American Experience: Panama Canal
Recipient: Samels, Mark (Boston, MA 02135 USA) in affiliation with WGBH Educational Foundation
Goal: Production of a two-hour documentary on the history of the construction of the Panama Canal for PBS's American Experience.
Description: This is a request to the National Endowment for the Humanities for funds to support the production of ???Panama Canal,??? a two-hour special presentation of American Experience, for national broadcast on PBS. Focusing primarily on the decade-long American construction effort, it places the American Canal against the backdrop of the calamitous French effort that preceded and haunted it. It traces the roots of the American commitment to a trans-Isthmian canal in Theodore Roosevelt???s expansionist vision of American power, and shows how advances in public health, technology and engineering made it possible for the Americans to succeed where the French had failed. It examines how the leadership of the canal dealt with the challenges of recruiting and managing an immense and diverse work force,and explores the risks borne by workers building one of the planet's most remarkable structures in one of the most hostile environments on earth.
Grant: 197094 / TR-50066-10, Category: American History, Division: Public Programs, Year Awarded: 2010
To Tell the Truth
Recipient: Pomeroy, Ali (New York, NY 10011 USA) in affiliation with Moving Image (New York, NY 10013 USA)
Goal: Production of a six-hour documentary series tracing the history of the nonfiction film, from the beginnings of cinema to the present.
Description: In six hour-long episodes, TO TELL THE TRUTH will trace the evolution of non???fiction film from the dawn of cinema to the current era. The series will show how documentaries have both shaped and reflected their times and our view of the past. In the process, we will disseminate scholarship from the field of visual studies; educate viewers about the choices behind, and consequences of, on-screen ???reality???; and help expand the audience for substantive documentaries past and present. Above all, TO TELL THE TRUTH will capture a unique cultural history of America.
Grant: 197099 / TR-50071-09, Category: Film History and Criticism, Division: Public Programs, Year Awarded: 2009
The Big Show in Bololand
Recipient: Hoyt, Austin (Cambridge, MA 02138 USA) in affiliation with Filmmakers Collaborative, Inc. (Waltham, MA 02453 USA)
Goal: Production of a 60-minute film and an accompanying website about the efforts of the American Relief Administration to combat starvation in the new Soviet Union from 1921 to 1923.
Description: "The Big Show in Bololand" is a 60-minute documentary on the work of the American Relief Administration (ARA) to combat stavation in the new Soviet Russia from 1921-23. It will focus on the challenges faced by two ARA volunteers. In the background are the distrust and the political agendas of an ardent anti-communist, the ARA's director Herbert Hoover, and the leader of Russia's new regime, Vladimir Lenin.
Grant: 197151 / TR-50093-09, Category: Humanities, Division: Public Programs, Year Awarded: 2009
John Muir in the New World
Recipient: Tatge, Catherine A (New York, NY 10025-3322 USA) in affiliation with Global Village Media
Goal: Production of a two-hour television documentary and website that examines the life of the Scottish-American naturalist John Muir and places his writing, his beliefs, and his activism in the context of late 19th- and 20th-century American history.
Description: This two-hour documentary,John Muir in the New World [working title], shot on high definition for PBS' American Masters, will follow the life of the Scottish-American naturalist and place his writing, his beliefs, and his activism in the context of late 19th and 20th century American history. We will show how, through his writings and associations, Muir became an early and influential spokesman for the conservation movement of the United States. Visually, this film will be strongly rooted in the locations of Muir's life, from Scotland to California, which were the prime influences on his thinking and writing. While preparing this documentary, we will look specifically at the emergent field of environmental history and the new scholarship on the definition of wilderness. We will also explore Muir's egalitarianism within the context of American political thought. And we will consider the importance of religion in Muir's thinking as it related to his botanical and geological observations.
Grant: 194668 / TR-50032-09, Category: American Studies, Division: Public Programs, Year Awarded: 2009
Butterfly: The Art and Life of James McNeill Whistler
Recipient: Thomas, Karen (Washington, DC 20009 USA) in affiliation with Film Odyssey, Inc. (Washington, DC 20037 USA)
Goal: Production of a one-hour critical biography on the art and life of American artist James McNeill Whistler.
Description: A painter, an etcher, and designer who brought attention to his work with his brilliant wit, contretemps with the press, showmanship and talent, James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) was an American-born artist whose contributions to art include landscape paintings that nudged 19th century art towards abstraction, portraits (such as the iconic "Whistler's Mother")that are known for their color harmony and restraint, and etchings which are to the 19th and 20th centuries as Rembrandt's were to the 17th. A serious reformer of contemporary art, Whistler was an independent artist whose focus on the aesthetic quality of art ("art for art's sake"), rather than any social, moral or ethical purpose, was contrary to the thinking of many in his day. We are requesting production support for a one-hour critical biography on the art and life of James McNeill Whistler.
