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Funded Projects Query Form
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Program: Media Projects Production*
Date range: 2015-2018
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TR-259360-18

Radio Diaries (Brooklyn, NY 11201-8319)
Joe Kirk Richman (Project Director: August 2017 to present)

The History of Now

The production of eighteen radio documentaries, for broadcast and online distribution, exploring a wide range of events in U.S. history.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Journalism; U.S. History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$350,000 (approved)
$250,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
4/1/2018 – 4/30/2020


TR-259353-18

WNET (New York, NY 10019-7416)
Michael Kantor (Project Director: August 2017 to present)

American Masters—Mae West: I'm No Angel

Production of a documentary film about the writer and actress Mae West (1893–1980).

WNET is seeking a production grant from the NEH for a multi-platform project about the writer and actress Mae West, her extraordinary career and her untold impact on American entertainment and culture. The centerpiece of the project is a documentary biography of Mae West titled Mae West: I’m No Angel that will be broadcast in late 2019 or early 2020 as part of WNET’s American Masters series. Among the many entertainers who defined 20th century American show business, Mae West occupied a unique place. Over the course of an 80-year career that saw great acclaim in every major popular entertainment medium, West constantly challenged social norms with her unconventional female characters. Taking the full measure of her life and career reveals a singular artist who served as a kind of fever chart of changing social mores in 20th century America. Mae West: I’m No Angel will explore the life and legacy of this complex cultural figure who left an indelible imprint on American entertainment.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

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

Grant period:
5/1/2018 – 4/30/2021


TR-259189-18

Women in Film & Video, Inc. (Washington, DC 20016-1851)
Leola Calzolai-Stewart (Project Director: August 2017 to present)

Changing State: Black Diplomats, Civil Rights, and the Cold War

Production of a one-hour documentary about three African American men who broke the color line at the U.S. State Department in the years following World War II.

Changing State: Black Diplomats, Civil Rights, and the Cold War (working title) is a one-hour documentary about three African-American men who broke the color line at the U.S. State Department in the years following World War II. Our characters (Edward R. Dudley, Carl T. Rowan, and Terence Todman) helped dismantle long-standing color barriers in the Foreign Service yet were caught in the crossfire of the civil rights movement, Cold War politics and international public relations. Their diplomatic careers reveal the struggles inherent in representing a country that didn’t represent them. As African-American envoys of a segregated America, could they ignore the wrongs in their own country—and should they? They were pioneers, but pioneers with a problem: as they broke new ground, they were stepping into quicksand. Changing State is intended for national public television broadcast, with a strong educational tie-in and curriculum package.

Project fields:
African American History; Diplomatic History; U.S. History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$450,000 (approved)
$450,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2019 – 10/31/2020


TR-259293-18

University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA 22903-4833)
Kevin McFadden (Project Director: August 2017 to April 2018)
David Stenhouse (Project Director: April 2018 to present)

Classroom Connections

Production of fifty-two radio episodes accompanied by an educational outreach campaign.

Project fields:
History, General; U.S. History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$460,000 (approved)
$460,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2018 – 6/30/2020


TR-261087-18

Filmmakers Collaborative, Inc. (Melrose, MA 02176-3933)
Kathryn P. Dietz (Project Director: January 2018 to present)

Cartooning America: The Fleischer Brothers Story

Production of a sixty-minute documentary film about the family of animators who created such iconic early cartoon characters as Koko the Clown, Popeye the Sailor Man, and Betty Boop.

Project fields:
Film History and Criticism; Media Studies; U.S. History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

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

Grant period:
9/1/2018 – 6/30/2019


TR-261094-18

Inside Out Media (Oakland, CA 94610-1839)
Marc Shaffer (Project Director: January 2018 to present)

Splitting the Second: The Brilliant, Eccentric Life of Eadweard Muybridge

Production of a ninety-minute documentary chronicling the life and work of the nineteenth-century photographer Eadweard Muybridge.

This is a request for an NEH production grant to support an unprecedented multi-platform documentary film and public education project on Eadweard Muybridge, the 19th century photographer who was the first to photograph an object moving faster than the eye can see, fundamentally changing our world. The documentary will reach a broad audience via festivals, theatrical release, domestic and international broadcast and/or streaming, and special public screenings, including at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford, the University of Pennsylvania, the Kingston Museum, and the Yosemite Conservancy, which will present a special event in the park. An interactive website will provide viewers with 4D experiences, ample resources on Muybridge and his technological context, and bonus interviews. An educational symposium at Stanford and an exhibit to mark the 150th anniversary of Muybridge’s Alaska photographs are planned to build excitement and engage key audiences.

Project fields:
American Studies; History and Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Medicine; Media Studies

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

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

Grant period:
8/1/2018 – 4/30/2020


TR-261123-18

Public Radio International, Inc. (Minneapolis, MN 55401-2097)
Melinda Ward (Project Director: January 2018 to present)

American Oral History Project: LBJ's Great Society & Richard Nixon's War

Production of two radio documentaries and twelve podcasts exploring the Johnson and Nixon presidencies from 1963 to mid-1975.

Project fields:
Political History; U.S. History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$301,331 (approved)
$301,331 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2018 – 6/30/2020


TR-261049-18

Twin Cities Public Television, Inc. (St. Paul, MN 55101-1492)
Michael Rosenfeld (Project Director: January 2018 to present)

Laura Ingalls Wilder: Prairie Legend

Production of a ninety-minute documentary film chronicling the life, work, and cultural impact of Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867–1957).

Project fields:
American Literature; American Studies

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

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

Grant period:
9/1/2018 – 3/31/2021


TR-259194-18

Latino Public Broadcasting (Burbank, CA 91505-5025)
Sandie Viquez Pedlow (Project Director: August 2017 to present)

José Lezama Lima: Letters to Eloísa

Production of a sixty-minute documentary about the Cuban writer José Lezama Lima (1910–76).

