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Grant number like: GI-50440-12

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Nebraska Humanities Council (Lincoln, NE 68508-1836)
Christopher Sommerich (Project Director: August 2011 to April 2016)

America's Historical and Cultural Organizations: Implementation Grants
Public Programs

Totals (outright + matching):
$216,400 (approved)
$216,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2012 – 10/31/2015

Nebraska Chautauqua: Free Land? 1862 and the Shaping of Modern America

Implementation of a three-year Chautauqua program in seven rural Nebraska communities on issues connected to significant legislative acts that shaped the settlement of the region.

The Nebraska Humanities Council will offer a summer Chautauqua that will travel to seven Nebraska communities (one in 2012; two each year, 2013-15). This Chautauqua, entitled "Free Land? 1862 and the Shaping of Modern America," uses innovative yet proven formats grounded in humanities scholarship to provide audiences of all ages with opportunities to learn more about the history of the Great Plains and the nation as scholars portraying historic figures speak to the overall influence of the Homestead Act, the Pacific Railway Act, and the Morrill Act, all passed in 1862. Audiences will gather under a large tent each evening to hear first person portrayals of historical figures who provide the basis for audience discussion, first with the historical figure and then with the scholar. Other components include: a Youth Chautauqua Camp, a traveling exhibit, humanities-based workshops led by scholars, a book and film discussion series, and an interactive website.