$146,132 IN GRANTS AWARDED TO 16 HUMANITIES INITIATIVES
Rhode Island Council for the Humanities and grantees gathered Thursday to celebrate the role of humanities in civic life
PROVIDENCE, RI — Thirty representatives from civic and cultural organizations around Rhode Island gathered at the Tiverton Public Library Thursday as the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities announced a total of $146,132 in new grants for 16 humanities initiatives across the state. The announcement recognized Rhode Island’s strong humanities community and the role the humanities play in civic engagement.
“This outstanding group puts the humanities into action in our communities every day,” said Elizabeth Francis, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities. “The innovative ways that these grant projects engage diverse audiences and spark meaningful civic dialogue made them stand out in a competitive field of applicants. Rhode Island has a strong history of investing in the humanities and we are proud to partner with each of them.”
Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) sent a video message to congratulate the grantees and reiterate how essential each voice is when making the case for the role of the humanities in everyday life.
Among the recipients, Fusionworks was awarded $10,000 in support of Moving from Oppression to Empowerment – The Study of Marginalized Groups in Rhode Island. Dance instructors partner with social studies teachers and museum professionals on multidisciplinary, in-school residencies with elementary and high school students in Pawtucket, Providence, and Cranston. Together they develop cross-curricular explorations on that are both engaging and empowering. “Building on a 2012 grant from the Council, this residency model is in high demand and “fuses” performance art and learning,” said Polly Hutcheson, Chair of the Board of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities. “Dance is not just an expression, it is a vehicle for learning. Fusionworks brings together physical movement, health, teamwork, collaboration, responsibility and continues to engage with the humanities in innovative ways to address relevant issues facing today’s students and their communities.”
The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities seeds, supports, and strengthens public history, cultural heritage, civic education, and community engagement by and for all Rhode Islanders. Since 1973, the Council has provided over $8 million in grants to support more than 650 organizations throughout the state of Rhode Island, as well as independent researchers, filmmakers, scholars, and oral historians.
Please see the full list of funded projects below.
All images by: Matt Ferrera Photography
2017 MAJOR GRANT AWARDS
In support of organizations and projects that enrich and enliven the life of our state through public humanities programs.
Little Compton Historical Society, $10,000 to Rethinking the Wilbor House Tour.
Strengthening the Little Compton Historical Society’s ability to tell a richer, more authentic, and more relevant community history by redeveloping the Wilbor House Tour. Project will include formalizing docent training, and developing new marketing approaches to reach wider audiences.
The Manton Avenue Project, $10,000 to Out-of-School-Time Playwriting for Young People in Olneyville.
After school courses in playwriting for underserved youth aged 8-18 in Providence’s Olneyville neighborhood. Using humanities themes as a framework and local experts as guides, students engage in critical and creative thinking on topics of community, history, and culture and develop plays that express their understanding of human experience in their community and their world.
newportFILM, $10,000 to newportFILM OUTDOORS 2017.
Support for the 8th annual outdoor documentary film screening series held weekly, in the summer, at venues across Aquidneck Island. The project deepens public engagement with the films’ humanities themes through moderated post-film conversations, online video content, and a blog series.
New Urban Arts, $10,000 to Scholar Support for Summer Art Internships.
Support infuses the Summer Art Internship program with deeper connections between the arts and humanities through the support of a humanities scholar. The interdisciplinary program engages low-income youth from Providence public high schools in research and artmaking, connects them to Rhode Island’s cultural resources, and culminates in a public exhibition.
Preserve Rhode Island, $10,000 to Doors Open Rhode Island Festival Programming.
Throughout a day long festival, 20 unique sites across the capital city are open for the public to visit, tour, learn, and experience the built environment. This public programming connects Rhode Island and regional audiences to notable places in greater Providence.
Preserve Rhode Island, $10,000 to How to Be There: An Immersive, Multi-Sensory Experience at Lippit House Museum.
