LEH awards $160k in grants for humanities programming

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 21, 2020

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VACHERIE — The Laura Center for Creole Heritage in St. James Parish recently received a $6,560 rebirth grant from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.

The Laura Center for Creole Heritage is a nonprofit organization created in 1996 to document, preserve and share the Louisiana Creole history, language and culture.

According to organizers, the grant will be used to digitize old and fragile cassette tape recordings of the endangered Creole language as spoken in St. James, St. John the Baptist and Pointe-Coupée parishes. This will allow the Louisiana Creole Voices recordings to be preserved for future generations. Dr. Margaret Marshall and Dr. Thomas Klingler collected recordings decades ago. Oral interviews share stories of home remedies, folklore and legends, as well as many personal stories and anecdotes.

Each year, the LEH awards Rebirth Grants in support of public humanities projects implemented by cultural institutions large and small throughout the state.

In October, thanks to funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the LEH awarded 22 Rebirth Grants in 11 parishes for a combined total of $108,236.

The LEH also awarded an additional 11 Rebirth PL Grants in support of Louisiana public libraries’ transition to virtual programming during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The New Orleans area recipients include Gulf Communities Research Institute, Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses, Laura Center for Creole Heritage, Leona Tate Foundation for Change, Inc., New Orleans Healing Center, Inc., Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University, One Book One New Orleans, Presbytère, Louisiana State Museum, Tennessee Williams and New Orleans Literary Festival, WWNO New Orleans Public Radio, Jefferson Parish Library, New Orleans Public Library and Terrebonne Parish Library.

Made possible by the NEH through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, with additional support from the Union Pacific Foundation, public libraries in 11 parishes received Rebirth PL Grants totaling $55,490.

“This was the most competitive pool of grant proposals we’ve reviewed since opening the Rebirth grant stream six years ago, not only in the number of applications submitted, but in the quality of proposals and diversity of subject matter explored,” said Chris Robert, grants manager and assistant media editor at the LEH. “There is clearly substantial want and need from our partners for funding to bring quality humanities educational experiences to their communities.”

For more information, follow The Laura Center for Creole Heritage on Facebook or visit lauracenter.org.


News editor Brooke R. Cantrelle contributed to this report