Internal Deadline: July 1, 2022
External Deadline: August 1, 2022
Award Type: Grant
Estimated Number of Awards: 10
Anticipated Award Amount: up to $50,000 per grant.
Who May Serve as PI: To be eligible, projects must involve new, original cultural documentation of contemporary cultural life and activities from existing communities within the United States. This award is not intended to support research projects undertaken for the completion of university degrees.
Process for Limited Submissions
PIs must submit their application as a Limited Submission through the Office of Research Application Portal: https://rii.usc.edu/oor-portal/.
Materials to submit include:
- (1) Single Page Proposal Summary (0.5” margins; single-spaced; font type: Arial, Helvetica, or Georgia typeface; font size: 11 pt). Page limit includes references and illustrations. Pages that exceed the 1-page limit will be excluded from review.
- (2) CV – (5 pages maximum)
Note: The portal requires information about the PIs and Co-PIs in addition to department and contact information, including the 10-digit USC ID#, Gender, and Ethnicity. Please have this material prepared before beginning this application.
Through a gift from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Library will support a multiyear initiative that entails public participation in the creation of archival collections. Specifically, the Library of Congress seeks to award grants to support contemporary cultural documentation focusing on the culture and traditions of diverse, often underrepresented communities in the United States today. These projects will result in archival collections preserved at the American Folklife Center and made accessible through the Library of Congress’ web site. The major goals of this grant program are to enable communities to document their cultural traditions, practices, and experiences from their own perspectives, while enhancing the Library’s holdings with materials featuring creativity and knowledge found at the local level. As such, successful proposals will come from applicants within or closely affiliated with the community they propose to document.
Funding through these grants can be used to cover travel, equipment rental or purchase, and other expenses associated with cultural documentation fieldwork. American Folklife Center folklorists and archivists can assist successful applicants in providing support for specific aspects of cultural documentation activities, such as sharing expertise or training in fieldwork methods, archival practices, and associated digital technologies. Library staff will be available to provide technical advice, and work with successful applicants to facilitate a cohort for sharing knowledge and lessons learned. In consultation with American Folklife Center staff during the award process, awardees have the option to develop public programs connected to their projects in their home communities, as potentially supported by additional funds (see Section A.4.1 of Link above). The American Folklife Center is seeking to build long-term relationships with grantees and to give grantees the opportunity to present their work in a forum at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.
The following list is meant to inspire, but not limit, possibilities with regards to cultural documentation projects applicants might propose. Projects should include a combination of interviews, still photography, digital video, field notes, or other forms of documentation:
• Exploration of a community festival or other culturally-meaningful celebration through interviews with organizers and participants, audio-visual documentation of activities affiliated with the event (including planning, set up, and post-event activity), and any ephemera or material culture
• Seasonal or periodic documentation of institutions or gathering places, such as farmers markets, informal social hang-outs, craft fairs, or other periodic spaces that might serve as anchors or markers of community
• Community-centric reflection on emergent cultural traditions or practices that have developed as responses to shared collective experience of widespread recent phenomena such as the COVID-19 pandemic, social justice movements, or economic change
• Broad examination of community-specific cultural practices that can serve as markers of various aspects of identity, such as practices around death or bereavement, life milestones, or transition into different modes or phases of living; transmission of language or other intangible aspects of heritage; or informally learned aspects of communication that help cohere a social group
• Community history of a neighborhood or other type of geographically-delimited collective space that tracks change and continuity from the perspective of current residents, both long-term and newly arrived, via multi-format documentation
• Documentation focused on temporality, such as tracing traditions and their changes over time, which can include multi-sited projects, but do not need to be delimited geographically.
Budgetary Requirements: Under this NOFO there is no mandatory cost share or matching requirement, however proposals that include matching or cost sharing elements may be rated more highly. Examples of types of cost sharing may include salaries, space or studio rental costs, equipment not part of an existing indirect cost rate calculation, or supplies. Cost sharing includes contributions, both cash and in-kind, which are necessary and reasonable to achieve program objectives and which are verifiable from the recipient’s records.
Visit our Institutionally Limited Submission webpage for more updates and other announcements.