New NEH Grant Awarded to National Comedy Center’s Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum to Showcase Rarely-Seen Lucy Desi Archives for Visitors

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National Comedy Center

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced a new grant for the National Comedy Center’s Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum today, that will enable thousands of rarely-seen archival documents, photos and artifacts to be fully accessible by museum visitors — for the first time — in order for K-12 and college students, researchers, scholars, artists and the general public to explore Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s trailblazing contributions to the entertainment industry as visionary artists, producers and businesspeople. This three-year archival project, featuring bilingual content, will foster a new and deeper understanding of these artists’ extraordinary legacies across disciplines, including performance studies, cultural history, gender and feminist studies, Hispanic studies, media and technology, comedy writing and performance, the entertainment business and American history.

New, state-of-the-art, interactive portals and displays will feature over 3,000 items from the archive collection, drawing visitors to its museum in Jamestown, NY and empowering them to uncover new stories and points of connection with the Lucy Desi legacy for years to come. The focus will be on accessibility of the archives to museum-goers of all ages and backgrounds. This project, funded by the $400,000 NEH grant, will be led by the museum’s creative and archival team, but also include collaboration with leading scholars and subject matter experts to provide new insights and broader context to the important stories showcased within the museum.