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Funded Projects Query Form
33 matches

Program: Media Projects Production*
Date range: 2018-2020
Sort order: Award year, descending

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TR-269606-20

WGBH Educational Foundation (Boston, MA 02135-2016)
Mark Samels (Project Director: August 2019 to May 2020)
Susan Bellows (Project Director: May 2020 to present)
American Experience: American Oz

Production of a two-hour documentary about L. Frank Baum and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

This is a request to the National Endowment for the Humanities for funds to support the production of American Oz, a special presentation of AMERICAN EXPERIENCE for national broadcast on PBS. The two-hour film will tell the story of author L. Frank Baum and the making of his classic novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the movie it inspired and the importance of this iconic work in American life.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$550,000 (approved)
$550,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2020 – 4/30/2021


TR-269608-20

Oxford American Literary Project, Inc. (Little Rock, AR 72202-5034)
Eliza Borne (Project Director: August 2019 to June 2020)
Sara A. Lewis (Project Director: June 2020 to present)
“The Prologue” on Points South, a Podcast from Oxford American

Production of twenty-four podcast segments and four video short films on the culture of the American South.

“The Prologue” is a series of feature-length segments deeply reported and researched to air within Points South, an hourlong podcast from the Oxford American. Points South reflects the richness and diversity of the Oxford American magazine and its affiliated programming. Over the organization’s twenty-five-plus years, the South’s most important and promising writers, scholars, poets, and artists have told their stories in the magazine’s pages and at its events. In twenty-four segments over three years, “The Prologue” seeks to unearth Southern stories and experiences at their roots, tracing the importance of places, moments, and people to their reverberations in the present.

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

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$350,000 (approved)
$350,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2020 – 12/31/2022


TR-269614-20

International Documentary Foundation (Los Angeles, CA 90010-2207)
Trisha Ziff (Project Director: August 2019 to present)
Return to Oaxacalifornia

Production of a ninety-minute film that uses the lens of three generations of the same family to explore ideas of what is lost and gained through immigration and assimilation.

Return to Oaxacalifornia tells the story of the Mejia family from Oaxaca who emigrated to the U.S. 40 years ago as an economic necessity, fleeing drought and economic hardship. A post-NAFTA tale, a sequel of sorts: our film brings together material shot 25 years ago for the original film, Oaxacalifornia, with material we are currently producing. We meet the family in Fresno, C.A. and discover the changes in their lives. The new generation, seven grandchildren only know life in the U.S. and speak no Spanish. Mexico for them is imagined, or experienced through photographs, traditions, food, rituals. In our first film Leo and Mercedes, now grandparents spoke of retiring to Oaxaca but have spent more of their lives living in the U.S. The continuum of our film provides a unique insight into the process of assimilation, what remains important and what is lost, what changes. Three generations, three ways of seeing. They visit Mexico together as a family, is it how they imagined? Does it reson

Project fields:
Anthropology; Communications; Communications; Hispanic American Studies

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$313,793 (approved)
$313,793 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2020 – 9/30/2021


TR-269652-20

Katahdin Foundation (Berkeley, CA 94710-1713)
Laura Bialis (Project Director: August 2019 to present)
Vishniac

Production of a feature-length documentary about the photographer Roman Vishniac (1897–1990).

Vishniac will explore Roman Vishniac’s career and photographs and detail his dramatic life story. Made with the full cooperation of Vishniac’s daughter, Mara Vishniac Kohn, and with access to the Vishniac archive of more than 10,000 images, the documentary will delve into the complex person and story behind the photos. It will address controversies surrounding Vishniac, including recent debates about the authenticity of some of his photographs. It will reveal the ruptures in the family because of his flamboyant, often difficult personality. Finally, the film will frame Vishniac’s legacy as a key modernist photographer and preserver of memory. Vishniac’s collection is vast, unexpected, and causes us to step back in time. Through his iconic images, the film will expose new audiences to a lost world that is quickly fading from our grasp.

Project fields:
Art History and Criticism

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$396,940 (approved)
$396,940 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2020 – 1/31/2021


TR-269730-20

Kitchen Sisters Productions (San Francisco, CA 94133-5107)
Nikki Christine Silva (Project Director: August 2019 to present)
The Keepers: Radio/Podcast/Social Media Project, Season Two

Production of the second season of The Keepers, including eight podcasts for National Public Radio and fifty-two short stories for the website and social media.

