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Research Awards and Fellowships

The American Folklife Center's competitive awards provide support for scholars working with ethnographic collection materials at the Library of Congress and for fieldworkers on folklife and related topics. Descriptions of these programs and awards follow.

Archie Green Fellowships

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Archie Green
Archie Green speaks at the American Folklife Center, 1978. Photo by Carl Fleischhauer.
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To honor the memory of Archie Green (1917-2009), a fellowship program has been established at the American Folklife Center. Green was a pioneering folklorist who championed the establishment of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. As a scholar, he documented and analyzed the culture and traditions of American workers and encouraged others to do the same. The Archie Green Fellowships are intended to support new research in this area, and to generate significant digital archival collections (audio recordings, photographs, videos, and fieldnotes), which will be preserved in the American Folklife Center archive and made available to researchers and the public.

Program Description

The next deadline for Archie Green applications is March 16, 2015. The American Folklife Center will award several fellowships, up to $35,000 each, for the period July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016, which will support new, original, independent field research into the culture and traditions of American workers and/or occupational groups found within the United States. Applicants must submit proposals via email.

The original documentary materials generated during the course of each fellowship will become part of the American Folklife Center's archive. The American Folklife Center was established by Congress to support research and scholarship in American folklife and to preserve, support, revitalize, and disseminate American folk traditions. Materials in the Center's archive are available to researchers and the general public.

Application Requirements

To be eligible, projects must involve new, original research on, and documentation of, contemporary occupational culture. Applicants may include individuals, organizations or groups, but organizations and groups must select an individual representative to act as Fiscal Agent. Individual applicants and Fiscal Agents must be U.S. citizens. Advanced degrees are not mandatory for applicants. This award is not intended to support field research projects undertaken for the completion of university degrees.

Selection

Proposals for the Archie Green Fellowships will be evaluated by a committee composed of the Director of the American Folklife Center, the Chair of the American Folklife Center Board of Trustees, and an outside panelist.

Expectations

Persons wishing to submit applications must develop a project plan detailing the subject of the research and the methods of digital documentation to be used. Successful applicants must agree to provide the American Folklife Center with the documentary materials created during the course of the fellowship research.

Successful applicants must submit documentation in digital formats using American Folklife Center online metadata forms for descriptive, administrative, technical and other interview data. Interviews must be submitted as time-coded logs or time-coded transcripts. (Instructions will be provided to awardees.) The cost of creating secondary copies may be factored into the applicants' research budgets. Fellows must also submit permission and release forms signed by interviewees. In addition, a 600-800 word essay describing funded projects for use on the AFC website must accompany final submission of materials generated by the fellowship. These materials will become part of the American Folklife Center archive.

In order to strengthen our archives, in this grant round the American Folklife Center particularly encourages applications proposing research among Hispanic workers in the United States, occupations associated with urban America, and historically female occupations (e.g., teaching, nursing).

Fellowship recipients will submit a final report and financial accounting to the American Folklife Center upon completion of the fellowship. Please note that applicants must select one individual to serve as Fiscal Agent for the project, and that indirect and overhead costs will not be supported. Awarded funds are dispersed only through electronic transfers (direct deposit), and each awardee's Fiscal Agent must be prepared to provide banking information as requested.

How to Apply

Applicants for the Archie Green Fellowships at the American Folklife Center should submit the following materials.

  • Cover sheet (example below)
  • Project Description (1-3 pages)
  • Project Budget, which, if necessary, may include the cost of purchasing professional-quality documentation equipment
  • List of documentation equipment to be used, including makes, models, and formats
  • Project Timeline
  • Statement of Agreement/Letter from occupational group to be documented, if appropriate
  • Résumés (for individuals and groups) or Organization Description (for nonprofit organizations)

The term of each fellowship will be limited to a period of one year and will be supported with funds up to $35,000.

Digital Document Requirements & Specifications:

All fellows must comply with the American Folklife Center/Library of Congress digital standards. Therefore, proposed documentation must meet the following specifications:

  • Digital audio: 96khz/24bit bwf (or .wav) file, or 44.1khz/16bit .wav file.
  • Digital video: high-resolution digital video format (consult with AFC staff for specifications)
  • Digital images: high-resolution digital images (consult with AFC staff for specifications)
  • Text files (for logs, fieldnotes, final report, etc.): Microsoft Word
  • Databases, spread sheets, etc.: consult with the American Folklife Center prior to submitting proposal

Applicants are strongly urged to consult with AFC staff for specifications, equipment, and format choices prior to submitting their applications. For more information, contact Nancy Groce, 202-707-1744 / ngro@loc.gov.

