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NEH in the News

Selected articles on NEH-supported projects.
Posted: April 13, 2018 $400,000 NEH Grant Will Fund New Idaho State Historical Museum Exhibit
Boise Weekly

It's been years since Boise citizens have been able to set foot in the Idaho State Historical Museum, but despite the lengthy renovation process—which began way back in 2014—the Idaho State Historical Society has kept a tight grip on its vision for future exhibits. When the museum finally reopens this summer, it will include a brand new exhibit created in partnership with Gem State Native American tribes called Idaho: The Land and Its People, funded to the tune of $400,000 by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“When we think about Idaho history, it begins with Idaho’s Native Tribes,” said ISHS Executive Director Janet Gallimore in a press release. “As we started the process of telling Idaho’s story in the museum’s new exhibitions, it was crucial for us to be able to tell their story from creation to contemporary life.”

Posted: April 9, 2018 19th-Century Playbills to Be Restored and Digitized
New York Times

Hundreds of playbills mostly from 19th-century New York theater performances will be restored and digitized, thanks to a grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities to the Museum of the City of New York.

The museum’s collection consists of about 700 of these broadsides, many of which are extremely fragile; all of them will be digitized, while half of them will go through a conservation process. The N.E.H. has given $143,804 for this project.

“A lot of the pieces have bits barely hanging on by a thread,” Morgen Stevens-Garmon, the project’s director and an associate curator of the museum’s theater collection, said in an interview.

These one-sheet playbills trace the history of theater in New York. They were originally posted around Manhattan to advertise Shakespeare plays, minstrel shows, new American plays and early musicals. One showcases a performance of “The Black Crook,” which opened in 1866 and is often credited as the first musical. The earliest broadside in the collection advertises the Old American Company’s performance of “The Merchant of Venice” in 1785; tickets were four shillings for a gallery seat.

Posted: April 9, 2018 Albany State Gets NEH Grant for Museum, Heritage Studies Program
Diverse: Issues In Higher Education

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded Albany State University approximately $99,000 to assist with establishing an interdisciplinary museum and heritage studies minor.

Dr. Charles Williams, ASU professor of visual arts in the College of Arts and Humanities, leads the project. He envisions the minor as a 15-credit-hour path that includes internships and one cross-disciplinary course such as business, education, history or computer science.

He describes the program development as a group effort.

“As director of the grant, I am organizing cross-training seminars that will include faculty who want to contribute by developing curriculum or offering their expertise, and local cultural organizations who will provide input into how such a program can suit their needs,” said Williams, who also serves as gallery director for the Department of Visual and Performing Arts and on the board of trustees at the Albany Museum of Art.

The seminars also will include guest participants who work in museums and museum-related fields, he said.

The NEH Humanities Initiatives at Historically Black Colleges and Universities aims to advance the teaching and study of humanities in areas such as literature, history and philosophy at HBCUs.

Posted: April 9, 2018 Grant helps scholars mine church records for hidden history
Washington Post/ 4/9

The history of the Congregational Church is the history of Colonial New England.

Before the birth of the nation and the separation of church and state, the plain Congregational churches that date to the time of the Pilgrims and are found in every community in the region chronicled just about every aspect of life.

Yet that history remains largely scattered and hidden, tucked away in damp, unexplored corners of church buildings from the coast to the mountains.

Now, with the help of a more than $300,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities being announced on Monday, the Boston-based Congregational Library and Archives Hidden Histories project is locating, securing, and digitizing church records from 1630 to 1800 and putting them online for anyone to peruse for free.

Posted: April 9, 2018 More than 1000 recorded interviews with Wisconsin veterans to be digitized, available online

Dana Gerber-Margie traveled around the state to find oral histories relating to Wisconsin during wartime to assess for digitization through Recollection Wisconsin, which received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to make the interviews available online.

Posted: April 6, 2018 U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced a $50,000 investment to help preserve the Kootenai language
Char-Koosta News

 U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced a $50,000 investment to help preserve the Kootenai language. 

The grant comes from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support a project documenting endangered languages at the University of Montana.  

“The Kootenai people have an important language that must be preserved,” said Tester, a senior member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. “This grant will go a long way towards protecting their native tongue and cultural identity for future generations.”

Posted: April 6, 2018 Jesmyn Ward to get historic marker for state's greatest writers

South Mississippi writer Jesmyn Ward will join other Mississippi writing luminaries on the Mississippi Writers Trail announced Wednesday.

The Mississippi Arts Commission, in partnership with the Community Foundation for Mississippi, Mississippi Humanities Council, the Mississippi Book Festival, the Mississippi Development Authority, Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the Mississippi Library Commission, said the trail will be much like the Blues Trail and the Country Music Trail, with markers at locations throughout the state that are significant to the writers' lives.

The announcement comes following The National Endowment for the Humanities' first Statehood Grant of $30,000 to support creation of the Trail. The grant program is for state history and heritage projects that commemorate the 150th and 200th anniversaries of statehood.

Read more here:
Posted: April 5, 2018 New trail will track Mississippi’s literary history
Mississippi Today

The first markers on the new Mississippi Writers Trail will be be unveiled in August during the 2018 Mississippi Book Festival.

Similar to the Mississippi music trails, the Writers Trail will be a compilation of historical markers honoring acclaimed and influential writers throughout the state, including William Faulkner, Jesmyn Ward, Richard Wright, Eudora Welty, Margaret Walker Alexander, Richard Ford and more.

“Based on the nationwide success of efforts in Mississippi to tell the story of our state’s cultural heritage and music with markers such as the Blues Trail and Country Music Trail, we believe that the excitement and momentum to mark the cultural significance of Mississippi’s rich literary history through the construction of a new statewide Writers Trail is ready to begin,” said Malcolm White, executive director of the Mississippi Arts Commission.

The National Endowment for the Humanities recently announced a special grant program for state history and heritage projects that commemorate the 150th and 200th anniversaries of statehood and has awarded its first Statehood Grant of $30,000 to support the creation of a Mississippi Writers Trail.

Posted: April 5, 2018 Poverty exhibit set to open at Hayes museum
Fremont News Messenger

The Hayes Presidential Library and Museums will celebrate a historic day Friday when it celebrates the opening of the the museum's first traveling exhibit from the National Endowment for the Humanities. “Jacob A. Riis: How the Other Half Lives” will open on Friday and continue through May 25 in the lower level of the museum.

Riis was a photojournalist and social reformer who publicized the crises in housing, education and poverty at the height of European immigration to New York in the late 19th century.

Posted: April 5, 2018 A Database of Fugitive Slave Ads Reveals Thousands of Untold Resistance Stories

The Freedom on the Move (FOTM) public database project, now being developed at Cornell University, is the first major digital database to organize together North American fugitive slave ads from regional, state, and other collections. FOTM recently received its second of its two National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) digital humanities grants.