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Executive Director’s Report

By Louis Kyriakoudes
November 2021

The Executive Office is proud to announce that we have been successful in securing two National Endowment for the Humanities grants for the Oral History Association.

The first is from the NEH’s American Rescue Plan: Humanities Organizations Support to Maintain Threatened Staff Positions and Publish Oral History Content to the Web for $50,000 (ZED-284173-22). The funds helped support this year’s conference as well as the curation of various panels from the conference for the general public. The grant mimics the project funded by the NEH last year when the organization was awarded $43,000. Co-Executive Director Kris McCusker serves as the principal investigator on the grant.

The second grant, also from the NEH’s American Rescue Plan Program, is titled Diversifying Oral History Practice: A Fellowship Program for Under/Unemployed Oral Historians (ZIN-283314-21). The $825,000 grant creates a fellowship program for under/unemployed oral historians, with a focus on oral historians from communities that have historically been marginalized in the field. The funds will provide substantial support for underemployed or unemployed oral historians. Co-Executive Director Louis Kyriakoudes and OHA President Amy Starecheski will serve as co-PIs for this grant.

Amy speaks more about the importance of this grant in her column, particularly in establishing a more diversified future for oral history. We, as co-executive directors, are very proud to have secured these important funds to advance the work of the organization.

Program Associate Faith Bagley will serve as grant administrator for both grants. She has been essential in assembling and creating the entire application platform and framework that allows the Oral History Fellowship Program to move forward. The grants have provided funding to facilitate a more equitable employment situation for her.

Together, these two projects are transformational for our field, and we are excited beyond measure for the good work that will emerge from this funding.

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