The Free Library of Philadelphia was recently awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Challenge Grant that will allow it to establish a new type of programming endowment – a Community Humanities Endowment of $1,000,000. The grant will enable the Free Library to continue its mission to advance literacy, guide learning, and inspire curiosity in the Philadelphia area and beyond in two key ways: 1) building community partnerships for creative programming today, and 2) establishing an endowment so that future generations will continue to enjoy the benefits.
The proceeds of the endowment will be used to fund a series of community partnerships – support given to community members and organizations who want to use Free Library collections and resources to create projects in the humanities for the benefit of generations to come. The projects will be connected to the library by virtue of using the collections and resources, as well as a requirement that beneficiaries present programs at the Free Library, the products of which will preserved by the Library. Once fully funded, the endowment will support $50,000 of programming a year. The concept of supporting community engagement using the Free Library’s collections is in line with the “21st Century Library” initiative, a concentrated effort to connect with the community and tie the city together through these programs.
According to the NEH website, a Challenge Grant aims to strengthen the humanities by encouraging non-federal sources of support and helping institutions secure long-term improvements in and support for their humanities programs and resources.
For more information, visit the Challenge Grant's official website.