NPS issues $2.8 mil. in grants to preserve WWII sites


WASHINGTON – National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis on June 16 announced 20 grants totaling more than $2.8 million to help preserve and interpret the World War II confinement sites of Japanese Americans. More than 120,000 people of Japanese descent were imprisoned by the U.S. government following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

“As stewards of our nation’s history, the (NPS) recognizes the importance of preserving these confinement sites,” Jarvis said in a statement. “They are poignant reminders — today and for future generations — that we must be always vigilant in upholding civil liberties for all. These grants help us share valuable lessons on the fragility of our constitutional rights and ensure the experiences of those who were incarcerated are not forgotten.”

The grant amounts range from $16,000 awarded to the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission Inc., to research and document a 70-year-old mural that was painted by an inmate at the Seagoville Internment Camp (INS Detention Station) in Texas, to $400,000 for New York’s public media station WNET to create “Prisoner in My Homeland,” a series of free online educational video games to engage middle school-age students with the history of Japanese American incarceration during World War II.

The Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program, now in its seventh year, will support projects in eight states and the District of Columbia.

The grants announced total $2,845,000 and bring the program’s total awards to more than $18 million since Congress established the grant program in 2006. A total of $38 million in grant funds was authorized for the life of the program.

Grants from the JACS Grant Program can go to the 10 War Relocation Authority centers established in 1942 or to more than 40 other confinement sites. The goal of the program is “to teach present and future generations about the injustice of the World War II confinement history and inspire a commitment to equal justice under the law.” Successful proposals are chosen through a competitive process that requires applicants to match the grant award with $1 in non-federal funds or “in-kind” contributions for every $2 they receive in federal money.

For more information, visit:



University of Arkansas: “Rohwer Reconstructed II: Making Connections Through Time and Space” — $254,606. Description: The university will add an estimated 1,300 items to its existing online database of Rohwer and Jerome materials. A 3D visualization of Barracks Block 12 will be expanded to include the auditorium, library and athletic fields.

University of Central Arkansas: “A Season of Remembrance: Rohwer and Jerome at 70” — $75,908. Description: The university will commemorate the 70-year anniversary of the closing of the Rohwer and Jerome sites through the production of “Remembrance,” an evening-length theatrical performance based on stories from the incarceration.

California State University, Dominguez Hills (Carson, Calif.): “California State University Japanese American Digitization Project” — $321,554. Description: California State University will digitize nearly 10,000 documents and more than 100 oral histories related to the confinement of Japanese Americans during WWII, and make those materials available on a CSU-sponsored Website. A consortium of 13 CSU archives will participate in the project, resulting in a teaching guide and traveling exhibit.

Heyday (Berkeley, Calif.): “Journeys from Manzanar,” a Published Book Project — $100,000. Description: Heyday and the Manzanar History Association to co-publish a book to provide an intimate glimpse into the lives of the children of Manzanar in the post-WWII years, when those children grew up, had children and grandchildren.

National Japanese American Historical Society (San Francisco): “Camp Digital Archives” — $83,875. Description: NJAHS will digitize approximately 400 new entries from its collections and upload them to the Japanese American Confinement Sites database hosted on the University of San Francisco’s Gleeson Library Digital Collections Website.

Regents of the Univ. of Calif. (Berkeley, Calif.): “Japanese American Internment Sites: A Digital Archive” — $296,347. Description: The Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley will establish a comprehensive virtual archive of its holdings of War Relocation Authority records.

San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center (Pacoima, Calif.): “Only the Oaks Remain: The Tuna Canyon Detention Station Traveling Exhibit” — $102,190. Description: The San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center will create a traveling exhibit to tell the story of the former Tuna Canyon Detention Station in Tujunga, Calif.

Special Service for Groups (Los Angeles): “A Flicker in Eternity Interactive Curriculum: Teaching Stories of Confinement” — $20,000. Description: Special Service for Groups will partner with Kizuna to create an interactive educational curriculum to teach more than 300 elementary through college-aged students about the history of the incarceration during WWII.

