An animated short documentary series about female trailblazers in the Progressive Era, a biography of Sacagawea and a project analyzing materials excavated from the overseer’s quarters at James Madison’s Montpelier estate in Virginia are among the 215 recipients of new grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The grants, which make up the third and final round of funding for the fiscal year, total $29 million, and will support projects in 45 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. An additional $48 million was awarded to the national network of state and territorial humanities councils for annual operating support.
“As the nation prepares to commemorate its 250th anniversary in 2026, N.E.H. is proud to help lay the foundations for public engagement with America’s past by funding projects that safeguard cultural heritage and advance our understanding of the events, ideas and people that have shaped our nation,” Jon Parrish Peede, the endowment’s chairman, said in a statement.
In New York, funding will go toward an exhibition about the history and cultural impact of video games at the Strong Museum in Rochester, and support for summer institutes for K-12 teachers at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on the history and technology of the Cold War. The New York City Department of Records will also receive a grant to improve storage at the New York City Municipal Archives for manuscripts, audiovisual materials, architectural records, photographs and maps that document the city’s history from 1645 to the present.
Elsewhere, Puerto Rico’s Ponce Museum of Art will receive a grant to help improve environmental controls, with a particular focus on strategies for responding to natural disasters like Hurricane Maria, for its European, African and American art collections. Funding will also go toward developing public programs at the home of Emily Dickinson in Amherst, Mass. Media projects like a three-part documentary on the history of Alaska and a television series examining the food, history and culture of the American South will also receive funding.
The latest round of grants will also support several longstanding N.E.H. projects, like continued work on the speeches and writings of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Eleanor Roosevelt, and the papers of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.
The N.E.H. has been targeted by the Trump administration, which called for its elimination for the third year in a row in the proposed 2020 fiscal budget in March. Despite the call for the closure of the N.E.H., as well as of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Institute of Museum and Library Services in his first two budget plans, Congress funded the agencies on both occasions. Last year, the N.E.H. and the N.E.A. both received a slight increase in funding of about $3 million each.