NEH Announces $22.2 Million for 224 Humanities Projects Nationwide. Why?

Seriously, is it the role of the government to produce documentaries or movies about Marian Anderson or Frank Baum, the author of the Wizard of Oz.   Yup, that is where your tax dollars are going.  I love the idea of an organization promoting our heritage and culture.  But that is the role of the private sector, the non profit sector.  While folks are homeless, vets having a hard time, illegal aliens easily getting into our nation, the role of government is to provide basic services.

“Several grants awarded today support the development, production, and distribution of radio and television programs, documentary films, and podcasts that bring the humanities to public audiences. Among these are grants for a two-hour film on author L. Frank Baum and the legacy of his classic novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and for a documentary on the life of Rywka Lipszyc, a 14-year-old girl whose diary was discovered in the rubble of the Auschwitz crematorium in 1945.

This funding cycle also includes the first grants made under NEH’s new Short Documentaries grant program, which includes a grant award for a series of 30-minute films about historic rural churches in the South. Other Public Program grants will fund production of the Kitchen Sisters’ podcast series “The Keepers,” which tells the stories of archivists, librarians, curators, and historians and the humanities collections in their care.

More proof that government picks winners and losers.  At the end of the day, all of us needing better health care, quality education, drivable roads are the losers.  Like the funding of NPR and the Kennedy Center, this is not the role of government—get back to basics.

NEH Announces $22.2 Million for 224 Humanities Projects Nationwide

National Endowment for the Humanities, press release,  4/7/20  

Grant awards support the preservation of historical collections, humanities exhibitions and documentaries, scholarly research, and curriculum projects.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 7, 2020) — The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced $22.2 million in grants for 224 humanities projects across the country. These grants will enable the production of a 90-minute documentary on singer and civil rights pioneer Marian Anderson, support a Norman Rockwell Museum exhibition on Rockwell’s Four Freedoms series, and bolster the digital infrastructure of the Walt Whitman Archive to allow greater access to this online scholarly repository.

“In these somber times, when every individual, community, and organization in America is feeling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, it is a joy to be able to announce new projects that will produce vibrant humanities programs and resources for the reopening of our cultural centers and educational institutions,” said NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede. “These 224 projects exemplify the spirit of the humanities and their power to educate, enrich, and enlighten.”

A number of projects were funded under NEH’s “A More Perfect Union” initiative, which supports efforts that promote a deeper understanding of U.S. history and culture and that advance civics education in preparation for the nation’s 250th anniversary in 2026.  These include the “Held in Trust” cooperative agreement with the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation to evaluate the state of cultural heritage conservation in the United States, and a grant to support development of new interpretive tours and exhibition galleries at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.

Several grants awarded today support the development, production, and distribution of radio and television programs, documentary films, and podcasts that bring the humanities to public audiences. Among these are grants for a two-hour film on author L. Frank Baum and the legacy of his classic novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and for a documentary on the life of Rywka Lipszyc, a 14-year-old girl whose diary was discovered in the rubble of the Auschwitz crematorium in 1945.

This funding cycle also includes the first grants made under NEH’s new Short Documentaries grant program, which includes a grant award for a series of 30-minute films about historic rural churches in the South. Other Public Program grants will fund production of the Kitchen Sisters’ podcast series “The Keepers,” which tells the stories of archivists, librarians, curators, and historians and the humanities collections in their care.

Newly funded projects include the cataloging and digitization of archival objects, photographs, and films at Seattle’s Museum of Flight, and the preservation of 540 hours of recorded Native Alaskan song, dance, and oratory from four decades of Sealaska Heritage Institute cultural festivals.

NEH Summer Stipends for scholars will enable archival research for more than 100 publications, including a biography of Founding Father John Jay, and a study on the social, political, and religious factors that influenced local responses to the 1918 influenza epidemic in Europe.

Also in this round of funding are grants to the Portland Museum of Art in Maine for a major traveling exhibition on the art of painter Winslow Homer and painter and sculptor Frederic Remington as a response to fin de siècle cultural changes; to the Museum of the American Revolution for an exhibition on women’s citizenship and voting rights in the Early American Republic; and to the Concord Museum for “At the Center of Revolution,” a new permanent exhibition, education materials, and public programs exploring the history of Concord, Massachusetts, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Additional grants will support a national discussion program centered around the NEH-funded documentary Free for All, about U.S. public libraries.

Education grants for curriculum innovation in the humanities will fund the integration of cultural and language studies into the engineering curriculum at Purdue University in Indiana. New NEH Dialogues on the Experience of War grants will support a “Veteran to Scholar Bootcamp” at East Carolina University to assist returning veterans in their transition to university life, and a humanities-based discussion program at Messiah College on the experiences of women in the U.S. military.

NEH Documenting Endangered Languages grants, administered in partnership with the National Science Foundation, will underwrite work on a dictionary documenting dialects of the Muskogean language spoken by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. And nine new NEH Fellowship Programs at Independent Research Institutions grants will fund fellowships for humanities scholars at libraries, museums, and centers for advanced study, such as the New-York Historical Society, the Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine, and the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture.

