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NEH in the News

Selected articles on NEH-supported projects.
Posted: May 31, 2017 Busy weekend ahead: historical program, novel signing & fiction workshop
The Shreveport Times

The weekend ahead is a booklover’s bonanza—whether you prefer nonfiction, fiction or want to try your hand at writing.  Thank you to the Historical Center for the programming it offers and to the Historic New Orleans Collection, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, Entergy Corp., National Park Service, National Endowment for the Humanities and the Kabacoff Family Foundation for making the exhibit possible.

Posted: May 31, 2017 Newark Museum reopening Washington Street doors as part of $5.5M project

After two decades closed, the Washington Street doors at the Newark Museum are once again open, as part of a project designed to address the flurry of recent development in the downtown area.  “We see all around us how the neighborhood is changing quickly to accommodate its renewed development and growth. With this move, the Newark Museum is poised to reaffirm its role as both a cultural and business anchor in the community,” CEO and Director Steven Kern said. “With the doors open, the museum will project neighborhood vitality, stability and security.”

The initiative is part of a larger $5.5 million project in collaboration with Michael Graves Architecture and Design. Newark Museum will also seek to enhance the exterior and include a public terrace for events, as well as make over 5,000 square feet of exhibition space.

“In 2015, the Museum launched a plan to reopen the main entrance in order to reconnect with the rapidly growing sidewalk life on Washington Street, from the growing populations from Rutgers and the new Hahne’s Building as well as corporations such as Prudential and Audible. As a result, the museum anticipates increased public engagement,” it said in a news release. “The new plaza will connect the museum to Washington Park and serve as a new public destination, attracting more visitors to the neighborhood with increased outdoor museum programming.”

Architect Michael Graves, who was personally involved with the museum since 1976, passed away in 2015.

Preparations for this project began in April, with the official groundbreaking on May 24. Financing of the project was made possible by a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Humanities,  MCJ Amelior Foundation and the Sagner Family Foundation. 

Posted: May 31, 2017 Frank Deford Didn’t Like Boxing, But He Wrote the Greatest Boxing Story
The Sweet Science

Frank Deford, America’s most celebrated sportswriter, died on Memorial Day, May 29, at age seventy-eight. Deford, whose best work was published by Sports Illustrated, had no peer within the sportswriting fraternity as a long-form storyteller. His profiles of sports personalities consumed thousands of words but never ran too long because they were beautifully paced and as poignant as the finest fiction.

Deford was versatile. He covered all manner of sports. But he wrote very little about boxing because he did not like it. “I despise boxing and have never altogether understood what attracts other writers to its brutality,” he wrote in a letter to his colleague John Schulian. Years later, in one of his weekly commentaries for National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” Deford rued that the overriding story line of the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight was money, money, money. “This particular match,” he wrote, “has become the tackiest sports event this side of hot dog eating.”

Sports Illustrated has been around since 1954. Over the years, the magazine has employed some splendid boxing writers — William Nack, Mark Kram, Ralph Wiley, Pat Putnam, Richard Hoffer, and others – but ironically, the man who didn’t like boxing, Frank Deford, authored what is considered the best boxing story to ever appear in that August publication.

“The Boxer and the Blonde,” which ran on June 17, 1985, is centered on former light heavyweight champion Billy Conn, then in his late sixties, but focuses less on Conn’s boxing career than on his family and his ties to the city of Pittsburgh. When Deford re-visits the last few rounds of Conn’s first fight with Joe Louis – on a warm night at the Polo Grounds just before America entered the war “and the world went to hell” – one can almost feel the goosebumps as Conn brews an improbable upset that is ultimately short-circuited.

Deford appreciated good writing in others. He thought the best piece ever written under the pressure of a tight deadline was Mark Kram’s story of the “Thrilla’ in Manila.” Titled “Lawdy, Lawdy He’s Great,” it was the Oct. 13, 1975 Sports Illustrated cover story.

In 2012, Frank Deford was presented with the National Humanities Medal by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the first sportswriter accorded this honor.

Posted: May 30, 2017 Frank Deford, U.S. sports writer and commentator, dies at 78
Sport News USA

Frank Deford, who as a journalist for Sports Illustrated was known as a master of long-form storytelling and as a regular commentator for National Public Radio brought sports to life for many listeners with only a passing interest in athletics, has died at age 78, his wife said on Monday.

Deford died suddenly on Sunday at his home in Key West, Florida, after an illness, his wife Carol Deford said by phone.

In 2012, then-President Barack Obama presented Deford a medal from the National Endowment for the Humanities, which honored him "for transforming how we think about sports." He also was named to the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame.

Deford retired from NPR earlier this month after 37 years with the broadcast network.

"Nothing has pleased me so much as when someone, usually a woman, writes me or tells me that she's appreciated sports more because NPR allowed me to treat sports seriously as another branch on the tree of culture," Deford said in his final commentary.

Posted: May 30, 2017 Oklahoma Chautauqua brings stories of cowboys and cattle trails to Altus residents
The Altus Times

Oklahoma Chautauqua is coming to Altus from May 31 through June 3 with “The Great West: Cowboys and Cattle Trails” — a five-day education series highlighting guides, freed slaves, interpreters, drovers, judicial officials, women and minorities who took on unprecedented roles in the American West that shaped and influenced the nation’s history.

