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Courtesy of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Courtesy of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

NEH Announces $22.2 Million for 224 Humanities Projects Nationwide

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced that it is awarding $22.2 million in grants to 224 humanities projects across the United States. The funds being distributed in this grant cycle are separate from the $75 million that the NEH will receive from the federal government as part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act to assist cultural institutions and individuals affected by the coronavirus pandemic. NEH chairman Jon Parrish Peede confirmed that all of the COVID-19 relief funding will be given to grantees—it will not go toward the agency’s operational expenses—and will be bestowed on a rolling basis.

Among the grantees sharing the $22.2 million are the Portland Museum of Art, which will organize a traveling exhibition dedicated to painter Winslow Homer; the Norman Rockwell Museum, which will hold a show on the artist’s “Four Freedoms” series; and the Brooklyn Museum, which is planning a touring exhibition of its collection of Hopi Katsina dolls. The Seattle Art Museum will also receive support for the digitization of three thousand audiovisual recordings; the Jewish Film Institute will create a documentary based on the life of Rywka Lipszyc, a fourteen-year-old girl whose diary was discovered in the rubble of an Auschwitz crematorium in 1945; and the Walt Whitman Archive, which will expand access to digital scholarship related to the poet.

“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 Peede. “These 224 projects exemplify the spirit of the humanities and their power to educate, enrich, and enlighten.”

This funding cycle also includes the first grants made under NEH’s new Short Documentaries grant program, which features a grant award for a series of thirty-minute films about historic rural churches in the South; the Veteran to Scholar boot camp at East Carolina University, which will assist returning veterans in their transition to university life; and the NEH Summer Stipends for scholars, which will support archival research for more than one hundred publications, including a study on the social, political, and religious factors that influenced local responses to the 1918 influenza epidemic in Europe. Other Public Program grants will fund the 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.