The Kitchen Sisters request NEH support for Season Two of their award-winning series THE KEEPERS, a radio, podcast and social media project exploring the rich, hidden world of archivists, librarians, collectors, historians, curators—keepers of the culture and the cultures they keep. Building on the work of scholars, with nationwide input and ideas from archivists, librarians and the public, the series creatively brings diverse narratives to life deepening public awareness and understanding of the humanities, through skillful storytelling, a range of diverse voices and perspectives, oral histories, archival audio, music and natural sound. The series digs deep into complicated histories, neglected stories of traditionally marginalized people, and the lives and work of The Keepers, guardians of history, large and small, protectors of the free flow of information and ideas. We are requesting $100,000 to produce 8 radio/podcast stories and 52 Keeper of the Day web and social media stories.

Project fields:
Arts, Other; Journalism

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$100,000 (approved)
$100,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2020 – 4/30/2021


TR-269766-20

WNET (New York, NY 10019-7416)
Michael Kantor (Project Director: August 2019 to present)
American Masters: Marian Anderson: The Whole World in Her Hands

A documentary film about the singer Marian Anderson (1897–1993).

WNET is requesting production support for a 90-minute film exploring the life and legacy of singer Marian Anderson (1897-1993). "Marian Anderson: The Whole World in Her Hands" will air nation-wide on WNET’s AMERICAN MASTERS on PBS and will artfully tell the story of this pioneering artist and civil rights figure, presented against the background of the cultural and racial upheavals she experienced at home and abroad. In order to broaden public understanding of Anderson beyond the iconic moment of her 1939 “Freedom Concert” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., this film will also illuminate her exceptional artistic talents, and explore the thoughts and ideas of this deeply private person. Utilizing an extensive body of archival material and new interviews, this film will paint a full, nuanced, and complex picture of a great artist whose contribution to American history and culture deserves a richer examination.

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

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$650,000 (approved)
$650,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2020 – 7/31/2022


TR-271444-20

New School (New York, NY 10011-8871)
Alison Mears (Project Director: January 2020 to present)
Trace Material

Production of six thirty-minute episodes on the social history of plastic products.

Parsons Healthy Materials Lab (HML) requests a grant in support of Trace Material, a serial podcast that explores the intersection of our lives and the lives of the materials that surround us. The podcast evolved from materials research in the Lab that identified a gap in understanding of the common materials that surround us, the history of their development and their intersection with our lives. The materials we surround ourselves with have a major impact on our health, but they also tell us complex human stories about the world we live in.

Project fields:
U.S. History; Urban History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$200,000 (approved)
$200,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2020 – 9/30/2021


TR-271513-20

WNET (New York, NY 10019-7416)
Michael Kantor (Project Director: January 2020 to present)
American Masters—Buckley

Production of a 90-minute film about the life and legacy of William F. Buckley Jr.

This project is a 90-minute film on the life and legacy of William F. Buckley, Jr., the conservative intellectual and larger-than-life political figure. Broadcast as part of the AMERICAN MASTERS series on PBS, "Buckley" will take an objective look at the personal and political context of Buckley's life, and his profound impact on the fabric of the country in the second half of the 20th century.

Project fields:
History, General; Political History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$500,000 (approved)
$500,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2020 – 9/30/2022


TR-271534-20

Independent Feature Project, Inc. (Brooklyn, NY 11201-1122)
Zeva Oelbaum (Project Director: January 2020 to present)
Loïe Fuller: Obsessed with Light

Production of a ninety-minute documentary exploring the life and creative legacy of performing artist Loïe Fuller (1862–1928).

Loïe Fuller: Obsessed with Light will be the first feature-length documentary film about Loïe Fuller (1862-1928), an American from the Midwest who became one of the most famous performers in the world at the turn of the twentieth century. Beginning her career in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, Fuller moved to Paris during the fin de siècle and became known as a visionary artist, inventor, filmmaker and the first American modern dancer. Her innovations were pivotal in shaping the visual culture of the early twentieth century and although her name is largely unknown to the general public, she continues to have an influence in the contemporary art and design world today.

