2014 Annual Report: President's Report

"When the Past is Never Gone"

In his novel Requiem for a Nun William Faulkner observed, "The past is never dead.  It is not even past."  That short, sweet phrase forces us to confront our own notions—or wishes—about how far we have left behind the earlier periods in our history.  In a recent opinion piece in the New York Times ("Slavery's Enduring Resonance," March 15, 2015), writer and social observer Edward Ball tells us that the spasmodic racial eruptions that seem to grab and throttle us occur because the ghosts of slavery have not been exorcised. Ball, a descendant of one of the wealthiest slave-owning families in South Carolina, and author of the highly acclaimed Slaves in the Family, a story of his family and the black people they enslaved, argues that the policing of black bodies, and the legislated use of extralegal actions, has its roots in an earlier America, where every black person was assumed to be some white person's property and many whites presumed themselves deputized to reconnect property and owner.

Many would disagree with Ball, arguing that slavery's luminance is faint, hinting that its evocation is somehow archaic and out of place.  For many, slavery seems the ultimate example of a bygone era.  More than once in my 30-year career as a university professor I had a student say, "Slavery, that was about then, and this is about now."  Or, "my ancestors came in the 20th century; they had nothing to do with slavery.  Don't blame me."  My lectures about human cargoes, crop rotations, reciprocal relations, economic benefit, cultural adaptation, and nearly 250 years of forced labor seemed incongruous to some of those young people, who were growing up in a world in which everyone was encouraged to be like Mike—the late 20th century's global icon, Michael Jordan.

Our distance from slavery has ostensibly increased significantly in recent years, in spite of the four-year remembrance of the Civil War in many regions.  This is the digital age and the age of the human genome, when information flows fluidly and quickly.  A "generation" is 18 months, the time it takes to introduce a new technological innovation.  This alteration of time and knowledge forces us to ask: What is our continuing link to slavery?  Is it simply understood as the grandparent of segregation—that is, slavery gave birth to emancipation, emancipation gave way to segregation, with segregation finally producing desegregation?  Perhaps more pointedly, is slavery no more than a museum piece, represented in static form
through scholarship, at historical sites and in museums?

Most important, how do we make sense of slavery's lingering presence in our contemporary lives?  Is Ball correct that slavery haunts this post-industrial age, because like any apparition out of time, it won't willingly leave until it knows its time and place have come and gone?  Or does it linger because we don't want it gone, not really?  We conjure it back into existence through our veneration of the Civil War, in our cultural productions and reproductions, in family names and histories, in monuments, memorials, and reenactments, and in the ways we mark difference.  Is this why slavery's ghost—and the specter of race and difference—never seem to leave us?

One means of answering these and other questions is through the scholarship of the humanities and the arts, since we cannot exorcise the past without confronting it fully.  Take, for example, historian David Eltis's digital project, Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database (http://www.slavevoyages.org), which documents the movement of millions of humans from the interior of the African continent to its western coasts, and then on to Brazil, the Caribbean, and North America.  With a historian's eye for detail, aided by the computer's ability to store and sort vast amounts of information for almost immediate retrieval and analysis, Eltis helps us see the transatlantic slave trade for what it was: a global affair predicated on the exchange of humans, goods, and commodities for the enrichment of a complex network of actors over several centuries.  Along the way African names, birthplaces, words, and kinship ties were pushed deeper and deeper into the creases of human memory.  In their place, over the course of several centuries, ideologies surfaced to justify slavery, religion was invoked to maintain slavery, laws evolved to regulate slavery, practices matured to sustain slavery, opponents appeared who questioned slavery, individuals were born who fled slavery, and states did battle to perpetuate slavery.  And in our own time, we, descendants of that earlier period, work hard to forget slavery, only to find ourselves stunned when the past refuses to stay gone.

But let's step back further.  The forced migration of more than 25 million—when we combine the transatlantic trade and the trans-Saharan system that sent another 13 million plus from Africa into the Middle East, Persia, and India—was not the first great migration of peoples away from the African continent.  The most pivotal move occurred more than 60,000 years ago, when our African ancestors began a journey that altered human history.  The decoding of the human genome confirms what physical anthropologists have said for more than two generations: human life began on the African continent.  At some fundamental level we are all African.  Or, stated differently, all humans share 99.9 percent of the same genetic material.  If that's the case, much of human history has been about 0.1 percent!  In fact geneticists find greater detectable human variation on the African continent than there is in the rest of the world, when they examine the telltale markers found on our Y chromosomes and mitochondrial DNA.

Yet the twists and turns documented by National Geographic and its partners in the Genographic Project reveal that our common ancestry is the beginning of the story rather than the end.  Human movement across the globe went on for nearly 50,000 years, before the domestication of flora and fauna produced sedentary cultures (see map).  Along the way early Homo sapiens journeyed north and east into Asia, entered Russia and headed southward into Europe, interbred with Neanderthals, crossed frozen tundra to reach the Americas, and continued an existence of hunting and gathering.  Over time, for protection and self-perpetuation, individuals aggregated into clan groupings, and communities started to form.  Around 10,000 BCE the domestication of plants and animals gave rise to the first of several major civilizations in the Fertile Crescent, that half moon-like swath of land encompassing present day southern Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, and northern Egypt.

That settlement, which developed architecture, laws, writing, formal religion, agriculture, and urbanization, produced the prototypes of empires, governments, and a form of collective storytelling and mythmaking.  Gone was any hint of a long-ago African origin.  In its place were new origin stories, each replete with socially and culturally appropriate iconography.  You were Sumerian, Assyrian, or Babylonian.  Each rise and fall of clan groups, city-states, empires, and ultimately nations produced new markers of inclusion and exclusion, new reasons for conquest and war, and greater certainty of difference.

The manufacture of difference aided and abetted the growth, development, and duration of the slave trade, and the Atlantic slave system.  The need to understand important stories such as this inspires the work of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  Last fall we released a mission statement explaining our commitments: "The Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies.  To this end, we support exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work."  In crafting our mission statement, the Board and staff reasoned that study of how humans have chronicled, recorded, analyzed, and transmitted our understanding of our collective history must remain at the center of our work.

