William R. Ferris, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), today announced the awarding of 259 NEH grants totaling $17.2 million. The grants -- the first of three rounds of awards that will take place in fiscal year 2000 -- will create new opportunities for Americans from all walks of life to learn about the humanities in museums, libraries, schools and universities, and on public television and radio.
"The new NEH grants will help keep our cultural institutions strong and creative," said Chairman Ferris. "We are supporting reading and discussion programs, exhibitions, film and radio programs, K-12 curriculum development and scholarly research. Americans of all ages -- students and adults alike -- will benefit from these programs, which will explore the nation's stories and help build bridges of understanding between our country's past, present and future."
Among the projects funded this round are "model humanities projects" in 14 states. These 14 states and Puerto Rico have been identified as parts of the country that have not benefited as fully as others from NEH programs and are the focus of an NEH initiative called Extending the Reach. The 14 projects, totaling $280,000, will enable local cultural organizations, such as museums, historical societies and schools, to reach new audiences by rethinking their collections or educational programs and by forging partnerships that will expand the organizations' impact in their communities. The grants were awarded to the state humanities councils in Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Washington and Wyoming.
Also awarded this round are challenge grants to 26 cultural institutions that will build long-term stability for their humanities programs. Challenge grants, which the institutions must match by 3 or 4 to 1, can be used in a variety of ways, including renovation of buildings where educational programs take place or collections are displayed, endowment for curatorial positions in museums or scholars-in-residence at research centers, endowment for research programs in historical societies or public programs in libraries, and endowment for acquisition of books or artifacts.
NEH fellowships have also been awarded to 172 college teachers, university professors and independent scholars for research on topics in the humanities. By supporting talented researchers, NEH fellowship grants help create new knowledge in all fields of the humanities, including history, literature and philosophy.
Individual grants lists are available from the Grants and Applications page. Programs and number of projects funded this round are:
Challenge grants (26) $11,515,000
- Awarded to universities, public libraries, research centers, museums, state humanities councils.
Research fellowships to individual scholars (172) $5,160,000
Public programs (61) $550,000
- Extending the Reach -- model humanities projects (14) $280,000
- consultation grants for film and radio projects and museum exhibitions (27) $250,000
- library reading-and-discussion projects (20) $20,000
NEH grants are awarded on a competitive basis. Throughout the year, humanities experts outside of the Endowment assess all applications and judge the quality and significance of each proposed project.