top of page
Nankama Program
Actor Charles S. Dutton, circa early 2000s
The Tin Man, The Wiz, c1960s
Maya Angelou
The Southernairs1936
Scarecrow, The Wiz, c1960s
1995 Ebony Magazine
Jade Scott (L), and Gillian Clifford
Celebrated Archivist Dr. Debra Ham
Project Director, Ofosuwa M. Abiola

 $99,948.00 NEH Grant

In December 2018, I was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to establish an Africana Theatre and Dance Collection in Howard University's Founders Library.

The Africana Theatre and Dance Collection, or simply ATDC, will make thousands of imperiled uncatalogued historic and contemporary theatre and dance documents and countless other items, available to researchers.


The grant period ran from January 2018-Spring 2020. Students received training in archival, preservation, and digitization methods. They were also provided a stipend to take inventory, organize, catalog, and digitize, the collection's massive materials. Once sorted and categorized, the collection will be uploaded to Founders’ open source digital platform which will make the collection available for all laymen and researchers including those not affiliated with universities.


At the end of the grant period in Spring 2020, the students utilized the Africana Theatre and Dance Collection to conduct humanities research to create websites. To ensure that the nonacademic community was made aware of the new Africana Theatre and Dance Collection, a seminar for Research on Africana Dance Theatre - The Nankama African Dance Conference - was hosted on Howard's main  campus and the launch of the ATDC was announced and discussed. 

In 2020, after the initial activities of the ATDC project, Howard University's libraries closed due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Project digitization resumed in 2023 and is on-going.


See the picture collage above for a small sample of the enormous number of items that will comprise the collection.

**Double click on each picture for information**

**To see more project samples click the NEH Project Samples button below

NEH Logo

The Africana Theatre and Dance Collection has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor


“Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this Web resource, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.” 

bottom of page