Grant: 197096 / TR-50068-09, Category: Art History and Criticism, Division: Public Programs, Year Awarded: 2009
America, Whaling, and the World
Recipient: Burns, Ric (New York, NY 10023 USA) in affiliation with City Lore: NY Center for Urban Folk Culture (New York, NY 10003 USA)
Goal: Production of a two-hour documentary exploring the history, culture, and significance of the American whaling industry from 1620 to 1924.
Description: INTO THE DEEP: America, Whaling & the World: a two-hour documentary film for national broadcast on PBS in 2010, directed by Ric Burns and co-produced by Steeplechase Films, American Experience, and WGBH/Boston, explores the history, culture and significance of the American whaling industry from its 17th century origins in drift and shore-whaling, through the golden age of deep ocean whaling in the 18th and 19th centuries, and on to the industry's demise in the decades following the American Civil War. Combining stunning archival material with powerful on-camera interviews, evocative live cinematography, dramatic reenactments, and underwater footage of whales at sea, the film will bring alive the complex reality and extraordinary experience of American whaling as the nation rose to the threshold of global power, all the while registering the larger forces, economic, social, cultural, technological and environmental, that shaped and propelled American Whaling from start to finish.
Grant: 197113 / TR-50085-09, Category: American History, Division: Public Programs, Year Awarded: 2009
Picturing America On-screen and Online
Recipient: Lacy, Susan (New York, NY 10001 USA) in affiliation with Educational Broadcasting Corporation
Goal: Production of 20 three- to five-minute video segments, together with a website, exploring the masterworks of American art featured in the NEH initiative Picturing America.
Description: Picturing America on Screen is a multi-media companion project that will extend the reach of the Picturing America initiative via production and online distribution of video segments featuring each of the selected works of art, an educational DVD, and an interactive "Viewers' Choice" interactive online component. This media presentation will explore on screen the interpretations and appeal of the selected works of American art, as well as engage a broad spectrum of the American public in a dialogue about them. These dynamic segments, produced by a variety of directors using a wide range of perspectives and viewpoints, aspire to strengthen the nexus of history and art as well as demonstrate how looking at art can be a vital component in the study of our cultural history. al history.
Grant: 194064 / TR-50029-09, Category: Media-General, Division: Public Programs, Year Awarded: 2009
Robert E. Lee
Recipient: Samels, Mark (Boston, MA 02135 USA) in affiliation with WGBH Educational Foundation
Goal: Production of a two-hour television program with accompanying website for the American Experience that examines the life of Robert E. Lee.
Description: This is a request to the National Endowment for the Humanities for funds to support the production of ???Robert E. Lee,??? a two-hour special presentation of American Experience, for national broadcast on PBS. It examines the life and reputation of the Confederacy???s pre-eminent general, whose military successes made him the scourge of the Union and the hero of the Confederacy during the Civil War, and who was elevated to almost godlike status by his admirers after his death. It examines a number of dimensions of an extraordinary life and an enigmatic personality, looking at Lee as a son; as a Virginian and a Southerner; as a Christian; as a soldier; as a symbol; and most fundamentally, as a man. Spanning the 19th century, from Lee???s birth to his apotheosis, it tells the story of how Lee rose from a genteel background shadowed by paternal disgrace to become the unchallenged hero of the white Southern cause.
Grant: 194669 / TR-50033-09, Category: American History, Division: Public Programs, Year Awarded: 2009
Lost Treasure Hunt
Recipient: Davis, Matthew Gary (Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA 90275-2247 USA) in affiliation with San Francisco Film Society (San Francisco , CA 94129 USA)
Goal: Production of a 30-minute pilot television program, "Christopher Columbus: The Mystery of the Santa Maria," and an accompanying interactive website. This would be the first program of a 13-part series entitled "The Lost Treasure Hunt."
Description: "Lost Treasure Hunt" is an educational television project that will explore topics in history and the humanities by using a unique combination of live-action documentary and animation. Bringing together nationally-recognized scholars and educators with an experienced animation creative team, the "Lost Treasure Hunt" pilot episode and website will introduce children to historical subjects and explore multicultural topics in a style that is relevant to a young audience confronted with many media choices."
Grant: 197104 / TR-50076-09, Category: History, Division: Public Programs, Year Awarded: 2009
Young American Heroes
Recipient: Campbell, Chris (South Norwalk, CT 06854 USA) in affiliation with Connecticut Public Broadcasting (Hartford, CT 06106 USA)
Goal: Post-production of a 28-minute pilot television program for PBS and the development of detailed treatments for an additional four episodes, a Web 2.0 interactive website, a curriculum-based teacher's website, a retail DVD, and a graphic novel examining the early life of Frederick Douglass.
