For immediate release | January 10, 2012

ALA, Tribeca Film Institute present 'America’s Music,' film viewing and discussion series for libraries

Apply by March 14 to receive a $2,500 programming grant

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, the Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) are pleased to announce 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. Libraries and non-profit organizations related to music and music history may apply by March 14 to receive a $2,500 grant to support the program series. Online applications can be submitted at

The program for libraries and other non-profit organizations is offered though collaboration with TFI and NEH, in consultation with the Society for American Music (SAM). America’s Music will introduce genres of twentieth-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, mambo and hip hop.

Applicants for America’s Music: A Film History of Our popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway must register their institution at Prospective applicants are advised to register with as soon as possible, since the process can take up to two weeks to complete. More information to help begin the application process for America’s Music: A Film History of Our popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway may be found at Online applications must be completed by March 14.

Fifty libraries and non-profit organizations will be selected to participate in the national initiative and 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. The selected sites will be required to designate an appropriate project scholar who will act as a moderator for the project. All programs must be open to the public. Applications that incorporate local partnerships and supplemental programming are strongly encouraged. For more information, visit

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.

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


Angela Thullen