StoryBoard Memphis is thrilled to announce that we have received a SHARP grant from Humanities Tennessee and the National Endowment for the Humanities for the A. Schwab Archive project. The SHARP (Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan) grants were made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 approved by the U.S. Congress and signed into law on March 11, 2021. This program distributed more than $940,000 in grants to organizations across the state of Tennessee.
The purpose of SHARP grants is to support jobs in the humanities, keep humanities organizations open, and assist the field in its response to and recovery from the needs created or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through the A. Schwab Archive Project, StoryBoard Memphis is partnering with A. Schwab, the oldest continually operating business on Beale Street, and the Memphis Public Library to index and digitize the store’s archives, which are currently stored in the store’s basement. The store records will provide insight into one of Tennessee’s most iconic streets, as well as a hub of Black business and daily life, from 1876 through Jim Crow-era segregation, the Civil Rights Movement, urban renewal efforts, and the street’s revitalization.
StoryBoard Memphis is one of 27 organizations in West Tennessee to receive support through the SHARP grant program. With our $14,920 Humanities Project Grant, StoryBoard Memphis has hired archivists to perform the digitization. This public humanities project will result in thousands of never-seen historical records being made available on the DIG Memphis website.