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Grant number like: TR-228506-15

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WNET (New York, NY 10019-7416)
Stephen Segaller (Project Director: August 2014 to present)

Media Projects Production
Public Programs

$500,000 (approved)
$500,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
4/1/2015 – 6/30/2018

The Jazz Ambassadors

Production of a two-hour documentary film and website on the influence of the Voice of America’s “Music USA Jazz” radio program and the State Department’s jazz tours during the Cold War.

This is a request to the National Endowment for the Humanities for a production grant to support a significant multi-platform project called "The Jazz Ambassadors" that explores the nexus of the Cold War, jazz music, and the civil rights movement and seeks to illuminate the influence jazz, the civil rights movement, and the Cold War had on one another. Inspired in part by Penny M. Von Eschen's 2004 book "Satchmo Blows Up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War" and a subsequent traveling photography exhibition of the concert tours titled "Jam Session: America's Jazz Ambassadors Embrace the World," the proposed project aims to extend Ms. Von Eschen's scholarship, shedding additional light on the impact of the tours for a larger audience through original primary research and the unearthing of a little-known international film archive on this important subject.