The themes of continuity and change frame the work plan for the next period in our history.  For the Mellon Foundation this means remaining alert to the need to blend short- and long-term perspectives.  Much is written of the significance of social impact or strategic philanthropy, marked by relatively immediate, measurable returns on investment.  Although there is virtue in such an approach, we temper our enthusiasm for short-term investment with philanthropic investment, which requires a patient, steady partnership to achieve lasting advances.  Last year, for example, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) program.  The program was conceived as a way of increasing the numbers of underrepresented minority students who would go on to earn doctorates and diversify the ranks of the professoriate in the United States and, later, in South Africa.  The success of the program is related to its longevity.  Had we abandoned the effort after five, ten, or even fifteen years, the cumulative effect of partnering with 40-plus colleges and universities at the undergraduate level would have seemed wanting, as we can see from Graph 1.  Even six years after its creation in 1989, the program had just two doctoral completions; a decade in there were only 26 doctorates earned.  Twenty years after its creation, MMUF boasted 344 doctorates earned, a massive increase but still hardly sufficient to "diversify the professoriate."  By 2014, however, the number of PhDs had increased to 571, with another 600-700 students in the pipeline.  Perhaps most importantly, the number of doctorates earned is expected to double within just seven or eight years.  These numbers exclude those who entered the program as undergraduates but never went into PhD programs or went to professional school instead.

As we turn the page on the next chapter of the Foundation's history, informed by experience, we know some changes require long-term investment.  As a result we remain ever mindful of both the immense obligation that comes with thoughtful philanthropy and the limits of any one foundation to effect change without the able participation of willing partners.  We decided to emphasize continuity because we value the importance of the humanities, the arts, and higher education.  We will grow our staff size somewhat to better maximize the work ahead, but we will also continue to rely on re-granting institutions, social and cultural nonprofits, and colleges and universities to advance the work of strengthening, promoting, and on occasion defending the humanities, arts, and higher education.

Even as we make this pledge, you will also see some changes.  We have, for example, deemed it important to support a wider cross-section of the liberal arts sector than has been our practice heretofore.  This requires that we come to know a far greater number than the approximately 100 schools that have historically been in our orbit of engagement.  Evidence of this change can be seen in grants we have made beginning in the fall of 2014.  Over the course of the next few years, we hope to work with an expanding number of liberal arts colleges in the United States, as a component of the work in the new program area Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities, or HESH.

Our interpretation of continuity and change, which last year's president's essay adumbrated, is more fully captured on the Foundation's new website, under the heading: Strategic Plan—Executive Summary.  That plan called for us to end some programs, continue others, enhance a few, and where advisable launch completely new activities.  In the pages that follow in this year's annual report you will get a flavor for how we hope to accomplish these two objectives at the programmatic level.  There is a grant, for example, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art that forms part of an ongoing initiative to develop a cadre of conservators trained to care for Chinese paintings on scrolls, albums, and wood panels.  And one to Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Art and Design to facilitate the creation of a database, seminars, workshops, and other efforts to better use collections of Native American objects and images.  There, too, is the grant to Playwrights' Center, Inc., in Minneapolis, to give theater artists the time and resources to experiment, in a low-risk environment, all with the goal of improving the art created.  Each of these examples points to continued or enhanced efforts to partner with colleagues in the arts, humanities, and higher education.

At the same time, some of the grants highlighted in subsequent pages signal our orientation toward change.  Following a smaller officer's grant to the American Historical Association (AHA), the Foundation awarded a larger multiyear grant to the AHA to work with individual history departments to examine the academic job market for historians, educate faculty and students about those trends, and explore non-academic career options for PhD seekers in history.  An even more noteworthy departure from the past was a grant to Purdue University to address so-called "wicked problems" or "Grand Challenges."  The Foundation's new strategic plan calls on scholars in the humanities and arts to add their perspectives and critical insights to the task of tackling such challenges as inequality, migration, urbanization, water scarcity, and human conflict.  The Purdue grant enables scholars in fields such as cultural anthropology, history, philosophy, and religion to partner with colleagues in the biological and physical sciences and engineering, as well as librarians.  The net result would be scholarly papers with policy implications.  While the Foundation has previously worked with the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), the Foundation's role in the so-called "Grand Bargain" to secure Detroit's path out of bankruptcy required a new approach.  To protect the artist treasures acquired in the public's interest over decades, we teamed with the DIA by providing a sizable grant, which helped it raise its contribution to the binding financial agreement.  A final example is a grant to Case Western Reserve University to partner with Cuyahoga Community College.  This is the first time that the Foundation has supported a collaboration between a research university and a two-year institution.  But, given the changing demographics of the United States, the call for more Americans to enter college, and disputes over cost and competition, such a partnership may serve as a prototype for a new area of funding.

One grant, however, stands out because it brings us back to the presence of the past.  In June of last year we made a grant to Washington University in St. Louis to study St. Louis as a segregated city.  A part of our "Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities" initiative, the grant proposed an interdisciplinary exploration of segregation in urban life that would focus deep scholarly attention through summer seminars, an oral history, and a range of publications.  The grant came before the shooting of Michael Brown and the continuing cries about whose lives matter.  There is no way to imagine the principal investigators on this grant ignoring events in Ferguson, Missouri, and the tremendous power of social media to tell a story ignored in the early hours by conventional news outlets.  They may find themselves engaging the story shared by Attorney General Eric Holder about his own encounters with a law enforcement community that at times viewed him as a threat.  Their work may invite questions about migration, settlement, and community; they may ask questions about identity, security, and opportunity.  For them, there will, however, be no escaping the need to probe how difference shapes life opportunities, policies, and practices in the urban setting.  When they do, these grantees will run head on into the ghosts of our shared racial history.  Let us hope the project leaders and their colleagues confront those ghosts.  Let us hope the product is a new understanding that helps us free ourselves of the tragic consequences of the recurring focus on the 1/10th of 1 percent of human history.

