Humanities Endowment Awards $981,000 for 17 Media Projects

WASHINGTON, (October 7, 2004)

One recognized as a We the People project

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced that documentary filmmakers and radio programmers in eight states and the District of Columbia will receive nearly $1 million for 17 television and radio projects in the humanities. The largest grant, $350,000 awarded to Public Radio International in Minneapolis, Minn., for a radio series on "icons" of American culture, has been named a We the People project, a special recognition by the NEH for model projects that advance the study, teaching, and understanding of American history and culture.

"These media projects bring to broad audiences the best possible collaboration of humanities scholars with talented filmmakers and radio programmers," said NEH Chairman Bruce Cole. "These productions, when completed, will offer new insights and greater understanding of important humanities topics to audiences across the nation."

Eleven of the grants announced today will support consultation by filmmakers or radio programmers with humanities scholars; three will support script and program development; and three others will support production costs.

NEH awarded radio production grants to Kitchen Sisters Productions in San Francisco, Calif., for a series of 13 short segments and a one-hour program exploring the role and symbolism of food in American society and culture; Public Radio International for six one-hour programs and 12 feature segments, each examining a single classic work of American literature, music, film, architecture, theater, or visual arts; and World Music Productions in Brooklyn, N.Y., for 26 original programs that interpret the music and culture of Africa, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and the Americas.

Radio program development grants were awarded to WBEZ Alliance in Chicago, Ill., for "Odyssey," a daily program that engages humanities scholars in an hour-long conversation focused on a single topic; Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul for the series, "Speaking of Faith," a series of one-hour programs profiling influential figures in American cultural and religious history; and Anglo-American Radio Drama Co. in New York City for two programs about the Tristan legend based on the medieval romances of Gottfried von Strassburg and Thomas of Britain.

The Endowment awarded consultation grants to Pomona College in Claremont, Calif.; KCET-TV in Los Angeles; California Newsreel in San Francisco; New River Education Fund in Washington, D.C.; Appalshop, Inc., in Whitesburg, Ky.; Michigan State University in East Lansing; Minnesota Public Radio; International Center for Global Communications in New York City; Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland for two projects; and the Society for American Music in Pittsburgh, Pa. A complete list of NEH media grants is available in the above box.

The Endowment's We the People initiative was announced by President Bush in a Rose Garden Ceremony in September 2002.

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