An hour-long documentary film biography of one of Cuba’s greatest writers of the twentieth century, and a major figure in the mid-century Latin American literary Boom. Relying on Lezama’s remarkable correspondence with his exiled sister in the U.S. as dramatic armature, the film features Lezama’s own readings of his poetry, striking photography of Havana, dramatizations; as well as archival material and interviews; it weaves together the public and the private, the literary and the political, to show how Lezama’s eventful life was enmeshed in Cuba’s complicated history including its 1959 Revolution and the struggle between government and intellectuals for artistic freedom. A dual tragic love story—between a loving brother and his sister in exile, and between a patriotic, homosexual writer and his roiling nation—the film arrives at a critical time as it opens a window onto a changing Cuba and holds important lessons for the global struggle for freedom and tolerance.

Project fields:
Intellectual History; Latin American Literature

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$450,000 (approved)
$450,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
4/1/2018 – 5/31/2019


TR-253959-17

Smarthistory, Inc. (Pleasantville, NY 10570-2511)
Steven Zucker (Project Director: August 2016 to present)

At Risk Cultural Heritage Education Series (ARCHES)

The monuments, sites, and objects that define our shared humanity are being lost at an unprecedented rate. And while news headlines regularly mark the most dramatic acts of destruction, there is currently little high quality, engaging, and in-depth information reaching the general public. As the center of a network of more than two hundred humanities scholars and professionals, and a resource serving a growing audience numbering in the millions, Smarthistory is the leading online provider of learning resources for art and cultural history and is perfectly positioned to bring the public into the discussions surrounding endangered cultural heritage. Smarthistory is requesting $650,000 to complete the At Risk Cultural Heritage Education Series (ARCHES), a new collection of online content tracing a comprehensive introduction to the preservation of cultural heritage worldwide.

Project fields:
Archaeology; Art History and Criticism; Cultural History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$250,000 (approved)
$250,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
4/1/2017 – 3/31/2018


TR-254000-17

Katahdin Foundation (Berkeley, CA 94710-1713)
Roberta Grossman (Project Director: August 2016 to present)

Who Will Write Our History

Katahdin Productions requests $407,450 for completion of Who Will Write Our History, a 90-minute documentary film about historian Emanuel Ringelblum and the secret archive he created in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. The film is based on the book of the same name by historian Samuel Kassow. Ringelblum’s Oyneg Shabes Archive is regarded among historians as an extraordinary achievement of scholarly self-study in the very depths of hell. The 30,000+ pages of documents including diaries, essays, poems, paintings, photographs, letters, underground newspapers, Judenrat records, and Nazi artifacts, are considered the most important cache of in-the-moment, eyewitness accounts to survive the Holocaust. Despite its power and importance for historians of the Warsaw Ghetto, to this day the Archive remains largely unknown outside academic circles. This film will change that, in the way that only a film can do, by making the story accessible to millions of people around the world.

Project fields:
European History; History, General; Jewish Studies

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$250,000 (approved)
$250,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
3/1/2017 – 3/31/2018


TR-254023-17

Public Radio International, Inc. (Minneapolis, MN 55401-2097)
Patrick Cox (Project Director: August 2016 to present)

The World in Words

PRI is seeking renewed support for The World in Words, our distinctive online and on-air feature focused on entertaining and informative stories of language around the globe. NEH funding would support 26 original podcasts (15-30 minutes in length) examining a broad range of language-related topics, along with 26 related shorter segments (3-7 minutes) to be broadcast within the award-winning daily global news program, PRI’s The World. In addition, NEH funding will support The World in Words’ expanding online presence, multimedia content including 6 short videos, and a live event, all designed to encourage greater listener engagement, interactivity, and social media sharing.

Project fields:
Journalism; Languages, General

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$180,000 (approved)
$180,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
4/1/2017 – 5/31/2018


TR-255996-17

City Lore: NY Center for Urban Folk Culture (New York, NY 10003-9345)
Amanda Pollak (Project Director: January 2017 to present)

The 19th Amendment

Production of a four-hour documentary film about the efforts to pass the Nineteenth Amendment for women’s voting rights (1909–20).

The 19th Amendment is a new two-part, four-hour film about the final phase of the struggle for the Nineteenth Amendment (1909-1920), which removed discrimination at the polls on the basis of sex, and led to the largest expansion of voting rights in American history. The film is planned for broadcast in 2020, and has the opportunity to provide important engagement, broad educational outreach, and critical discussion for the Amendment’s centennial. The film explores the culmination story—as well as the stark limitations—of one of the nation’s most important social, political, and cultural movements. It addresses broad themes about the nature of American democracy, the relationship between the franchise and civic identity, the shape of social movements, the influence of transnational exchange and global politics, and the role of race and gender in public life.

Project fields:
Political History; U.S. History; Women's History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$350,000 (approved)
$350,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2017 – 3/31/2019


TR-255914-17

Filmmakers Collaborative, Inc. (Melrose, MA 02176-3933)
Sharon Naomi Grimberg (Project Director: January 2017 to present)

The Circus

Production of a four-hour documentary film series chronicling the history of the traveling circus, an American institution, from the late 18th century to the middle of the 20th century.

The Circus is the first in-depth look at one of the most influential forms of entertainment in American history. The two-part mini-series tells the story of the American circus from the first one-ring show at the end of the eighteenth century, through the creation of gigantic, three-ring tented railroad circuses at the end of the nineteenth century, ending in 1956 with the decision to pull down the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey big top for the very last time. The film demonstrates that the railroad circus was a uniquely American entertainment created by a rapidly expanding and industrializing nation; that it embraced and was made possible by Western imperialism; that its history was shaped by a tension between its unconventional entertainments and prevailing standards of respectability; that its promise for ordinary people was the possibility for personal reinvention; and that over the course of its history it reflected the limits imposed on African Americans and other minorities.

Project fields:
Cultural History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$200,000 (approved)
$200,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2017 – 4/30/2018


TR-254097-17

Tulane University (New Orleans, LA 70118-5698)
Nicholas R. Spitzer (Project Director: August 2016 to present)

American Routes: Exploring & Expressing the Vernacular Humanities in Story & Song

American Routes is the weekly, two-hour nationally-distributed public radio program devoted to songs and stories, humanist and artist narratives, that explore humanities and aesthetic issues in American society and culture through the expression of vernacular music and culture. Produced in New Orleans and produced and hosted by folklorist and documentary producer Nick Spitzer. Our current proposal, American Routes: Exploring & Expressing the Vernacular Humanities in Story & Song, seeks support of $225,795 to create 10 new, highly researched two-hour programs featuring in-depth humanities content in 2017-18.

