was selected to serve on the board of Humanities Texas, an educational nonprofit that is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Posted: May 12, 2017 Torrington Historical Society plans movie screenings, events marking WWI
The Register Citizen

In conjunction with the centennial anniversary of World War I, the Torrington Historical Society will present a screening of two films, both related to Torrington’s World War I history.

The program will begin with the screening of “Never Forgotten,” a World War I documentary, produced by the American Battle Monuments Commission. This 24-minute film follows the story of Sergeant Paul Maynard, a Torrington doughboy who died on the last day of the war.

Among the first to volunteer for the Army, Maynard survived some of the most brutal fighting American forces endured, including the Battle of Belleau Wood, the Saint-Mihiel Campaign, and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. In “Never Forgotten,” Maynard’s grandniece, Lisa Ann Maynard, and ABMC Superintendent, Dave Bedford, tell Maynard’s story in an effort to ensure that his legacy, and the legacies of all Americans who fought during the Great War, are never forgotten. The film highlights the role that letters have in telling a person’s story as well as reuniting family that had been separated through the years. This program will also feature a panel discussion about the film and the legacy of Sgt. Maynard. Panelists will include the filmmaker, Michael Shipman and Rick Maynard, a relative of Maynard. “Never Forgotten” has been made possible by the Connecticut State Library and a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

Posted: May 11, 2017 NEH video features CSUSB’s ‘Dialogues on the Experience of War’ program
California State University San Bernardino News

A program at Cal State San Bernardino funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities is featured by the endowment in its “In the Field” video series.

In The Field: Dialogues on the Experience of War,” posted on the NEH’s YouTube channel, focuses on “From Ancient Greece to the Contemporary Middle East: Dialogues on the Experience of War,” a reading, viewing and discussion program on classical literature and the Greek-Trojan wars in dialogue with letters, articles, literature and documentaries about more recent conflicts. Events have been held at CSUSB, San Bernardino Valley College and the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus.

“We have tried to create a series of campfire-like conversations with veterans where we share compelling storytelling around the experience of war,” said Jennifer Andersen, CSUSB professor of English who designed the curriculum discussions with veterans, recruited, hired and trained the trainers and discussion facilitators, and coordinated events all year at CSUSB, PDC and San Bernardino Valley College.

“Homer’s Iliad and the civic tradition of free, public performances of Greek tragedy ensured an ongoing discussion about war in a culture where no citizen escaped the duty of military service. I think that the NEH Dialogues on the Experience of War program is an effort to stimulate this kind of civic discussion about war in our country where now only a tiny percentage of the population experience it firsthand,” she said.

The NEH interviewed faculty members and students who facilitated discussions with veterans from September 2016 to May 2017.

Posted: May 11, 2017 Historical Society hosts 'Working Warriors'
Herald Times Reporter, Manitowoc

"Working Warriors: Military Life Beyond Combat," a traveling exhibit from the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, will be on display at Manitowoc County Historical Society, 924 Pinecrest Road, Manitowoc, throughout June.

Working Warriors highlights the everyday life of service men and women. About 75 percent of military work is considered non-combat. These roles rarely make the headlines, but are vital to every military operation. Exploring the non-combat roles of military service personnel, including work as beauticians, military police, dentists, mechanics and photographers, this exhibit showcases an often overlooked, but highly relatable, side of military life.

This exhibit is provided courtesy of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum and is funded in part by the Wisconsin Humanities Council with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Wisconsin Humanities Council is honored to provide this exhibit as part of its Working Lives Project. Go to for more details.

Posted: May 11, 2017 History Professor Receives NEH Fellowship to Study History of Wine in Russia
Sonoma State University News

Sonoma State University History Professor Stephen Bittner has received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study how wine has the power to bring people together to create a common culture -- in Russia.

