Extended deadline: apply by April 26 to receive $2,000 Picturing America programming grant

Contact: Angela Thullen
Program Officer, Communications


For Immediate Release
March 16, 2010

Eligibility expanded to include all U.S. public libraries

CHICAGO – The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office announced that they have extended the deadline for public libraries to apply to receive a $2,000 programming grant to support programs that incorporate the Picturing America collection.  Applications will be accepted through April 26 at www.programminglibrarian.org/picturingamerica.

Additionally, the terms of the grant have been expanded so that all public libraries are considered eligible to apply.  Successful applicants that have not received the Picturing America collection will receive the set of posters featuring reproductions of American artwork in addition to the cash grant.

To qualify for the programming grant, public libraries must propose a program or program series that features high-quality humanities content and includes use of the Picturing America collection. After the grant term ends in February 2011, ALA will select a few of the strongest, most creative programs that combine the visual arts with humanities content to showcase at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.

Some possibilities for proposals include:

  • Reading and discussion series led by a scholar, teacher or other facilitator to connect audiences with the Picturing America collection through literature. Following this model, several Let’s Talk About It: Picturing America themes have been developed to inspire scholar-led reading and discussion of classic and contemporary literature.
  • Viewing and discussion series that present documentary or independent films followed by a discussion with a local film critic or historian. ALA offers several lists of theme-related films that compliment the collection, compiled by the ALA Video Round Table.
  • Visits by an author, poet, storyteller or artist, to share insight on American history and art, deepen connections to related literature and discuss the ways that visual art can inspire literary art.
  • One Book, One Community programs that feature a title related to a theme found in the Picturing America collection.

Visit http://www.programminglibrarian.org/picturingamerica to find more inspiration and resources to support humanities programs for public audiences of all ages that feature the Picturing America collection.

Picturing America, an initiative of NEH, has provided masterpieces of American art to more than 50,000 classrooms and libraries nationwide. Through the program, students and citizens gain a deeper appreciation of our country’s history and character through the study and understanding of its art. For more information about Picturing America, including a list of the schools and libraries selected to participate, visit http://picturingamerica.neh.gov.

The ALA Public Programs Office promotes cultural and community programming as an essential part of library service in all types and sizes of libraries. Successful library programming initiatives have included “Let’s Talk About It” reading and discussion series, traveling exhibitions, film discussion programs, the Great Stories CLUB, Live! @ your library and more.  Recently, the ALA Public Programs Office developed www.ProgrammingLibrarian.org, an online resource center bringing librarians timely and valuable information to support them in the creation of high-quality cultural programs for their communities. For more information on the ALA Public Programs Office, visit www.ala.org/publicprograms.