Project fields:
Cultural History; Folklore and Folklife; Music History and Criticism

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$100,000 (approved)
$100,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
4/1/2017 – 12/31/2018


TR-254137-17

Southern Documentary Fund (Durham, NC 27702-3622)
Ashley Blair York (Project Director: August 2016 to present)

Appalachia in the Media

This documentary examines representations of Appalachia in the media as constructed over the past century. The film uncovers the origins of the American “hillbilly” archetype, explores the impact of these representations in Appalachia and beyond, reveals how this shape-shifting icon reflects the evolution of America’s aspirational self-image over the decades, and asks critical questions about our roles as journalists and storytellers in representing Appalachian communities and citizens. In addition, this story offers an urgent exploration of how we see and think about elements of poor, rural America that extends far beyond the region. This is a contemporary story about hope and how media can be used as a tool for change.

Project fields:
Film History and Criticism; Media Studies

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$300,000 (approved)
$300,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2017 – 1/31/2019


TR-256300-17

Independent Feature Project, Inc. (Brooklyn, NY 11201-1122)
Alison Chernick (Project Director: January 2017 to present)

Itzhak

Production of a 90-minute documentary about the Israeli-American violinist, conductor, and educator Itzhak Perlman.

If there’s anyone who personifies the resilience,the vision and ultimately the contribution of the Jewish people, it’s Itzhak Perlman. The violin is the chosen instrument of Perlman, the vehicle he has used to overcome his own challenges and express himself to the world. In Perlman and his music, we hear the story of obstacles and survival, we see the comfort of home and family and witness how humor and talent combine with discipline and drive. As we unravel the love story between Itzhak and his wife Toby, we see how their union has shaped his success.

Project fields:
Arts, Other; Jewish Studies

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$200,000 (approved)
$200,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2017 – 7/31/2018


TR-254017-17

Public Radio International, Inc. (Minneapolis, MN 55401-2097)
Melinda Ward (Project Director: August 2016 to present)

American Icons IV on Studio 360

American Icons IV will be a fresh new series of specially produced programs and stories to be broadcast within Studio 360, PRI's one-hour public radio show about the arts, ideas, and humanities which is co-produced with New York Public Radio and aired nationally to over 600,000 listeners. Each week, on-air host Kurt Andersen leads an exploration of creativity and the arts, through feature stories and lively conversations with artists, critics and thought leaders. The goal of the American Icon series is to examine time-tested works of literature, music, film, design, or visual art that have had significant and enduring impact on American culture and society. Consultation and close collaboration with humanities scholars enables the production team to offer general audiences an informative, enlightening, and entertaining exploration of humanities subjects and themes central to our diverse and evolving American culture.

Project fields:
American Studies; History, Criticism, and Theory of the Arts; Journalism

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$300,000 (approved)
$300,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2017 – 11/30/2019


TR-253996-17

WeOwnTV (San Francisco, CA 94110-4615)
Edward Banker White (Project Director: August 2016 to present)

Survivors

Through the eyes of Sierra Leonean filmmakers, Survivors presents a heart-connected portrait of their country during the Ebola outbreak, exposing the complexity of the epidemic and the socio-political turmoil that lies in its wake. The film interweaves the heroic stories of Mohamed Bangura, the senior ambulance driver at the country's main ambulance dispatch location and Margaret Sesay, a nurse who works at the EMERGENCY Ebola treatment center in Freetown caring for some of the sickest patients. Through intimate verite footage of these characters’ daily lives, the film not only explores how the epidemic ravaged families and communities, but also exposed broken infrastructures, deep misunderstandings between international aid organizations and the communities they serve, as well as unresolved political tensions after the decade-long civil war. In this way, Survivors profoundly wrestles with what it means to be Sierra Leonean at this critical juncture in the country’s history.

Project fields:
African Studies; Journalism; Sociology

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$400,000 (approved)
$400,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
4/1/2017 – 12/31/2018


TR-254072-17

Ciesla Foundation, Inc. (Washington, DC 20008-2042)
Rachel S. Engleberg (Project Director: August 2016 to present)

The Adventures of Saul Bellow

The Adventures of Saul Bellow is a documentary film and companion website that examine the life and work of one of the 20th century’s most celebrated writers. Saul Bellow (1915-2005) won the Nobel Prize in Literature, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Medal of Arts, and three National Book Awards. He wrote over 40 novels and novellas, stories, non-fiction works, and plays, breaking literary norms and influencing at least generation of writers. In the name of intellectual freedom, he also frequently offended those closest to him, and challenged the sensibilities of his readers. Yet remarkably, there has never been a substantive film made about him. With unprecedented support from the Bellow Estate, from biographers and scholars, and from those who knew him best, our film and website will introduce Saul Bellow and his writing to a new generation.

Project fields:
American Literature; American Studies; English

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$300,000 (approved)
$300,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
4/1/2017 – 5/31/2019


TR-254082-17

SUNY Research Foundation, College at Oneonta (Oneonta, NY 13820-2685)
Gretchen S. Sorin (Project Director: August 2016 to present)

African Americans on the Road in the Era of Jim Crow

The feature documentary Driving While Black will chronicle the history of African Americans on the road from the 1930s to the 1960s. From the Depression to the Civil Rights movement, this crucial and transformative period in American history commenced as black Americans navigated the brave new world of the automobile and the highway in the last decades of Jim Crow America, seizing opportunities for mobility while confronting challenges unknown to white travelers. In today’s society, there is a clear gaping disparity between black and white Americans in their beliefs about the treatment of black citizens by law enforcement. Driving While Black will use the history of African American automobile travel as a window into the complex nature of freedom, mobility, and race in America, in the hope that the insights it affords can help inform our collective understanding of race relationships today, and be a catalyst for discussion about race and equality. [Project work period: 7/1/15-3/31/17]