"You might think Russia is typically associated with vodka," says Bittner. "But in 1985, the Soviet Union was the fourth-largest producer of wine in the world behind France, Italy and Spain." The cultural embrace of wine helped establish Russia's civilizational pedigree -- or their "Europeanness," as Bittner puts it.

"When Peter the Great came to power in 1696, he really wanted to establish Russia as a European Power," Bittner continued. "Embracing wine as a culture was how he attempted to associate Russia with European and Western Values."

Posted: May 11, 2017 “Marion Mahony Griffin - Her Life Story Living and Working on Three Continents
Globe Gazette, Iowa

Peggy Bang will present “Marion Mahony Griffin - Her Life Story Living and Working on Three Continents” at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 13, at the Charles H. MacNider Art Museum.

Bang's talk is in conjunction with the exhibit, "In Her Own Right: Marion Mahony Griffin," on display in the Kinney Lindstrom Gallery through Aug. 16.

The Chicago-born Mahony Griffin became the earliest licensed female architect in America in 1897. Her passions about nature and anthroposophy influenced her personal choices and architectural planning her entire life.

Bang has been a leader in historic preservation since 1990, co-chairing the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Stockman House restoration; serving 10 years, including several as president, on the Wright on the Park board that owns and restored the Historic Park Inn Hotel, and with her husband restoring their home, the Melson House.

This program is supported by Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Posted: May 11, 2017 Seshagiri to Prepare Memoir of British Writer Virginia Woolf
Tennessee Today

Urmila Seshagiri, associate professor of English, will spend her summer putting the pieces of Virginia Woolf’s life together thanks to a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend.

A specialist in 20th-century modernism, Seshagiri aims to prepare the first scholarly edition of Virginia Woolf’s memoir A Sketch of the Past.

“Despite its decades-long canonical status, this posthumously published autobiography has never been edited, annotated, or introduced for contemporary scholars,” Seshagiri says. “A scholarly text of A Sketch of the Past would establish Woolf’s artistic conception of the memoir, which is not fully visible in its current form.”

Although there are more than two dozen biographies of Virginia Woolf to date, this is the only record of Woolf’s life written by the author herself. Penned shortly before Woolf’s death in 1941, the autobiography was unknown until 1976, when Jeanne Schulkind discovered the writings in the Monks House papers at the University of Sussex. Over the next decade, she compiled Woolf’s writings about her life in Moments of Being: Unpublished Autobiographical Writings.

Posted: May 11, 2017 What would Greenville look like without grants for the arts?
Greenville Online

This weekend, Greenville will proudly display its commitment to the arts.

The 13th annual Artisphere festival opens Friday, and for three days, the streets of downtown will overflow with rich color and the sounds of music and the aroma of lamb burgers and caramel popcorn.

Last year, Artisphere had an economic impact of $6.4 million, as 100,000 visitors packed the streets, purchasing original art, checking out the local merchants, sampling the cuisine.

But, what would the festival look like if it didn't receive funding from the South Carolina Arts Commission?

Kerry Murphy, the festival’s executive director, said putting on the festival would be a lot tougher without a $21,000 general operating support grant from SCAC, which in turn receives a large portion of its funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The NEA has been under fire this year, as President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would have eliminated the NEA, as well as the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Those agencies were spared by the House Appropriation Committee’s appropriations bill for the 2017 fiscal year, which actually increased NEA and NEH funding.

Posted: May 11, 2017 ‘Slavery by Another Name’ screening, talk in Jervis Saturday
Rome Sentinel

The documentary film ‘Slavery by Another Name’ will be shown and discussed at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 13 at Jervis Public Library Auditorium.

“The public is encouraged to attend the free Created Equal programs, “ said President Jackie Nelson of the NAACP Rome Chapter.

The film is one of three of the Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle programs sponsored by the NAACP Rome Chapter, National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum in Peterboro and the Jervis Public Library. The Created Equal public programs have been made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of its Bridging Cultures initiative, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Created Equal fosters dialogue about the changing meanings of freedom and equality in America within our local communities, schools, and colleges.