Project fields:
Dance History and Criticism; Film History and Criticism; Women's History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$325,000 (approved)
$325,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2020 – 9/30/2021


TR-271543-20

Center for Independent Documentary, Inc. (Boston, MA 02135-1032)
Tracie Holder (Project Director: January 2020 to present)
The People's Will

Production of a sixty-minute documentary using the 1849 Astor Place Riot to explore the history of theater, American politics, and social class in burgeoning urban centers.

The People’s Will, a 56-minute documentary, is the story of the Astor Place Riot which was sparked by two rival productions of Macbeth and marked the first time American troops would fire on American citizens. The event led to the death of 23 people in New York City in 1849. The People’s Will will explore this neglected episode of antebellum history which scholars now recognize as not only emblematic but pivotal. The film will address major humanities themes—social mobility vs. economic stratification, public order vs. free speech, political participation, and national identity—with a goal of providing a deeper understanding of history and of still-contested American issues.

Project fields:
Cultural History; U.S. History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals (outright + matching):
$485,000 (approved)
$400,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2021 – 5/31/2023


TR-269774-20

State Historical Society of Colorado (Denver, CO 80203-2109)
Noel Black (Project Director: August 2019 to present)
Lost Highways Podcast

Production of eight forty-five- to sixty-minute podcast episodes about Colorado and Western U.S. history.

The Lost Highways podcast begins by inviting listeners to draw connections between western history and current events. Hosts and lifelong Colorado residents Noel Black and Tyler Hill’s engagement with historical topics opens a personal door and invites listeners to cultivate a sense of wonder at the stories they discover along the way. Episodes span diverse cultures, geographies, and time periods in the history of Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West. Taken as a whole, the season will leave the listener with a deeper understanding of how the American West has long been seen as a place of freedom and opportunity, but that reputation for freedom is complicated by individuals’ lived experiences.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$208,808 (approved)
$208,808 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2020 – 3/31/2021


TR-264492-19

Catticus Corporation (Berkeley, CA 94710-2597)
Jason Cohn (Project Director: August 2018 to present)
Modernism, Inc.

Production of a one-hour film exploring the life and work of architect and industrial designer Eliot Noyes’ (1910­–77) corporate work.

Modernism, Inc. is a one-hour documentary intended for public television and other outlets that tells the story of Eliot Noyes, the iconic midcentury architect and designer who built the design programs for some of America’s most powerful postwar corporations. The film weaves Noyes’ story with the broader context of corporate America’s fulsome embrace of modernism during the period of postwar economic expansion and culminates in the under-documented backlash against Noyes and his generation of modernists during the countercultural upheaval of the Vietnam era. The life and work of Eliot Noyes in our telling is a vehicle to explore the much larger story of the intersection of postwar business, technology and design, a story that continues to resonate in the contemporary context.

Project fields:
Architecture; Cultural History; U.S. History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$500,000 (approved)
$500,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2019 – 12/31/2020


TR-264534-19

CultureTrust Greater Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA 19107-4701)
Samuel Katz (Project Director: August 2018 to present)
Beethoven in Beijing

Production of a feature-length documentary exploring the Philadelphia Orchestra’s financial struggles and 1973 historic performance in China.

Beethoven in Beijing is a feature-length documentary film that contrasts the thrilling rise of classical music in China with the struggles of symphonic orchestras in America. The story is told through the Philadelphia Orchestra, which made history on its tour of China in 1973, and now, half a century later, is turning to that past to secure its faltering future. The film will be distributed through theaters, public television and online streaming, fueling a robust educational outreach. The hub of this outreach will be a website containing a curriculum for middle and high school students, as well as supplementary webisodes, in-depth interviews, images and performance footage. The story will reveal unexpected and heart-warming connections between two cultures often cast in the harsh light of diplomatic and economic tensions. CultureTrust Greater Philadelphia, a nonprofit fiscal agent, is submitting this application on behalf of the producer, History Making Productions.

Project fields:
Cultural History; Music History and Criticism

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$200,000 (approved)
$200,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2019 – 9/30/2020


TR-264564-19

Smarthistory, Inc. (Pleasantville, NY 10570-2511)
Beth Harris (Project Director: August 2018 to present)
Smarthistory: At Risk Cultural Heritage Education Series, Phase 2

Production of twenty videos and five framing essays about the preservation, destruction, and re-creation of art.