Project fields:
African American History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$300,000 (approved)
$300,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
4/1/2017 – 3/31/2019


TR-254085-17

University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA 22903-4833)
Kevin McFadden (Project Director: August 2016 to present)

Voices of Vietnam: Vietnam War Public Radio Series

More than 50 years after the United States first put troops on the ground in Vietnam, combatants and witnesses are coming forward to share their experiences. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities’ widely carried public radio show, With Good Reason (WGR), is requesting a production grant in support of a ten-part radio series on the people who lived the Vietnam conflict from many sides and perspectives, on a selection of themes, in their own words. The ten half-hour documentaries will be created by a team of award-winning radio producers over two years and will air on our network of more than 75 public radio stations. The series will be offered free to hundreds of other radio stations and made available online through iTunes and other podcast applications as well as the WGR website. Beyond those broadcasts, WGR will distribute via podcast in partnership with organizations that have veteran audiences and will create a teacher’s guide for use of this audio material in classrooms.

Project fields:
East Asian History; History, General

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$180,000 (approved)
$180,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
4/1/2017 – 6/30/2019


TR-256166-17

GWETA, Inc. (Arlington, VA 22206-3440)
Anne Harrington (Project Director: January 2017 to present)

College Behind Bars

Production of a two-hour documentary that chronicles the intellectual and personal journeys of men and women who participate in a rigorous liberal arts college program as inmates of New York state prisons.

College Behind Bars is a two-hour documentary directed by Lynn Novick and produced by Sarah Botstein, which brings to life the practice of liberal arts education among inmates in American prisons. The project is a co-production of WETA, the leading public broadcasting station in the nation’s capital and the second-largest producing station of PBS programming, and Skiff Mountain Films, a documentary production company based in New York City. Novick and Botstein are longtime filmmaking partners of documentarian Ken Burns, who is serving as Executive Producer. The project is produced in association with Burns’ production company, Florentine Films. Slated for national broadcast on PBS in 2018, College Behind Bars will be accompanied by a multi-platform digital media campaign.

Project fields:
Social Sciences, Other

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$200,000 (approved)
$200,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2017 – 1/31/2019


TR-256290-17

Firelight Media, Inc. (New York, NY 10031-6300)
Stanley Nelson (Project Director: January 2017 to present)

The Slave Trade: Creating A New World

Production of a four-hour documentary examining the Atlantic slave trade as an agent of momentous demographic, economic, and moral transformations.

Firelight Media requests a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for the production of a major four-part television series on the Atlantic slave trade, to be produced by acclaimed filmmaker Stanley Nelson, for national broadcast on PBS. The series, with the working title The Slave Trade: Creating A New World, covers four centuries of the Atlantic trade, the largest forced long-distance migration in history, and one of the most momentous and transformative events of the past millennium. In four one-hour programs, each covering a defined historical period and featuring a specific voyage as its narrative spine, the series explores crucial aspects of a vast and hugely profitable enterprise that peopled continents, transformed economies, and shaped the modern world, and one that had at is core a concerted and highly effective effort to turn millions of human beings into commodities that could be bought and sold.

Project fields:
African American History; African History; European History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$800,000 (approved)
$800,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2017 – 1/31/2019


TR-250112-16

Community Media Productions (Yellow Springs, OH 45387-1625)
Julia Reichert (Project Director: January 2016 to September 2016)
Steven Bognar (Project Director: September 2016 to present)

The 9 to 5 Project

Production of a 60-minute documentary that examines the history of the 9 to 5 movement, an organization of women office workers that began in 1973.

Most of us have heard the song “Nine to Five,” sung with an edge by Dolly Parton. Then there’s the star studded film 9 TO 5, the second highest grossing movie of 1980. Yet few realize that these two icons of popular culture actually grew out of a social movement that spanned over twenty-five years, and which sought to have a profound impact on work for women, and the labor movement itself. In the early 1970s, a group of women office workers in Boston decided that they had suffered in silence long enough. They created an organization to force changes in their workplaces. By the late 1970s, similar groups of women office workers had sprung up across the country. This movement is a largely unexplored area of U.S. twentieth century history. It encapsulates a unique intersection of the women’s movement and the labor movement. The film we are making seeks to discover the story and the long-term implications of this movement.

Project fields:
Labor History; U.S. History; Women's History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$350,000 (approved)
$350,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2016 – 1/31/2019


TR-250135-16

Morris and Ruth B. Cowan Foundation (New York, NY 10025-7659)
Anne Makepeace (Project Director: January 2016 to present)

Tribal Justice

Production of a one-hour television documentary that examines the use of restorative justice in Native American communities as an alternative to incarceration.

Tribal Justice will be a 60-minute documentary for PBS featuring the innovative work of the chief judges in the two largest Native nations in California: Judge Abby Abinanti, chief judge of the Yurok Tribe on the northwest coast, and Claudette White, chief judge of the Quechan Tribe along the Arizona and Mexico borders. These judges embrace collaboration with state courts while drawing on traditional forms of remediation to reduce incarceration, foster greater safety in their communities, and create a more hopeful future for their youth. Rather than focusing on punishment and incarceration, they are working to keep tribal members out of jail and in the community by having them make reparations to those they have harmed, and enrolling them in carefully monitored programs where they can restore their lives. The film will follow court cases in both communities, placing these stories in the larger context of historical trauma and cultural revival, and modeling restorative justice in action

Project fields:
Law and Jurisprudence; Media Studies; Native American Studies

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$100,000 (approved)
$100,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2016 – 12/31/2017


TR-250136-16

Media Process Educational Films (Chicago, IL 60607-1901)
Elizabeth Coffman (Project Director: January 2016 to present)

Flannery O'Connor: Mystery & Manners

Completion of a 90-minute documentary and digital archive on the life and work of writer Flannery O’Connor.

Flannery O'Connor: Mystery & Manners is the first feature documentary to tell the life story of this compelling female writer whose gracious, yet devastating sensibility inspires artists from Lucinda Williams to Tommy Lee Jones.

