NEH, ALA announce Picturing America awards to more than 29,000 schools and public libraries

Contact: Angela Thullen

Program Officer, Communications



For Immediate Release

January 20, 2009

CHICAGO – The National Endowment for the Humanities, (NEH) in cooperation with the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, will provide Picturing America to 29,086 schools and public libraries. Picture America is a free education resource that brings significant works of American art directly to classrooms and libraries to help citizens of all ages explore American history and culture through our nation’s art.

After a pilot phase and two rounds of applications, Picturing America has now been awarded to more than 56,000 schools and public libraries, incorporating approximately one third of all K-12 schools and public libraries in the United States.

“America has a remarkable story, filled with riveting chapters and extraordinary heroes. Picturing America brings this story to life through 40 compelling images,” said NEH Chairman Bruce Cole. “The Endowment is awarding this tremendous resource to over 29,000 additional schools and public libraries, so that students and citizens of all ages can gain a deeper understanding of American history in a direct and engaging new way.”

The 29,086 Picturing America recipients come from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and three U.S. territories. A complete list of the recipients of this round of Picturing America awards, by city and state, is available at the Picturing America Web site,

Awardees receive twenty double-sided high-quality reproductions of great American art and a comprehensive teachers resource book which can readily be used in core subject areas such as Social Studies, civics, language arts, and American history. The Picturing America Web site,, provides additional education resources for educators, including more than 150 links to lesson plans and external online resources, as well as an online image gallery enabling students to examine and compare the images by themes like Leadership, Democracy and Courage.

Established in 1992, the ALA Public Programs Office has an exemplary track record of developing library programming initiatives, including the acclaimed reading and discussion series "Let's Talk About It," film discussion programs on humanities themes, traveling exhibitions, LIVE! @ your library® and other programs. Recently, it has established the Cultural Communities Fund, an endowment created to help all types of libraries across the country bring communities together through cultural programming ( For more information about the ALA Public Programs Office, 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