The development phase of a multi-sensory interactive exhibit at the Governor Henry Lippitt House on the East Side of Providence. By engaging with the sites, sounds, and voices of 19th-century residents of the house -including both owners and their servants- visitors learn about the state’s tumultuous labor movements and their relation to current economic and social structures.
Providence Children’s Film Festival, $10,000 to 2018 Providence Children’s Film Festival.
Support for the 9th annual Providence Children’s Film Festival, which engages children and families in Rhode Island and beyond by showcasing independent films, teaching the craft of filmmaking and fostering conversations in a shared viewing experience. The festival encourages discussions on challenging and diverse stories and topics in order to cultivate empathetic, globally aware, and visually astute makers, thinkers, and doers of tomorrow.
Providence Preservation Society, $10,000 to Why Preserve?
Support for five public programs across the capital city exploring the multifaceted value of historic preservation in distinct communities, neighborhoods, and populations. Community tours, public lectures, and scholarly presentations bring together public audiences, politicians, and business leaders to challenge fundamental notions and perceptions of preservation’s value and relevance.
The Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre, $8,682.50 to The Gamm Humanities Forums (2017).
A series of forums on the themes of world politics, gender, and power comparing Tudor times to now. Gamm’s humanities forums create opportunities for the public to come together to examine questions of gender and power in relation to the histories of Queen Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart as presented in the production of King Elizabeth – Tony Estrella’s adaptation of Friedrich Schiller’s Mary Stuart.
UPP Arts, $7,900 to UPP Arts Archive.
For over a decade, social practice artist Holly Ewald has been working to highlight the environmental issues of Mashapaug Pond and affiliated watersheds in the West Elmwood neighborhood of Providence and Cranston. The project culminates in a publicly accessible archive of the organizational history of the Urban Pond Procession at the Providence Public Library.
In support of documentary films that preserve Rhode Island’s stories and bring its history to life.
Rhode Island Historical Society, $5,000 to Triple Decker, A New England Love Story…A Trailer.
Support for development of a trailer for the film Triple Decker, A New England Love Story. The film focuses on the cultural impact of southern New England’s iconic triple-decker houses. Triple-deckers, prevalent throughout Rhode Island, hold an iconic status as the historic homes of many immigrant and working-class families and often reflect the stories of those who have struggled, and prospered, inside their walls.
K-12 CIVIC EDUCATION
In support of projects that enhance the humanities components of K-12 education and cultivate the civic leaders of future generations.
Fusionworks, $10,000 to Moving from Oppression to Empowerment – The Study of Marginalized Groups in Rhode Island.
Multidisciplinary, in-school residencies with elementary and high school students in Pawtucket, Providence, and Cranston that brings together dance instructors partner, social studies teachers, and museum professionals to develop cross-curricular explorations on themes of marginalization, oppression, and empowerment.
Historic New England, $10,000 to Education Programs at Arnold House.
Hands-on learning activities and field trips to the Arnold House for underserved students from elementary schools in the Blackstone Valley, Providence, and Warwick regions. In an authentic 18th-century setting, students are immersed in Rhode Island’s colonial history, learning about the home life, trade, and labor of early settlers.
New Urban Arts, $9,550 to Educational Tour of Rhode Island Public Schools Focused on Media, Segregation, and Expression.
Eight public programs connecting high school and middle school students with performers and educators who utilize hip hop, geography, history, and social science data to explore the state’s economic, racial, and cultural divisions. School wide performances and classroom work allows students to reflect on and process the varied life experiences of fellow Rhode Islanders who live so close, but are worlds apart.
The Preservation Society of Newport County, $10,000 to Edible Schoolyard at Green Animals.
Support for implementation of a K-12 historic foodways program at Green Animals Topiary Garden in Portsmouth. This experiential learning curriculum, developed with a planning grant from the Council, offers school groups and the public an opportunity to explore connections between food and horticultural practices with cultural heritage, health, and the environment.
Youth in Action, $5,000 to Corridor Communities.
Creation of an after school program that teaches youth how to study the transit corridors in their neighborhood through research, observation, reflection, and overlays that detail the economic, cultural, racial and geographic nuances of South Providence.