Project fields:
Literature, General; U.S. Regional Studies

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$150,000 (approved)
$150,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2016 – 7/31/2018


TR-250168-16

Public Radio International, Inc. (Minneapolis, MN 55401-2097)
Melinda Ward (Project Director: January 2016 to present)

LBJ's War: An Oral History

Production of six podcasts and scripting of a one-hour radio program exploring presidential decision-making during the Vietnam War.

Public Radio International (PRI) requests NEH support for LBJ’s War, an innovative oral history project to be produced in partnership with independent radio producer Stephen Atlas. LBJ’s War presents the story of how the US entanglement in the Vietnam War derailed a presidency that previously seemed destined for historic greatness, told through the recorded, and largely unheard, recollections of those who were there. A distinguished team of scholars and experts will help guide listeners through these materials, adding context and analysis. LBJ’s War will consist of one hour-long documentary radio show and a series of 6 podcasts, in the 10- to 20-minute range, that will open up and amplify stories touched upon in the hour but meriting more time and exploration. PRI will also create a web landing page where visitors can download the podcasts, read complete interview transcripts and listen to original audio segments in unedited form.

Project fields:
Military History; Political History; U.S. History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$150,000 (approved)
$150,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2016 – 12/31/2017


TR-250339-16

Video Veracity, Inc (New Orleans, LA 70118-2059)
Dawn C. Logsdon (Project Director: January 2016 to present)

Free For All: Inside the Public Library, Documentary Film and New Media Project

Production of a 90-minute television documentary and digital engagement project on the history of the public library in the United States.

Free For All: Inside the Public Library is a multi-platform documentary project about the history, culture and significance of the American Public Library and the free library movement that created it. It is told through the voices of some of the millions of contemporary Americans who use their local library today and the voices of the many generations who have used it in the past. Free For All seeks to educate, entertain, and spark national dialogue at a critical moment for the future of public libraries in America. The project's centerpiece is a 90-minute film that interweaves dramatic chapters of national library history with a contemporary exploration of the American Public Library. The film and associated digital project explore why Americans are using their public libraries in record numbers and the threat to democracy if they were to become extinct.

Project fields:
Interdisciplinary Studies, Other; Public History; Social Sciences, General

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

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

Grant period:
8/1/2016 – 7/31/2019


TR-248131-16

Georgia Humanities Council (Atlanta, GA 30303-2946)
Douglas Blackmon (Project Director: September 2015 to present)

The Harvest

Production of a 60-minute documentary and related public programming examining race and school desegregation in Leland, Mississippi, from the early 1960s to the present.

Using the stories of people from Leland, MS, the Harvest project examines the history and consequences of our nation's failed effort to achieve racially integrated public schools. The project consists of a documentary and multi-platform public engagement effort including screenings/discussions organized by state humanities councils across the nation.

Project fields:
African American Studies; Journalism; U.S. History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$300,000 (approved)
$300,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2016 – 12/31/2019


TR-234947-16

Catticus Corporation (Berkeley, CA 94710-2597)
Jason Cohn (Project Director: August 2015 to present)

Mad as Hell!

Production of an 60-minute documentary about Howard Jarvis (1903–86) and the campaign to pass California’s Proposition 13.

Mad as Hell! is an 84-minute documentary about Howard Jarvis, California's Proposition 13, and the campaign that launched the American Tax revolt.

Project fields:
Political History; U.S. History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$400,000 (approved)
$400,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2016 – 12/31/2018


TR-234978-16

New York Foundation for the Arts (Brooklyn, NY 11201-8301)
Oren D. Rudavsky (Project Director: August 2015 to present)

Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People

The production of a 90-minute film exploring the life of Joseph Pulitzer (1847–1911) and the emergence of mass media in late 19th- and early 20th-century America.

Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People is a 90-minute documentary film that will explore the life and work of the pioneering publisher and the rise of the modern mass newspaper.

Project fields:
Journalism

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$400,000 (approved)
$400,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
4/1/2016 – 3/31/2018


TR-235027-16

Center for Asian American Media (San Francisco, CA 94103-2641)
Stephen Gong (Project Director: August 2015 to present)

The Asian Americans

Production of a six-hour television series exploring Asian American history from the late 19th century through the present.

The Asian Americans is a proposed public media initiative, centered around a six-hour film series, designed to engage the American public about the evolving identity, contributions, and challenges experienced by the nation’s fastest growing racial group, Asian Americans (2010 U.S. Census). Told through individual lives and personal histories, The Asian Americans will cast a new lens on the dramatic transformation of the United States since the mid-19th century, and the role Asian Americans have played in shaping that history.

Project fields:
Asian American Studies; Immigration History; U.S. History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$400,000 (approved)
$400,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2017 – 12/31/2019


TR-235041-16

WNET (New York, NY 10019-7416)
Stephen Segaller (Project Director: August 2015 to present)

Shakespeare Uncovered: Series Three

Production of the third season of Shakespeare Uncovered, a six-part PBS/BBC documentary television series focusing on the plays of William Shakespeare.

Shakespeare Uncovered is a multi-part public television project that explores the text and the context of the plays of William Shakespeare. In each documentary, a leading actor or director guides an in-depth look at an individual play, one that combines history, biography, iconic performances, interviews with scholars and theater professionals, and scenes staged especially for the series by Shakespeare’s Globe in London. Building on the success of the first two NEH-funded seasons, Series Three will consist of six one-hour programs: Coriolanus, Much Ado About Nothing, The Merchant of Venice, Richard III, Measure for Measure, and The Winter’s Tale. WNET will also expand the series’ website and continue the successful outreach that brings local Shakespeare events and programming to communities across the country.

Project fields:
Literature, General

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$400,000 (approved)
$400,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
4/1/2016 – 3/31/2019


TR-235124-16

Radio Diaries (Brooklyn, NY 11201-8319)
Joe Kirk Richman (Project Director: August 2015 to present)

The History of Now

Production of a series of 17 radio documentaries to be distributed as public radio broadcasts and online podcasts examining significant events in 20th-century United States history.

