Applications available for “Looking At: Jazz, America's Art Form” film discussion series

Contact: Lainie Castle

Program Officer, Communications

For Immediate Release

November 21, 2005

Applications available for “Looking At: Jazz, America's Art Form” film discussion series

CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office and National Video Resources (NVR), in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center, are accepting grant applications from libraries that are interested in hosting "Looking At: Jazz, America's Art Form," a new film viewing and discussion series.

Applications are available now at and must be received by February 10, 2006. The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) provides support for the series.

"Looking At: Jazz, America's Art Form" is a six-part, scholar-led film viewing and discussion series that explores the history of jazz music, an art form that evolved in the 20th century to occupy a unique place in American cultural history. Themes for the six programs in the series are: New Orleans: The Birthplace of Jazz; The Jazz Age and the 1920s; The Women of Jazz; The Jazz Swing Era; Jazz Innovators: From Bebop, to Hard Bop, to Cool and More; Latin Jazz.

Fifty applicants will be selected to participate in the "Looking At: Jazz, America's Art Form" project. In addition to public, academic and special libraries, any non-profit institution including museums, concert halls and jazz societies may apply for the grant. Either a library or a non-profit organization can be the lead applicant, provided they create a partnership that includes both a library and a non-profit organization or venue. Grant guidelines require that, after the viewing and discussion series, the documentary film packages become a part of the participating library's circulating collection.

Successful applicants will receive a collection of six carefully curated documentary films on DVD to use for the series and keep as part of their permanent collections; compelling essays on the film topics written by eminent scholars; an extensive resource guide for additional reading, videos and DVDs, and Web sites; and program and publicity materials. Additionally, selected organizations will receive training for the program coordinator and scholar at a workshop hosted by National Video Resources and Jazz at Lincoln Center. These organizations also will receive a $1,000 grant to use toward eligible expenses, including workshop travel/lodging, program and marketing costs, and scholar honoraria. The training workshop is tentatively scheduled for April 8-9, 2006 in New York City. Dates and locations will be confirmed on the ALA Public Programs Office and NVR Web sites in December 2005.

Libraries and organizations interested in presenting the series can download the application and guidelines at or Libraries and organizations also can request a copy by sending an e-mail message to

"Looking At: Jazz, America's Art Form" builds on five earlier programs developed by NVR in partnership with the ALA Public Programs Office and funded by the NEH. These programs offer public library programmers and academics a new model for public discussion through the following series: "From Rosie to Roosevelt: A Film History of Americans in WWII;" "Post War Years, Cold War Fears: American Culture and Politics, 1946-60;" "Presidents, Politics, and Power: American Presidents Who Shaped the 20th Century;" "The Sixties: America's Decade of Crisis and Change;" and "The World War I Years." For more information on these series, please visit

National Video Resources (NVR) is a not-for-profit organization established in 1990 by the Rockefeller Foundation. NVR's goal is to assist in increasing the public's awareness of, and access to, independently produced media and film and video, as well as motion media delivered through the new digital technologies.

The Public Programs Office is a unit of the American Library Association (ALA), the oldest and largest library association in the world. The mission of the ALA Public Programs Office is to foster cultural programming as an integral part of library service. Established in 1990, the office helps thousands of libraries nationwide develop and host programs that encourage dialogue among community members and works to establish libraries as cultural centers in their communities.

Jazz at Lincoln Center is a not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to jazz. With the world-renowned Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra and a comprehensive array of guest artists, Jazz at Lincoln Center advances a unique vision for the continued development of the art of jazz by producing a year-round schedule of performance, education, and broadcast events for audiences of all ages. For more information, visit

This series has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, promoting excellence in the humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this exhibition and related programs do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.