May 30, 2020

Maine groups win `conversation’ grants

PORTLAND — Two Maine projects have received federal grants aimed at promoting public discourse among diverse groups.

The grants announced Wednesday were among 19 “National Conversation” grants awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Maine Collaborative in Portland was awarded $110,000 to support a three-week institute next summer for 30 schoolteachers from Maine to study the role of photography in forming an American identity.

The Maine Humanities Council received a $90,000 grant for a collaboration with the Maine Council of Churches, Maine Public Radio, and the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram to implement a statewide conversation about what it means to be an American.

“As serious local and regional conversations among diverse people are formed and developed through these grants, they can become models of civil public discourse, akin to town meetings,” said Sheldon Hackney, NEH chairman.

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