NEH’s Picturing America: Model Programs for Public Libraries

One former New Orleans resident, Edgar Degas, would have been very proud of one of our Sunday morning programs. The National Endowment for the Humanities’ (NEH) Picturing America program brings art into public libraries for the community to learn and become culturally aware of their world. On Sunday, Lainie Castle, Project Director with the ALA Public Programs Office, introduced seven librarians from six libraries that won the grant. They shared their success stories, which were varied and inspiring.

First up was Colleen Leddy from Stair Public Library in Morenci, Michigan, whose “Picturing New York … In a Tiny Midwest Town” program brought the culture of America’s economic hub, New York, right into the library. From organized games of stickball, to a metropolitan museum experience, this tiny Midwest town learned the culture of the Big Apple.

Next up was Laura Moran from Western Sullivan Public Library. She took the program in a different direction with the “Find Art” family art program.

Then there was Carla Sharp from Brighton District Library, whose “Art Through the Ages” program brought together teen and elder artists in the community together to share, create, and learn together. Their experiences during the program were life-changing.

Next was Jude Schanzer from East Meadow Public Library with what she learned about programming with their program, “Let’s Talk About It.”

Then came Amber Creger and Brandy Morill from Chicago Public Library’s “Engage! Picturing America Through Civic Engagement,” which was directed mostly at teens discovering their culture and learning about current and creating new art from what they discovered.

Last was Chris Czajka from WNET, with a short segment from the NEH-funded “Picturing America on Screen” film series that followed photographer Dorothea Lange’s granddaughter on her journey to Washington, D.C., to find out more about the details surrounding her grandmother’s famous photograph, Migrant Mother.

Find out more about these model Picturing America programs.

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