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Chicago History Museum a Recipient of Inauguaral NEH Humanities Access Grant


New Grant Program Supports Humanities Programming for Young People, Communities of Color, and the Economically Disadvantaged

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 15, 2016) — This week the National Endowment for the Humanities announced the first recipients of its new Humanities Access grant. 34 institutions and organizations will receive a total of $3,000,000 in matching funds to support humanities programming targeting groups that have historically lacked access to the humanities.

The Humanities Access program offers grants of $50,000 and $100,000 to help enhance and support existing cultural programs for youth, communities of color, and economically disadvantaged populations. In order to receive the full amount, the institutions and organizations receiving this grant must match the NEH funds with the same amount of money raised from non-federal, third party donors. Over the course of the forty year history of the Endowment’s Challenge program, its matching requirement has helped raise over $4 billion in third-party funds, further supporting the humanities across the country.

“Humanities Access grants support innovative projects that will help ensure that high-quality cultural programming is available to everyone,” said NEH Chairman William D. Adams. “Americans of every age, race, and economic status should be able to access the incredible opportunities that the humanities provide.”

Among the projects awarded NEH Humanities Access grants:

Expanded opportunities for families to connect with cultural and traditional resources at the Entrada Institute in Torrey, Utah.
A cultural pass that allows the young people of Louisville, Kentucky to visit over thirty different cultural institutions free of charge.
A writing program for Lakota teenagers on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota that helps them become engaged civic leaders.

A project by Gallaudet University that will create new primary sources that will help us better understand the culture and challenges of the Deaf community.

The expansion of Spirit Series, a drama-based values and literacy initiative that has been shown to decrease absenteeism and increase teamwork and reading comprehension in students in fourth through eighth grade.

A leadership program for high school students at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute that explores the history of the civil rights movement and how it connects to the world today.

Youth education programs from the Troy Historical Society that teach students about southeastern Michigan’s rural heritage.

The extension of Prime Time Family Reading, a Louisiana humanities-based literacy program for preschool-aged children and their parents.
See the full list of Humanities Access projects here.


Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at:

This release is presented by The National Endowment for the Humanaties. To view the original publication, visit


The Chicago History Museum is situated on ancestral homelands of the Potawatomi people, who cared for the land until forced out by non-Native settlers. Established in 1856, the Museum is now at 1601 N. Clark Street in Lincoln Park, its third location. As a major museum and research center for Chicago and U.S. history, the Chicago History Museum strives to be a destination for learning, inspiration and civic engagement. Through dynamic exhibitions, tours, publications, special events and programming, the Museum connects people to Chicago’s history and to each other. To share Chicago stories, the Museum collects and preserves millions of artifacts, documents, images and other items that are relevant to the city’s history. The Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chicago Park District on behalf of the people of Chicago. 

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago Stories