In addition, NEH made six new Chairman’s Grants since December 2019, totaling $168,452. Grantees include the Supreme Court Historical Society, which will receive $30,000 to create new content for its Landmark Cases website, a civics education tool used nationwide by secondary school educators and their students. Oglala Lakota College will receive a Chairman’s Grant of $28,516 to preserve and create access to unique audio and video collections held in its Woksape Tipi Archives and Tribal Repository, which document the tribe’s history and culture.

As recently announced, NEH also will receive $75 million in supplemental funding to assist cultural institutions and humanists affected by the coronavirus pandemic as part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act economic stabilization plan appropriated by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Donald J. Trump. NEH Chairman Peede has confirmed that 100 percent of this supplemental funding will be distributed to grantees; none will be used for the federal agency’s operational expenses. These emergency relief grants will be awarded on a rolling basis and will be announced separately.

A list of grants by geographic location is available here.

Information on recent Chairman’s Grants is available here.

Grants were awarded in the following categories:

Dialogues on the Experience of War  Support the study and discussion of important humanities sources about war and military service. 9 grants, totaling $809,851
Documenting Endangered Languages Fellowships and Preservation Grants    Joint initiative between NEH and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support fieldwork and other activities relevant to recording, preparation, and archiving endangered languages, as well as the preparation of transcriptions, databases, grammars, and lexicons of languages that are in danger of being lost. 6 grants, totaling $936,125
Fellowship Programs at Independent Research Institutions  Provide scholars with research time and access to resources beyond what is available at their home institutions.   9 grants, totaling $2.3 million
Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Grants    Allow institutions to preserve and provide access to collections essential to scholarship, education, and public programming in the humanities.   32 grants, totaling $7.7 million
Humanities Connections  Expand the role of the humanities in the undergraduate curriculum at two- and four-year institutions.   18 grants, totaling $881,453
Media Projects: Development and Production Grants  Support the preparation of media programs, including radio, podcast, television, and long-form documentary films, for distribution.   9 grants, totaling $2.7 million
Public Humanities Projects: Exhibitions   Support permanent, temporary single-site, and multi-venue traveling humanities exhibitions.   20 grants, totaling $4.8 million
Public Humanities Projects: Historic Places  Support the interpretation of historic sites, houses, neighborhoods, and regions.   2 grants, totaling $115,000
Public Humanities Projects: Humanities Discussions  Support one- to two-year-long series of communitywide public programs that are centered on one or more significant humanities resources, such as historical artifacts, artworks, literature, musical composition, or films.    1 grant, totaling $310,000
Short Documentaries  Support production and distribution of documentary films up to thirty minutes that engage audiences with humanities ideas.   2 grants, totaling $110,000
Summer Stipends   Support full-time work by a scholar on a humanities project for a period of two months.   108 grants, totaling $648,000
Chairman’s Grants  Support the public humanities and access to the nation’s cultural heritage, especially in the context of the Semiquincentennial of the United States.   6 grants, totaling $168,452

National Endowment for the HumanitiesCreated in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.  

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. Really??? says

    It is called PAYOLA. Simple when the nation is bending under a massive debt, increased by the 2 Trillion Dollar bailout why would even a red cent go to this type of junk?

    It is simple the Democrats and Socialists know that by buying off these people they have an ingrained political action committee. The Kennedy Center gets $25 Million and lays off people. Even Democrats should be outraged. Instead they sit back and smile as their Dictatorship continues to unfold.

  2. Gotta Gedada Displace says

    To the Program Applicants – Sorry, go try “GoFundMe.com”

    To the NEH SORRY – We have PRIORITIES like keeping people ALIVE Try “GoF***Yourself”

  3. JLSeagull says

    How in Hades are these projects going to be produced if all the technicians, actors and other staff are sheltering-in-place? At $5.00 per N95 mask, $22,5 M would buy 4.5 million masks for front-line healthcare workers. Nanny P and her toady Democraps in Congress surely have their priorities screwed up. But, hey, it just taxpayer money.

  4. Grrr… In Placerville we fought to save our Historic Firehouse and adjoining Historic Town Hall from our City Council that pretty much handed the these historic buildings off to a newly formed “Arts and Culture” group. This group wants to basically tear down the buildings and rebuild them for apartment flats and center for budding artists. These buildings are on the National Registry of Historic Places, but the City Council or the person running this new group does not care. The “Art & Culture” were able to acquire around $200,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts to study creating a new culture for our County. The Director came from the Pasadena Arts Council after moving more than $400,000 in funds she held for small arts organizations to general expenses without the member organizations’ knowledge or permission. We sent that to the NEA and they sent this lady the money anyway. I call the decision maker and asked why on earth would that award this women money after we sent all of the information of one her deeds in Pasadena and two they are not interested in preserving history or art. I made her cry and tell me she had to run to pick up kids… but they still gave away the money. We had 20 plus organizations that were ready to work together to restore these buildings and turn them into a fire museum and visitor’s center for downtown Placerville. Now the building are sitting there rotting while the Art and Culture Director sits on her computer looking for more grants. I was pretty disgusted that more funds were put into the Care Package for these people.

  5. 25,000,000 for Congress, you would think JUST ONCE they could put themselves aside, both parties, and think of someone else and take care of their urgent need! But no. Their selfishness is so embedded, so a part of them, they can’t let this “good crisis” go to waste.

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