Date Posted: Monday, September 24, 2018
Deadline for Submission: Monday, November 19, 2018
Award Notification Date: Friday, December 14, 2018
Watch the American Creed documentary online
Note that all libraries that submit a completed application—regardless of their grant award status—may receive a high quality, projection-ready download of the film, with limited Public Performance Rights (PPR) granted by Citizen Film. Unsuccessful applicants will be invited to receive this download and must agree to submit basic information about screening(s) to Citizen Film as a condition of receipt.
In partnership with Citizen Film, the National Writing Project, and Citizen University, the American Library Association (ALA) is offering a library programming grant for American Creed: Community Conversations, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
Co-produced by Citizen Film & WTTW - Chicago Public Media, American Creed is a PBS documentary constructed around a seminar-style conversation co-led by the renowned historian David M. Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author of best-selling books about American history; and his Stanford University colleague, the political scientist and former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Fully acknowledging their differences in political outlook, Kennedy and Rice recognize that "a unifying sense of American democratic ideals and identity is fragile." Their dialogue throughout the film interprets different kinds of American civic activism and models the exemplary, respectful dialogue that American Creed: Community Conversations seeks to support in public libraries around the country.
American Creed offers a cornerstone from which public libraries are invited to develop local program series that encourage humanities-based exploration of our beliefs about American ideals and identity.
Through a diverse range of events and activities, participating libraries will engage their unique communities with questions of economic development, job security, education, immigration, ethnicity, social mobility and class in the light of stories presented in the film. In addition to screening and discussion events led by public humanities scholars, other programs will focus on local challenges as they relate to national and local history, ideals, and the evolving interpretation of those ideals. To review a list of eligible program examples, visit the Resources section of this website.
Applicant libraries are encouraged to plan programs informed by American Creed that explore the following questions:
American Creed: Community Conversations will support events in public libraries—trusted institutions that value intellectual freedom, welcome diverse viewpoints, and seek to serve the public good—that explore how community and family histories can color how we think about American ideals. The goal of the project is to build "shared understanding of America's civic inheritance" seeking—rather than less partisanship—"better partisanship, by a more engaged and informed citizenry ... by partisans who are willing to engage with people who think and feel differently."
As with all programs funded by NEH, discussions organized as part of American Creed: Community Conversations should be characterized by an ethos of openness and respect, upholding the basic norms of civil discourse. Specifically, they should be conducted without partisan advocacy; respectful of divergent views; free of ad hominem commentary; and devoid of ethnic, religious, gender, or racial bias.
NEH does not fund programs designed to persuade audiences of a particular political, religious, or ideological point of view, or projects that advocate a particular program of social or political action.
ALA and its American Creed partners will select up to fifty (50) public libraries to receive an American Creed: Community Conversations grant. Selected libraries will use the grant resources to support events and activities that engage patrons with the idea of a unifying American creed, especially in relation to local history, challenges and opportunities. All programs must take place during the grant term, January—August 2019.
American Creed: Community Conversations library grantees will receive:
All institutions that receive the programming kit must meet the following program requirements:
ALA will accept applications for American Creed: Community Conversations grants September 24—November 19, 2018.
Please review the Frequently Asked Questions before filling out an application.
To begin the application process, go to https://ala.smapply.io/prog/americancreed.
To apply for American Creed: Community Conversations, you must complete the following steps:
Before you access the application, you must register to create an application account, OR
If you have already registered on our Surveymonkey Apply site when applying for a Great Stories Club grant or PLA Leadership Academy, you may log in using your email address and password.
Note: The project director is the person who will be responsible for coordinating the American Creed: Community Conversations program series at the library. He/she/they will be the primary point of contact for the project at the applicant institution.
To complete this step, provide all the information that is requested on the Project Director Information screen. You must then save the information.
After clicking the "SAVE" button, you will be able to return to the application at any time and log in using your email address and password. This will allow you to edit, save and return to your application as needed prior to the November 19, 2018, submission deadline.
Libraries that receive an American Creed: Community Conversations grant must work with either a public humanities scholar or a representative from the National Writing Project to facilitate a screening and discussion of the American Creed documentary.
Applicants may complete contact information for the individual selected for their library's program in this section and upload the individual's résumé in the area for supporting documents. Applicants that complete this section and are selected for a grant will receive a $300 programming stipend to cover presenter fees.
If you are not able to identify a humanities scholar or National Writing Project representative to work with your program, please indicate that in the designated area. If selected to receive a grant, ALA will find an eligible speaker for your screening and discussion event.
Before you compose the narrative section of this proposal, we strongly recommend that you read these guidelines carefully. If you do not, your proposal is unlikely to be competitive.
Please answer each narrative section, describing your plans for hosting American Creed: Community Conversations programming at your library. The proposal narrative consists of six sections (described immediately below). Please note that each section of the narrative may not exceed 500 words.
The narrative sections are as follows.
Using the table generator provided in the online application, provide a schedule of the programs, events, and other activities described in your proposal. As applicable, please indicate the date, time, location, event type/format, brief description, anticipated attendance, and speaker(s) for each program that will be hosted during your series. Note that at least three programs or events which will be promoted to a broad public audience must be listed to meet eligibility requirements. Successful applicants will have the opportunity to adjust programming schedules in 2019.
03/01/19; 7:00 p.m.; Main Street Public Library auditorium; Screening/discussion event; American Creed; 125; David M. Kennedy, Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History, Emeritus, Stanford University
An application to host an American Creed: Community Conversations grant is an application for an award from the ALA, using funding provided by the NEH, an agency of the federal government. ALA is required by law to ask applicants to identify for each application a certifying official who is authorized to submit applications for funding on behalf of the organization.
To complete this section, you must enter all of the information that is requested.
When you are satisfied with your answers, use the buttons at the bottom to mark your application as complete, and move on to the file uploads. All applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. CDT on November 19, 2018. Applications submitted after that time will not be considered.
Note that once you have submitted your application, you can no longer alter it. The application will then be submitted for review.
You will receive an email confirming submission of your application. At the confirmation page, you will be able to print out a copy of your application. Print and keep this copy for your records.
Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
Other factors that may influence the final selection of libraries include the following:
Applicants are encouraged to address questions about the selection guidelines, process and requirements to the ALA Public Programs Office at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each application will be peer reviewed by a panel of librarians, as well as reviewed by project staff of ALA and Citizen Film. ALA's Public Programs Office and Citizen Film will make the final decisions.
Application deadline: November 19, 2018, 11:59 pm (CDT)
Award notification: December 14, 2018
Programming Period: January 1 — August 31, 2019
Final Report Due: September 30, 2019
If you have questions, contact:
Public Programs Office
American Library Association
1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045
Co-produced by WTTW & Citizen Film. Senior Executive Producer: Randy Bean. Executive Producer: Dan Soles. Producer: Kate Stilley Steiner. Directed, Written & Produced by Sam Ball.
Citizen Film is a not-for-profit production company dedicated to crafting documentaries with care and dignity. We collaborate with cultural institutions, community organizations and independent producers to create films and online media that foster active engagement in cultural and civic life.