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NEH in the News

Selected articles on NEH-supported projects.
Posted: June 11, 2018 Free Workshops to Help Storm Survivors Salvage Family Treasures
St. John Source

Virgin Islanders can learn how to preserve family heirlooms and salvage keepsakes damaged by the hurricanes by attending a free workshop. Specialists from the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative will be on hand to discuss preservation options and demonstrate how to handle, dry, and clean damaged objects.

Two workshops offer attendees an opportunity to meet with experts and participate in a question-and-answer session.  Due to safety concerns, please do not bring damaged objects to the workshop. Feel free to bring photographs to share with the preservation experts if you have specific questions.

These free and public workshops are presented by the Heritage Emergency National Task Force – a partnership led by the Smithsonian Institution and FEMA, in collaboration with the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources. Generous funding support is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Posted: June 8, 2018 National Endowment for the Humanities grant for $12,000 will help preserve and document local history
Yakima Herald-Republic

Central Washington University has received a $12,000 grant to fund three community workshops to preserve and document local history in Central Washington.  Julia Stringfellow, CWU archivist and professor, said the project aims to preserve family and community historical items from within Ellensburg, Toppenish with its rich Native American legacy, and Roslyn and its history of European immigration.

The grant was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage.

Posted: June 8, 2018 Pittsfield Students Look To Bridge Cultural Gaps

Two Pittsfield, Massachusetts high-schoolers are finding ways to educate their community about prejudice. Tuesday night, the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts in Pittsfield played host to One City, One County, One World.

“Basically, it’s about understanding people of different cultures and origins and their backgrounds, and all that comes with it so that we can have a more accepting environment," said Kamea Quetti, one of the event’s two organizers.

“This kind of just started out as a thing that my best friend Olivia and I — we’d been talking about cultural competency and everything like that, and about wanting to start a club at our school, and that was our own little thing," Quetti told WAMC. "And then someone reached out to us and had us do a workshop about it at MCLA, which then moved into today, what we’re doing. It’s the same idea, but we have two hours today, so we’re trying to get more in-depth and basically open the eyes of people in our community and try and bring our community more together.”

Olivia Nda is Kamea’s best friend and co-organizer. They’re seniors at Pittsfield High School.

The event was organized by Toni Buckley, who works with Berkshire Immigrant Stories, a Berkshire Community College project funded by Mass Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Posted: June 8, 2018 Presentations on US constitutional rights in the territories
Marianas Variety News

The CNMI Bar Association in partnership with the U.S. District Court for the NMI are hosting presentations by Chief Judge Gustavo A. Gelpi on “U.S. Constitutional Rights in the Territories and the CNMI.”

U.S. District Judge Gustavo A Gelpi was appointed to the federal bench by President George W. Bush in 2006. He is currently the chief judge of the United States District Court in Puerto Rico. Previously he served as U.S. magistrate judge and solicitor general for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Both as a judge and attorney, he has authored opinions and argued cases involving matters pertaining to the constitutional relationship of Puerto Rico with the United States. Judge Gelpi is the author of various articles about the historical and legal status of U.S. territories, and recently published a book about the subject, “The Constitutional Evolution of Puerto Rico and Other U.S. Territories 1898-Present.” He has also offered a law school course about the U.S. territories at the University of Puerto Rico, Interamerican University, Pontifical Catholic University and University of Hawai’i. Judge Gelpi was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and is a graduate of Brandeis University and Suffolk University Law School.

Presentations will take place on Friday, July 6, beginning with a Continuing Legal Education or CLE presentation for attorneys from 1:30 to  4:30 p.m., followed by a free community presentation at the American Memorial Park Visitors Center Theater from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

These presentations are made possible by funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities through a grant award from the Northern Marianas Humanities Council.

Posted: June 7, 2018 North Jersey Jewish Historical Society Receives Prestigious National Grant
Jewish Link of New Jersey

The Jewish Historical Society of North Jersey was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: The Preservation Assistance Grant for Smaller Institutions. This particular grant helps small and mid-sized libraries, museums, historical societies, archival repositories, cultural organizations, town and county records offices and colleges and universities improve their ability to preserve and care for their significant humanities collections. The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is a federal agency that supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities by funding selected peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation.

Board member Alison Faubert said, “I am so pleased. This is a very competitive grant. It is confirmation of the really amazing good work of our founders in 1982, that continues to this day with devoted volunteers, generous donors and an active supportive membership. We are a history society with a bright future. It was the perfect time to address preservation policies and goals.”

Dyani Fiege, the director of preservation services for the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts, traveled from Philadelphia to visit the Fair Lawn headquarters of the society. Fiege spent the day with staff and board members in the collection storage areas and exhibit rooms, examining the historical society’s current practices and future preservation needs. The $6,000 NEH grant paid for a pre-visit survey, the visit of this expert and a full report she will make to the society of her findings.

Posted: June 4, 2018 Jill Ker Conway, trailblazing historian and Smith College president, dies at 83
Washington Post

Jill Ker Conway -  2012 National Humanities Medalist

Jill Ker Conway, a historian who chronicled the role of women in American society and then made history of her own, serving as the first female president of Smith College and one of the first female board members of several major corporations, died June 1 at her home in Boston. She was 83.

In a wide-ranging career, Dr. Conway was an accomplished scholar who focused on early-20th-century women’s reformers but later wrote a trio of critically acclaimed memoirs, beginning with “The Road From Coorain” (1989). New York Times reviewer Verlyn Klinkenborg described it as “the work of a writer who relentlessly tugs at the cultural fences around her until they collapse, leaving her solitary under an immense Australian sky, enlarged to herself at last.”

