Grantee Spotlights

Our grantees are a diverse group doing meaningful work in the areas of private higher education, religious literacy and interfaith leadership, and public educational media.

Amherst College's Academic Technology Program

As educational technologies become ubiquitous in higher education, faculty members are often unsure about how to integrate new technologies and traditional pedagogies. An AVDF grant enabled Amherst College to fund an instructional technologist position, allowing Amherst to achieve its long-term goal of a highly effective academic technology program that reinvigorates liberal arts teaching and learning. Read more about Amherst College.

The Vietnam War (Fall 2017), produced by Florentine Films and WETA

The Vietnam War is a ten-part, 18-hour documentary film series directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick that will air on PBS in September 2017. In an immersive 360-degree narrative, Burns and Novick tell the epic story of the Vietnam War as it has never before been told on film. The Vietnam War features testimony from nearly 100 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides. This is one of a series of grants from the Foundations in support of Ken Burns’ Telling America’s Stories being produced during the 2011-2020 period.  Learn More.

Promoting Civil Dialogue in Religious Diversity

Leadership in the 21st century requires a sound understanding of the guiding principles of the First Amendment, which enables Americans to appreciate religious and philosophical differences through civility and respect.  To help religious and civic leaders meet the challenges of our nation’s rapidly expanding religious pluralism, the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute is collaborating with graduate schools and diverse civic and religious groups to offer courses on religious freedom and religion in public life. Learn more about the work of the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute.

Morehouse College celebrates a 150-year history of educating and developing global leaders

The 150th Morehouse Anniversary History Project, as the Morehouse Sesquicentennial History Project was called at its inception, was established to plan for the 150th Anniversary of Morehouse College in 2017. The mission was to produce several scholarly and commemorative works that would mark this milestone in Morehouse history. The college has produced thousands of men who have contributed to world society in every way imaginable. They include civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. ’48, track and field legend Edwin Moses ’78, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson ’79, filmmaker Shelton “Spike” Lee ’79, actor Samuel L. Jackson ’72, former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher ’63 and many others. In keeping with the College’s historic legacy of service and leadership, the commemorative works will celebrate the illustrious 150-year tradition of Morehouse being “A House United” as a global unifying force, particularly in the challenges facing black men in America. Read about Morehouse College.

American Experience's Freedom Summer

As part of WGBH’s American Experience history series, Freedom Summer focuses on ten weeks in the summer of 1964 when more than 700 student volunteers partnered with local communities and black citizens to challenge the foundations of white supremacy in Mississippi, the nation’s most segregated state. Together they canvassed for voter registration, created “Freedom Schools,” and established the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Learn more about this 2014 Peabody Award Winner.

The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations' Aspen Fellows at The Aspen Ideas Festival

Since 2005, the Aspen Ideas Festival has been the nation's premier convening of leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to engage in consideration of ideas and issues that shape our lives and challenge our times.  For the past three years, the Foundations' have given a grant to the Aspen Institute to fund the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations' Aspen Fellows program, which brings a diverse group of action-oriented leaders to Aspen, Colorado.  Read more about The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations' Aspen Fellows Program.

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