The Latest From the Library…

by Mary Lou Neighbor, AV Librarian/Assistant Professor

College is Awarded NEH Grant!

The College has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities/Tribeca Film Institute/American Library Association grant!  The title of the grant is “America’s Music:  A Film History of Our Popular Music From Blues To Bluegrass To Broadway.”  The grant gives the AV Library nine wonderful documentaries on twentieth century American music.

At the College, there will be six public programs, starting in fall 2013 which will involve screenings and scholar-led discussions of the films given to us.  They will be offered in Science Center 214 at 1 p.m. on Saturdays throughout the fall.  The programs will include these uniquely American musical genres:  Blues & Gospel, Tin Pan Alley & Broadway, Swing Jazz, Bluegrass & Country Music, Rock, and Mambo & Hip Hop.  There will also be tie-ins with programming in the Lively Arts Series and Community Day, as well as special events by our music faculty and our Performing Arts Showcase.

As the grant application says, the public programs will be designed for a general audience and will introduce genres of American popular music that are deeply connected to the history, culture, and geography of the U.S.  The new twentieth century ushered in pervasive changes to American society.  These social changes combined with new technologies to create a mass market for popular music that evolved over the next hundred years.

Music Department Coordinator Andrew Kosciesza is acting as the project coordinator.  Music faculty member, Dr. Michael Simmons, who has designed a new course, Popular Music in America (1900-present), is the project scholar.  Office of Cultural Affairs Director Helen Haynes; Grant Writer Patrick Moravec; and AV Librarian Mary Lou Neighbour were also involved in the writing of the grant.  In addition, area public libraries — the Wissahickon Valley Public Library, the Montgomery County- Norristown Public Library, and the Pottstown Regional Public Library — are collaborating with us to promote the programs.

Please stay tuned as we finalize the events for what will be spectacular music programs in fall 2013!

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