The Pioneer Valley History Network (PVHN) has been selected to receive a competitive Latino Americans: 500 Years of History grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association (ALA).
PVHN was one of 55 organizations selected from across the country to receive a cash grant of $10,000 to hold public programming — such as public film screenings, discussion groups, oral history initiatives, local history exhibitions, multi-media projects or performances — about Latino history and culture. The project, called “Herencia Latina” or Latino Heritage, will include programs and events from Turners Falls to Springfield, beginning in September. PVHN is working in collaboration with local libraries, museums, and organizations such as Holyoke Community College, the Springfield Museums, Turners Falls RiverCulture, Wistariahurst Museum, Casa Latina, and the Holyoke Public Library.
The Pioneer Valley History Network is a non-profit consortium of historical institutions throughout Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties of western Massachusetts. Members include museums, historical societies, libraries, and historic sites, as well as history-minded individuals. Membership is free for individuals and organizations.
“Latino Americans have been present in our Pioneer Valley communities for more than a century, yet many people are unaware of their rich and varied history and culture,” said Cliff McCarthy, president of the Pioneer Valley History Network. “I’m thrilled that PVHN has this opportunity to celebrate Latino culture and bring this history to our museums, libraries, and our communities.”
The centerpiece of the project is the six-part, NEH-supported documentary film “Latino Americans,” created for PBS in 2013 by the WETA public television station. The award-winning series chronicles the history of Latinos in the United States from the 16th century to present day. (Learn more about the series at www.pbs.org/latino-americans/en/.) As part of Herencia Latina, all six episodes will be screened with scholar-led discussions at different locations throughout the autumn and spring. At the conclusion of the project, PVHN will donate DVDs of the documentary series to Holyoke Public Library and to Holyoke Community College.
The Latino Americans: 500 Years of History grantees represent 42 states and the District of Columbia, and include 78 public libraries, 68 college/university libraries and organizations, 19 community college libraries, 10 state humanities councils, 12 museums and a range of other nonprofit organizations.
Latino Americans: 500 Years of History is part of an NEH initiative, The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square.
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at www.neh.gov.
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 58,000 members in academic, public, school, government and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.