Application Process and Deadlines:

TBD    Request for Proposals released by the American Folklife Center
   
March 16, 2015: Proposals due to the American Folklife Center
   
TBD Adjudication
   
TBD Awards announced
   
TBD Fellowship begins and initial funds distributed

Grant Awards will be dispersed incrementally according to the following schedule:

Payment 1:  TBD 60% of award
Payment 2:  TBD 30% of award
Final payment following submission of materials 10% of award

This is a 12-month award. Collection materials and final reports should be submitted to the American Folklife Center no later than June 30, 2015.

Submitting Application Materials

  • Please email your submission, do not send via U.S. Postal Service.
  • Email to:  Archie Green Fellows Committee at ngro@loc.gov
  • Questions?  Call the American Folklife Center, Archie Green Fellowships, Nancy Groce,  202-707-1744; email: ngro@loc.gov

Please copy, fill out, and include the cover sheet below with your application.

ARCHIE GREEN FELLOWSHIP - 2015

COVER SHEET

APPLICANT (Organization or Individual):

TITLE OF PROJECT:

 

PROJECT DIRECTOR:

Name:

Street Address:

Primary Phone Number:                                                Additional Phone Number:

Email:                                                                           Fax:

 

PROJECT SUMMARY (100 words maximum):

 

FISCAL AGENT (if different from Project Director): 

Please note that applicants must select one individual or organization to serve as the Fiscal Agent for the project. Awarded funds are dispersed only through direct-deposit electronic transfers, so the Fiscal Agent must be prepared to provide banking information as requested.

If this person is the same as the Project Director, check here:_________
If Fiscal Agent is different than Project Director, provide contact information, below:

Name:

Street Address:

Primary Phone Number:                                                Additional Phone Number:

Email: _____                                                                Fax:

 

CHECKLIST: Before emailing your application, please make sure it includes:
___ Cover sheet (use example above)
___ Project Description (1-3 pages)
___ Project Budget, which, if necessary, may include the cost of purchasing professional-quality documentation equipment
___ List of documentation equipment to be used, including makes, models, and formats
___ Project Timeline
___ Statement of Agreement/Letter from occupational group to be documented, if appropriate
___ Résumés (for individuals and groups) or Organization Description (for nonprofit organizations)

 

The Alan Lomax Fellowship in Folklife Studies

This fellowship is administered through the Library of Congress' John W. Kluge Center.

The Blanton Owen Fund Award

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Photograph of Blanton Owen
Blanton Owen, folklorist
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The 2013 Blanton Owen Fund application deadline closed at midnight EST March 17, 2013. The award was established in 1999 in memory of folklorist Blanton Owen by his family and friends to support ethnographic field research and documentation in the United States, especially by young scholars and documentarians. Currently, this award is offered every other year. Historically the available amount has been about $1000 and may be split between more than one recipient.

All applicants and candidates for American Folklife Center awards who are not U.S. citizens must be visa and/or payment eligible in order to receive a Library of Congress award.  The rules and the variations for visa and payment eligibility are determined on a case-by-case basis.  Please contact the staff of the American Folklife Center for more information by email at folklife@loc.gov  or by telephone at 202-707-5510. 

The application and submission procedure is the same as for the Parsons Fund Award, except email applications should be given the subject line "[your last name] Owen application."

For questions, contact the chair of the Blanton Owen Fund Committee at the American Folklife Center: (202) 707-5510; folklife@loc.gov.

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Photograph of Gerald E. Parsons, Jr.
Gerald E. Parsons, Jr. in 1994. He founded the Gerald E. and Corinne L. Parsons Fund for Ethnography at the Library of Congress in honor of his parents.
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The Gerald E. and Corinne L. Parsons Fund Award

The 2014 application period for the Gerald E. and Corinne L. Parsons Fund for Ethnography at the Library of Congress has closed. The next application period will be announced in Janary 2015. The total award for this year will be up to $3000. Winners will be announced in early April 2014. Historically, the available amount has often been divided among more than one recipient. The committee is composed of the professional staff of the American Folklife Center.

Purpose of Award and Eligibility

The purpose of the fund is to increase awareness of the ethnographic collections at the Library of Congress and to make the collections of primary ethnographic materials housed anywhere at the Library available to the needs and uses of those in the private sector. Awards may be made either to individuals or to organizations in support of specific projects.