ARCHES: At Risk Cultural Heritage Education Series brings the public to museums, temples, and excavations both remote and close to home to discuss dangers facing our shared cultural heritage. ARCHES brings together art historians, archaeologists, preservationists, and other experts to share their knowledge so that the public can go beyond the headlines to investigate the complex issues at stake at a time when our monuments, architecture, antiquities, and artworks—are under threat from war, looting, neglect, development, and civil unrest, and all at an unprecedented scale. Leaders across the field of cultural heritage preservation have urged Smarthistory to build on the success of ARCHES. Phase 2 will expand on the geographic breadth of the project and provide a richer intellectual framework so that viewers can explore how the destruction of heritage has been treated through history and across the cultural spectrum from Hollywood to the studios of contemporary artists.

Project fields:
Archaeology; Art History and Criticism; History, General

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$260,740 (approved)
$260,740 (awarded)

Grant period:
4/1/2019 – 7/31/2020


TR-266377-19

University of Nebraska, Board of Regents (Lincoln, NE 68503-2427)
William G. Thomas (Project Director: January 2019 to present)
The Bell Affair: A Film Reframing American Slavery and Freedom

Production of a one-hour live action animated documentary about an enslaved family that sued for freedom in 1830s Washington, D.C.

We are requesting a media production grant to support the completion of a one-hour animated documentary film set in Washington, D.C. in 1835-1836 about family, politics, slavery, and the making and meaning of freedom. The Bell Affair focuses on the particular experience of one enslaved family who sued for their freedom at a pivotal moment in the national struggle over slavery. Our team has produced an award-winning live-action animated short film, Anna (2018, annwilliamsfilm.com), as a proof-of-concept. This feature project tells the story of Daniel Bell, who launched a lawsuit to make his family free just as a labor strike, a lynch mob, and a race riot erupted in the nation's capital. This grant would provide critical support to film and animate the script; complete post-production and editing; develop a website to disseminate materials related to the historical context; design teaching programs with original source documents; and market, promote, and distribute the feature film.

Project fields:
African American History; Arts, General; U.S. History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$200,000 (approved)
$200,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2019 – 7/31/2021


TR-266384-19

International Documentary Foundation (Los Angeles, CA 90010-2207)
Ben Loeterman (Project Director: January 2019 to present)
Winchelldom: The World that Walter Winchell Built

Production of a sixty-minute documentary film about the prominent newspaper columnist and radio commentator Walter Winchell (1897–1972).

This is a request for a grant of $650,000 to produce a 60-minute documentary film about the lasting cultural impact of gossip columnist cum political commentator Walter Winchell. Winchelldom: The World that Walter Winchell Built (w.t.) traces this flawed protagonist, who at the height of his career had a combined print and radio audience of fifty million, two out of three American adults. In addition, it explores the phenomenon Winchell pioneered: celebrity, gossip, politics and news all rolled into one. It was, concluded the New Yorker in a 1940 six-part profile, nothing less than a, “new form of journalism.” A friend eulogized him saying, “Winchell’s primary objective is to explain the 20th century to his millions of readers. The fact is, however, that historians will be unable to explain the 20th century without understanding Winchell.”

Project fields:
Cultural History; Journalism

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$650,000 (approved)
$650,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2019 – 10/31/2020


TR-266323-19

Little Wound School Board, Inc. (Kyle, SD 57752-3080)
Mark Hetzel (Project Director: January 2019 to present)
The Heart of All That Is

Production of a seven-episode podcast series about the history of the Oglala Lakota Sioux.

A humanities-based oral history media project exploring the history, culture, and future of the Oglala Lakota Nation. The flagship product of The Heart of All That Is is a limited release seven episode podcast, supplemented with original photography and video elements for wide distribution and audience engagement.

[Media coverage]

Project fields:
Cultural Anthropology; Native American Studies

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$200,000 (approved)
$200,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2019 – 10/31/2022


TR-266341-19

Futuro Media Group (New York, NY 10027-4843)
Charlotte Mangin (Project Director: January 2019 to present)
UNLADYLIKE2020

Production of twenty-six animated short documentary films about little-known Progressive Era women who achieved success in science, business, aviation, journalism, politics, medicine, exploration, and the arts.

