For immediate release | August 14, 2012

ALA, Tribeca Film Institute announce 50 sites to host 'America’s Music'

$125,000 in total funding for selected libraries to host film viewing and discussion series

CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office and the Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) announced that the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) will provide funding of $125,000 through award grants of $2,500 to 49 libraries and one non-profit organization to host America’s Music: A Film History of Our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway, a six-week series of public programs featuring documentary film screenings and scholar-led discussions of twentieth-century American popular music. To view the list of selected sites visit

The program is offered though a grant from NEH to TFI, a New York-based not-for-profit organization that provides education programming and support for filmmakers, in consultation with the Society for American Music (SAM). America’s Music will introduce genres of 20th century American popular music that are deeply connected to the history, culture and geography of the United States. Older and younger Americans alike will have the chance to recognize how the cultural landscape that they take for granted today has been influenced by the development of the popular musical forms discussed in this series. The six sessions focus on these uniquely American musical genres: blues and gospel, Broadway, jazz, bluegrass and country, rock ’n’ roll and mambo and hip hop.

The libraries selected to participate in the national initiative will receive a programming grant of $2,500, a full set of the DVDs for the series, including public performance rights and programming and promotional support materials and resources from ALA and TFI for the duration of the project. All America’s Music programs will be open to the public.

“We’re excited to be working with such esteemed partners as the American Library Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities,” said Beth Janson, executive director of TFI. “TFI has long been committed to helping students use film as a medium to explore storytelling and this country’s rich cultural history. This collaboration is an important part of our efforts to bring those initiatives to communities nationwide.”

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, 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

The Tribeca Film Institute is a 501(c)3 year round nonprofit arts organization founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in the wake of September 11, 2001. TFI empowers filmmakers through grants and professional development, and is a resource and advocate for individual artists in the field. The Institute’s educational programming leverages an extensive film community network to help underserved New York City students learn filmmaking and gain the media skills necessary to be productive citizens and creative individuals in the 21st century. Administering a dozen major programs annually, TFI is a critical contributor to the fabric of filmmaking and aids in protecting the livelihood of filmmakers and media artists. TFI has focused a substantial part of its programmatic efforts on libraries because of their potential to reach diverse audiences with quality media programs. For more information visit

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities. NEH grants enrich classroom learning, create and preserve knowledge and bring ideas to life through public television, radio, new technologies, exhibitions and programs in libraries, museums and other community places. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at

Related Links

America’s Music: A Film History of Our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway


Angela Thullen

Program Officer

Public Programs Office (PPO)