The History of Now is a public radio and podcast series that will explore 20th-century American history in order to cast fresh light onto contemporary life. Our stories will originate in the past but illuminate—in unexpected, original, and often profound ways—some of the defining issues facing Americans today: race, gender and sexuality, religion, science and technology, and work. Our goal is to produce stories that bring surprising, resonant moments of history to listeners in ways that feel as immediate and relevant as the daily news. With funding from NEH, Radio Diaries will produce a series of 20 historical documentaries for The History of Now. Ten will be broadcast on NPR’s All Things Considered or on This American Life, and ten more stories will be produced specifically for the Radio Diaries Podcast.

Project fields:
Arts, General; History, General; Journalism

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$300,000 (approved)
$300,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
4/1/2016 – 10/31/2018


TR-235054-16

WNET (New York, NY 10019-7416)
Michael Kantor (Project Director: August 2015 to present)

Bob Hope: America's Entertainer

Production of a 90-minute documentary and related digital components on Bob Hope (1903–2003) and the history of 20th-century popular entertainment.

WNET is seeking a production grant from the NEH for a multi-platform project about Bob Hope, his extraordinary career, and his enormous impact on American entertainment and American culture. The centerpiece of the project—entitled Bob Hope: America's Entertainer—is a documentary biography that will be broadcast in late 2017 as part of WNET’s American Masters series. Among the many entertainers who defined 20th-century American show business, Bob Hope occupied a unique place. He achieved tremendous success in every major popular entertainment medium of the century: vaudeville, Broadway, movies, radio, television and live concert, and his tours to entertain U.S. troops and his wartime radio broadcasts helped buoy the nation's spirits during World War II. And yet, in the crucible of the 1960s he became a controversial figure, alienating much of a generation and permanently damaging his legacy. Today, he is largely overlooked, taken for granted, or dismissed as a relic.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$400,000 (approved)
$400,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2016 – 6/30/2018


TR-250055-16

World Music Productions (Brooklyn, NY 11232-2545)
Sean Barlow (Project Director: January 2016 to present)

Afropop Worldwide's Hip Deep

Production of radio programming exploring contemporary music cultures of Africa and the African diaspora, including nine new episodes focusing on Nigeria and the Caribbean, substantive updates of six existing programs, and twelve podcasts.

Since 1988, the Peabody Award-Winning public radio program Afropop Worldwide has introduced listeners to the contemporary music cultures of Africa & the African Diaspora. Distributed by PRI to 95 U.S. stations, it is also available as a podcast, & streamed from our website, www.afropop.org, & soundcloud.com. Over the past 14 years, Afropop has collaborated with leading scholars to produce our acclaimed, NEH-funded Hip Deep series, which introduces humanities themes to general audiences. The NEH grant previously funded the integration of a Hip Deep-specific site section which organized Hip Deep's multi-media content for easier access. World Music Productions now requests a 1-year grant of $200,000 (55% of total cost) from the NEH to continue this work by 1) producing 9 new episodes based on original field work, 6 encore programs & 12 Hip Deep podcasts, 2) build new audience by rebuilding our website to support “responsive design,” making it adaptable to the full range of mobile devices.

Project fields:
Arts, General

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$175,000 (approved)
$175,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2016 – 10/31/2017


TR-253351-16

Public Radio International, Inc. (Minneapolis, MN 55401-2097)
Leslie B. Wolfe (Project Director: June 2016 to June 2016)
Melinda Ward (Project Director: June 2016 to present)

American Icons on Studio 360

American Icons on Studio 360 is a recurring series of special features embedded within Studio 360 which examines time-tested works – of literature, music, film, architecture, design or visual art – that have achieved the status of an “icon” in American culture. Since the series was first launched in 2001 with funding from the NEH, Studio 360 has produced three American Icons seasons on topics ranging from Moby-Dick to The House of Mirth to The Autobiography of Malcolm X; from The Wizard of Oz to I Love Lucy; from Appalachian Spring to “Anything Goes” to Kind of Blue; and from Monticello to Fallingwater to the Vietnam War Memorial. The requested NEH funds will enable us to produce 3 new segments to be aired in the coming summer and fall. The three new segments we would like to produce are: 1) “Amazing Grace” – how this 18th century hymn became America’s spiritual national anthem, and why its message of sin and redemption resonates so deeply with Americans, both religious and secular; 2) Shaft, Gordon Parks – how this film and its award-winning funk soundtrack by Isaac Hayes unleashed the Blaxploitation boom and created a new popular iconography of blackness; 3) Leonard Bernstein’s Young Peoples Concerts – how this popular concert series enchanted a generation of young people, and changed the meaning of “music appreciation” during the era of rock and roll. Along with the completely new material, we would like to update an re-release the 14 hour long shows already in our inventory, creating an interim series that mixes original pieces with restored episodes, in order to help maintain the continuity of the American Icons brand and keep the series fresh and alive in our listeners’ minds.

Project fields:

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$30,000 (approved)
$30,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2016 – 3/31/2017


TR-250079-16

GWETA, Inc. (Arlington, VA 22206-3440)
Jeff Bieber (Project Director: January 2016 to present)

The 38th Parallel

Production of a two-part, four-hour television series about the Korean War that places the international conflict in historical context and considers its geopolitical and military legacies.

The 38th Parallel is a proposed four-hour documentary series about a war that Americans have long underestimated, misunderstood, and misrepresented. The Korean War was a gigantic global event: twenty-four nations took part in a conflict that lasted three full years. The war killed four million people. Even so, Korea has been almost-famously forgotten by the American public. Bookended by World War II and Vietnam, the Korean War marked little that anyone in this country wanted to remember and a great deal that everyone wanted to forget. It was a brutal conflict that put the first dent in the myth of American exceptionalism and brought the world close to a nuclear war. But the Korean War needs to be remembered. It determined American military and foreign policy for the next 60 years; the world we live in today, where the US all but routinely intervenes in far-off conflicts, was born with Korea. The Korean War changed everything.