Earl Lewis
June 2015

Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities

In 2014, the Foundation began to consolidate its formerly separate programs for Liberal Arts Colleges (LAC) and Research Universities and Scholarship in the Humanities (RUSH) into a single program for Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities (HESH), led by Vice Presidents Philip E. Lewis and Mariët Westermann, and Senior Program Officer Eugene M. Tobin.  Historically, most of the Foundation's support of undergraduate education had taken the form of grants to liberal arts colleges, while the RUSH program focused almost exclusively on doctoral education and faculty research.  The integration of the Foundation's work with colleges, universities, and institutes of advanced study reflects a conviction that the liberal arts and graduate programs in the humanities are enhanced by a cohesive set of relationships between undergraduate and doctoral education, and that the best higher education stands in a foundational relationship to research, whether in colleges or universities.  The joint program will facilitate the Foundation's ongoing encouragement of collaborations among institutions of higher education for intellectual and pedagogic ends that may in the long run also bring financial relief.  The HESH program will at the same time continue to support and defend the unique qualities of American research universities and liberal arts colleges, and the distinctive place of the humanities and arts within them.

Although the RUSH and LAC programs maintained separate grantmaking activities for most of this transitional year, certain grants supported mutually beneficial partnerships between colleges and research universities, and some grants in the RUSH program provided support for the integration of undergraduate education into the research mission of universities.  Moreover, an increased number of grants supported programs that address challenges across the system of higher education, such as training larger cohorts of faculty and students in the digital humanities, preparing doctoral students for broad undergraduate teaching, or engaging universities and colleges in the public humanities and partnerships with local institutions.  The high potential of integrative work across the system of higher education is exemplified by a joint initiative of Case Western Reserve University and Cuyahoga Community College to strengthen existing relationships between their humanities faculties and to develop a pipeline of transfers of community college students into humanities majors at Case.  This initiative recognizes the invaluable and growing role of the two-year college system as a provider of genuine educational opportunity.

Research Universities and Scholarship in the Humanities

Mr. Lewis and Ms. Westermann continued to lead the program in 2014.  Ms. Westermann was responsible for grants to American universities and to institutes for advanced study, as well as for collaborations between RUSH and Mellon programs other than LAC, particularly in Diversity and in Art History, Conservation, and Museums.  Mr. Lewis managed the Mellon-based competitions for Sawyer seminars and New Directions fellowships, grants to humanities centers, arrangements with large regranting organizations, and international partnerships.

Inquiry in the humanities by individual scholars and collaborative teams, from graduate students to postdoctoral fellows and from early career faculty to their most senior colleagues, remains a core HESH commitment.  The Foundation makes regular, large grants to the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) and the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) to enable them to administer Mellon-funded fellowship programs for graduate students, recent PhD recipients, and scholars in the humanities and related social sciences.  In 2014, the ACLS received a $5 million grant for its longstanding dissertation completion fellowships and a final renewal grant for the Charles Ryskamp fellowship program for untenured faculty.  The Frederick Burkhardt residential fellowships for recently tenured faculty were also renewed, with the understanding that starting in 2015 the resources dedicated to the two programs for early career faculty will be amalgamated in a larger and reconceived Burkhardt program.  The SSRC received renewed support for its International Dissertation Research Fellowship program, which has long aimed to support emerging scholars in research that advances knowledge about cultures and societies outside the US.  In the wake of the retrenchment in 2011 of Title VI support for international education and research, the SSRC program has become even more critical to the nation's capacity to generate such knowledge.  Other renewed fellowships included the dissertation completion program administered by the Council for European Studies, which has had success mentoring recipients to timely completion; the fellowship program for doctoral research with original sources, administered by the Council on Library and Information Resources; and doctoral fellowships in core humanities disciplines at New York University and at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey—New Brunswick.

RUSH renewed its annual investment in two ongoing programs for which groups of distinguished scholars meet at the Foundation to select the award recipients.  The New Directions program provides funding to scholars who are six to ten years beyond completion of the doctorate and wish to prepare themselves for new research projects by pursuing formal study in fields other than those in which they hold their degrees.  A total of $2.77 million was awarded to the 12 scholars whose projects were selected, representing a wide range of liberal arts colleges, small and large universities, and public and private institutions.  The Sawyer Seminar program named after former Mellon president John Sawyer, which enables interdisciplinary groups of faculty from within and outside universities to conduct yearlong inquiries into the comparative study of cultures, made awards of $175,000 each to ten institutions: Brown, Princeton, Rice, and Vanderbilt Universities, the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York, and the Universities of Toronto, California at Davis and at Riverside, Massachusetts at Amherst, and Wisconsin at Madison.

RUSH continued its pattern of increasing support for interdisciplinary centers, both within the humanities and between the humanities and the sciences and social sciences.  An award to Columbia University supports its recent establishment of a Center for Science and Society, led by a historian of science and art, that will serve as a hub for research clusters of humanists, social scientists, and scientists who study problems that require multidisciplinary research and perspectives.  The vital role of humanities centers in staging research and conversations on critical issues and big questions outside and between departmental structures is exemplified by the Simpson Center at the University of Washington, which received a grant to reimagine PhD education in the humanities for the 21st century.  The John Hope Franklin Institute for the Humanities at Duke University pursued a similarly innovative project on emerging humanities fields and questions.  The Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign took the lead in developing research clusters in the biological, environmental, and legal humanities.

Humanities centers have become nimble collaborators through the international Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes and in other formations.  One of the most successful such collaborations is the Central New York Humanities Corridor, launched with Mellon funds in 2006, that links humanities centers and faculty at Cornell and Syracuse Universities, the University of Rochester, and the New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium representing Colgate and St. Lawrence Universities and Hamilton, Hobart and William Smith, Skidmore, and Union Colleges.  In 2014, the three founding universities each received a challenge grant to endow core Corridor activities.  Other grants in support of humanities centers went to the National Humanities Center, the Center for the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the Institute for the Arts and Humanities at Pennsylvania State University, The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities, the Townsend Center for the Humanities at the University of California at Berkeley, and the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale University.

Responding to lively interest on the part of institutions of higher education in expanding the resonance of the humanities in the world, RUSH expanded and diversified its support of the public humanities, understood as a wide range of activity through which humanities scholars make their work accessible to broad audiences, engage non-specialist members of the public in the conduct of their work, and engage in discourse about matters of public importance and the common good.  RUSH staff made several unusual grants to allow for experimentation with programs that have the potential to generate broader understanding and support of the humanities.  The National History Center in Washington, DC expanded its provision of nonpartisan briefings to Congress on topics that require deep historical understanding.  The Pulitzer Prize Board, housed at Columbia University, was awarded $1 million to support its upcoming centennial year programming, which will feature community events in literature, theater, and journalism around the country, staged in collaboration with state humanities councils and other organizations.  The Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications Association (WETA) received support to complete two public television series on African American and African history.  In recent years, museums and other cultural organizations have begun to assert their potential for serving as venues where serious scholarship can be presented to the public and put forth for debate.  In a new departure, RUSH funded programs that integrate research and public programming at several such organizations, including the Museum of the City of New York, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, and the New-York Historical Society, which is establishing a Center for Women's History.