University of Colorado, Denver (Denver, Colo.): “Amache 3D Digital Documentation” — $24,202. Description: The University’s Center for Preservation Research will use LiDAR scanning technology to produce a complete 3D digital model of the landscape, buildings, and site features at Amache as they appear today.

National Trust for Historic Preservation (Washington): “Left Behind: Documenting the Japanese American Collections at Seattle’s Panama Hotel” — $137,178. Description: The National Trust for Historic Preservation, partnering with the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, will inventory, catalog, and photograph personal belongings stored in the basement of the Panama Hotel by Japanese Americans.

Friends of Waipahu Cultural Garden Park (Waipahu): “Phase Two, Administration Building Construction Documents, Student Participation and Exhibit” — $112,000. Description: Friends of Waipahu Cultural Garden Park (aka Hawai‘i’s Plantation Village) will complete construction documents and specifications for future restoration of an administration building, believed to be a guard house, at the Honouliuli site. A year-long exhibit on Honouliuli also will be assembled.

Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i (Honolulu): “Hawai‘i Japanese American Internment: Short Documentaries on the Hawai‘i Counties of Kauai, Oahu, Hawai‘i and Maui” — $215,502. Description: The JCCH will produce a four-part documentary sequel to “The Untold Story: Internment of Japanese Americans in Hawai‘i.” The sequel will comprise four, 15-min. films, focusing on 17 mass incarceration sites on the islands.

Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i (Honolulu): The Power of Place: The Archaeology of Hawaii’s Internment Sites — $38,600. Site(s): Honouliuli Internment Site; Haiku Camp, Maui County; Kalaheo Stockade, Kauai County; and other mass incarceration sites in Hawai‘i. Description: The JCCH will produce a comprehensive report that synthesizes the existing archeological studies about Hawai‘i’s incarceration sites together with new field work to identify, record and map newly discovered sites and features.

Asian CineVision, Inc. (New York): “The Orange Story: A Cinematic Digital History Project” — $159,548. Description: Asian CineVision Inc. will produce “The Orange Story,” a 15-minute film portraying an historical re-enactment of a day in the life of one Japanese American forced to move from his home and sell his business before being sent to a camp.

WNET (New York): Mission US: “Prisoner in My Homeland” — $400,000. Description: WNET, a public media station, will produce an online educational video game that places students in the role of a Japanese American teenager  who must make choices as he and his family are forced to leave their home on Bainbridge Island, Wash., for one of the “temporary detention centers” and then to one of 10 camps.

Friends of the Texas Historical Commission, Inc. (Austin, Texas): “Seagoville Internment Camp: Detainee Mural and ‘Japanese Colony’ Study” — $16,000. Description: The Friends of the Texas Historical Commission, Inc. will research and document a fading mural that was painted by an inmate in the former Department of Justice Seagoville Enemy Alien Detention Station, an incarceration site used to detain Japanese, German, Italian, and others deemed “Enemy Aliens” during World War II. Also, the history of the approximately 250 Japanese Latin Americans imprisoned at Seagoville will be shared.

Densho (Seattle): “Confinement Sites Encyclopedia Enhanced for Education” — $236,777. Description: Densho will enhance its online encyclopedia with the goal of making it the “go to” resource for teachers and students studying the imprisonment of Japanese Americans during WWII. Addition of 350 new articles.

Densho (Seattle): “Making Connections with the Japanese American Incarceration” — $131,574. Description: Densho will partner with the Holocaust Center for Humanity, the Northwest African American Museum, and a local indigenous community organization to create an educational curriculum and teacher-training workshop that connects the Japanese American exclusion and incarceration story with other events of civil and human rights violations.

Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation (Powell, Wyo.): “Heart Mountain Root Cellar, Phase II: Emergency Stabilization” — $90,500. Description: The HMWF will stabilize the severely deteriorating 35-foot by 312-foot root cellar originally used by incarcerees to store produce.

Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation (Powell, Wyo.): Japanese American Confinement Sites Consortium — $28,639. Description: The HMWF, in partnership with the Japanese American National Museum, will convene two meetings to bring together a consortium of leaders representing confinement sites and organizations working to preserve the sites.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

See the 2024 CAAMFest