The event is rich in history. In 1874, John Heyl Vincent and Lewis Miller, a minister and businessman organized the first Chautauqua assembly.  Named for Chautauqua Lake in New York state, the area were the first educational series started, it became a popular event across the United States bringing education through entertaining lectures and music.

The masters of ceremonies for the event include Western Oklahoma State College President Dr. Phil Birdine, Air Force Col. Lance Whitfill, Randall Coffman, state Rep. Charles Ortega (R-Altus) and state Sen. Mike Schulz (R-Altus).

Funded by: Shortgrass Arts and Humanities Council, Main Street Altus, Southern Praire Library System, Western Oklahoma State College, Western Trail Historical Society, Oklahoma Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities are all joining forces for the event.

Posted: May 30, 2017 What the proposed federal budget really means
The Edwardsville Intelligencer

The proposed 2018 budget by the Trump administration has been presented and now we have a clear picture of the list of programs related to higher education that will be either severely cut or totally eliminated. 

Among the programs to be eliminated are the Public-Service Loan-Forgiveness program (which currently helps more than 550,000 students), Stafford Loans (offered to eligible students enrolled in accredited American institutions of higher education to help with their education) and the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (a federal assistance grant for college students with the greatest need for financial aid). It also includes plans to allow the Perkins Loan program to expire. This is a program based on financial need that assists American college students in funding their post-secondary education. The proposed budget will also cut spending in half on Federal Work-Study programs and will eliminate programs that foster foreign-language study, while reducing spending that supports international-education programs and exchanges, such as the Fulbright Scholar program, by 55 percent.

The direct consequences of these cuts will be a significant increase in student debt and the elimination of access to higher education for many low-income, first-generation and minority students.

The budget proposal also includes plans to phase out support for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the two major sources of funding for projects in those areas. 

Posted: May 26, 2017 NEA and the NEH submitted budgets for their potential 2018 shutdown
The Architect's Newspaper,

The NEA and NEH have submitted requests for 2018 that detail the costs required to shut down; you can find the report in full here. The report estimates that the combined cost to close down the agencies will be $71 million, nearly 25 percent of the total annual budget of $300 million. These funds would be used to support the employees working for the agencies, as well as real estate, equipment, contracts, grant commitments, and management. The NEA currently has a staff of 155 but would have to cut this amount in half by March 2018. The NEH’s chairman, William Adams, resigned Monday and acting chair Margaret Plympton will dismantle the agency.

If you would like to oppose these budget cuts in Congress, please contact your local senator and ask them to save the NEA and NEH. Guidelines for this outreach can be found here.

Posted: May 26, 2017 Meet NEH Grantee Leslie Anderson
Political Science Now

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States and supports research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. The organization funds projects across a range of disciplines, including political science, through a diverse array of opportunities. Dr. Anderson is the recipient of an NEH fellowship. NEH fellowships “support individuals pursuing advanced research that is of value to humanities scholars, general audiences, or both.”

Leslie E. Anderson is a University of Florida Research Foundation Professor of Political Science.  She has written extensively on democracy and democratization in Latin America, publishing most recently Democratization by Institutions: Argentina’s Transition Years in Comparative Perspective, (Michigan, 2016).  Her work looks at social movements, electoral politics, social capital and at the role of institutions in furthering the process of democratization. 

Posted: May 26, 2017 State history to come alive in library program
North Platte Telegraph, Nebraska's News

The North Platte Public Library continues its Nebraska Celebrate 150 Series with Karen Drevo as prairie pioneer Maria Rodaway at noon on Thursday.

Maria, portrayed by Drevo, her great-great granddaughter in period attire, looks back at her life as a prairie pioneer in Otoe County, where she homesteaded in 1867. Maria crossed the Atlantic Ocean with seven children to reunite her family after a 7½-year separation. She endured grasshoppers, hail, drought, tornadoes, blizzards and the loss of her husband and six of her 13 children as she worked to become a citizen and a landowner in a new country. Resilient and resourceful, she lived a life of usefulness to her family and large circle of friends with her loving deeds and kind acts, delivering babies and nursing the sick.

Seven generations of Drevo’s family have lived in Otoe County. She grew up on a farm north of Unadilla and received her early education in one-room Otoe County schools. Drevo has degrees in English and history from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She lives in Norfolk and is a librarian at the public library. Her lifelong interest in her family history was sparked by the family stories told by her grandmothers.

Humanities Nebraska provides major funding for this program with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Nebraska State Legislature, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment and private donations.

Posted: May 26, 2017 Faculty Recognized for Achievements at Awards Recognition Ceremony
Southern Miss Now, University of Southern Mississippi News

University of Southern Mississippi faculty members were honored for achievements in teaching, research, service and leadership at the annual Faculty Awards Recognition Ceremony, held May 5 at the Trent Lott Center on the Hattiesburg campus. The event was sponsored by USM’s Office of the Provost and Faculty Senate.

USM nominees, National Endowment for the Humanities Award – Dr. Matthew Casey History, Dr. Andrew Ross, History.