Project fields:
Diplomatic History; Military History; U.S. History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$550,000 (approved)
$550,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2016 – 12/30/2018


TR-230822-15

Center for Independent Documentary, Inc. (Boston, MA 02135-1032)
Arwen Curry (Project Director: January 2015 to present)

Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin

Production of a 60-minute documentary film and website on Ursula K. Le Guin, a writer whose work transformed science fiction and American literature.

Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin is a 60-minute film and accompanying website exploring the remarkable life and legacy of one of America's most influential living writers: 85-year-old science fiction and fantasy legend Ursula K. Le Guin. The film tells the story of a singular writer who defiantly held her ground on the frontier of American letters until the sheer excellence of her work, at long last, forced the mainstream to embrace fantastic literature. Viewers will accompany Le Guin on an intimate journey of self-discovery as she emerges as a major feminist author, inspiring generations of women and other marginalized writers along the way. Le Guin's story allows audiences to reflect on science fiction's unique role in American culture and to look back at the 19th century roots of imaginative literature. Shot in high-definition video, Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin is aimed for public television, web, DVD, and educational distribution across broad audiences.

Project fields:
American Literature

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$600,000 (approved)
$600,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2015 – 5/31/2019


TR-230714-15

New York Foundation for the Arts (Brooklyn, NY 11201-8301)
Robert S. Levi (Project Director: January 2015 to present)

Hank Jones: Last Man Playing

Production of a film chronicling the social and cultural impact of jazz composer Hank Jones.

This request is a Production funding request for Hank Jones: Last Man Playing, a sixty-minute, high definition broadcast documentary program about the life and work of the celebrated African-American composer, arranger, and pianist Hank Jones. For almost seventy years as an icon and founding father of several seminal movements in music, Hank Jones' prolific output still defines the essence of mainstream and classic jazz, placing him among the most sought after and recorded pianists, composers, and cultural ambassadors in American musical history. This proposal seeks $494,950 in Production and finishing funding to support the filming of additional interviews, continued script preparation and refinement, ongoing consultations with Humanities scholars, additional archival research, and final editing, post-production expenses needed to bring the film to life.

Project fields:
Film History and Criticism

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$389,900 (approved)
$389,900 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2015 – 12/31/2018


TR-230726-15

Women Make Movies, Inc. (New York, NY 10001-5059)
Melissa Haizlip (Project Director: January 2015 to present)

MR. SOUL! Ellis Haizlip and the Birth of Black Power TV

Production of a 90-minute television documentary and an interactive website about the first national television show on black culture, SOUL! (1968–1973) and a biography of its producer and host Ellis Haizlip.

This is a request to the NEH for a grant of $600,000 to support the production of MR. SOUL!, a 90-minute documentary about a crucial and unfairly forgotten milestone in American cultural history and the man primarily responsible for creating it. MR. SOUL! tells the story of SOUL!, a path-breaking television variety show devoted to the black experience in America, and of Ellis Haizlip, the producer whose broad vision and expansive cultural contacts helped to define it. MR. SOUL! is intended for a national PBS broadcast and a limited theatrical release.

Project fields:
African American History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$550,000 (approved)
$550,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2015 – 10/31/2018


TR-230777-15

Public Radio International, Inc. (Minneapolis, MN 55401-2097)
Patrick Cox (Project Director: January 2015 to present)

The World in Words (TWIW) on PRI's The World

Production of 27 short radio segments and 27 related podcasts on the relationship between language and topics that include politics, democracy, cultural preservation, and society.

The World in Words is a unique feature that explores global language-related stories in the context of a daily news show, PRI's The World. Last year, NEH funding enabled us to deepen and enhance the humanities content in selected segments within our weekly The World in Words feature. We are now seeking support to continue this approach. NEH funding will support production of 27 on-air pieces (3-7 minutes) on topics ranging from endangered languages to bilingual education to how babies acquire language, as well as 27 longer-form podcasts (10-20 minutes) that expand the treatment of these topics. The World's Language Editor Patrick Cox will work with our scholar advisers to apply more academic rigor to these select pieces than is possible in the day-to-day news production, while retaining a lively and entertaining approach and sound. In addition, NEH funding will enable PRI to enhance TWIW's online presence to encourage greater listener engagement, interactivity, and social media sharing.

Project fields:
Journalism; Languages, General

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$148,169 (approved)
$148,169 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2015 – 11/30/2016


TR-230794-15

Twin Cities Public Television, Inc. (St. Paul, MN 55101-1492)
Catherine M. Allan (Project Director: January 2015 to present)

Stalin

Production of a two-hour documentary exploring the complex life and legacy of Joseph Stalin.

From TPT National Productions and Middlemarch Films comes Stalin, a two-part film, targeted for PBS and international broadcast in 2017. Drawing upon new scholarship, imagery, and first-person accounts from the Russian Archives, as well as upon scenes and interviews from contemporary Russia, Stalin will paint a vivid picture of both the man and his legacy today. "Stalin was one of the most fateful personalities and leaders of the 20th century," writes adviser and historian Jonathan Brent, "and we're still living with the aftershocks of the system he created in important ways. We need to understand who Stalin was, what he did, where he came from, and the mystique of his power."

Project fields:
Russian History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$600,000 (approved)
$600,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2015 – 6/30/2019


TR-228341-15

World Music Productions (Brooklyn, NY 11232-2545)
Sean Barlow (Project Director: August 2014 to present)

Afropop Worldwide/Hip Deep

Production of ten hour-long “Hip Deep” episodes on the Afropop Worldwide radio program, fifteen complementary podcasts, educational material, and website enhancements.

World Music Productions requests NEH support of $200,000 over a one-year period to help cover the production of 10 new "Hip Deep" episodes to be broadcast as part of our ongoing "Afropop Worldwide" public radio series heard on 96 stations in the U.S. Each episode is a rich radio-and-Web offering extending the body of work and the community of scholars "Hip Deep" has developed over the past 11 years. The two new thematic foci are "musicians in conflict settings" and "music as a vehicle for communication and collective memory." Original fieldwork will take place in Mali, Niger, Congo, Jamaica, London, Lisbon, and the southern U.S. This proposal also launches a new commitment to the creation and promotion of "Hip Deep" podcasts--all part of "Afropop Worldwide's" ongoing mission to bring current humanities scholarship to the general public via the universal vehicle of music. The entire cost of the project is $338,238.

