“This workshop was one of the best I have ever participated in…As expected, the workshop provided excellent insights in areas both hoped for as well as some that were a surprise! This NEH program was an excellent investment of my time and resources and I have already begun work with what I have learned! Thank you to all who made it possible.”
“I find this workshop to be of the highest NEH quality. I’ve done many Institutes and Seminars and this ranks up with the best of them.”
Below are a few frequently asked questions.
- What will the weather be like?
- What should I wear?
- Where will we stay?
- Where can we eat?
- What about transportation?
- Can I bring my family?
- Should I bring a laptop computer?
- What should I do to prepare for the institute if I am selected?
Weather & Outdoor Activities
The Hoover Dam was built in Black Canyon, a short distance from Boulder City, Nevada. According to U.S. Climate Data, the average July temperature in Boulder City is 99 degrees! Participants should expect physical activity on a daily basis, occasionally in very hot conditions.
Erma Gobdey, who lived near the damsite and whose husband worked on the dam, is quoted in the book Building Hoover Dam: An Oral History Of The Great Depression (2001) as saying, “It was terrifically hot. My God, it was terribly hot and dusty… It would get to be 120 by nine in the morning, and it wouldn’t get to be below 120 before nine at night…I would wrap my babies in wet sheets just so they could sleep.”
It is safe to say that it will be extremely hot. We will also be doing quite a bit of walking: from architecture tours, to tours of the dam, to an all-day excursion to Lake Mead and the Valley of Fire. You should expect moderate physical activity each day in very hot and dry conditions. We will make every effort to ensure that participants are well hydrated and to avoid strenuous activities in the hottest parts of the day, but you should be prepared to be outside in the Mojave Desert in the summertime.
What should I wear?
It will be very, very hot during the day and some time will be spent outside each day. We will also be doing quite a lot of walking. You should plan to bring comfortable shoes, hats with wide brims, sunscreen, sunglasses, and cool clothes.
However, we will also spend time in libraries, archives, and meeting rooms so you may wish to bring a light sweater or long sleeved shirt for the times we are in air conditioning. All attire will be informal.
Where will we stay?
Information on this is available on the Housing & Stipend page.
Where can we eat?
There are many restaurants within walking distance in Boulder City. There are also some instances in which we will be away from civilization and bag lunches will be provided. We will discuss lunch preferences at the beginning of the week.
Here are some of the available options: https://goo.gl/BO9Y73
What about transportation?
The program starts on Sunday evening, around 5:30 p.m. In order to make it for the start of the institute, you should try to arrive in Las Vegas by no later than 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.
If you are flying, you should go to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. We will work with participants to arrange transportation to and from the airport. We cannot, however, guarantee that we can provide transportation for every person. If you are unable to make it for one of the shuttles or carpools, you can also take a taxi or Uber service.
Can I bring my Family?
Participants are expected to be fully engaged in the activities of the institute, which will take the majority of your day, every day. In addition to planned activities each day, there are optional activities on some evenings and weekend days. If you choose to travel with your family, please be aware that there will be few opportunities for activities outside of the institute.
Should I bring a laptop computer?
We encourage you to make the most of your time at the institute including doing research, planning courses, and other scholarly activities. You should be aware, however, that many of our site locations will not have wifi access. Also, some of our days will be spent in archives, museums, or out in the field where laptops would be impractical.
What should I do to prepare for the institute if I am selected?
The most important thing to do is to complete the assigned readings prior to each day. In order for you to get the most out of the workshop, you should be prepared to engage our scholars with questions and comments that advance everyone’s knowledge.
Participants will also receive a copy of Dr. Anthony F. Arrigo’s Imaging Hoover Dam: The Making of a Cultural Icon (2014), and Dr. Michael Green’s latest book Nevada: A History of the Silver State, which will serve to provide contextual background for the major themes of the institute. Participants are encouraged to read those books.
Additionally, you should begin thinking prior to the workshop about how you will use this workshop to enhance your own curriculum, and specific things that you want to take away from the program, and what your contribution to the institute can be. You should be prepared to ask questions and engage in dialogue.
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed on this website or at this institute do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.