As humanities organizations continue to grapple with the ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Organization of American Historians (OAH) has received a nearly $200,000 grant from the National Endowment of Humanities (NEH) to maintain and expand its innovative virtual programming, while pivoting back to core in-person offerings that will position the organization for post-pandemic success.
The grant is funded through the NEH’s Humanities Organization grant program made possible by the Congressional stimulus package, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The NEH-supported OAH project is designed to expand programming that will benefit and educate the public, while expanding core programs and member networking opportunities, maintaining staffing as the organization works to provide both in-person and virtual programming, and increasing the organization’s capacity to grow its current catalogue of digital content.
This NEH grant will enhance the OAH’s ability to engage the public through programming that explores the multiple narratives of the U.S. past. The grant will support thematic webinars under the umbrella of the OAH’s the Future of the Past Initiative, which explores currently urgent conversations about the multiple narratives of U.S. history, and the origins of American democracy in all its complexity. The grant will also support a second season of the Intervals podcast, which launched in 2020 as a new vehicle for bringing the expertise of OAH members to a wider listening public and historical perspectives to bear on current events. These offerings will complement other long-standing OAH programming, including the Conference on American History and Distinguished Lectureship Program, which with grant support will continue to be supported in both virtual and in-person formats.
“Now more than ever, it’s critical that we have the resources to best engage the public about the importance of understanding history, while supporting members of the profession who research, teach, publish, and present that history,” said Beth English, Executive Director of the OAH. “We are grateful for this funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, which will bolster OAH’s efforts to grow the many digital and virtual offerings we developed during the pandemic, but also return to and build on in-person programming in order to create new touchpoints for public engagement, while supporting members’ professional development.”