Representative Nita Lowey

Representing the 17th District of New York

Lowey Announces $30K Federal Grant for Historic Hudson Valley

December 11, 2018
Press Release

POCANTICO HILLS, NY – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17/Rockland-Westchester), Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee, today announced that the non-profit cultural organization Historic Hudson Valley (HHV) has been awarded a $30,000 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant to share the history of slavery in the north through digital storytelling.

“I am pleased the NEH has invested in this important project,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “The legacy of slavery is still felt today, and accurately teaching its history is critically important to improving understanding of issues of race and racism in hopes of creating a more civil and equitable society.”

“We are thrilled by Congresswoman Lowey's advocacy for Historic Hudson Valley,” said Waddell W. Stillman, the organization's president. “This vital project will help expose the legacy of slavery in the colonial north, bringing this content to new audiences through the modern medium of a digital graphic novel. We are excited to begin this journey and grateful for the head start these funds provide.”

Specifically, Historic Hudson Valley will use this $30,000 federal grant to fund the preliminary stages of the creation of a digital graphic novel tentatively titled Cuffee’s Trial. The novel will depict the trial, and the historical circumstances surrounding the trial, of Cuffee, an enslaved man accused of conspiracy to commit insurrection in colonial New York. Cuffee, who was among the first of 37 men and women to be tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for what would come to be known as the New York Conspiracy, had a direct connection to Philipsburg Manor, HHV’s National Historic Landmark in Sleepy Hollow. The completed novel will become part of HHV’s larger Slavery in the Colonial North initiative.

As the highest-ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, Lowey secured nearly $153 million for the NEH in the Fiscal Year 2018 omnibus spending bill, an increase of $3 million over the previous year’s funding level, despite President Trump’s efforts to end the Endowment.

In October 2018, Lowey participated in a conversation with NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede at Historic Hudson Valley in Pocantico Hills regarding the importance of the humanities in cultivating local community and broad recognition of the region’s historical heritage, and of robust federal investment in the NEH.