The National Endowment for the Humanities unveils an ambitious agenda to preserve our sense of place.
Reconnecting with the places you're from, or discovering more about the places you're going: This is the vision behind two of the latest projects by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Regional centers of history and culture, along with online encyclopedias for each state, will help encourage a sense of regional belonging and understanding, according to NEH spokesman Jim Turner. "States have histories, pasts, local folklore…. These are the things that can be nurtured, celebrated and made available" through the proposed centers and Web sites, he says.
Right now, the centers are in the early planning stages. The plan is to build a nationwide network of 10 Regional Humanities Centers that "will highlight that special sense of place which connects us to where we grew up or to where we live now," says NEH Chairman William Ferris. They will focus on the history and people of the Pacific, Southwest, Rocky Mountains, Plains, Upper Mississippi Valley, Central, Deep South, South Atlantic, Mid-Atlantic and New England regions.