UNLADYLIKE2020 is an innovative multimedia series featuring little-known American women from the turn of the 20th century, set to launch in 2020 for the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage. Our 26 animated documentary shorts will be released digitally on a weekly basis by PBS’s flagship biography series American Masters for the 26 weeks between March 1, the start of Women’s History Month, and August 26, 2020, a day known as Women's Equality Day, named to commemorate the 1920 ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, and also will be repackaged into a public television broadcast hour. Each 5-to-7 minute episode will profile a female trailblazer from the Progressive Era in U.S. history (1890s through 1920s) who broke barriers in then-male-dominated fields such as science, business, aviation, journalism, politics, medicine, exploration, and the arts.

[Grant products][Prizes]

Project fields:
Ethnic Studies; U.S. History; Women's History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals (outright + matching):
$700,000 (approved)
$700,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2019 – 12/31/2020


TR-266347-19

Linguistic Society of America (Washington, DC 20007-2631)
Alyson Reed (Project Director: January 2019 to present)
Language and Linguistics Podcast (Successor to "World in Words")

Production of twenty original episodes of a podcast on language, Subtitle, and additional related programming.

The Linguistic Society of America (LSA) requests a Production Grant of $199,330 over 12 months in support of Subtitle, a podcast project focusing on language. Subtitle is the successor to The World in Words, the recipient of three NEH production grants. This grant would support 20 original podcasts, each with a duration of 20-25 minutes, culminating in a mini-series of six episodes entitled How We Speak. In addition, the nationally-distributed radio program, Here & Now (WBUR/NPR) would broadcast shorter versions (3-7 minutes) of most of the podcast episodes. The grant would also support Subtitle’s online activity, with particular emphasis on social media conversations aimed at engaging a general audience.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Languages, General; Linguistics; Social Sciences, General

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$199,330 (approved)
$199,330 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2019 – 8/31/2020


TR-266364-19

PBS Foundation (Arlington, VA 22202-3784)
Brandon Arolfo (Project Director: January 2019 to present)
It’s Lit! A Series About Books from PBS Digital Studios

Production of a series of short films about literature.

PBS Digital Studios is asking for $478,790 from the NEH to support a new, 30-episode season of It’s Lit to be released on YouTube and Facebook, as well as a companion podcast produced by noted PBS Station WGBH Boston and supplemental educational materials created by PBS Learning Media. Launched in June 2018, It’s Lit is a digital series from PBS Digital Studios featuring smart, funny, and shareable video essays about books and why we love to read. PBS Digital Studios has assembled a team of literature scholars, social media-savvy content creators, and PBS staff to help create a series that celebrates readers’ favorite books, authors, and genres in a format that appeals to millennials and Gen Z audiences. Our goal is to make It’s Lit one the most vibrant book communities on YouTube and Facebook, as well as to deepen our viewer’s understanding of iconic works from the literary canon and popular fiction alike.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
American Literature; Media Studies

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$478,790 (approved)
$422,014 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2019 – 3/31/2022


TR-266369-19

Southern Documentary Fund (Durham, NC 27702-3622)
Samuel Parker (Project Director: January 2019 to August 2019)
Cynthia Hill (Project Director: August 2019 to present)
South by Somewhere

Production of a series of programs that examine the foodways, history, and culture of the American South.

South by Somewhere [working title] is a television series starring chef Vivian Howard, a best-selling author and chef who appears on the Peabody and Emmy award-winning television show, A Chef's Life, which aired for five seasons on PBS and reached 4 million viewers per episode. In the new series, Howard aims to show the diverse cultures found in the rural South through common dishes served on her neighbors and friends’ tables. While learning to make other communities' versions of hand pies, dumplings, and porridge, Vivian will hear the stories of her native and immigrant neighbors, digging into complexities of the past and present while celebrating the beauty of its cultures through the dishes Vivian and her neighbors all share. South by Somewhere will show that the rural South is more than cornbread and collards, but also tamales, hummus, kimchi, and a whole lot more.

Project fields:
Interdisciplinary Studies, General; Rural Studies

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$600,000 (approved)
$600,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2019 – 12/31/2020


TR-264630-19

Tulane University (New Orleans, LA 70118-5698)
Nick Spitzer (Project Director: August 2018 to present)
American Routes: Cultural Continuity & Creativity in the Vernacular Humanities

Production of eight, two-hour radio programs on American music and culture.

