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Funded Projects Query Form
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Organization name: Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library
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GA-275983-20

Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, Inc. (Indianapolis, IN 46204-1708)
Lauren Ramsby (Project Director: May 2020 to present)
Vonnegut for These Times: Sharing Kurt Vonnegut’s Wit and Wisdom through a Virtual Museum and Programs

The retention of five staff to create virtual museum tours.

The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library (KVML), a 501c(3) nonprofit in Indianapolis, Indiana, requests support to retain five staff members, rehire three furloughed staff members, and hire one paid graduate student intern to provide a virtual museum and programs through the end of the year. KVML champions the legacy of writer Kurt Vonnegut, and the wit and wisdom of his writing is even more relevant and relatable during this global pandemic. Through this project, KVML will provide virtual tours of its museum collection and offer virtual public programming about freedom of expression, civic engagement, and the historical context and literary merit of Kurt Vonnegut’s work.

Project fields:
American Literature; U.S. History

Program:
Cooperative Agreements and Special Projects (Public Programs)

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$44,500 (approved)
$44,500 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/15/2020 – 3/31/2021


GE-261064-18

Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, Inc. (Indianapolis, IN 46204-1708)
Julia Whitehead (Project Director: January 2018 to present)
Unstuck in Time: Slaughterhouse-Five Then and Now

Planning a permanent exhibition and the expansion of an existing traveling exhibition exploring the impact of Kurt Vonnegut and his seminal novel Slaughterhouse-Five.

The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library (KVML), a 501c(3) nonprofit in Indianapolis, Indiana requests $20,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities Exhibitions Planning Grant to develop a preliminary design, script, marketing plan, and evaluation plan for “Unstuck in Time: Slaughterhouse-Five Then and Now,” a new permanent exhibition. KVML is the only organization dedicated to championing the legacy of Hoosier author Kurt Vonnegut and the principles of free expression, common decency, and peaceful coexistence he championed. “Unstuck in Time” explores Kurt Vonnegut’s most widely-read novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, and will include a traveling exhibition that will increase the reach of “Unstuck in Time.”

[Grant products]

Project fields:
American Literature; Military History

Program:
Exhibitions: Planning

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$20,000 (approved)
$20,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2018 – 8/31/2019


PG-252845-17

Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, Inc. (Indianapolis, IN 46204-1708)
Julia Whitehead (Project Director: May 2016 to present)
Continued Preservation of Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library Collections

The purchase of storage furniture, environmental monitoring equipment, and staff training in storage techniques and use of the environmental monitors. The collection, which pertains to Kurt Vonnegut’s career, includes 70 first editions of the author’s novels, 25 signed copies, Vonnegut family photographs, approximately 500 volumes representing Vonnegut’s personal library, and assorted memorabilia. Particularly notable are the objects and ephemera associated with Vonnegut’s years as a soldier and prisoner of war, of note to researchers interested in the relationship of World War II and its aftermath with art, literature, and journalism.

The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library (KVML) honors the legacy of author Kurt Vonnegut and the principles of free expression, common decency, and peaceful coexistence he advocated. KVML operates a small museum in Indianapolis and presents special collections pertaining to Vonnegut’s life and works. The museum hosts approximately 15,000 visitors a year. However, before 2016, KVML did not have a preservation plan for its extensive collection of Vonnegut memorabilia, including first edition texts, artifacts from Vonnegut’s life, and cultural items from the projects Vonnegut inspired. Thanks to a NEH Preservation Grant, KVML has received an on-site assessment from a collections expert and is implementing its recommendations. This project aims to further the organization’s collection preservation through funding for storage furniture and environmental monitoring equipment. Preserving the collections housed by KVML is essential to preserving Vonnegut’s legacy.

Project fields:
American Literature; Cultural History

Program:
Preservation Assistance Grants

Division:
Preservation and Access

Totals:
$5,147 (approved)
$5,147 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2018 – 12/31/2019


PG-233848-16

Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, Inc. (Indianapolis, IN 46204-1708)
Julia Whitehead (Project Director: May 2015 to present)
Preservation of Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library Collections

A conservation assessment of the Kurt Vonnegut collection, preservation education for staff, and purchase of environmental monitoring equipment and shelving.  The collection includes first printings of 70 Vonnegut books and 25 signed editions, hundreds of books, films, and magazines about his writing and life, and a 500-item circulating collection of materials Vonnegut claimed as influences.  Object and ephemera collections include an unopened 1945 letter to Vonnegut from his father while he was a prisoner of war, his paintings and drawings, a pack of his Pall Mall cigarettes, a Smith-Corona typewriter, and a box containing rejection slips from publishers.  The Library opened in 2010 and works closely with the Lilly Library Manuscript Collections at Indiana University, which holds Vonnegut’s papers from 1941 to 2007.  A new institution which has prioritized public outreach and community engagement, the Library has connected with all eight area public schools serving 11,000 high school students, runs programs with senior citizen homes, works collaboratively with several major veterans’ organizations, and boasts an impressive number of annual visitors.  A 2014 assessment by local preservation graduate students recommended the activities proposed.

Located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library (KVML) honors the iconoclastic legacy of author and humorist Kurt Vonnegut Jr. through the presentation of special collections items pertaining to his life and works. A nonprofit institution, the KVML has made significant efforts in bringing Vonnegut's works to the public through extensive outreach campaigns and collaborations with other regional institutions. Despite the great strides made by the KVML, the institution is currently in need of a concrete preservation plan. This project aims to address these needs by providing KVML staff with the core competencies for humanities preservation. This grant application requests funding for staff education, an on-site assessment, environmental monitoring equipment, and shelving. Preserving the collections housed in the KVML is necessary to safeguard Vonnegut's legacy as an author, activist, humanist, and Hoosier.

Project fields:
American Government; American Literature; U.S. History

Program:
Preservation Assistance Grants

Division:
Preservation and Access

Totals:
$5,550 (approved)
$5,550 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2016 – 6/30/2019