Other public humanities grants focused squarely on the public value of university research.  The ACLS received $6.53 million to renew its Public Fellows program, launched in 2011, which places recent PhDs in the humanities in postdoctoral positions in non-academic, not-for-profit or governmental organizations.  The humanities centers at universities are actively involved in training graduate students to work in their communities, and their public programming has become increasingly vigorous.  The Foundation supported such initiatives at the Center for the Humanities at the Graduate School of the City University of New York and, through the coordinating offices of the New York Council for the Humanities, at various humanities centers in other New York State institutions.

All of these public humanities initiatives open perspectives for humanities PhDs into satisfying and meaningful careers outside the academy.  Several professional organizations and universities have been closely focused on these potentials in recent years, given that the availability of tenure-track academic positions in the humanities has long lagged behind the number of PhDs delivered to the market each year.  The American Historical Association received support for a series of pilot projects that will help graduate students prepare better for careers in their fields, whether within the academy or in a range of non-academic positions.  The Modern Language Association is pursuing an initiative that will provide similar training to PhD students within a broader initiative designed to renew doctoral curricula.  A grant to the University of Michigan is enabling the Rackham Graduate School to expand its programs that enable doctoral students to experiment with humanities-based work outside the academy.

In our age of mass migration, global connectivity, and rapid demographic change, few challenges that only the humanities can address would seem more pressing than the capacity to understand, speak, and value a language other than one's own.  Recognizing that the issue has not captured the public or congressional imagination, the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages launched a campaign to promote non-native language learning by students in the US.  To alleviate pressure on less commonly learned languages, Columbia University launched the second phase of a collaboration with Cornell and Yale Universities to deliver instruction across the campuses through online, interactive video technology and occasional in-person class meetings.

RUSH grantmaking for the year included approximately ten grants that supported innovative academic programs and projects in particular universities and research institutes, including interdisciplinary faculty hiring at Tufts University, visual culture curriculum at the University of Pittsburgh in partnership with local museums, and curriculum and research initiatives at the Universities of Chicago and California at Davis and at Los Angeles.  Carnegie Mellon University and the University of California at Berkeley received awards to strengthen and broaden faculty and student participation in research and teaching in the digital humanities, and thereby joined a nascent Foundation initiative to bring the insights, questions, and capacities of digital humanities expertise into mainstream curricula and research programs.  Under the Foundation's initiative in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities, Harvard University's research center at Dumbarton Oaks received support for a program focused on urban landscape studies.  Washington University in St. Louis also joined the Foundation's initiative with a project to study urban segregation in the history of St. Louis and its new formations around the world.  Just months after the grant was made, events in Ferguson, New York, and Cleveland provided trenchant reminders of the devastating legacy of segregation and of the urgency of the historical, ethnographic, and public work that Washington University is pursuing.

Liberal Arts Colleges

The Liberal Arts Colleges sector of the HESH program, led by Mr. Lewis and Mr. Tobin, makes multiyear grants to liberal arts colleges and regional consortia in support of undergraduate education in the arts, humanities, and humanities-centered social sciences.  In 2014, LAC continued to support institutional renewal, undergraduate research, the integration of digital pedagogies into teaching and scholarship, faculty and curricular diversity, and general education.  Reflecting the pressures associated with access, completion, cost, diversity, and learning outcomes, HESH grantmaking encouraged collaborations between liberal arts colleges and research universities.

Colleges and universities have a vested interest in undertaking experiments that determine whether technology can help reverse the long-term trend to increase costs and/or improve learning outcomes.  Though many colleges lack the economies of scale, critical mass of engaged scholars, and infrastructure to collect, curate, and store large data sets, these institutions have an interest in making teaching and scholarship more collaborative, interdisciplinary, and visible to the public.  In 2014, the Foundation made a number of grants that expanded college faculty members' familiarity with blended learning, digital research, and virtual classrooms.  One of the major challenges facing residential liberal arts colleges is how to integrate technology into "place-based" learning.  A grant to Barnard College enabled faculty to collaborate with curators, archivists, and collection specialists in demonstrating how digital technology complements the liberal arts model.  Students and faculty at Lake Forest College, in collaboration with cultural and educational organizations in Chicago, are using digital tools to preserve the city's cultural and architectural history.  Lehigh University faculty and students received funds to use digital pedagogies to tell the story of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania's postindustrial transition through a variety of documentary and public history projects.

The literary scholar Louis Menand once compared the design and adoption of a general education curriculum to a play by Samuel Beckett but acknowledged the comparison was inapt because Beckett's plays are short.  "General education" combines liberal education's belief in knowledge for self-development with an ideal of learning that eschews specialization, promotes personal and moral growth, and introduces students to methods of inquiry.  Today, many observers believe that general education has lost much of its intellectual energy and rationale.  There is still a need for courses on large themes, fundamental questions, and important bodies of knowledge that prepare students to lead reflective, purposeful lives.  A grant to the College of William and Mary enabled faculty to incorporate a system of "College Courses" that resist specialization and focus on the ways in which disciplines contribute to a broad liberal arts education.

The classic market-driven model assumes that colleges and universities compete for students, faculty, gifts, grants, and visibility even when they agree to cooperate in other, less contentious zones.  The Foundation starts with the assumption that change is most likely to occur through alliances that serve multiple interests.  Collaboration requires strong presidential leadership and must be supported by faculty and staff across organizations.  In 2014, HESH helped support the formation of the Pennsylvania Consortium for the Liberal Arts, a cohort of 11 institutions that embraces cost savings in academic and administrative areas as a central component of its mission.  Internationalizing the curriculum, offering less commonly taught languages, and dealing with under-enrolled courses are familiar challenges for liberal arts colleges.  A grant to the Five Colleges of Ohio, in collaboration with the Center for Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Ohio State University, enabled faculty to use online and traditional classroom instruction to stabilize course offerings, build faculty capacity, and model consortium-wide courses in less commonly taught languages.  A grant to the Claremont University Consortium encouraged faculty from the five undergraduate colleges to continue their work in the digital humanities, with an emphasis on student-faculty collaborative research.  In an unusual partnership between a liberal arts college and a public research university, Grinnell College and the University of Iowa developed an ambitious series of cross-institutional collaborations that incorporate the digital liberal arts into their respective curricula.  These inquiry-driven initiatives enabled faculty, undergraduates, graduate students, technologists, and librarians to develop digital research and pedagogical innovation.

