National Endowment for the Humanities Announces New Grants

The New York Botanical Garden, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and the Judd Foundation in Marfa, Texas, are among 225 beneficiaries of new grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities that were announced on Wednesday.

The grants, which total $24 million, will support projects at museums, libraries, universities and historic sites in 45 states, as well as in Washington and Puerto Rico. They will enable the excavation of a newly discovered ancient Egyptian brewery by researchers from New York University, the implementation of a traveling exhibition honoring Emmett Till’s legacy at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, and research for a biography of the congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis by David Greenberg, a professor at Rutgers University.

Adam Wolfson, the endowment’s acting chairman, said in a statement that the new projects “embody excellence, intellectual rigor and a dedication to the pursuit of knowledge, even as our nation and the humanities community continue to face the challenges of the pandemic.”

As part of a new grant program in archaeology and ethnography, seven of the awards will support empirical field research, including the excavation of the ancient city of Teotihuacan in central Mexico and the investigation of settlement and migration patterns on the Micronesian islands of Pohnpei and Kosrae.

In New York, 40 projects at the state’s cultural organizations will receive $6.6 million in grants. Funding will support the creation of a digital, open-access database of the endangered Uto-Aztecan language Wixárika, from west-central Mexico, at the New York Botanical Garden; the expansion of the Freedom of Information Archive, a digital resource of 4.6 million declassified documents, at Columbia University; and the production of a 15-episode “Radio Diaries” documentary podcast series, which uses archival audio recordings to tell forgotten stories of 20th century America, like that of the last surviving Watergate burglar.

Elsewhere, the grants will support the processing of 384 linear feet of documents, manuscripts and correspondence related to the life and work of the artist Donald Judd at the Judd Foundation; the expansion of an online repository at Michigan State University that documents the lives of individuals who were enslaved, owned slaves or participated in the historical slave trade; and the researching and writing of a book on signed music for the deaf community.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art will receive a grant to produce an exhibition, “Dining With the Sultan,” that features art depicting Islamic courtly dining culture and culinary traditions from the eighth through the 19th centuries. And at California State University’s Fullerton campus, a team will use Bob Damron’s Address Books, a prominent travel directory used by L.G.B.T.Q. Americans in the late 20th century, to create interactive maps and visualizations.

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