Scope of Projects

Projects may lead to publication in media of all types, both commercial and non-commercial; underwrite new works of art, music, or fiction; involve academic research; contribute to the theoretical development of archival science; explore practical possibilities for processing ethnographic collections in the Archive of Folk Culture or elsewhere in the Library of Congress; develop new means of providing reference service; support student work; experiment with conservation techniques; and support ethnographic field research leading to new Library acquisitions.

Application Deadlines and Procedures

The 2014 application period has closed. The next application period will be announced in January 2015. Please review application materials prior to submitting them to the Center to ensure that all the following elements are included. Incomplete applications will not be considered. In the past, successful applicants have consulted with AFC staff members prior to submitting their application.

All applicants and candidates for American Folklife Center awards who are not U.S. citizens must be visa and/or payment eligible in order to receive a Library of Congress award.  The rules and the variations for visa and payment eligibility are determined on a case-by-case basis.  Please contact the staff of the American Folklife Center for more information by email at folklife@loc.gov or by telephone at 202-707-5510. 

The application consists of:

  • A narrative, 750-1500 words long, describing the proposed project and its potential products and audiences.
  • A budget and proposed time-frame in which to undertake research (typically for periods of one to three weeks). Flexibility built into a budget can be helpful to the committee in determining appropriate funding.
  • A resume or statement of previous experience.
  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers of three referees who can attest to the applicant's professional work and qualifications to undertake the project.
  • Please do not submit photographs, videotapes, CDs, or any physical material.

Please email your submission, do not send via U.S. Postal Service. Attach your application to an email with the subject line "[your last name] Parsons application." Address the email to the Parsons Fund Committee at: folklife@loc.gov. If you have any questions about procedures, please address your query to the Chair, Parsons Fund Committee at folklife@loc.gov or call (202) 707-5510.

The Henry Reed Fund Award

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Photograph of Henry Reed
Henry Reed, fiddler. Photo by Karen Jabbour, ca. 1967.
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The American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Henry Reed Fund for Folk Artists application deadline has been extended to midnight EDT April 1, 2014. In the recent past the maximum award amount has been about $2,000. The award may be split between more than one recipient. Winners will be announced in early April 2014.

The Henry Reed Fund was first awarded in 2004, and was established in honor of old-time fiddler Henry Reed, with an initial gift from founding AFC director and fiddler Alan Jabbour. The purpose of the fund is to provide support for activities directly involving folk artists, especially when the activities reflect, draw upon, or strengthen the collections of the American Folklife Center. The life and work of Henry Reed is documented in the online collection "Fiddle Tunes of the Old Frontier."

Projects and activities might include:

  • Payments to folk artists, their families, their descendants, or their cultural communities in connection with publication or dissemination of documents (audio recordings, manuscripts, photographs, etc.) in the American Folklife Center's collections.
  • Honoraria or reimbursement to folk artists for programs, such as concerts, workshops, or exhibitions, which feature those folk artists and their arts.
  • Programs honoring and celebrating folk artists for their cultural contributions.
  • Support for the costs of documenting distinguished folk artists and the acquisition of resulting documentation by the Library of Congress.

Application Deadline and Procedures:

Applications must be received by midnight EDT April 1, 2014. All applicants and candidates for American Folklife Center awards who are not U.S. citizens must be visa and/or payment eligible in order to receive a Library of Congress award.  The rules and the variations for visa and payment eligibility are determined on a case-by-case basis.  Please contact the staff of the American Folklife Center for more information by email at folklife@loc.gov or by telephone at 202-707-5510. 

Applicants for Henry Reed Fund awards should submit a 750-1500 word description of their proposed project, with a budget and schedule of project activities. AFC staff members are happy to discuss proposals with applicants prior to submission (see contact information below).

Applications should also include a résumé, artist bio, or statement of previous experience, and the names, addresses, and phone numbers of three references who are qualified to speak about the applicant's work.

Please email your submission, do not send via U.S. Postal Service. Attach your application to an email with the subject line "[your last name] Reed application." Address the email to the Reed Fund Committee at: folklife@loc.gov. If you have any questions about procedures, please address your query to the Chair, Reed Fund Committee at folklife@loc.gov or call (202) 707-5510. If you wish to send supporting audio-visual materials, please contact the committee for instructions.

 

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   October 23, 2014
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