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August 08, 2008


Free National Endowment for the Humanities Education Initiative Brings Great American Art Directly to Classrooms and Libraries

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – Senator Inhofe announced today Picturing America awards given by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to 424 schools and libraries within Oklahoma.  Picturing America is a free initiative that helps teach American history and culture by bringing some of the country’s great art directly to classrooms and libraries. In September, these schools and libraries will receive forty large, high-quality reproductions of great American art and a comprehensive teachers resource book to assist educators using the works of art in core subjects. For a complete list of Oklahoma’s award winners, visit Picturing America’s site here. 

“As students across Oklahoma prepare to return to school this fall, a new learning opportunity awaits many of them,” said Senator Inhofe. “Picturing America is a unique program that provides students with a gateway to the humanities.  By bringing great art into public and private schools, libraries and communities, this program will offer Oklahomans of all ages the opportunity to learn about our nation’s history in a fresh and engaging way.   I want to encourage other Oklahoma schools and libraries to submit their applications by October 31st so that they can be considered for next year’s Picturing America Awards.”  

Feedback from local educators currently participating in the nationwide Picturing America pilot program has been tremendous.  The 424 Oklahoma institutions awarded the Picturing America program join over 26,000 schools and public libraries across the country that will participate in the program.  

Tami Marler, Director of Public Information for Tulsa Public Schools: “Tulsa Public Schools is grateful to receive the Picturing America Award from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The district’s 42,000 students will benefit greatly from this exciting initiative to bring masterpieces of historic American art into our classrooms and libraries. What a wonderful way to learn about our nation’s rich heritage.”  

Dr. Anne Caine, Superintendent of Stillwater Public Schools: “I am thrilled that Stillwater has been chosen as a recipient of the Picturing America awards. Thanks to the National Endowment for the Humanities, ten Stillwater schools have the opportunity to learn American history in an exciting new way.”  

Dr. JoAnn Layne of the Byng School District in Oklahoma: “The Picturing America prints will be of great value to the Byng School District.  Students, adults and the citizens of our rural Oklahoma community as a whole will benefit from these pieces of artwork depicting scenes from American history.  This artwork will enrich the meaning to these moments in American history for our students, staff, and community.” 

Mr. Barry Beauchamp, Superintendent of Lawton Schools: “Our students in Lawton will have an amazing new learning opportunity this year. The Picturing America prints will open the doors to understanding American history in a fresh and exciting way that will positively impact not only our students, but our Oklahoma community as a whole.”  

“The Endowment believes that Picturing America should be in every school and public library in the United States.  As a result of our first round of applications, thousands of schools and millions of people all around the country will have the chance to view and learn from this collection in their own communities,” said Bruce Cole, Chairman of the NEH.  “Picturing America helps us understand our democracy by bringing us face to face with the people, places, and events that have shaped our country. It provides an innovative way to experience America’s history through our nation’s art.”  

The NEH will offer Picturing America to more schools and libraries through a future enrollment opportunity beginning in August 2008.  All eligible schools and public libraries in the U.S. and its territories that have not previously received Picturing America may apply for the program from August 4 through October 31, 2008 at 


About Picturing America

Public, private, parochial, and charter and home school consortia (K-12), as well as public libraries in the US and its territories, are eligible to receive Picturing America materials.  Interested schools and public libraries will be able to apply through the NEH for the second round of Picturing America awards, beginning August 4 through October 31, 2008 for receipt of the materials in spring 2009.  Detailed instructions for submitting an application can be found in the ‘Apply Now’ section of the Picturing America Web site,  Picturing America comes with a comprehensive package of materials that includes:

  • Forty large, high-quality color reproductions of the selected masterpieces (24” x 36”)
  • A comprehensive teachers resource book providing a wide range of ideas and background information to support educators using the works of art in core subject areas
  • Additional resources and lesson plans available through the Picturing America Web site.

 About the National Endowment for the Humanities

The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent grant-making agency of the United States government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities.  The study of the humanities — history, literature, philosophy, and the arts — helps us explore what it means to be human.  The humanities enable us to understand the world and our place in it. 

Because “democracy demands wisdom,” NEH serves and strengthens our Republic through promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans.  Through its programs, NEH provides opportunities for all citizens to embrace the humanities and benefit from their wisdom.  For more information about NEH, visit

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