American Routes radio program seeks support for a series of 8 new humanities-oriented 2-hour programs for broadcast nationwide in 2019-20. The programs will focus on the role of cultural continuity and creativity in response to natural and man-made disasters, economic downturn, migration from and to home, and concerns about the future of communities and cultures. As a companion piece, we propose to work with various organizations to arrange community forums for the proposed programs that take place in a "place": NYC, Miami, Honolulu, Galax, VA, and New Orleans. Each gathering will be tailored to a particular program as a means to discuss humanities issues the program will try to address, and to seek guidance on content from local audiences and authorities. A detailed description of the programs is in the "treatments" attachment and details about the forum component are in the "narrative" attachment.

Project fields:
American Studies; Arts, Other; Folklore and Folklife

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$200,000 (approved)
$200,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2019 – 12/31/2020


TR-264665-19

Women Make Movies, Inc. (New York, NY 10001-5059)
Barbara Ghammashi (Project Director: August 2018 to April 2019)
Rachel Watanabe-Batton (Project Director: April 2019 to present)
Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl

A two-hour documentary film on the life and work of Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor (1937–2016), a twentieth-century American poet, civil rights activist, actress, culinary anthropologist, writer, journalist, radio host, and chef.

Through a narrative blend of first-person storytelling, archival images and sounds, contemporary landscapes, settings, and dramatic evocations of historical moments, Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl, a two-hour documentary film, explores the South Carolina Lowcountry community and culture that framed Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor’s work, and the powerful relationships that informed her storied career around the globe. It situates her particular Gullah-Geechee story within the context of twentieth-century American history and culture, US Southern race relations, and frames her as a major contributor to international artistic, intellectual, and social movements.

Project fields:
African American History; U.S. History; Women's History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$500,000 (approved)
$500,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2019 – 6/30/2021


TR-264697-19

City Lore, Inc. (New York, NY 10003-9345)
Eric Burns (Project Director: August 2018 to present)
Steeplechase Films: Dante

Production of a three-hour documentary film exploring the life and work of Dante Alighieri (1265–1321), author of The Divine Comedy.

DANTE is a three-part, three-hour documentary produced by Steeplechase Films and directed by Ric Burns for public television. The film chronicles the life of Dante Alighieri and his epic poem The Divine Comedy – inarguably one of the greatest literary masterpieces in history – comparable in power, range and sublimity only to the achievements of Homer and Shakespeare. The film explores both Dante the poet and Dante the pilgrim as he traverses literally through the realities of life and figuratively through the realms of the afterlife in the pages of what he called, simply, La Commedia. It aims to make this complicated masterpiece – composed in terza rima, a form Dante himself created – accessible to a wide-ranging, diverse audience across the globe, while also facing the perplexing question of what gets lost in translation. Dante can be seen as the founder of the modern Italian language and inventor of humanism, forever redefining religion, art, history, literature and culture.

Project fields:
Italian Literature; Medieval History; Religion, General

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$575,000 (approved)
$572,688 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2019 – 12/31/2021


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

No project description available

Project fields:
American Literature; American Studies

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$500,000 (approved)
$500,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2018 – 3/31/2021


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

No project description available

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

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$500,000 (approved)
$500,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2018 – 12/31/2021


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.

[Grant products][Media coverage]

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

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$500,000 (approved)
$500,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2018 – 12/31/2020


TR-261123-18

Public Radio International (Minneapolis, MN 55401-2097)
Melinda Ward (Project Director: January 2018 to October 2019)
John Barth (Project Director: October 2019 to present)
American Oral History Project: LBJ's Great Society & Richard Nixon's War

No project description available

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Political History; U.S. History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$301,331 (approved)
$301,331 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2018 – 3/31/2021


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

Totals:
$450,000 (approved)
$450,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2019 – 10/31/2021


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

Totals:
$450,000 (approved)
$450,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
4/1/2018 – 4/30/2021


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 January 2019)
Kevin McFadden (Project Director: January 2019 to present)
Classroom Connections

No project description available

[Grant products]

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

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$460,000 (approved)
$460,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2018 – 6/30/2020


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

Totals:
$500,000 (approved)
$500,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2018 – 4/30/2021


TR-259360-18

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

No project description available

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Journalism; U.S. History

Program:
Media Projects Production

Division:
Public Programs

Totals (outright + matching):
$350,000 (approved)
$350,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
4/1/2018 – 10/31/2020