An online archive relating to the fight for women’s suffrage; preservation of the papers of the writer Eudora Welty; a project to provide public access to hundreds of hours of interviews made for the landmark civil-rights documentary “Eyes on the Prize”; and restoration of the historic Christ Church, in Philadelphia, which once counted Betsy Ross and George Washington among its members are among the recipients of new grants from the National Endowment of the Humanities.
The grants, which total $28.6 million, support 233 projects across the country, including individual scholarly projects and large institutional ones. They were announced two weeks after the Trump administration released a proposed budget for fiscal 2020 that called for closure of the agency, whose activities were described as lying outside of “core federal responsibilities.”
That proposed closure, the third effort in three years, would require Congressional action, which is widely seen as unlikely to happen. But in a statement announcing the new grants, the endowment’s chairman, Jon Parrish Peede, emphasized the broad value of its mission.
The supported projects “will help shore up the nation’s most valuable assets: its history literature, historic sites, regional traditions and cultural institutes,” Mr. Peede said.
[Read more about Mr. Peede here.]
Some projects involve veterans and military life, like plans by a team at Virginia Tech to digitize a collection of 65,000 handwritten survey responses by World War II soldiers, collected by the Army between 1941 and 1945. Another grant will support a national “Warrior Chorus” initiative at Aquila Theater in New York, which is organizing discussion groups and other events for military veterans in connection with a staged reading of “The Odyssey” set to tour 24 cities.
Other groups of grants focus on the preservation of endangered Native American and other languages, or on support for new humanities curriculums at colleges, like the creation of a minor in Appalachian studies at West Virginia Wesleyan College.