Project fields:
African Studies; Journalism; Music History and Criticism

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$150,000 (approved)
$150,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2015 – 6/30/2016


TR-228364-15

Center for Independent Documentary, Inc. (Boston, MA 02135-1032)
Gaspar Gonzalez (Project Director: August 2014 to present)

A Long Way from Home: The Untold Story of Baseball's Desegregation

Production of a 90-minute documentary film exploring the long journey towards baseball’s full integration following Jackie Robinson’s breaking the color barrier in major league baseball.

"A Long Way from Home" will chronicle the struggles of the pioneering African American ballplayers who followed Jackie Robinson into white professional baseball, paying particular attention to their experiences in minor-league communities where Jim Crow remained a fact of life well into the 1960s. Indeed, nearly two decades after Robinson's historic debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, there were still professional minor league teams that had never employed a black (or black Latino) player. That historical fact has remained largely obscured by the myth of the integrationist "moment" of Robinson taking the field in Brooklyn. As "A Long Way from Home" will show, the progress of baseball's desegregation was more tortured and more contested--and the actions of those who followed in Robinson's footsteps, more heroic--than is generally known.

Project fields:
African American History; American Studies; U.S. History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

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

Grant period:
5/1/2015 – 2/28/2018


TR-228365-15

GWETA, Inc. (Arlington, VA 22206-3440)
David S. Thompson (Project Director: August 2014 to July 2015)
Anne Harrington (Project Director: July 2015 to present)

The Vietnam War

Production of a ten-part, 18-hour television series exploring the Vietnam War from a range of U.S. and Vietnamese perspectives.

"The Vietnam War" is a 10-part documentary series by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick that brings to life one of the defining events of 20th-century American history. Airing on PBS in 2017, it will present a groundbreaking narrative of the war intended to inspire a long overdue conversation about this watershed in our history. The film is informed by the best and most recent scholarship about the war, and built around interviews with nearly one hundred American and Vietnamese witnesses, as well as exhaustively researched archival material from around the globe. It addresses wide-ranging themes including colonialism, nationalism and the Cold War; the nature of leadership; propaganda and the creation of media; diversity, class and ethnicity; the changing American cultural landscape; and religion, ethics and morality. The attached proposal describes plans for the production of the film, its comprehensive website, and an outreach campaign designed to engage a broad and diverse audience.

[Grant products][Prizes]

Project fields:
U.S. History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$1,000,000 (approved)
$1,000,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2015 – 12/31/2017


TR-228469-15

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

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

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

Grant period:
6/1/2015 – 6/30/2019


TR-228506-15

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

The Jazz Ambassadors

Production of a two-hour documentary film and website on the influence of the Voice of America’s “Music USA Jazz” radio program and the State Department’s jazz tours during the Cold War.

This is a request to the National Endowment for the Humanities for a production grant to support a significant multi-platform project called "The Jazz Ambassadors" that explores the nexus of the Cold War, jazz music, and the civil rights movement and seeks to illuminate the influence jazz, the civil rights movement, and the Cold War had on one another. Inspired in part by Penny M. Von Eschen's 2004 book "Satchmo Blows Up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War" and a subsequent traveling photography exhibition of the concert tours titled "Jam Session: America's Jazz Ambassadors Embrace the World," the proposed project aims to extend Ms. Von Eschen's scholarship, shedding additional light on the impact of the tours for a larger audience through original primary research and the unearthing of a little-known international film archive on this important subject.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

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

Grant period:
4/1/2015 – 6/30/2018


TR-228541-15

Filmmakers Collaborative, Inc. (Melrose, MA 02176-3933)
Randall Mark MacLowry (Project Director: August 2014 to present)

The Mine Wars

Production of a two-hour documentary on labor unrest in the early West Virginia coal mining industry.

"The Mine Wars" is a two-hour documentary for the PBS history series "American Experience." The film tells the largely overlooked story of America's largest labor uprising, which took place in the mountains of southern West Virginia during a tumultuous period in American history. In Appalachia, the arrival of the coal industry--the primary energy source in the early 20th century--brought native mountaineers, African-American migrants, and European immigrants into a protracted struggle for their rights as working people in a changing American democracy. The film will highlight the years of violence that accompanied the miners' attempts to form a union, culminating in the Battle of Blair Mountain in 1921, the largest civil insurrection in the United States since the Civil War.

[Grant products][Prizes]

Project fields:
Labor History; U.S. History; U.S. Regional Studies

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

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

Grant period:
4/1/2015 – 6/30/2016


TR-228594-15

Kitchen Sisters Productions (San Francisco, CA 94133-5107)
Nikki Silva (Project Director: August 2014 to present)
Davia Nelson (Co Project Director: April 2015 to present)

Hidden Kitchens World: Stories of Kimchi Diplomacy, Conflict Kitchens & Change

Production of four short segments on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” one hour-long episode, podcasts, and enhanced online features that explore food as a means of cross-cultural understanding.

The Kitchen Sisters are seeking NEH support for a new season of "Hidden Kitchens World" on NPR's "Morning Edition"--kitchen stories that travel the globe. Stories exploring "gastrodiplomacy," the use of food as an instrument to create cross cultural understanding in this time of accelerated globalization, and surprising stories of everyday foodstuffs such as eggs, chocolate and the use of kimchi as an agent of global transformation. HKW chronicles little known stories of food--its history, rituals, traditions,socioeconomic and environmental impact, its mythic and symbolic importance and place in the preservation and dissemination of cultures. An imaginative, on-air/multimedia collaboration with scholars & community: 4-6 sound rich stories on "Morning Edition"; an hour long radio special; podcasts; online features at npr.org & hiddenkitchens.org rich with humanities perspectives, story, multimedia, ways to interact and delve deep; and HKW community events around the country.

Project fields:
Communications

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$75,000 (approved)
$75,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
4/1/2015 – 9/30/2016