[San Francisco, CA] – BAVC Media has been approved for a $291,661 National Endowment for the Humanities grant to support Community-Based Preservation Education and Training. This NEH grant will fund a suite of educational tools, workshops, and curricula informed by the investigation of educational skill gaps in the preservation and archival communities. The project will culminate in a fellowship which will provide high-level training, hands-on experience and career mentorship to a candidate entering the cultural heritage sector. The goal is to launch a new preservationist into the field, with a strong orientation towards community-based, accessible, preservation services.
This grant embodies NEH’s commitment to help cultural institutions across the country support educational programs that prepare the next generation of conservators and preservation professionals, as well as projects that introduce the staff of cultural institutions to recent improvements in preservation and access practices.
“These new NEH grants will expand access to the country’s wealth of historical, literary, and artistic resources by helping archivists and curators care for important heritage collections, and using new media to inspire examination of significant texts and ideas,” said NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede.
Additionally, BAVC Media will receive a $40,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support the Preservation Access Program, which offers subsidized funding for the digitization of audiovisual collections held by individuals and cultural heritage institutions. Applications to this program are reviewed by a diverse panel of archivists, librarians, filmmakers, artists, and community members in order to ensure that the collection selected to receive the award best represent works and materials in need of preservation.
Overall, the National Endowment for the Arts has approved 1,187 grants totaling $27.3 million in the first round of fiscal year 2020 funding to support arts projects in every state in the nation, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
The Art Works funding category supports projects that focus on public engagement with, and access to, various forms of excellent art across the nation; the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence; learning in the arts at all stages of life; and the integration of the arts into the fabric of community life.
“The arts are at the heart of our communities, connecting people through shared experiences and artistic expression,” said Arts Endowment chairman Mary Anne Carter. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support projects like BAVC Media’s Preservation Access Program.”
BAVC Media’s historic connection to artists, storytellers, and filmmakers allows us to be a key figure in preserving memories of our nation’s cultural history that are often left under-represented or untold. Meanwhile, this cultural memory is held on deteriorating tapes that can only be played back using obsolete equipment. Many of the people that know how to properly repair and maintain this equipment are retired, if they are even still alive. The time to capture, document, and share these skill sets with a new generation of archival professionals has to be now. It truly is now or never.
Funding from NEH and NEA is critical because the act of preserving media—especially media that represents the views and values that fall outside of or contrary to dominant culture—is often undervalued. The generous funding from these agencies allows us to continue to not only bring our nation’s cultural memory into the future, but also to bring the workflows and skillsets of the audiovisual archivists into the future.