Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women

louisa may alcott

The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, in association with Nancy Porter and Harriet Reisen for Filmmakers Collaborative, has received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to develop an innovative library outreach program to enhance the impact of the documentary film, “Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women,” and the companion biography of the same name. The film and biography explore Alcott’s extraordinary life and the historical and cultural context that inspired her remarkable body of work.

Louisa May Alcott is recognized around the world for her novel Little Women, but Alcott is scarcely known as the bold, compelling woman who secretly wrote sensational thrillers, lived at the center of the Transcendentalist and Abolitionist movements, and served as a Civil War army nurse. The film, biography, and library programs will re-introduce audiences to Alcott by presenting a story full of fresh insights, startling discoveries about the author, and a new understanding of American culture during her lifetime.

“Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women—Library Outreach Programs” will offer programming grants of $2,500 to thirty selected libraries to present five reading, viewing, and discussion programs focused on Louisa May Alcott, her body of work, and her era. Libraries will be asked to enlist a lead project scholar with expertise in nineteenth-century American history or literature to help present and plan programs.

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