NEW ORLEANS (press release) – The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities has awarded 33 Rebirth Grants and Rebirth PL Grants to organizations statewide, including libraries, university divisions and other non-profit organizations, in support of humanities programs. With a total of $163,726 awarded, the projects are based in 19 different parishes, and several programs have a statewide focus.
Now in its seventh year, the Rebirth Grants program supports projects that provide access to the humanities to Louisiana residents. Eligible projects include public humanities programs; documentary photography, radio, and digital humanities projects; and humanities-based educational initiatives. In October, thanks to funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, including $43,774 made available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the LEH awarded 22 Rebirth Grants in 11 parishes for a combined total of $108,236.
“Rebirth Grants allow organizations big and small to offer high-quality public programs within their communities,” said Miranda Restovic, LEH’s president and executive director. “The LEH is proud to support local partners in delivering meaningful humanities programs across Louisiana.”
This year, the LEH was also able to award an additional 11 Rebirth PL Grants in support of Louisiana public libraries’ transition to virtual programming during the COVID-19 pandemic. Made possible by the NEH through the CARES Act, with additional support from the Union Pacific Foundation, public libraries in 11 parishes received Rebirth PL Grants totaling $55,490.
The LEH received 113 applications for the 2020 Rebirth and Rebirth PL Grant opportunities, and a review committee of scholars, LEH board members and staff selected the 33 projects and organizations for support. The types of funded projects include oral history and archaeological initiatives, lecture series, podcasts, exhibitions, and more exploring topics as varied as agricultural festival pageant queens, the lived experiences of enslaved people on Evergreen Plantation, French-speaking Cajun soldiers in World War II and the Louisiana transgender community.
“This was the most competitive pool of grant proposals we’ve reviewed since opening the Rebirth grant stream six years ago, not only in the number of applications submitted, but in the quality of proposals and diversity of subject matter explored,” said Chris Robert, grants manager and assistant media editor at the LEH. “There is clearly substantial want and need from our partners for funding to bring quality humanities educational experiences to their communities.”