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NEH in the News

Selected articles on NEH-supported projects.
Posted: April 11, 2017 Hunting down runaway slaves: The cruel ads of Andrew Jackson and ‘the master class’
Washington Post

Note:  NEH-funded “Freedom on the Move” project (Cornell University, HD-229031-15). It is an ODH Start-up project to document information about runaway slave advertisements.

 “Stop the Runaway,” Andrew Jackson urged in an ad placed in the Tennessee Gazette in October 1804. The future president gave a detailed description: A “Mulatto Man Slave, about thirty years old, six feet and an inch high, stout made and active, talks sensible, stoops in his walk, and has a remarkable large foot, broad across the root of the toes — will pass for a free man …”

Jackon's ad is one of thousands being catalogued by the history department at Cornell University, which launched “The Freedom on the Move” project to digitize and preserve runaway slave ads and make them more accessible to the public.

“Our goal is to ultimately collect all the runaway ads that have survived,” said Edward E. Baptist, a Cornell history professor who is collaborating on the project with Joshua D. Rothman, at the University of Alabama, and Molly Mitchell, at the University of New Orleans.

Baptist said the ads provide rich insights into history.

Posted: April 11, 2017 Don’t cut humanities funding
Detroit News

Through humanities programming, we all develop an increased awareness of what it takes to achieve our goals and dreams in a competitive global economy.  Through 1,053 events last year supported by the Michigan Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities, Michiganians got to know their neighbors better and gained a richer understanding of themselves as well.

Posted: April 11, 2017 Preparing artifacts of the 'Great War' for the digital age
ABC News

The Connecticut State Library: The Great War

Since the project began in 2014, about 130 people have come to events, resulting in the digital preservation of more than 600 items and the creation of about 150 profiles of people who took part in the war effort.

Similar preservation efforts are being done at some universities, some branches of the military and local historical societies, but nothing on the scale of Connecticut's project, said Chris Isleib, spokesman for the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission.

The preservation is funded in part by an $11,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The New Haven Museum will host a major scanning event May 24. There are 16 others scheduled this year across the state.

"We can do high-resolution captures of anything that comes in, 3D objects, flat objects," said Christine Pittsley, the project managers for the state's Remembering World War I: Sharing History/Preserving Memories program. "All of that stuff is going to be online. It's being preserved in the Connecticut digital archive. So, even it that item disappears, there always will be a digital record of it."

Posted: April 11, 2017 Grant Supports Creation of Open Access Humanities Books
University of Arizona News

Concerned that the vast majority of humanities books are not available to the general public, the National Endowment for the Humanities has partnered with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to create the Humanities Open Book Program. 

This unique program makes grants to academic presses and other institutions that publish books in the humanities for the purpose of digitizing out-of-print books and making them freely available.

The University of Arizona is the recipient of a $73,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation, which will support the UA Press' Open Arizona Initiative in digitizing two dozen out-of-print books that highlight the experiences of indigenous and Latino groups and individuals in the Southwest.

The books were chosen to build on the UA Press' long history of publishing books that preserve the region's history and culture, and will include works touching on topics such as the impact of government policy on indigenous communities and the experiences of Mexican-American communities throughout the 20th century. Funding from the grant will not only underwrite high-quality digitization but also support creation of a custom website to make the books easy to find and download.

Posted: April 11, 2017 National Endowment for the Humanities Selects SUNY Poly for Prestigious Award
SUNY Polytechnic Institute News

SUNY Polytechnic Institute has been selected by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to receive nearly $100,000 in funding to re-imagine the spirit and strategy of entrepreneurship in an interdisciplinary way by uniting it with the creative thinking of the humanities, resulting in new opportunities for students, veterans, start-ups, and further enhancing the economic vitality of the community as a whole.

“This highly competitive award is tremendous evidence of our outstanding faculty’s dedication and commitment to finding new solutions to the challenges our region and the world face,” said Dr. Bahgat Sammakia, Interim President of SUNY Polytechnic Institute. “The funding from this grant recognizes the critical role that interdisciplinary collaboration between the humanities and business plays in our local, regional, and global economy, and SUNY Poly is proud to lead the way.”