Description: The Young American Heroes (YAH) series (for which we are producing the Frederick Douglass pilot) will take a break-the-mold approach to telling the epic story of America???s past to middle school students. We will do so by using primary documents and diaries to show ordinary kids doing extraordinary things during seminal moments in American history. This peer approach to historical narrative brings the past to life in a way that is both captivating and informing for the target demographic ??? young people ages 11-14 in grades 6-9 and their teachers and parents. The content platforms for the pilot include: Television program (1 x 30) for PBS; Web 2.0 interactive web site; Teacher???s website which will contain curriculum and teacher???s guide; Retail DVD; Graphic novel; web microsite for teacher/student creative input.
Grant: 194685 / TR-50049-09, Category: American History, Division: Public Programs, Year Awarded: 2009
American Icons II on Studio 360 from PRI and WNYC
Recipient: Ward, Melinda (Minneapolis, MN 55403 USA) in affiliation with Public Radio International
Goal: Production of four hour-long radio programs and five shorter segments on iconic works of American culture for Public Radio International's Studio 360, together with development and production of digital companion materials.
Description: "American Icons" is a group of specially-developed and produced programs and stories to be broadcast within Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, a weekly one-hour public radio show about creativity, the arts and humanities co-produced by PRI and WNYC Radio and distributed nationally by PRI. Each of the "American Icons" programs or stories will examine a classic work -- of literature, music, film, architecture, theater or visual art -- that has achieved the status of an "icon" in American culture. Online extensions and interactive features will invite audience participation and engagement. For each subject, a range of stories will explore the historical and social context of the work itself, the contradictions and controversies surrounding its creation, what it signified when it was first created, and what it has come to signify over time.
Grant: 194679 / TR-50043-09, Category: Humanities, Division: Public Programs, Year Awarded: 2009
Radio Shakespeare: His Work, His World, & Our World
Recipient: Rowland, Steven (Seattle, WA 98115 USA) in affiliation with CultureWorks, Ltd. (Philadelphia, PA 19143-1868 USA)
Goal: Production of six, one-hour radio programs that examine the enduring resonance of Shakespeare's work and issues in current Shakespeare scholarship.
Description: A series of 6 one-hour documentaries about how Shakespeare's works live and breathe in contemporary culture. Each program will include interviews with scholars, actors, writer and directors, as well as newly produced scenes, dialogues and monologues. The focus of the series is to 'de-mystify' Shakespeare's works, language, characters, poetry - so that thousands of Americans can feel the plays (and poems) are accessible and speak to each one of us. Attention will be paid to the myriad of scholarly approaches that now prevail in the world of Shakespeare studies -- introducing the audience to different points of view. The programs will be richly produced, in the style of our previously NEH funded series "Leonard Bernstein: An American Life, narrated by Susan Sarandon". That 11 hour series was the most widely heard special in the history of public radio, and won a Peabody Award. Has guaranteed distribution by The WFMT Fine Arts Network & matching funds from Corp for Pub Bdcstg and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Grant: 197623 / TR-50098-09, Category: Humanities, Division: Public Programs, Year Awarded: 2009
Recipient: Barlow, W. Sean (Brooklyn, NY 11215 USA) in affiliation with World Music Productions
Goal: Production of six new one-hour episodes, re-editing of twelve encore episodes, development of a set of interactive maps of the history of music in Mali, and revision of the website to enhance user-friendly access and interactivity.
Description: Since 1988, the public radio program Afropop Worldwide has introduced American listeners to the cultures of Africa and the African Diaspora. The series is distributed by PRI to 113 U.S. stations, and is available via XM radio, and on-demand streaming from our website, www.afropop.org. Over the past five years, Afropop has collaborated with scholars and authors to develop the acclaimed, NEH-funded Hip Deep series, which introduces humanities themes to general audiences. Our 2007 NEH grant also funded a prototype ???exploratory map,??? providing interactive, online access to Hip Deep materials. This year, World Music Productions requests a grant of $200,000 from the NEH to continue this work by 1) producing 6 new and 12 encore programs. 2) develop a new exploratory map set focused on the history and music of Mali, and 3) overhaul our website to support dialog and exchange between listeners and scholars, and make Hip Deep materials dramatically more available to web users everywhere.
Grant: 194688 / TR-50052-09, Category: Music History and Criticism, Division: Public Programs, Year Awarded: 2009
American Experience: Freedom Riders
Recipient: Samels, Mark (Boston, MA 02135 USA) in affiliation with WGBH Educational Foundation
Goal: Production of a multiplatform media project on the Freedom Riders, the hundreds of Civil Rights activists who challenged segregation in interstate transport in the American South during the spring and summer of 1961.
