Public Programs: Humanities Projects in Media

Period of Performance

9/1/2005 - 12/31/2014

Funding Totals (outright + matching)

$775,000.00 (approved)
$775,000.00 (awarded)

Becoming Helen Keller

FAIN: GN-50615-05

Straight Ahead Pictures, Inc. (Conway, MA 01341)
Laurie Block (Project Director: November 2004 to present)

Production of a two-hour television documentary on the life of Helen Keller and her place in American culture.

Becoming Helen Keller is a two hour film biography, a portrait of a unique woman who provides a revealing lens into the 20th century. With new scholarship developed by the project's humanities advisors, and commentary from other interview subjects, the film will tell how Keller became a writer, thinker, activist, media celebrity and international ambassador for human rights. The program will use several key themes: the changing role of education, women's roles in civil society, methods and aims of 20th century philanthropy, politics and ideas about human rights from the Progressive Era through the New Deal to the Cold War, media celebrity and the business of legend-making, and changing concepts of mind, language and personhood.