Transforming community through philanthropy.

The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

With over 40 years dedicated to preserving the history and culture of Louisiana, the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH) has invested $11.4 million in North Louisiana.  The support of the Community Foundation of Shreveport has allowed the LEH to conduct PRIME TIME Family Reading Time programs with families in the region; engage seniors in Readings in Literature and Culture (RELIC) programs at local libraries; and award grants totaling $3.6 million to the scholars, writers, filmmakers, and photographers of the Shreveport-Bossier area.  Additionally, the LEH has secured and administered two of the US Department of Education's Teaching American History grants in Caddo Parish, a $2.6 million investment in the parish's teachers, in addition to several dozen Teacher Institutes for Advanced Study grants on a wide range of humanities disciplines.

LEH Executive Director Dr. Michael Sartisky praises the Community Foundation's support of the LEH.

"Establishing the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities' long-term endowment in North Louisiana with the Community Foundation, is an essential element in our long-term investment, now totaling in excess of $11 million in this culturally rich section of the state."

In 2010, Stemming the Tide of Intergenerational Illiteracy: A Ten-Year Impact Study of PRIME TIME FAMILY READING TIME, a definitive longitudinal analysis of the program’s impact on student achievement was released.  This ten-year study offers statistical evidence that this preemptive approach to addressing the problem of intergenerational illiteracy can significantly impact and improve student learning.  PRIME TIME CHILDREN exceed their peers on the LEAP, iLEAP and GEE tests in virtually every subject in virtually every year.  Consequently, PRIME TIME FAMILY READING TIME achieves its mission and effectively creates the precondition for future learning among economically and educationally vulnerable families. 

Among the major national awards PRIME TIME has received are the Public Library Association’s  Advancement of Literacy Award; the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities Coming Up Taller Award;  and the Federation of State Humanities Councils  Helen & Martin Schwartz Prize.  RELIC was awarded the NEH’s Exemplary Project Award  and the American Association for State and Local History’s Award of Merit for “Southern Voices: The Conflict of Myth and History.”  Since 1996, Louisiana Cultural Vistas has won 118 first place Press Club awards, including Best Publication ten times.