Before you attempt to complete an application, please study this project website, which contains detailed information about the topic under study, project requirements and expectations of the participants, the academic and institutional setting, and specific provisions for lodging and subsistence.

The application form is at the bottom of this page. Please fully read this page before applying. 

Sailing To Freedom: New Bedford and the Underground Railroad, is a one-week NEH-funded Summer Workshop for K-12 school teachers, librarians, or administrators. The institute will be located in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Week 1 will run from July 17-22, 2022. Week 2 will run from July 24-29, 2022.


Our program seeks to select a diverse group of educators. Diversity to us means educators from all parts of the United States, with various backgrounds, who teach a variety of subjects, and who work in a range of socio-economic school districts. This program is not just for history teachers. Past participants have been educators from art, social studies, history, English, and more. We have had teachers, librarians, and administrators. Participants have been from rural, suburban, and urban schools. They have taught in religious and public schools, wealthy districts and poor districts. They have come from Maine, California, Florida, Washington, and everywhere in-between.

This workshop is designed principally for full-time or part-time teachers and librarians in public, charter, independent, and religiously affiliated schools, as well as homeschooling parents. Other K-12 school-system personnel such as administrators, substitute teachers, and curriculum developers, are also eligible to participate.

Applicants must be United States citizens, residents of U.S. jurisdictions, or foreign nationals who have been residing in the United States or its territories for at least three years immediately preceding the application deadline. Foreign nationals teaching abroad at non-U.S. chartered institutions are not eligible to apply.

Please note: Five workshop spaces per week are reserved for teachers who are new to the profession (those who have been teaching for five years or less).

Individuals may not apply to an NEH Summer Seminar, Workshop, or Institute whose director is a family member, is affiliated with the same institution, or is someone with whom they have previously studied. To be considered eligible, each applicant must submit a complete application.

Please note that individual applicants are allowed to apply to no more than two projects (seminars, institutes, and/or Landmarks workshops); however, you may participate in only one per summer.

Once you have accepted an offer to attend any NEH Summer Program (NEH Landmarks Workshop, NEH Summer Seminar, or NEH Summer Institute), you may not withdraw to accept an offer from another program.

Selection Criteria

A selection committee comprised of the project directors and two or more colleagues will evaluate all completed applications to select a group of participants and alternates. If you are not chosen for the first group of participants, you may be placed on an alternate list. Invariably we dip into the alternate list as some participants select other programs, scheduling conflicts arise, and other issues come up that require us to invite new teachers. You will be told if you are on the invitation list or the alternate list.

When choices must be made between equally qualified candidates, the first consideration is given to those who have not previously attended an NEH Seminar or Institute. Given two equally qualified candidates who have not previously attended an NEH Seminar or Institute, preference is given to those who will enhance the diversity of the program.

Please note that if you are placed on the alternate list or are not accepted, that is not necessarily a reflection of your teaching ability or your ability to contribute positively to the program. In striving for a diverse group, we may have many too applicants from one discipline, or we may have many applicants from one area of the country, or we may need more early-career teachers, and so forth. We strive to take the most qualified applicants while maintaining a broad representation of teachers.

Notification Procedure

Successful applicants will be notified of their selection on Friday, March 25, 2022.

Successful applicants will have until Friday, April 2, 2022 to accept or decline the offer.

Applicants who will not have access to email during the notification period should provide a phone number where they can be reached. No information concerning the status of an application will be available before the official notification period.

Equal Opportunity Statement

Endowment programs do not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or age. For further information, write to the Equal Opportunity Officer, National Endowment for the Humanities, 400 7th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024. TDD: 202/606‑8282 (this is a special telephone device for the Deaf).


If you have been accepted to the institute, you will be asked to complete the following documents:

Terms and Conditions for Participants

Acceptance Form

Certification for Participants

Participant Agreement



A complete application consists of the following items:

1) The Application Form

Fill out the application form (below) by midnight EST, March 1, 2022. Late applications will not be considered.

You will need to include a name and email address for two professional references as part of the application. (*Note that you do not need letters of recommendation, just references. This was a requirement in past years but is no longer).

2) The Application Essay

This is a highly competitive program. In years past we have received hundreds of applications for limited spots. The essay will be the most important part of your application. It is limited to no more than 4500 characters or roughly 800 words. We recommend that you write your response in a text editor and cut/paste it into the form. Application essays should explain how this specific program will benefit you, the participant, professionally. You should, therefore, address the following:

A few sentences about your qualifications, unique perspective, skills, background, and experiences that equip you to do the work of the institute and will make you a valuable contributor to the program.

A sentence or two about your intellectual interests as they relate to the topic of the institute.

The rest of the essay should focus on how participation in this program will enhance your teaching. Please be specific in describing ways that you envision the program augmenting your existing curriculum or curriculum that you are developing. We are looking for how your interests, teaching, and experiences are related to the institute and its connection to your professional responsibilities. This should be the bulk of your essay and will be the most heavily weighted in selecting participants.

3) A Resume or CV

You will need to include a resume or curriculum vitae (not to exceed five pages). Please make sure your last name is in the filename. For example “Arrigo_resume.pdf”

Upload Your CV at This Link

If you cannot upload your resume or CV at the link above, or if you do not have a Google account, you can email it as a .pdf attachment to Dr. Anthony Arrigo at

If you cannot see the form in your browser below, then select this link to go to the application form.

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