competing to create regional center
consortium of the Virginia
Foundation for the Humanities (VFH), the University of Virginia
and Virginia Tech is one of 16 groups in the running to establish
a center for the study of regional cultures, sponsored by the
National Endowment for the Humanities.
awarded the consortium a $50,000 planning grant, enabling them
to compete to establish a South Atlantic Regional Center in Charlottesville
to serve a geographic area including the Atlantic states and territories
from Virginia to the Virgin Islands. The South Atlantic Regional
Center will be one of 10 such centers across the country that
will focus on preservation and promotion of regional history.
NEH chair William R. Ferris envisions each center as "the
cultural hub for its region with a mission of broadening public
awareness of, access to, and participation in the humanities."
consortium was awarded an initial grant to plan a center that
would explore South Atlantic history and the region's economic
and cultural future.
"region is the historic center for development of the United
States," said Robert C. Vaughan, VFH president, who would
direct the center if the Virginia consortium wins the larger grant.
"The regional center will bring together diverse people and
resources of the region to promote education, research and scholarship,
and economic development in the South Atlantic," he said.
center will explore the confrontation between Native Americans
and Europeans, the roots of the African slave trade and the effects
of various wars, including the Civil War, upon the region, as
well as the region's future as a dynamic new economic and cultural
center of the United States.
the Virginia consortium is successful in its bid to win the regional
center, it will receive an implementation grant of $5 million
which it must match on a 3-to-1 basis, meaning it must raise $15
million over seven years to match the NEH challenge.
center would be governed by a region-wide advisory board. The
VFH would staff the center and provide facilities and administrative
support. Working with representatives of the two universities,
the staff and advisory board will commit resources to regional
work, encourage the development of educational opportunities in
regional studies, and explore the broad outlines of future research
agendas and public programming.