A PBS documentary on the 400-year history of Shakespeare’s plays, a New York Public Library summer program for educators about efforts to provide equal access to education in 20th-century Harlem and research for a book on the history of red hair are among those announced Tuesday 226 beneficiaries of new grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The grants, totaling $31.5 million, the third round of awards this year, will support projects at museums, libraries, universities and historic sites in the 45 states and Washington, D.C., as well as in Canada, England and the Netherlands.
Such projects include a documentary to be produced with Louisiana Public Broadcasting about the Colfax Massacre — named for the town and parish where dozens of former slaves were killed during Reconstruction. Another, in Pennsylvania, uses computational methods to analyze clouds in John Constable’s landscapes and traces the adoption of his realist techniques by other 19th-century European artists. Funding will also go toward research for a book by Elaine Pagels, a historian of religion at Princeton University, that explores how different cultures have imagined Jesus in their own time and throughout history.
Shelley S. Lowe, the foundation’s chairwoman, said the projects, which include educational programs for high school and college students, “will promote the exchange of ideas and expand access to humanities knowledge, resources and expertise.”
In New York, 31 projects in the state’s cultural organizations will receive $4.6 million in grants. The funding will support the creation of a new permanent exhibit exploring Brooklyn’s 400-year history at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, as well as books about St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York at the height of the AIDS crisis and the 600-year-old Hospital of the Innocents. -year-old children’s institution in Florence, Italy.
Funding will also go toward a podcast about the Federal Writers’ Project, a US government initiative that provided work to unemployed writers during the Great Depression, by Washington-based Stone Soup Productions. Another grant will benefit a history of the Cherokee Nation, co-authored by Julie Reed, a Pennsylvania historian, and Rose Stremlau, a historian at Davidson College in North Carolina.
The grants will also benefit the Peabody Collections, one of the nation’s oldest African-American library collections at Hampton University, and John Lyle’s book on the 1980s lawsuit against the CIA over its Cold War-era MK-Ultra program. , which involved mind control experiments.