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Grant number: TR-228469-15

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WNET (New York, NY 10019-7416)
Michael Kantor (Project Director: August 2014 to present)

I've Gotta Be Me: The Many Lives of Sammy Davis, Jr.

The production of a documentary film and website chronicling the life of entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr.

WNET is seeking a production grant from the NEH for a multi-platform project about the life and influence of Sammy Davis, Jr. on the cultural and political landscape of America. The centerpiece of the project is a documentary biography of Sammy Davis, Jr. entitled "I've Gotta Be Me: The Many Lives of Sammy Davis, Jr." that will be broadcast in the fall of 2016 or in early 2017 as part of WNET's "American Masters" series. Davis was not only universally considered to be one of the finest entertainers of the twentieth century, but was also at forefront of the rapidly shifting social currents of civil rights and race relations. This would be the first documentary to consider seriously Davis' quest for personal identity as a multi-faceted entertainer whose trajectory blazed across the major flashpoints of American society from the Depression to the 1980s.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Media Projects Production

Public Programs

Total amounts:
$500,000 (approved)
$500,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2015 – 6/30/2019