April 18, 2022 – The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities is pleased to announce major grant awards to 15 public projects and documentary films that showcase the power of the humanities to connect communities and strengthen civic health. Funded projects exemplify the many strengths and contributions of the humanities to our society: bridging differences and facilitating social bonding, cultivating a sense of belonging and agency in the public sphere, facilitating community visioning and problem-solving, and promoting multiple modes of knowledge and shared authority among others. Through the standard grantmaking program, the Humanities Council aims to stimulate new research in the field, spark thoughtful community exchange, build new audiences for and innovate new methods in the humanities, and advocate for the importance of the humanities in a lively democracy.
Congratulatory video messages from Senator Jack Reed, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman James Langevin, and Congressman David Cicilline available on the Council’s website and social media speak to the role of the humanities to bring people together, especially as communities work to rebuild social connection in the pandemic era. In 2021, their steadfast support and leadership in Congress helped to bring federal relief funds from the National Endowments for the Humanities and Arts to the state, nearly $1M of which was jointly distributed by the Humanities Council and the RI State Council on the Arts through the RI Culture, Humanities and Arts Grants (RI CHARG) program.
Executive Director Elizabeth Francis noted: “[Awarded projects] include free humanities workshops to support a 90-day recovery program; a statewide nonfiction writing program for youth; a civic education and leadership collaboration between the Naval War College Foundation in Newport and a local high school; and exhibitions, programs, and documentary films addressing topics from the legacies of slavery to how we will remember and grow from a global pandemic. Congratulations to the grantees on these awards, and thank you for all you do.”
Short video clips from 2022 major grantees and the Congressional delegation will be available on the Humanities Council’s website and social media channels (@rihumanities) throughout the week of April 18 – 22 as we continue to celebrate and advocate for the role of public humanities in our civic life. Watch the Council’s website and calendar for updated information about grantee events in the coming months.
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. As the only dedicated source of funding for public humanities in Rhode Island, we are proud to support museums, libraries, historic sites, schools, preservation and historical societies, community and cultural organizations, individual researchers and documentary filmmakers to bring Rhode Island’s stories to life and to amplify the state’s many diverse voices. A private nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, the Council is supported by federal funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as by individuals, corporations, and foundations.
Read on for a full list of this year’s major grant projects.
2022 MAJOR GRANT AWARDS
In support of organizations and projects that enrich and enliven the life of our state through public humanities programs.
Amos House / Therapeutic Enrichment Activities to Support Recovery
Funds support the development and implementation of weekly workshops, demonstrations, and activities on humanities, arts, and culture topics to enrich Amos House’s free 90-Day Recovery Program.
Capeverdean American Community Development / Recuperating History through Dance: A Rhode Island Story of Cape Verde
Funds support a linked set of courses for teens on the history of Cape Verde, as taught through lectures, classes, and performances on 12 genres of Cape Verdean dance. Among other outcomes, participants will produce a booklet on Cape Verdean dance.
DownCity Design / Broad Street Cultural Heritage Design Studios
Funds support the research, planning, and development of a series of Urban Trail Heritage Installations along Broad Street in Providence. This process includes archival research, Community Design Studios, and the creation of a Cultural Heritage Installation Tool Kit.
FirstWorks / Raise Your Voice: Widening the Circle through Narratives and Dance
Funds support humanities-focused community engagement around the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company residency with FirstWorks, including a town hall/keynote presentation; a community cohort of local participants; a virtual round-table discussion; K-12 educational workshops; and a commissioned essay.
Little Compton Historical Society / The Secrets of Cellar Holes: Blending Public Archaeology and Local History in Little Compton
Funds support an in-person special exhibit and accompanying in-person and hybrid programming. The exhibit and programming focus on public archaeology investigating cellar holes that were historically part of homes belonging to local, free families of color.
Manton Avenue Project / Imagining the “New Normal”: Playwriting for Youth in Olneyville, Community Tour and Public Programs
Funds support the creation, research, and production of a musical play series by 5th graders mentored by teens and middle schoolers. The plays will be informed by interviews with community members and will include community conversations as part of performance.
Naval War College Foundation / Rogers High School International Studies & Leadership Program
Funds support supplies, staffing, and travel expenses for the Rogers High School International Studies & Leadership Program in the Newport School District. The program, supported by volunteers from the US Naval War College, trains students in global history, cultural diversity, civic education, and leadership, and includes visits from foreign officers studying at the US Naval War College.
Providence Community Library / Providence Seed Library
Funds support the distribution of open-pollinated, heirloom, and culturally resonant seeds through RI public libraries; the amplification of seed narratives into the project; the creation and distribution of Growing Guides; and free educational programming.
Queer.Archive.Work / Queer/Trans Zinefest (QTZ) 2022
Funds support the Queer/Trans Zinefest (QTZ) 2022, an independent publishing and zine festival celebrating the creations of queer, trans, and gender non-confirming writers, poets, cartoonists, independent publishers, and zine makers.
Rhode Island Black Storytellers / FULLY Ourselves: A Story of Black Tennis
Funds support the professional production of a high-quality digital program to be made available for schools, public venues, and Rhode Island Black Storytellers’ FundaFest. The recorded digital program will share lesser-known stories from the history of Black tennis in Rhode Island and nationwide.
Rhode Island Historical Society / Providence Commemorative Works Project: Phase 1
Funds support the compilation and back-end development of a comprehensive database of commemorative works in Providence.
Riverzedge Arts / Woonsocket Social Flatlands Wayfinding Markers
Funds support youth participants’ creation of wayfinding signs in the Social Flatlands area of Woonsocket. The signs will share industrial and immigration histories of the area, and will feature archival materials sourced in an earlier phase of the project.
School One / Write Rhode Island
Funds support the implementation of “Write Where You Are,” a nonfiction writing program for Rhode Island teens. The program features free nonfiction writing workshops, a student-recorded sound map, and digital resources of stories.
Stages of Freedom / Black Ink on White Paper: The African-American Press in Rhode Island
Funds support a traveling exhibit, a youth newspaper, and public lectures and a roundtable on the history and current status of Black newspapers and journalism in Rhode Island.
In support of documentary films that preserve Rhode Island’s stories and bring its history to life.
Rhode Island Slave History Medallions / Marking the Landscape of the Enslaved People of Rhode Island
Funds support the research, planning, and development of a 75-minute film documenting stories of Rhode Island’s enslaved people of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) heritage in conjunction with the installation of slave history medallions at sites statewide.