National Endowment for the Humanities to Fund KBMF Programs

Media Contacts: Clark Grant, KBMF 102.5 Manager | (406) 491-1432 |
Regan deVictoria, Board President, BAmF | (206) 406-0647 |
Ellen Crain, Director, Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives | (406) 782-3280 |

$30K matching grant will digitize oral histories and create radio programming

Butte, MT: The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) recently announced that the Butte America Foundation (BAmF) is one of six Montana organizations to receive funding for the 2017 grant cycle. BAmf will receive $30K in matched funds over the span of three years to create Verdigris, a collection of radio series produced in collaboration with the Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives and the Butte High School History Club. The Archives currently possess hundreds of oral histories on cassette tapes that largely focus on mining, miners and their families, but few of these oral histories have been presented to the public. In addition, Mr. Chris Fisk, history instructor at Butte High School, has donated over 20 years of oral histories conducted by his students to this project. This grant will fund not only the continued digitization of these collections, but the production of three connected radio programs:

  • Verdigris: Life Underground is a 20-part series of one-hour documentary episodes, produced by KBMF Station Manager Clark Grant and drawing from digitized oral histories to elucidate Butte’s mining history through the medium of FM broadcast and online podcasts.

  • Verdigris: Lost Butte is a short-form historical podcast hosted by noted Butte historian and geologist Richard Gibson. This 20-part series of one-hour episodes will bring to life Butte’s mining practices and industrial history with the voices of the people who actually lived it.

  • Verdigris: Mining City Reflections is a short-form podcast hosted by author and former university administrator Marian Jensen. This 20-part series of ten-minute episodes will focus on women’s history in Butte, including the formation and activities of the Women’s Protective Union, and ethnic minority women’s personal stories.

The complete Verdigris series will be broadcast locally on KBMF 102.5FM, as well as other educational radio stations in Montana, and made available to public radio stations around the nation through the Public Radio Exchange website. KBMF will formulate an online repository for the content after it is broadcast, and all materials will be made available to the public via the Archives’ permanent collection.


The Butte America Foundation was founded in 2013 in order to provide information and tools to uphold the tenets of social justice. BAmF views access to broadcast media as an essential part of the democratic process. BAmF is the licensee of community radio station KBMF 102.5FM, which has been broadcasting from the Carpenters Union Hall in Uptown Butte, MT since Miner's Union Day, June 13th, 2015. KBMF staff have trained 120 citizen broadcasters on FCC rules and regulations and radio equipment operation, resulting in 72 unique, weekly radio programs. In addition to the radio station, BAmF leads the renovation effort for the historic Carpenters Union Hall, which is the oldest operating labor building of its kind in the state of Montana, and produces the annual St. Patrick’s Day and Fourth of July parades. Learn more at:

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this article, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at:

The Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives was established in 1981 by ordinance to maintain the non-current records of the city-county of Butte-Silver Bow. Given the significant industrial, political, and social history of Butte in the American West, the government records and archival holdings are in great demand by scholars, authors, and genealogists. The Archives provides and encourages public access to its unique holdings. People come away from the Archives with a new-found appreciation of history and the significance of preserving the documents and manuscripts that tell the story of Butte and, through its significant impact, the world.