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NEH Opportunities

Did you know that you can take amazing classes at government expense AND get paid for doing it?!  It's true!  There are still some wonderful things about the government.  The National Endowment for the Humanities offers dozens of class selections. Stock up on PDPs, possibly getting all 150 of them in one, 5-week course.  Classes are 1-6 weeks, depending on the location and content.  The classes I am interested in are generally on the short side (1-2 weeks long) since my child is very young and we can't be separated for long.

Quick facts
 Daibutsu (image of Buddha) at Kamakura, Japan
Courses are offered in every section of the country

Courses offered around the world

Stipends paid upon successful completion of the course
Stipends tend to be $1200

Courses are cultural, not just musical, so collaboration with classroom teachers can begin through NEH

You can apply for up to two NEH courses per year

You may not take the same course twice

You may only attend one course per year

How to inquire and apply

Here is a list of courses offered in the summer of 2013.
Here's a sampling of courses that tickle my fancy.

Why I am interested
  • I live in a major hub of the Underground Railroad, so I can apply what I learn into the curriculum without adjusting anything
  • 2 weeks is the outer limit of what I can do with my family being so young
  • The location is very family-friendly so we can rent a cabin for a month
  • Location is near my dad, so he can help with the baby while I'm in class
  • stipend is very generous
  • I find the subject matter very interesting
  • I know the subject has a rich musical component    
Why I am interested

  • I was part of this history, playing in an orchestra with kids from GDR, USSR, etc. right after the fall of the wall.  
  • I've always wanted to see Berlin and I want to know why the wall fell when it did
  • I want to uncover the music of the time and how song was used during these peaceful revolutions
  • I want to see old friends from the Orchestra and catch up with them
  • I want to be in a free Germany and walk through Checkpoint Charley
  • My school is dedicated to peace, it is a core value of the school
Why I am interested
  • the vocal tradition in South Africa is sooooooooooo amazing, I want to sit in
  • I care about racial tension in my country and want to explore South Africa to help me understand this tension generally and in a scholarly way
  • the parameters for participation are very loose for this seminar, I like the presenters because of how they have framed the course.  I want to meet them
  • I have a feeling that travel to South Africa would be life-changing
Why I am interested
  •  My school has many Chinese and Indian students and I know next to nothing about the cultures of those countries
  • I want to learn more about China and India
  • I want to learn in the US, the seminar is in Buffalo, NY
  • Location is inexpensive, so the stipend will go a long way
  • I want to learn more about Chinese and Indian dance, music, and historical philosophy
Why I am interested
  • I live in Massasoit country, I need to know this stuff
  • My region is experiencing tension between Native tribes and anglos over casinos, land, and general cultural respect.  I'd like to be better informed
  • Amherst is inexpensive for lodging and the family can come
  • I have family in Western Mass and I can stay with them.
  • I want to know more about Native American culture so I can teach songs in a more meaningful way
  • I want to learn more about local tribal dance, drumming, and singing
Why I am interested
  • O, how I wish I lived in Pittsburgh!
  • The title says it all, damn!
  • Each week has a different theme, work, war, home, etc.
Why I'm interested
  • I grew up next to the Erie Canal, this interests me
  • We all know "the song", now let's know what's behind it
Metcalf HallWhy I'm interested
  • I grew up summering in the Adirondacks and love them with all my heart
  • I would love to rent a cabin with the family for a month and fit this course in for a week of it.
  • The Gilded Age and Progressive Era fascinate me, I want to know more about the people who created these ages and the wonderful work they left behind
  • I live near Walden, another wild place made famous during this time.  
  • Emphasis on rural rather than urban roots of Gilded and Progressive thinking fit my current residence well.  I live in a more rural place that is influenced by Boston, but in no way part of Greater Boston.
  • The Adirondacks are awesome in the summer!  It's so hot everywhere else!
Why I am interested
  • The Georgia Sea Islands is the setting for the course, Miss Bessie's territory!
  • The most authentic primary sources of African-American slave music come from the Georgia Sea Islands
  • Music is a major component of the course
  • Savannah, GA is the location of the course, my husband has always wanted to see Savannah
  • I'm very excited about this course!
Why I am interested
  • Shaker music is folk music of America, not English or British Isles music imported and tweaked.  
  • The spiritual basis of Shaker music is a beautiful contribution to the spirituality of our country
  • I can get to the workshop and visit my father for a week, no living expenses!  
  • I've always wanted to visit the Shaker sites local to my hometown, but never got around to it
Sailing to Freedom; New Bedford and the Underground Railroad
Why I am interested
  • As mentioned above, I'm interested in racial tension in my country and how the arts can help increase understanding and build peace
  • I live near New Bedford, so I can bring students to sites for field trips
  • Sea Chanteys and slave songs are some of my favorites to teach, I'd love to know more of them and more of the history so I can teach them more deeply
  • I can live at home while taking the class!
  • I can meet local teachers and build more relationships with them
Inventing America; Lowell and the Industrial Revolution
View of Lower Locks/Pawtucket Canal and downtown LowellWhy I am interested
  • Having grown up near Thomas Edison's playground, I am interested in Lowell's take on "Inventing America"
  • Lowell is close to my school and I'd love to know more about its industrial history
  • more work songs for me!
  • I can live at home and take this workshop!


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