Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission Grants

The Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission has awarded more than $440,000 in grant money!

The Bicentennial Grant funds are part of a Fiscal Year 2007 appropriation passed by the Illinois State Legislature. The grants were available to organizations, museums, local communities, nonprofit institutions, and government agencies to support educational, interpretative, and special events related to Lincoln’s Illinois heritage.

I was so pleased to learn that the Jonesboro Debate Site is among the 14 projects that will be funded!

Here is the complete list:
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debate Site, Alton The funds will provide interpretive signs at nine sites with Lincoln and Civil War significance around the greater Alton area, including the existing Debate site monument. Bicentennial Grant: $65,000.
  • “Lincoln Road Scholars,” Illinois Humanities Council This project will produce a two-year, six-person roster of Lincoln-related humanities programs that will be offered, free of charge, to communities and nonprofit organizations that do not have programming budgets or access to humanities scholars. Bicentennial Grant: $40,082.
  • Black Metropolis Convention & Tourism Council, Chicago The Bicentennial funds will help develop interpretive materials, street banners, a website, and event programs to promote this area of Chicago with its Lincoln-era history. Sites and history that will benefit from the project include Camp Douglas and its role in the Civil War, the Soldiers Home, Stephen A. Douglas Tomb, Confederate Soldiers Mound, Douglas Elementary School, and Griffin Funeral Home. Bicentennial Grant: $25,000.
  • Vermilion County Museum Society, Danville An exhibit will be developed reflecting Lincoln’s life in Vermilion County. The exhibit and accompanying handbooks will be taken to all 47 private and public schools and nine libraries in the county. While at the libraries, it will be utilized as part of the summer reading program. Bicentennial Grant: $1,500.
  • Lincoln Log Courthouse, Decatur Major roof repairs will be made to this historic landmark, the only log courthouse where Abraham Lincoln practiced law as a young lawyer. The log building is used for many interpretive and educational programs. Bicentennial Grant: $11,000.
  • Land of Lincoln Statewide Read Program Patterned after the “city wide reads” programs in Washington, D.C. and Chicago, this program will encourage readers across the state, through their local libraries, to read Richard Carwardine’s book, Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power. A study guide pamphlet will be developed, a list of Lincoln scholars who are willing to make local presentations will be prepared, and readers will be encouraged to visit the Illinois locations mentioned in the book. This program is in cooperation with Northern Illinois University and Illinois Library and Information Network. Bicentennial Grant: $18,065.
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debate Site, Freeport This Debate site will be enhanced with 13 new wayside exhibits, updated street and sidewalk paving, additional lighting, benches, and landscaping. Bicentennial Grant: $20,000.
  • Ravinia Music Festival, Highland Park The grant will support the nationwide commissioning of up to ten chamber music compositions, each embedded with or framed by Lincoln’s words. Ravinia Festival will hold a competition that will award commissions to the winners with a special emphasis on Illinois composers. Performances of the pieces will be given by Ravinia’s Steans Institute for Young Artists alumni in schools and other public venues. Bicentennial Grant: $70,000.
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debate Site, Jonesboro Statues of Lincoln and Douglas will be created with the grant funds as the centerpiece of the Debate site to create interest and generate more funding for a planned courtyard, interpretive signs, interpretive center, and more projects. Jonesboro is the only Lincoln-Douglas Debate community without statues commemorating the Debates. Bicentennial Grant: $61,000.
  • Early American Museum, Mahomet The museum will create a DVD of Lincoln’s life as an attorney traveling the Eighth Judicial Circuit, focusing specifically on Champaign County and east central Illinois. Copies of the DVD will be distributed to educators and visitors. The grant will also help upgrade audio-visual equipment to show the DVD in the museum. Bicentennial Grant: $9,700.
  • Menard County Tourism Council The grant will fund a program to develop interpretative signs and multi-media equipment to encourage public visitation of Menard County’s Lincoln and other historical sites. Bicentennial Grant: $26,500.
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debate Site, Quincy Quincy will use the grant to improve the site of the sixth Debate. A raised limestone base will be added to the existing monument, an interpretive plaque will be created, and new illuminated flagpoles bearing the 1858 U.S. flag will be installed. Bicentennial Grant: $50,000.
  • “Prairie Fire” program, WILL-TV The public television station will produce a series on Lincoln’s life as an 1850s attorney on the Eighth Judicial Circuit, featuring re-enactments and interviews with historians. WILL-TV’s audience includes the cities of Decatur, Champaign-Urbana, Springfield, Charleston, Mattoon, Bloomington-Normal, and Danville. The features will also be distributed to a national PBS audience. Bicentennial Grant: $40,000.
  • Evans Public Library District, Vandalia A project is underway to create educational kits for children emphasizing the period that Lincoln served in the Illinois State Legislature in Vandalia. The grant will expand that project to produce additional third and fourth grade educational kits that will be available to public and school libraries through interlibrary loan. Bicentennial Grant: $2,200.

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