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Posted: May 12, 2017 Private Philanthropy Cannot Replace the NEH
Mellon Foundation News

When President Trump proposed defunding the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), some voices called upon private philanthropy to assume full responsibility for funding the arts and humanities. We were not one of those voices.

To the contrary, that approach would be neither smart nor productive. NEH’s role in shaping and promoting the preservation, study and development of American culture is larger than its relatively small budget suggests. Since 1965, and affirmed by a 1981 Presidential Task Force, the public-private partnership that pairs NEH funding with private philanthropy has served the nation’s interests. Therefore, the preservation and advancement of American culture in its effervescent diversity is not a job the private sector can or should shoulder alone.

We are gratified that Congress this week, as part of a last-minute measure to avoid a government shutdown, reached agreement on a budget that fully funds the NEH, along with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. We cannot, however, fallback on justifying this work only when it’s under threat, as it surely will be again. We need to constantly educate the public and policy makers about the critical role the endowments play as catalysts for other institutions, like Mellon, to engage in and support the humanities. 

Posted: May 12, 2017 Yiddish Book Center video features U.S. venues
San Diego Jewish World

The series can be viewed on the Yiddish Book Center’s website ( A full collection of interview excerpts about Jewish neighborhoods can be viewed on the Center’s YouTube channel.

The Wexler Oral History Project is a growing collection of interviews with more than 700 people—writers and musicians, scholars and students, native Yiddish speakers and cultural activists—about their family histories, involvement with Yiddish language and culture, Jewish identity, and the transmission of culture and values across generations and communities. The project was recently awarded a $170,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Posted: May 12, 2017 Russian ‘Architecture at the End of the Earth’ draws American audience
Russian Beyond the Headlines

On May 6, William Craft Brumfield - professor of Slavic Studies at Tulane University - gave a lecture on Russian architecture as part of a public symposium at the University of Washington, Seattle. The talk was introduced by Dr. Michael Biggins, a Slavic, Baltic and East European studies specialist at the University of Washington Libraries.

The lecture was followed by a discussion devoted to the significance of Brumfield’s photographic documentation for the study of medieval and Baroque art.

The symposium also celebrated the completion of a major documentary project involving Brumfield’s photography. Over the past decade the University of Washington Library has collaborated with Professor Brumfield in producing a freely accessible database of some 30,000 of his Russian architectural images. With the support of a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the William Brumfield Russian Architecture Digital Collection of is now available to the public

Posted: May 12, 2017 Franco-American distinguished speakers at May 23 Veterans Program
Franco-American News and Culture

Severin Beliveau is a Franco-American and the Honorary French Consular to Maine. He will speak about Albert Beliveau, his father who was a World War I Officer, who served with the army in France.  Severin was born in Rumford to a distinguished family of Maine lawyers and judges. His father, Albert J. Beliveau, Sr., was a justice of the Maine Supreme Court.

Severin is the recipient of the French Legion of Honor Award, the highest distinction France awards civilians, for his leadership on key projects to improve the relationship between Maine and France (2008)

President of the American Association of the Forum Francophone des Affaires, the Maine-based United States chapter of a worldwide alliance of 36 French-speaking nations working to promote economic development through business, industry and technology exchanges.

Franco-Americans in International Service is a program sponsored by the University of Southern Maine Lewiston Auburn College (USM LAC) with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Posted: May 12, 2017 NU Libraries receives federal grant to digitize folk music festival archive
The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University Libraries received nearly $300,000 from a federal grant, which will be used to digitize, describe and make available online a historic folk music archive, the University announced Wednesday.

According to a news release, the digitization of the Berkeley Folk Music Festival Archive will be funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, an independent federal agency that funds humanities programs in the U.S. The archive –– which features more than 30,000 items, including photographs, audio and film recordings, brochures, buttons, posters, tickets and business records documenting the festival between 1957 to 1970 –– was acquired by NU’s Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections in 1974, the release said. The archive was compiled by the festival’s founder, Barry Olivier.

Scott Krafft, curator of the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections, said in the release that the archive will benefit the fields of history, American studies, music studies and performance, African American studies, digital humanities and political science.