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Lehigh Carbon Community College

Jeff Bishop, Director of Funk Heritage Center

The Funk Heritage Center represents one of only 20 recipients nationwide to receive the Sustaining Humanities Infrastructure Program (SHIP) award. The SHIP award is a grant from the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) under the Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan (SHARP). As a result of this award, the Funk Heritage Center will receive $99,651 to expand its programming.

“These funds come from Congress-approved funding to the National Endowment for the Humanities to assist museums and other institutions offering humanities programming with funding losses suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jeff Bishop, director of the Funk Heritage Center. “One of our primary revenue sources is school field trips, which school systems largely cancelled during the COVID-19 pandemic. This grant helps institutions like us make up for those losses.”

Currently the programming and exhibits at the Funk Heritage Center emphasize the stories of Appalachian settlers and Southeastern Indians. The SHIP grant will allow the Funk Heritage Center to expand their exhibits and programming and incorporate more diverse voices in both in-person and virtual programming.  “The original voices of Indigenous people need to be amplified, and other peoples represented in Georgia’s history need more representation.”

Bishop said the grant will help the Funk Heritage Center address that gap. “We are planning to expand our programming to include the history of African Americans in Georgia, including the story of the expulsion of Black residents from some communities in north Georgia in the early 1900s. We’re also recovering the voices of members of the Cherokee Nation as told through their claims against the U.S. government. The expanded programming will also lay the groundwork for future projects that expand the history told in exhibits and programming of African American residents, eventually adding voices of newer immigrants to the region.”

The grant was developed by Bishop and a team of dedicated individuals across Reinhardt’s campus, including Ms. Myra Hopper, grants manager; Dr. John Miles, vice president for academic affairs; Ms. Stephanie Owens, chief financial officer and vice president, finance and administration; Ms. Beverly Smith, controller; Dr. Ken Wheeler, professor of history; and Dr. Tom Yannuzzi, vice president for advancement and community engagement. They were assisted by outside consultants Ms. Michele DeMary, Ms. Jessica Gerrity, Ms. Alexandra Jensen, and Ms. Jessica Schor from McCallister and Quinn, a federal grant consulting firm based in Washington, D.C.

Congratulations to everyone who played a part in securing this exclusive grant for the Funk Heritage Center!