Today, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced 253 recipients of $12.8 million in outright and matching grants to support individuals or institutions pursuing humanities preservation, research, and innovation projects across the country. The awarded money will supplement private and public funding of initiatives that range from the creation of a database to study architectural floor plans, to the study of Ghana's first planned city, to the renovation of a local museum.
“The humanities offer us a path toward understanding ourselves, our neighbors, our nation,” said NEH acting chairman Jon Parrish Peede in a press release. “These new NEH grants exemplify the agency’s commitment to serving American communities through investing in education initiatives, safeguarding cultural treasures, and illuminating the history and values that define our shared heritage.”
The future of the government agency still hangs in the balance following President Donald Trump’s March proposal to eliminate both the NEH and the National Endowment for the Arts as part of his 2018 budget. Though the House Appropriations Committee did pass a 2018 budget bill in July that allots $145 million to each endowment through the end of next year, the bill is currently on the Senate’s calendar awaiting floor actions.
A selection of winning projects are shown below, and the full list can be found here.
Title: Digital Floor Plan Database: A New Method for Analyzing Architecture
Institution: Baylor University, Waco, Texas
Project Description: The continued development of a prototype of an analytical tool and database to allow humanities scholars and students to comparatively study architectural floor plans. The test case would be a collection of floor plans by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright from the Alexander Architectural Archives at the University of Texas, Austin.
Funding: $72,390 (Outright)
Title: Investigating Where We Live
Institution: National Building Museum, Washington, D.C.
Project Description: Investigating Where We Live, a museum-centered program in which middle and high school students from the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area examine the people, places, and history that shape their communities.
Funding: $50,000 (Matching)
Title: Open House Chicago Teen Ambassadors
Institution: Chicago Architecture Foundation
Project Description: A program to involve 32 teens from minority and low-income groups in the study of the architectural history of Chicago's neighborhoods.
Funding: $50,000 (Matching)
Title: Renovation Preservation Assessment and Plan
Institution: The Valentine, Richmond, Va.
Project Description: Hiring of a preservation consultant to assess current conditions in areas of the museum targeted for renovation and ultimately to provide recommendations for inclusion in the renovation design plan.
Funding: $6,000 (Outright)
Title: State Planning and Urban Life in Western Ghana, 1900–1970
Grantee: Nathan Plageman, Wake Forest University
Project Description: A book-length study of Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana's first planned city, under both British and Ghanaian rule.
Funding: $33,600 (Outright)
Title: Heritage and the Great Depression: How Historic Preservation Created the Old South
Grantee: Paul Kapp, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Project Description: Research and writing a book-length history of the preservation of antebellum landmarks in Natchez, Miss., during the 1930s.
Funding: $50,400 (Outright)