Description: This is a request to the National Endowment for the Humanities for a production grant to support an ambitious multi-platform project on the Freedom Riders, the hundreds of civil rights activists who challenged segregation in interstate transport in the American South during the spring and summer of 1961. The centerpiece of the project is a special two-hour film presentation of AMERICAN EXPERIENCE with a national PBS broadcast scheduled to coincide with the Rides' fiftieth anniversary in 2011. The Freedom Riders project also includes an interactive website, on which the documentary will be made available as streaming video; an extended series of vodcasts featuring Riders and scholars; a series of panel discussions and screening events, hosted by universities, museums, and humanities councils around the country; and a traveling exhibit for libraries, created in association with the Gilder Lehrman Institute.
Grant: 191736 / TR-50006-08, Category: American History, Division: Public Programs, Year Awarded: 2008
Postcards From Buster
Recipient: Greenwald, Carol (Boston, MA 02135 USA) in affiliation with WGBH Educational Foundation
Goal: Production of three half-hour episodes on the history and culture of India, Kenya, and Chile for Postcards from Buster, a television series for children six to eight years old; in addition, support of material on six countries for the Arthur website and the Arthur's World exhibit at the Boston Children's Museum.
Description: The WGBH Educational Foundation seeks funding for an international multi-media project, centered around the production of three International Specials that comprise the fourth season of Postcards From Buster. Featuring a combination of live-action and animation, the episodes will introduce 6-8 year olds to the music, art, language, religion, cultural traditions and history of its international destinations (India, Kenya, and Chile). Funding will also allow WGBH to create Web, outreach, and museum activities that enhance and expand upon the humanities content presented in the international TV episodes from both Seasons III (Egypt, Italy, China) and IV. WGBH is working with educators and curriculum experts to create a project that is grounded in sound scholarship and will encourage young people?s engagement with the humanities in an increasingly interconnected world.
Grant: 191746 / TR-50016-08, Category: Interdisciplinary, Division: Public Programs, Year Awarded: 2008
WNYC Radio's The Jazz Loft Project
Recipient: Fishko, Sara (New York, NY 10007 USA) in affiliation with WNYC Radio (New York, NY 10007-1602 USA)
Goal: Production of two one-hour radio programs, 10 shorter modules (8 to 14 minutes each) and digital components on the history and culture of jazz in New York during the 1950s and 1960s.
Description: WNYC Radio requests a $100,000 production grant (outright funds) from the NEH for the broadcast portion of The Jazz Loft Radio Project, a documentary radio series that will feature a collection of audio recordings taken by photojournalist W. Eugene Smith during the years 1957-1965 in the "Jazz Loft," an after-hours meeting place for many of the day's best jazz musicians. Sara Fishko, WNYC producer and host, will work with Sam Stephenson, The Jazz Loft Project founder, and a panel of scholarly and professional advisors to produce 10 programs of 8 to 14 minutes in length featuring material from audio archive, interviews, narration, and sound design. The series is designed to introduce Smith's collection to the general public and investigate a range of broad-based humanities themes, including jazz and musicology, urban politics, civil rights, and cultural development, among others, through the lens of jazz music.
Grant: 191738 / TR-50008-08, Category: Music History and Criticism, Division: Public Programs, Year Awarded: 2008
Speaking of Faith: Biographical Series
Recipient: Moos, Kate (St. Paul, MN 55101 USA) in affiliation with Minnesota Public Radio
Goal: Production of a one-hour radio program, together with a companion website, on Tatanka Iyotanka (Sitting Bull), and development of six treatments profiling significant figures in the history of religious thought around the world.
Description: American Public Media|Minnesota Public Radio respectfully request a one-year grant of $79,556 from the NEH to extend and amplify Speaking of Faith's (SoF) existing NEH-funded work in the area of historical biography. This grant would support the production of a one-hour radio program, extensive interactive, multimedia companion Web site, and accompanying discussion and reflection guide for adult learners. The subject of this episode--the seventh in our series--will be Hunkpapa Lakota chief Tatanka Iyotanka (Sitting Bull). We also request funding for the development of six more program treatments for future production. These treatments would be selected from an ongoing list of historic figures who have had significant impact on their own time, and whose legacy is under-reported but meaningful. Our request for funding takes into account the fact that much more research, and other specialized production activities are involved in the creation of each program in the biographical series.
Grant: 191740 / TR-50010-08, Category: Media-General, Division: Public Programs, Year Awarded: 2008
Picturing America on Screen
Recipient: Segaller, Stephen (New York, NY 10001 USA) in affiliation with Educational Broadcasting Corporation
Grant: 192449 / TR-50028-08, Category: Humanities, Division: Public Programs, Year Awarded: 2008
Now Debate This
Recipient: Hagy, Mary L (Philadelphia, PA 19147-3204 USA) in affiliation with National Forensic League (Ripon, WI 54971 USA)
Grant: 194579 / TR-50030-08, Category: Humanities, Division: Public Programs, Year Awarded: 2008