January 16, 2024

Kilmer Announces New Federal Investment for Cultural and Community Resilience in Tacoma

TACOMA, WA – Today, U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) announced that the City of Tacoma will receive $145,987 in new federal funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Cultural and Community Resilience grant program. This funding is made possible by the Biden-Harris administration’s Justice40 initiative, a historic national commitment to supporting disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution.

In 2019, the Tacoma City Council declared a climate emergency and has since established the 2023 Climate Action Plan (CAP). This new federal investment will help the City of Tacoma develop a digital primary source set, as well as digitize select collections at the Tacoma Public Library, including intergenerational interviews from the Tacoma community focused on climate change, as part of the 2023 CAP.

“Our community has important stories to tell,” said Rep. Kilmer. “The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing climate crisis have been felt far and wide across our region. Each person has a different story, and it’s important to preserve those experiences for future generations to look back on. I’m thrilled to see the federal government stepping up to help bolster efforts like this one right here in Tacoma.”

“I am thrilled to see this funding for our community that recognizes the importance of documenting climate change through the narratives of our residents,” said Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards. “Every resident holds a unique perspective that contributes to the larger story of our changing climate. By collecting and preserving these stories, we not only see the impacts of environmental shifts on our daily lives but also create a record for future generations to see what we experienced.”

“It is my great pleasure to announce NEH grant awards to support 260 exemplary humanities projects undertaken by scholars, higher education institutions, and organizations of every size,” said NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo). “This funding will help preserve and expand access to community histories, strengthen the ability of small museums and archives to serve the public, and provide resources and educational opportunities for students to engage with history, literature, languages, and cultures.”

The Cultural and Community Resilience program was established by the NEH’s American Tapestry program, NEH’s new initiative to strengthen democracy, advance equity for all, and address the changing climate. These grants support community-based efforts to mitigate climate change and COVID-19 pandemic impacts, safeguard cultural resources, and foster cultural resilience through identifying, documenting, and/or collecting cultural heritage and community experience.

The NEH awarded $2.6 million across 18 Cultural and Community Resilience grants in this round of funding. Applications for the next round of the Cultural and Community Resilience grant program are expected to open in February 2024.

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