Monday, August 20, 2012

UIS receives grant from the Illinois Humanities Council to produce Old State Capitol documentary

The University of Illinois Springfield is pleased to announce that it has received a Media Production maximum grant award of $5,000 from the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) to support the production of The Old State Capitol: A Witness to History, a documentary on the Old State Capitol Building.

“The Old State Capitol has significant connections to our country’s history.” said Jerry Burkhart, director of UIS’ Office of Electronic Media (OEM), which will produce the HD video. “From Abraham Lincoln to the present, A Witness to History will engage visitors at the Old State Capitol and create enthusiasm among those who watch the documentary at a school or local library.”

In collaboration with Old State Capitol Site Manager Justin Blandford, local historian Tara McAndrew will write the script, with a final 55-minute video expected in 2013. In addition to being shown at the Old State Capitol, the video will be appropriate for public television. It could also be used by history and luncheon clubs, at library presentations, and on the internet. Plans are to distribute the documentary to schools throughout Illinois. Essential support for the project is also provided by the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund.

“The Illinois Humanities Council is proud to support not-for-profit organizations that promote the importance of the humanities in private and public life. Through their efforts, Illinoisans have greater access to lifelong learning opportunities,” said IHC Executive Director Kristina A. Valaitis. “These champions of the humanities make their communities and our whole state more vibrant.”

The IHC’s Community Grants program is its oldest. Since 1974, the IHC has welcomed grant proposals from not-for-profit groups that have a story to tell about the state, or who have a way to use the humanities to enrich community life. Not-for-profit organizations may apply for Mini Grants up to $2,000 and Major Grants up to $10,000.

For more information about the Illinois Humanities Council, please contact the IHC offices at 312/422-5580 or visit their website at


University of Illinois Springfield is the liberal arts campus of the world-class University of Illinois. About 5,000 students enroll each year seeking a U of I degree but also the intimate learning environment of a private college. Located in the state capital, UIS has a special mission in public affairs and has produced thousands of leaders in government and non-profit organizations in Illinois. 

The Illinois Humanities Council is an independent, nonprofit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. The IHC creates programs and funds organizations that promote greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. The IHC is supported by state, federal, and private funds.

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