National Initiative Will Provide More Cultural Programs for Underserved U.S. Audiences

WASHINGTON, (February 15, 2000)

National Endowment for the Humanities targets specific regions and institutions for more funding

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has launched a new initiative called Extending the Reach designed to increase the quantity and quality of cultural programs in underserved regions of the United States and at underserved institutions of higher education.

The targeted regions are 14 states (Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming) and one U.S. territory (Puerto Rico). The targeted institutions of higher education are historically black, Hispanic-serving, and tribal colleges and universities.

Under Extending the Reach, NEH seeks applications from schools, humanities organizations, and film and radio producers in the designated states and territory and from the designated colleges and universities.

"The mission of the National Endowment for the Humanities is to reach all Americans through the schools and cultural organizations that enrich our lives," NEH Chairman William Ferris said. "The Extending the Reach initiative will advance that mission by expanding the impact of NEH funding in areas and at institutions generally underserved by the Endowment's programs in the past. The humanities belong to everyone, and Extending the Reach will significantly broaden access to excellent cultural programs for all Americans wherever they live or study."

Extending the Reach program descriptions, application guidelines, and contact information are now posted on NEH's website: NEH contacts for the Extending the Reach initiative are (for state/territory inquiries) Karen Mittelman, 202/606-8631, @email, and (for inquiries regarding historically black, Hispanic-serving, and tribal colleges) Fred Winter, 202/606-8287, @email.

Applications from the designated states and Puerto Rico are encouraged in the following program areas:

  • Humanities Scholar-in-Residence Grants (application deadline: April 3), available for middle and high schools seeking to improve their humanities curricula.
  • Consultation Grants (application deadline: May 1), available for museums, historical societies, other cultural organizations, public radio and television stations, and independent filmmakers seeking to develop or enhance public humanities programs.
  • Preservation Assistance Grants (application deadline: April 3), available for libraries, archives, museums, and historical societies seeking to improve care of their humanities collections.

Applications from historically black, Hispanic-serving, and tribal colleges and universities nationwide are encouraged in the following program areas:

  • Faculty Research Grants (application deadline: April 10), available for professors.
  • Institutional Grants (application deadline: June 1), available to develop programs and strengthen institutional resources.

The Extending the Reach initiative was launched last November with the awarding of grants to the state humanities councils in each of the 14 designated states. Each council received $20,000 to develop a humanities project with at least two partner institutions that can serve as a model for collaborative work in the humanities.

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