The Foundation believes that the future viability of the liberal arts college sector requires a healthy ecosystem whose institutions collectively maintain a tangible commitment to liberal education.  The shrinking demand for a liberal arts education has forced many regional institutions to expand vocational and pre-professional programs.  Toward the conclusion of 2014, HESH initiated a pilot program of modest grants to assist approximately 50 less-endowed liberal arts colleges in planning their intellectual and financial futures.

Arts and Cultural Heritage

In the fall of 2014, the Foundation's program areas in Performing Arts and Art History, Conservation, and Museums joined forces into a single program for Arts and Cultural Heritage led by Ms. Westermann, Susan Feder, and Alison Gilchrest.  The newly consolidated program superficially resembles an earlier Foundation program in the arts, which ran from 1969 to 1996 and was then split into two programs, one serving the performing arts and the other the work of art museums and conservation initiatives.  Although differences between performing arts organizations and museums were fairly sharp at the time, these distinctions no longer operate with the same force two decades later.  Boundaries between institutional types, media, disciplines, and audiences have become fuzzier and more porous.  Performing and visual arts organizations face similar challenges propelled by rapid demographic and technological change as well as a difficult fundraising landscape.  The professional development programs of National Arts Strategies, Inc., for example, which received a renewed grant in 2014, serve museum directors as well as performing arts executives.  To assist organizations in converting their challenges into opportunities, the Arts and Cultural Heritage program will support innovative scholarship and practice at the intersection of the performing and visual arts, but also continue to make grants specific to art museums and performing arts organizations.

The consolidation of the Arts and Cultural Heritage program makes explicit two theses that motivate the Foundation's grantmaking in the arts.  First, the arts constitute a fertile field of human inquiry, knowledge, and expression that is distinct from other forms of human thought and production, and that serves as a shared human resource for cultural renewal as well as historical understanding.  Second, a dense matrix of cultural organizations ensures that the arts can flourish and that great creative accomplishments remain available to future generations.  These museums and performing arts organizations have cognate missions and challenges.  In recognition of these realities, the Arts and Cultural Heritage program reaffirmed its commitment to nurturing exceptional creative accomplishment, scholarship, and conservation practices, and to promoting a diverse and sustainable ecosystem for the arts.

The joint Arts and Cultural Heritage program will pursue strategic goals that were more difficult to entertain when the Foundation's arts programs were separate.  The program will more frequently support work in the zone where performance, new media, installation art, and community participation meet, sometimes in new types of spaces that are neither traditional museums nor familiar performing arts venues.  Program staff will work actively with organizations that are rethinking what an "artist," a "curator," an "audience," a "visitor," or a "conservator" might be today, and how these actors can best work with their communities rather than putting work out for them.  The program will continue to explore how academic and cultural institutions can collaborate and learn from each other's practices.  A set of initiatives will seek to mitigate a range of conditions that hamper artists in the pursuit of their work or pose serious risks to the preservation of art and cultural heritage.

In 2014, the joint program began to make grants in several of these areas of strategic priority.  To strengthen contemporary performance practice as well as scholarship of performance, grants were awarded to leading organizations in these areas, including the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, Performa, Inc., the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, the Center for the Art of Performance at the University of California at Los Angeles, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

The program's commitment to reinforcing the infrastructure for art and artists at risk entailed exploration of new initiatives.  The Smithsonian Institution, which has developed deep expertise in securing and restoring art and cultural heritage after catastrophic environmental events, received a grant to advance planning for a permanent Cultural Crisis Recovery Center.  The Nonprofit Finance Fund was awarded a planning grant for a financial health initiative that would serve small to midsized performing arts organizations and conservation centers.  The program also began to consider new initiatives in support of the needs of individual artists.  A grant to the Actors' Fund of America supported expanded health insurance enrollment services for artists.  The Institute of International Education received an exploratory grant to study the availability of safe haven programs for the many artists around the world who find themselves at risk of persecution or physical harm.  Depending on the outcomes of these planning and pilot grants, the program may support longer-term initiatives in years to come.

In 2014, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) faced the most serious threat to an arts organization in the United States.  In the disputes that arose in the bankruptcy negotiations between the City of Detroit and its creditors, the DIA was almost forced to sell its most important treasures, which the city had acquired for it before the Second World War.  The sale of these works would have irreparably damaged the institution, and with it the idea of art as a public resource that is both timeless and of contemporary value to the vitality of cities.  An innovative coalition of Michigan-based foundations and corporations, national philanthropies, private donors, and the State of Michigan put together a "Grand Bargain" that would mitigate the losses of Detroit's pensioners in return for the DIA's permanent ownership of all of its assets.  Under specific matching conditions, the Foundation committed $10 million to the arrangement, which demonstrated that with collective will, creativity, and leadership, public, private, and nonprofit funders can come together in support of the arts and vulnerable communities.  The program's recognition of art as a resource of public interest and significance also spurred a grant to the Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications Association (WETA) in support of the expansion of arts and culture programming on PBS NewsHour's broadcast and website.

Art History, Conservation, and Museums

Grantmaking for Art History, Conservation, and Museums (AHCM) continued to be overseen by Ms. Westermann and Ms. Gilchrest.  To help shape and sustain art history and conservation as dynamic and rigorous disciplines, AHCM grants support art museums, conservation centers, research institutes, graduate programs, and related institutions, with an emphasis on strengthening training, collaboration, diversity, and knowledge networks.  During this transitional year, grantmaking focused in equal measures on winding down long-standing commitments, sustaining or augmenting successful programs, and launching new activity in alignment with the Foundation's strategic directions.