In 2013, she was named a Companion of the Order of Australia, one of that country’s highest honors, and received the National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama.

Posted: May 31, 2018 New chairman of the NEH a Mississippi native
Mississippi Business Journal

Jon Parrish Peede, the new chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), is a native of Mississippi who moved to Washington D.C. 15 years ago when President George W. Bush appointed him to a position at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

“Virginia has been my state of residence since and is where my wife Nancy and I raised our daughter,” Peede said “But when the Trump White House asked me to write down the state to be affiliated with on my official nomination before the U.S. Senate, I did not write the Commonwealth of Virginia. Rather, I wrote: “Jon Parrish Peede of Mississippi.”

Founded in 1965, NEH is an independent grant-making institution of the U.S. government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities.

Peede was born and raised in Brandon. Since his father was a surgeon and his mother was director of medical records, he loved medicine during his youth and went to Vanderbilt University to prepare for a medical career. During high school, he interned at Rankin General Hospital in the surgery ward. During college, he worked for a summer at the VA Hospital in Jackson and worked part-time at the nephrology lab at Vanderbilt during the school year.

But he eventually decided that his calling was to a writer and editor, not a doctor.

Posted: May 31, 2018 ‘Stories of Summer’ seeks historical memorabilia, reflections

Saugatuck-Douglas History Center’s first “Stories of Summer” History Harvest, seeking local historical memorabilia and personal reflections of Saugatuck in the 1950-80 time frame, opens Saturday, June 2, at the Old School House, 130 Center St. in Douglas. From 9 a.m.-4 p.m., anyone with materials to share or stories to tell are welcome to stop by.

Volunteers from Saugatuck-Douglas History Center and the Kutsche Office of Local History at Grand Valley State University will team up to conduct oral history interviews and receive materials brought in by anyone who lived around here or visited this area during the mid- to late-1900s. Special equipment will be set up to photograph or scan submitted materials for digitizing as additions to S-DHC archives; originals will either be accepted if donated, or returned to their owners.

Oral history interview sessions must be scheduled in advance by phone to 269-857-5751 or by email to info[at]sdhistoricalsociety[dot]org. For broader accommodation, sessions also may be scheduled between 9 a.m. and noon the following Monday through Wednesday, June 4-6. Oral history providers will receive a digital recording of their interviews on USB drive.

Supported by a $12,000 grant awarded to the Kutsche Office by the National Endowment for the Humanities through its “Common Heritage” program, the S-DHC project shares $250,000 in NEH funding for 23 similar projects nationwide, all aimed at capturing America’s cultural heritage “hidden” in personal life stories, family histories, photo albums, newspaper clippings and other home memorabilia.

Posted: May 31, 2018 History Museum Honors Greensboro’s Own Harlem Renaissance Painter Malvin Gray Johnson, June 6
Yes! Weekly

Malvin Gray Johnson may be one of the most important Greensboro-born artists you’ve never heard of. Johnson fought in WWI and went on to become a significant figure in the Harlem Renaissance movement before his tragic death in 1934 at age 38. Johnson’s artistic career and legacy will be the focus of the 2018 John B. Dortch Memorial Lecture at 7 pm, Wednesday, June 6 at the Greensboro History Museum, 130 Summit Ave.

Johnson left Greensboro at age 16 to study painting in New York, eventually entering the renowned National Academy of Design. He was drafted during WWI and fought in the segregated 92nd Infantry Division in France. Today, his paintings are in the collections of New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center, Fisk University Galleries in Nashville and the Amistad Research Center, New Orleans.

Discussing Johnson’s life and art is Kenneth Rodgers, Director of the North Carolina Central University Museum of Art in Durham. Rodgers curated a retrospective of Johnson’s work at NCCU in 2002, resulting in an award-winning publication, Climbing up the Mountain: The Modern Art of Malvin Gray Johnson. Educated in Greensboro – Rodgers earned a B.S. from North Carolina A&T State University and an M.F.A. from UNCG ­– he is the recipient of National Endowment for the Humanities and Fulbright-Hays Awards and has contributed exhibition catalog essays on artists Jacob Lawrence, Elizabeth Catlett and Robert Scott Duncanson.

Posted: May 31, 2018 Words Project roundtable looks at impact of Estey Organ Co. on consumer culture
The Commons, Vermont

The Brattleboro Words Project’s next monthly Roundtable Discussion will examine the history of Jacob Estey and how the famous Estey Organ Company helped shape American consumer culture and promote Brattleboro internationally.  Dennis Waring, author of Manufacturing the Muse: Estey Organs and Consumer Culture in Victorian America, will lead the discussion. 

Although there were many manufacturers of reed organs, Estey’s dominance in the market was due in large part to the company’s innovations in both design and marketing. Estey organs accompanied Christian missionaries throughout the world and spread the Brattleboro name far and wide.

“Jacob Estey’s use of period imagery was the most influential element in his advertising,” Waring said, “but his exploitation of standard marketing phraseology — the largest, most perfect, new, improved, worldwide — made a deep impression on developing consumer mentality and advertising itself.”

The Roundtable Discussion Series is presented by the Brattleboro Words Project, a multi-year collaboration between the Brattleboro Historical Society, Brattleboro Literary Festival, Write Action, Brooks Memorial Library, and Marlboro College and is backed by a National Endowment for the Humanities matching grant.