Humanities Endowment Announces Challenge Grants

WASHINGTON, (February 28, 2005)


The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced that 19 U.S. cultural institutions will receive NEH Challenge Grants.

These new challenge grants, which require the institutions receiving them to match the federal funds on a 4-to-1 or 3-to-1 basis, are offered only when NEH funds will make a significant improvement in humanities programs, help institutions carry out long-term plans for strengthening their basic resources and activities in the humanities, and enhance financial stability through increased nonfederal support. If successful in raising the required $31.3 million in matching funds, the 19 institutions will receive more than $9.2 million in federal funds from NEH. Together the federal and nonfederal funds will provide $40.5 million in new funds to support the humanities. A list of the awards is available as a 4-page PDF in the above box.

"NEH Challenge Grants recognize the commitment of all these institutions to their humanities programs," said Cole. "By playing a part in encouraging these institutions to meet the challenge of generating support from individual, foundation, and corporate donors, NEH funds, when matched by nonfederal funds, will reap significant, long-term benefits in the cultural life of our nation." Institutions receiving their first NEH Challenge Grant must raise from nonfederal donors three times the amount offered. Recipients of subsequent challenge grant awards are required to raise four times the amount offered. In most cases, recipients have 56 months to raise funds from nonfederal sources.

The following institutions are among those receiving new NEH Challenge Grants:

  • Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, Delray Beach, Fla., will receive up to $500,000 in NEH funds that must be matched 3-to-1. The funds raised will provide an endowment for the position of Director of Education and for humanities programming.
  • Kidscommons: Columbus Community Children's Museum, Columbus, Ind., will receive up to $350,000 in NEH funds that must be matched 3-to-1. Funds raised will support renovation of exhibition and program space and an endowment for humanities programming.
  • Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, Calif., will receive up to $400,000 in NEH funds that must be matched 4-to-1. The funds raised will support an endowment for a faculty chair in Islamic studies, an adjunct appointment in Hebrew, student research, library acquisitions, and a faculty/student/community retreat.

NEH grants are awarded on a competitive basis. Throughout the year, humanities experts outside of the Endowment and members of the National Council on the Humanities consider all applications and advise NEH on the quality and significance of each proposed project.

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