Through a body of grants made under the rubric of art conservation, the Foundation reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the role of conservators in the preservation and study of the cultural record.  Grantmaking focused on multiple dimensions of the professional pipeline, including training, postgraduate fellowships, midcareer positions, and professional development through national or international collaboration.  Significant challenge grants were made to Buffalo State College, New York University, and the University of Delaware to help endow student stipends in their graduate programs in art conservation.  The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco received support to augment staff and training capacity in the conservation of textiles, objects, and works on paper.  As part of an initiative to strengthen the pipeline of conservators who specialize in the care and treatment of Chinese paintings, the Metropolitan Museum of Art received a challenge grant to establish an endowed position.  LYRASIS and the University of Delaware were awarded final grants for collaborative initiatives in photographic preservation.

A challenge grant to Yale University capped off an extended commitment of particular significance to the Foundation.  In 1950, Paul Mellon established the Art Conservation Research Center (ACRC) at the Mellon Institute (now Carnegie Mellon University [CMU]) as the original scientific arm of the National Gallery of Art.  For 38 years, the Foundation has been the primary funder of this laboratory's staff and research operations.  Following ACRC's move from CMU to Yale in 2012, the challenge grant is intended to help secure the future of the center's field-leading research for the long term.

A challenging digital paradox for museums is the contrast between the ease of gathering copious archival data in a collection management system and the difficulties of sharing that material with other institutions that can benefit from the research potential contained in these archives.  Renewal grants to the Rembrandt Database at the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie, ResearchSpace at the British Museum, and the ConservationSpace project, coordinated by the National Gallery of Art, will continue to support collaborative, online data resources for the aggregation, sharing, and study of cultural heritage data by art historians, conservators, and scientists.

AHCM continued to explore innovative models for documenting and preserving contemporary art, and for enhancing the study and public understanding of it.  The International Network for the Conservation of Contemporary Art – North America and the New Museum of Contemporary Art both received renewed support for programs aimed at expanding the documentary basis for contemporary art.  The Chinati Foundation received a grant for a master planning process that will develop an integrated approach to the preservation of the land, buildings, and art of its Marfa, Texas campus.

Since 2012, the Foundation has been engaged in an initiative to support art history graduate programs that wish to strengthen the place of object-based study and curatorial practice in their curricula, usually in collaboration with capacious museums.  Such grants were made this year to Northwestern University, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the University of Chicago for a collaborative initiative in object-driven inquiry.  A pair of renewal grants was made jointly to Emory University and the High Museum for their Atlanta-based collaboration.  In October, the program convened representatives from all 25 participating institutions in an "all projects" meeting at the Cleveland Museum of Art to assess progress to date, exchange information and ideas, and strengthen the collaborative cohort.

Duke University received a final round of support under the Foundation's long-running College and University Art Museums initiative, for programs designed to generate academic collaborations among curators, faculty, and students around museum collections and exhibitions, including the development of new curricula across the disciplines.  The Gund Gallery at Kenyon College, Brandeis University, and the University of Michigan received grants under a similar rubric.

Diversification of the curatorial pipeline remains of strong concern to the program.  Following the launch of the nationwide Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship program in 2013, grants to Spelman College and the Studio Museum in Harlem focused on local efforts to amplify existing resources in institutions that have leadership committed to institutional diversity and inclusion.  The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian received a planning grant to explore a museum-based training program for scholars in Native American art, building on that museum's extensive resources and networks.

In 2014, AHCM grants also initiated exploration of the role of museums as engines for the public humanities.  Exploratory grants to the American Folk Art Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum supported planning processes for future initiatives.  The award to Khan Academy for the expansion and diversification of art historical content is indicative of the Foundation's growing interest in broadening access to high-quality scholarly information and teaching materials through innovative digital platforms.

Performing Arts

Under the leadership of Ms. Feder and with the assistance of Katharine Steger, grantmaking in the performing arts aimed to foster a dynamic, diverse, and sustainable ecosystem for the practice, study, and reception of the arts.  Grants encouraged adaptive practices in a changing environment as well as diverse and inclusive strategies in all aspects of artistic and organizational activity.  Working with leading producing and presenting organizations, institutions of higher education, and service organizations, the Foundation made grants that aimed to bolster the position of artists in all stages of development and presentation of new work, preserve significant repertoire, build knowledge about the sector, and strengthen exemplary institutions that are advancing these efforts.

Consistent with the Foundation's new strategic plan, the program began to shift the classification of its performing arts awards away from the grant's field or discipline and toward its purpose: Artists and New Work, Adaptive Organizational Practices, Public Value of the Arts, and Diversity and Inclusion.  While grants predominantly continued to support orchestras, opera companies, theaters, contemporary dance, and university presenting organizations, many awards funded interdisciplinary work or broader organizational initiatives.

As new work is fundamental to the ongoing revitalization of the arts, performing arts grants continued to emphasize the developmental aspects of creation, through support for institutions that place a high value on processes led by composers, choreographers, playwrights, and ensembles creating devised work.  Additionally, grants supported organizations that engage in collaborations and coalition building in order to improve the quality of new work and to create networks for its dissemination.  In 2014, the Foundation continued its support for the National Theater Project, which aids in both creation and touring and is administered by the New England Foundation for the Performing Arts; renewed its rehearsal space subsidy program benefitting choreographers and theater-makers working at 14 New York City-based organizations; and renewed a grant to Creative Capital for a regranting program for experimental artists developing new work.  Grants also provided production support to several organizations with commitments to producing either ambitious new work or distinctive presentations of unusual repertoire, including the Minnesota Opera, Signature Theatre, and the San Francisco Symphony.  A renewed grant to the International Contemporary Ensemble, and grants to Music Forward (The Knights), Alarm Will Sound, and A Far Cry, encouraged these large, artist-led ensembles, which have a strong focus on new music, in their efforts to model innovative practices for orchestras.

Several grants provided continuity in other ways.  Maintaining its select support for programs advancing international exchange, the Foundation renewed grants to Theatre Communications Group for its Global Connections initiative and to the MidAtlantic Arts Foundation for the US Artists International touring program.  Final grants in support of ArtPlace America, a public-private partnership promoting the role of art and artists in communities, went to the Nonprofit Finance Fund as well as Rockefeller Philanthropy for ArtPlace America.  Chamber Music America received a final grant for its Classical Commissioning Program.  Consistent with recent expansion of support for the performing arts at colleges and universities, the Foundation made a final round of grants for the presentation of ambitious classical music events; future grantmaking in this area is expected to take a broader, multidisciplinary approach.

