NEH awards $28.1 million in grants to U.S. humanities projects

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The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), an independent federal agency, recently announced that they will offer U.S. humanities projects grants totaling $28.1 million, according to an NEH press release. Grant awards are meant to “support humanities initiatives at college campuses, conservation research, innovative digital resources, and infrastructure projects,” the press release said.  

The grants will be distributed to 204 humanities projects in numerous U.S. states and territories, with tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars going to each project. A complete list of the projects and their respective grant amounts can be found on NEH’s website.  

NEH is an agency that aims to support efforts relating to history, literature, philosophy and other fields in the humanities. According to their website, NEH is one of the largest funders of U.S. humanities programs, and they focus on funding various cultural institutions.  

“NEH grants typically go to cultural institutions, such as museums, archives, libraries, colleges, universities, public television, and radio stations, and to individual scholars,” says their website.  

NEH Chair Shelly Lowe believes the projects contribute to the engagement of humanities ideas and practitioners across the United States.  

“The range, diversity, and creativity of these new projects speak to the wealth of humanities ideas and deep engagement of humanities practitioners across our country,” said Lowe. “From Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Hilo, Hawai‘i, NEH funding reaches thousands of towns and communities, supporting local organizations, fostering creative projects, and providing access to high-quality humanities for all Americans.”  

The majority of grants will be used to further research in humanities and increase accessibility of educational resources and programs. Other grants will go toward the creation of a virtual museum, which includes a virtual model of “Jane Austen’s desk,” according to NEH.  

“Jane Austen’s Desk [is] an immersive web platform that will let users explore Austen’s writings, personal artifacts, and historical documents within a recreated interior of the writer’s home,” explains the press release.  

Sixteen of the NEH grants, which are new this year, are expected to provide funding for “private investment in capital improvement projects at historical and cultural institutions [in the U.S.,” as stated in the press release. One such grant, for instance, will support restoration and structural upgrades to the Freedom Tower in Miami, Florida, and another will fund renovations to a children’s museum in New York.  

The remainder of grants will apparently support writing projects on various topics and 29 educational institutions across the country.  

Another new addition to NEH’s grants this year is a “special initiative,” called American Tapestry: Weaving Together Past, Present, and Future, which will allow for investments supporting civics education, as well as literacy in media and information.  

The grants are to be separated into 10 categories: Awards for Faculty; Digital Humanities Advancement; Digital Projects for the Public; Fellowships; Fellowships for Advanced Social Science Research on Japan; Humanities Initiatives; Infrastructure and Capacity Building; NEH-Mellon Fellowships; Preservation and Access Research and Development; and Preservation Education and Training. The full list can be found in the press release.  

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