National Endowment for the Humanities Announces New Grants

National Endowment for the Humanities Announces New Grants

A documentary about the singer and civil rights activist Marian Anderson, a museum exhibition dedicated to Norman Rockwell’s “The Four Freedoms,” a digital archive dedicated to Walt Whitman and a dictionary of dialects spoken by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians are among the 224 projects across the country to receive new grants from the National Endowment of the Humanities.

The grants, which total $22.2 million, support both individual scholarly projects and large institutional collaborations, all of which, the agency’s chairman, Jon Parrish Peede, said in a statement, “exemplify the spirit of the humanities and their power to educate, enrich and enlighten,” particularly in difficult 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,” he said.

The awards, which are part of the agency’s regular cycle of grants, come several weeks after the N.E.H. received $75 million in supplemental funding as part of the $2.2 trillion stimulus package. Mr. Peede has guaranteed that 100 percent of that funding will be distributed directly to grantees, rather than covering the agency’s operational expenses, the agency said.

The projects receiving grants include a series of 30-minute films about rural historic churches in the South, supported as part of a new effort to back short documentary films. There are also awards for a film about the legacy of L. Frank Baum, the author of “The Wizard of Oz,” and a documentary on the life of Rywka Lipszyc, a 14-year-old girl whose diary was discovered in the rubble of Auschwitz in 1945.

Another new class of grants, dedicated to chronicling the experience of war, supports a Veteran to Scholar Bootcamp at East Carolina University and a discussion program at Messiah College in Pennsylvania dedicated to the experiences of women in the United States military.

The grants also include several connected with planning for the 250th celebration of America’s founding, in 2026, as well as several grants supporting exploration of little-known chapters of American history, like one dedicated to an exhibition at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia chronicling the short-lived equal voting rights of women in New Jersey in the decades after independence.


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