For exemplary efforts to advance the public value of the arts through distinctive, socially relevant work, often in collaboration with local communities, grants were awarded to the New York Shakespeare Festival, Houston Grand Opera, and the Kennedy Center (for a new national festival to celebrate the range and potential of orchestral activity both in the concert hall and in the community).  Bard College's Longy School of Music received funds to help underwrite a study of the efficacy of US-based El Sistema-inspired programs sponsored by orchestras.

Performing arts grants also continued to support the exploration and planning of initiatives that may help improve equity and inclusion in the development and presentation of new work, provide professional development opportunities, and promote community engagement and access.  Awards were made to several leading organizations that had not received Foundation funding in the past.  Alternate ROOTS received a grant to provide professional and project development grants for southern artists and to further social justice in their communities.  A grant to the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture supported the pilot round of the Advanced Intercultural Leadership Institute, which is being developed in collaboration with partner organizations and will be tailored to midcareer arts professionals who have been underrepresented in professional development programs.  The Latino Theater Company received funds to create a fellowship program for aspiring directors at its Encuentro, a month-long festival of Latino theater.  Additional grants supported diversity work in several organizations: Emerson College, which received planning funds to help the Latino Theater Commons develop Café Onda; the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra for Next Generation Orpheus, an initiative that will provide a more diverse cohort of musicians with opportunities to join the orchestra; and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, for community engagement and partnership activities, as well as for its African American Fellowship Program.  A grant to the Sphinx Organization supported a study of the obstacles to racial and cultural diversity in the music profession.  Finally, a new grant to the regional arts organization South Arts, Inc., to support a dance touring initiative in the region, expanded the geographic range of the Foundation's grantmaking in the performing arts.

Scholarly Communications

In 2014, the Scholarly Communications (SC) program was led by Donald J. Waters and Helen Cullyer, who began implementing the Foundation's new strategic plan.  Under the plan, SC is maintaining three major areas of emphasis: scholarly publishing, preservation, and access and library services.  However, the development of the strategic plan marked an occasion for staff to refocus priorities within and across these three core areas.  For example, the program dropped "information technology" from its name, not for lack of interest, but rather in recognition that technology is integral to, and not separate from, these areas of scholarly communications.

SC seeks to assist libraries, presses, scholarly societies, universities and colleges, and other not-for-profit institutions in developing the human and technological infrastructure necessary to advance scholarly communications in the digital age.  To this end, SC made a number of grants in 2014 that provide support for core services and initiatives that span SC's grantmaking areas.  The Hypothes.is Project received funds to develop digital annotation services for primary source collections and scholarly publications.  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF), which was originally developed to facilitate interoperability of medieval manuscript collections, is being applied to improve publishing as well as access to library collections.  Yale University is incorporating IIIF in a platform for collaborative editing of classical Chinese texts, while Johns Hopkins University is embedding it in a research environment for the study of annotated, early modern printed books.  The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) was awarded funds to support a new cohort of postdoctoral fellows in data curation.  The cohort, which will be selected in 2015, will focus on preserving, publishing, and providing access to resources in visual studies.  In addition, Vanderbilt University and the University of Pittsburgh each received grants to advance the work of the Committee on Coherence at Scale, the mission of which is to foster collaboration among a number of national digital initiatives in preservation and access.

SC supported two scholarly publication initiatives that seek to bring humanities research to bear on matters of urgent public concern: Pennsylvania State University's effort to develop a Public Philosophy Journal, and Purdue University's interdisciplinary project to generate research and publication, led by humanities scholars, on "Grand Challenge" questions.  These two grants also represented one facet of SC's multipronged strategy to advance the publication of high-quality scholarly works in the humanities.  Following extensive discussions among program staff, scholars, librarians, press directors, and senior academic administrators on the future of publishing in the humanities, the following four priorities emerged: (1) develop new business models to sustain publications issued under open licenses; (2) support new genres of scholarly publication as well as existing journal and monograph formats; (3) identify criteria for peer review for both traditional and non-traditional publications in digital formats; and (4) establish new technical infrastructure within presses, libraries, and academic institutions for the publication and dissemination of digital scholarly works.

To advance understanding of the economics of digital scholarly publishing, Ithaka Harbors, Inc. received funds to conduct a study of the costs of monograph publishing.  Indiana University (in collaboration with the University of Michigan) and Emory University were awarded funds to explore whether and how universities could support publication fees for faculty monographs so that those works could be made available on an open access basis.  With Foundation support, the University of Lincoln is also exploring the feasibility of a funding model based on research library contributions for the Open Library of Humanities to publish individual articles and journal issues on an open access basis.

SC awarded funds so that Brown University, which does not have a press, could hire a digital editor and digital information designer to work with faculty on the development of digital monographs and other emerging genres of long-form publications.  Brown will also review and revise its tenure and promotion criteria across humanities departments to take account of digital scholarship and publications.  In addition, three scholarly societies—the College Art Association, in collaboration with the Society of Architectural Historians, and the American Historical Association—received funds to revise disciplinary guidelines for the review of digital publications, especially in promotion and tenure processes.

University presses at the Universities of California and North Carolina and at Stanford and Yale Universities received grants to develop new services, workflows, and software tools for the editing, production, and marketing of digital long-form publications.  The grant to Stanford University is supporting the editing and production of "interactive scholarly works," an umbrella term that refers to publications that include or are linked to underlying data and primary sources with which readers can interact while reading.  Because digital publication initiatives cannot be separated from deliberate action to preserve new additions to the scholarly record, works published during the Stanford grant term would be maintained in the library's digital repository.

In the areas of preservation and access, SC is giving high priority to audio and audiovisual collections.  New York University received a grant to collaborate with the Internet Archive to capture and preserve the websites of composers, including the audio and audiovisual files on those sites.  In addition, Indiana and Northwestern Universities were awarded funds for further development of the Avalon software for libraries to store, manage, and provide online access to audiovisual collections.

