Associate Director of Grants and Strategic Initiatives Julia Renaud believes that public history, cultural heritage, civic education, and community engagement—the work of the public humanities—are integral to nurturing, strengthening, and inspiring all communities in Rhode Island. As such, she is thrilled to support and amplify the work of public humanities practitioners and organizations, as well as contribute to the Council’s own strategic initiatives, in her role. Since joining the Council in June 2020, Julia has developed and implemented several responsive grantmaking programs, including the American Rescue Plan Act-funded Rhode Island Culture, Humanities, and Arts Relief Grants (RI CHARG) general operating support program, which distributed $968,000 to 121 non-profits in a historic partnership with the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts. She also co-authored the Council’s recent Culture Is Key report with Executive Director Elizabeth Francis and Civic Health Fellow Julia Lazarus, and leads the Council’s current initiative to develop Rhode Island’s first-ever Civic Health Index.
Prior to joining the Council, Julia worked in cultural nonprofits in New York and Providence as an archivist, educator, curator, and public historian. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Julia holds an MA in Public Humanities from Brown University and an AB, summa cum laude, in American History and Literature with a minor in History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University.
The devoted co-guardian of a cranky black cat, Julia enjoys karaoke, historical tourism, and the beach.