This prestigious NEH award of $99,949 over the course of three years is grounded in the growing recognition that the humanities play a key role in cultivating students’ ability to tackle the issues, problems, and challenges facing modern society in creative and innovative ways. Teamed with the skills, knowledge, and experiences of business management, students will become better equipped to take on the challenges of a complex, rapidly-changing, globalized 21st century world. The result will be individuals who can thrive in situations of uncertainty, think creatively to solve problems, envision opportunities for positive change, and possess the confidence to take risks and ventures. Led by SUNY Poly Interim Dean Dr. Robert Edgell and Professor Dr. Daryl Lee, this is the first time SUNY Polytechnic has received a National Endowment for the Humanities award.

Posted: April 10, 2017 Trump's budget could eliminate federal funding for 'superhero' program - AmeriCorps, Senior Corps volunteers anxiousabout funding proposal
Joplin Globe, MO

In a statement from his press secretary, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt noted that the president's budget proposal is only the first step in the appropriations process. Blunt, also a Republican, serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee and as the chairman of its Subcommittee on the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies.

"There are many concerns with non-defense discretionary cuts," Blunt said of the president's budget plan, which also cuts funding for the public broadcasting corporation, the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Chemical Safety Board, the United States Institute of Peace, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the African Development Foundation and more.

"Over the next several weeks, we’ll be holding hearings with Cabinet secretaries and others involved to determine funding priorities for fiscal year 2018," Blunt said.

Posted: April 10, 2017 Federal arts cuts would hurt local culture, economy
Yakima Herald

The NEA and NEH, while based in Washington, D.C., are present in and a very vital part of the local cultural and educational ecosystem in Washington State. Humanities Washington, our state’s NEH affiliate, and ArtsWA, its NEA affiliate, served more than 5,000 people in Yakima County in 2015-2016. These programs were created by people in our state, for people in our state and local communities. In and around Yakima, many organizations have benefitted from NEA/NEH support, including the Yakima Valley Museum, The Yakima Symphony Orchestra, Tieton Arts & Humanities, LitFuse!, the Wapato School District Migrant program, the Capitol Theatre and Yakima Valley Community College.

What’s more, the majority of that work takes place outside of major metropolitan areas. The loss of NEH and NEA funding would hit rural areas, which tend to have fewer cultural resources, the hardest.

Posted: April 10, 2017 CPB targeted for cuts
The Marquette Mining Journal

CPB targeted for cuts - WNMU General Manager Eric Smith said the stations use CPB funding as “seed money,” to help generate other funding sources.   “If we give a dollar to the government, we expect to get that dollar back,” Smith said. “It might be in the form of security and protection, it might be in the form of infrastructure roads and clean water, it might be in the form of cultural enrichment and arts and the things that frankly make life enjoyable and worth living. I think we are in the education period right now. The knee-jerk reaction would be ‘don’t cut my organization, cut somebody else, but don’t cut mine,’ but if you look at it sort of holistically, all these things — Meals on Wheels, Public Broadcasting, National Endowment for the Humanities — all of these serve a really important function. If you suck the energy out of that one group, it’s not just that one group, it’s all of these other things that are affected by it.”

Smith is encouraging Michigan residents that are concerned about programming cuts to visit the website.

Posted: April 10, 2017 Gillibrand will call on Senate to reject president’s budget proposal to zero out federal funding for arts and humanities.
Webster Post

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand will visit the Ontario County Historical Museum Monday for a press conference calling on the Senate to reject President Donald Trump’s budget proposal to zero out funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities.

Gillibrand will be joined by Canandaigua Mayor Ellen Polimeni, Ontario County Historical Society Director Edward Varno and other community leaders.

Posted: April 10, 2017 Oakton Community College awarded $99,000 humanities grants
Daily Herald

Oakton Community College is one of four community colleges nationwide to receive a National Endowment for the Humanities grant.

"We are proud to be one of just four community colleges among the total of 208 recipients across the country to receive an NEH grant," Roxann Marshburn, director of grants and alternative funding, said in a news release. "More importantly, the grant allows Oakton to expand upon its course offerings and student experiences."

The grant, worth $98,957 over 30 months, will fund "People, Place, and Purpose: Fostering an Understanding of a Complex World," an interdisciplinary collaboration to enhance the college's new environmental studies concentration.

Humanities Connections grants are intended to expand the role of the humanities in the undergraduate curriculum at two- and four-year institutions, and the grant will make possible the addition of two new courses.