Finally, in support of efforts to improve access to library collections, the Foundation's Trustees approved a new grantmaking competition to be administered by CLIR for the digitization of special collections.  This competition will replace the Cataloging Hidden Collections program that CLIR has managed since 2008.  SC also provided support to the Digital Public Library of America to support business planning.  In addition, to advance the acquisition and availability of non-English language collections in US research libraries, the University of Texas at Austin is using Foundation funds for a pilot program in collaborative digitization and preservation of Latin American archival collections, while the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has launched an initiative to forge collaborative relationships between librarians in the US and the Middle East.


Armando I. Bengochea continued to lead the Diversity program in 2014.  On June 25, 2014, at the High Museum in Atlanta, the Foundation celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) program.  This event followed the debut of a new MMUF website in February and acceptance by the Board of Trustees in March of a comprehensive review of the program.  As of March 2015, more than 570 MMUF fellows had earned a PhD.  Of those, 99 had received tenure as college and university faculty; 198 fellows were presently in tenure-track positions; and approximately 100 fellows were in other faculty roles, including those of visiting professor, lecturer, and postdoctoral fellow.  Eleven fellows are now directing MMUF programs at their current institutions.

A renewed and concerted focus on the goals of MMUF resulted in expansion of the program in 2014-2015, especially in fulfillment of a new strategic initiative to create more pathways to doctoral study for Latino students in the humanities and related disciplines.  The Foundation has been tracking with great interest the growth of the Latino population in the US, and last year invited three new institutions into MMUF whose participation offers the likely prospect of reaching more students from that demographic cohort as well as other students committed to the mission of the program.  These new entrants to MMUF were the University of Texas at Austin, the University of California at Riverside, and the University of New Mexico; the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras was also invited to submit an MMUF proposal for 2015.  In addition to these institutions, the Claremont Consortium of Colleges was invited into MMUF in accordance with a consortial MMUF model that permits experimentation with new cooperative arrangements.  The five cooperating Claremont institutions, led by Pomona College, will share selection, orientation, and training of ten fellows each year.

The Diversity program's new Latino initiatives also included a dissertation completion grant to the Inter-University Program for Latino Research (IUPLR) at the University of Illinois at Chicago, which represents 25 university research centers and programs aimed at supporting Latino students.  Additionally, in an effort to determine how the Foundation might support the creation of other "pipeline" efforts that complement the goals of MMUF and promote doctoral degree attainment by Latino students, a study was commissioned from the Center for Minority Serving Institutions at the University of Pennsylvania.  The study explores productive ways in which major research universities seeking diverse pools of graduate applicants might initiate formal collaboration with comprehensive universities that are also Hispanic Serving Institutions.

The Diversity program has made several grants in the past year to support the Foundation's new strategic priority of communicating the value of the arts and humanities to the public at large.  The Democratizing Knowledge Project, a collaboration between Syracuse University and two other institutions, will use tools of the humanities and related social sciences, such as public ethnography, to address concerns and challenges shared by the institutions and their surrounding communities; the newly opened National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta will enhance its efforts at community outreach and education through the creation of the John Lewis Fellowship for advanced undergraduates and recent graduates from American and European universities; and the Foundation will support the research required for the production of a future documentary for the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) on the history of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The Foundation supports faculty and curricular development and other initiatives to expand academic capacity for a select group of HBCU institutions.  The Diversity program's support for individual HBCUs included grants to Spelman College, for initiatives to improve student academic success; Fisk University, for development of a new teaching and student learning center; Morehouse College, for support of a new major and minor in cinema and emerging media studies; Clark Atlanta University, for a curricular development plan; Xavier University, for its teaching center and undergraduate research program; and Tougaloo College, for an exploration of the theme of modern slavery, its relationship to historical slavery, and the implications of both for the college's future curricular priorities. The Foundation made a strategic decision to expand its support of HBCU institutions for 2015; invitations for proposals were extended to Hampton, Claflin, Tuskegee, and Morgan State Universities.

International Higher Education and Strategic Projects

The Foundation's strategic plan gave birth to a new International Higher Education and Strategic Projects (IHESP) program, which has been led by Saleem Badat since August 2014.  The Foundation understands that strong systems of higher education and cultural institutions are essential to building and sustaining viable polities and societies in emerging as well as more established regions of the globe.  Its positive experience in South Africa over the past 27 years justifies targeted involvement in other countries or regions where the Foundation's commitment to the humanities, the arts, and higher education could contribute to supporting fragile democracies and create favorable conditions for their participation in global networks of research and culture.

The program's overarching purpose is to help institutions become durable and capable of contributing to social cohesion, and to assist them in constructing educational systems that serve the interests of society at large.  In order to bolster the capacities of academic and cultural institutions and of the people working within them, the program will provide professional and financial resources in support of teaching, learning, scholarship, and effective scholarly communication, and will encourage its grantees to find ways to share the benefits of this work with the public at large.

New areas and strengthened emphases will include programs that engage scholars in all academic disciplines in the joint study of core problems affecting their own societies; initiatives that mobilize humanistic scholars and artists to participate in interdisciplinary and international collaboration on "Grand Challenge" questions; projects that share the benefits of teaching, learning, and research in the humanities and the arts with the public; and the coordination of international grantmaking across program areas in order to heighten the salience of global contexts to all Foundation grantmaking.

Given the fundamental imperatives of meeting basic needs such as clean air, water, energy, food, and health, providing for environmental sustainability, and creating equitable societies in the face of deepening inequality, the Foundation's ongoing support for the humanities and arts in South Africa and other countries will encourage an integrative engagement with scholars in all academic disciplines—first and foremost with the social sciences, but in the spirit of liberal education extending to the natural sciences and technology as well.

During 2014, 17 grants totaling $8.84 million were made to seven South African universities.  Beyond the IHESP program, in the Foundation's HESH, Scholarly Communications, and Arts and Cultural Heritage programs, eight grants totaling $2.39 million were made to international universities—the Universities of York, Victoria, Toronto, Oxford, and Lincoln, University College Dublin, National University of Ireland, and the American University in Cairo.  Five grants totaling $3.13 million were made to international cultural institutions: the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Museum, the British Library, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, and Stichting tot Exploitatie van het Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie.  A grant of $17,100 was made to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to provide conservation support to the Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo, which suffered devastating damage in the January 2014 car bombing of the Cairo police headquarters across the street.