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Mellon Foundation to Fund Diversity Programs at Library of Congress

  • January 27, 2021

The initiative will be carried out in three ways — through the library’s American Folklife Center, through outreach to students at universities and colleges, and with grants to cultural heritage institutions.

The Folklife Center will have fellowships to produce ethnographic documentation of contemporary cultural activities among people whose experiences might not otherwise be included in the national record. (The center includes decades of written records, oral histories and video segments and was designed to document, among other things, “the songs, stories, and other creative expressions of people from diverse communities.”)

In addition, the library will increase outreach to students at tribal and historically Black colleges and universities and be involved with institutions and programs that serve Hispanic people, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, and will offer internshipsto develop a new generation of diverse talent for cultural heritage organizations,” the release said.

The library will also issue grants to cultural heritage institutions that will encourage people to incorporate material from its digital collections into works like photo collages, new music and digital exhibits that explore experiences among people of color.

“The Library of Congress is the people’s public library, and we are delighted that it will engage diverse and inclusive public participation in expanding our country’s historical and creative records,” the Mellon Foundation’s president, Elizabeth Alexander, said in a statement.

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