Library of Congress Offers Second Round of Grant Funding to Support Contemporary Cultural Field Research within Diverse Communities
Of the People Initiative Offers 12-Month Grants to Support Individuals and Organizations, Supported by Mellon Foundation
The Library of Congress is offering the second round of grants available to individuals and organizations working to document cultures and traditions of Black, Indigenous and communities of color traditionally underrepresented in the United States. The Community Collections Grants from the Library’s American Folklife Center offer a wide range of opportunities for many to document experiences from their own perspectives, while enriching the Library’s holdings with diverse materials featuring creativity and knowledge found at the local level. The funding opportunities were announced today and are open for applications through Aug. 1.
Up to 10 grant opportunities are available in this second year for up to $50,000 each to fund field research within Black, Indigenous, Hispanic or Latino, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. The funding is part of the Library’s initiative, Of the People: Widening the Path, which creates new opportunities for more Americans to engage with the Library of Congress and to add their perspectives to the Library’s collections, allowing the national library to share a more inclusive American story. The initiative is supported by a $15 million investment from the Mellon Foundation. This is the second set of Community Collections Grants over four years from the American Folklife Center.
Building on the first round of grant recipients, Of the People continues to create opportunities for more Americans to engage with the Library and add perspectives to the collections.
For more information on the Notices of Funding Opportunity and details on how to apply, visit the Of the People loc.gov/of-the-people/apply . Informational webinars will be held about the Community Collections grant program and application process on Wednesday, June 8, Wednesday, June 22 and Friday, July 8 from 4 to 5 p.m. EST. Webinars are free and open to the public, however pre-registration is required at loc.gov/programs/of-the-people/news-and-events/events/. To receive timely notifications and updates, please subscribe to the Of the People blog at blogs.loc.gov/ofthepeople/.
Community Collections Grants from the American Folklife Center
The American Folklife Center was established to preserve and present American folklife through programs of research, documentation and more. Though this grant program, the center will expand its collection by funding and supporting individuals and organizations in collecting and archiving contemporary cultural expressions and traditions that may otherwise be absent from the national record. The Library will offer fellowships to individuals to work within their communities to produce ethnographic cultural documentation, such as oral history interviews and audio-visual recordings of cultural activity, from the community perspective. The center will archive the collections from this fieldwork to preserve and showcase this rich and valuable cultural documentation.
Examples of cultural documentation meant to inspire possible projects include: Exploration of a community festival or cultural celebration; Documentation of gathering places, including social spaces, farmers markets, craft fairs, or other periodic spaces that serve as anchors or markers of community; Community-centric reflection on emerging cultural forms or practices; Examinations of cultural practices that can serve as markers of aspects of identity; and an oral history of a neighborhood or community.
American Folklife Center folklorists and archivists will assist grantees in providing support for specific aspects of cultural documentation activities, provide technical advice, and help to facilitate a cohort for sharing knowledge and lessons learned.
About Of the People: Widening the Path
Launched in January 2021, Of the People: Widening the Path is a multiyear initiative to connect the Library more deeply with Black, Indigenous and other communities of color historically underrepresented in the Library’s collections. Supported through a gift from the Mellon Foundation, it provides new opportunities for more Americans to engage with the Library and add their perspectives to the Library’s collections. This work will expand the Library’s efforts to ensure that a diversity of experiences is reflected in our historical record and inform how we use those materials to understand our past.
About the Library
The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.