Congratulations to our 2013 Major Grant Award recipients! A total of $188,088 has been awarded to 22 organizations in support of humanities projects across the State of Rhode Island. Two grants were given to support K-12 civic education; two grants were awarded to projects piloting GIS and/or smartphone-based technology; and four awards were made to support new interpretive materials for public exhibitions for cultural sites as diverse as Jamestown's historic windmill to the Museum of Natural History's permanent exhibit on Victorian collecting. The Council will also help FirstWorks resurrect the atmosphere and conversations surrounding the controversial ballet Rite of Spring in honor of its 100th anniversary; and, it will assist RI's 14th Regiment, made up of high-school aged re-enactors, camp and march down the Blackstone River Bikeway Path this spring.
As the only source of funding for public humanities projects in the state of Rhode Island, the Humanities Council supports humanities programs for every Rhode Islander. "With these recent grant awards, the Council promotes and sustains the cultural life of the state," said SueEllen Kroll, Humanities Council Grants Director. "The Council is continuously impressed by the innovation and entrepreneurialism exhibited by the creative and cultural communities in Rhode Island. Our homegrown organizations and projects are recognized at the national level for their excellence. We are truly lucky to have such dedicated talent creating meaningful and thoughtful public programming in our state."
2013 MAJOR GRANT AWARDS
Anthony Quinn Creative Archive
Anthony Quinn Foundation
$4,529.25 has been awarded to support the analysis and cataloging of artist/actor Anthony Quinn's personal archive, with the ultimate goal of digitizing its contents and making it publicly available.
$15,000 has been awarded to support the 17th year of this multi-format public forum and radio show that utilizes scholars and practitioners to study the context and contemporary ramifications of "under-appreciated dates" in 20th century American history.
Sakonnet Mobile Historical
$5,000 has been awarded to support the development phase of a collaborative project between the Brown Center for the Public Humanities, Tiverton Public Library and Little Compton Historical Society aimed to interpret sites of historical and cultural interest by utilizing personal mobile phone apps.
The Genius of Langston Hughes
The College Crusade of Rhode Island
$2,800 has been awarded to support the 18th Annual Langston Hughes Community Poetry Reading, a program that brings the legacy of Langston Hughes to life.
America's Forgotten Heroine: Ida Lewis, Keeper of the Light
Communipod Media Arts, Inc.
$8,510 has been awarded to support the production phase of an historical documentary on the life of Ida Lewis, who served for more than 25 years as a lighthouse keeper in 19th century Newport.
Rite of Spring in RI
$10,000 has been awarded to support humanities programming around the 100th anniversary of the Ballets Russes' premiere of the Rite of Spring. Programs will explore the historical and contemporary moments when art pushes society into new modes of thinking, hearing and seeing, and will culminate in the Joffrey Ballet's commemorative reconstruction of the Rite of Spring.
RI Capitol Forum on America's Future
Global Rhode Island
$10,000 has been awarded to support a program that engages Rhode Island high school students to consider our nation's role in a challenging international environment, drawing them into a deliberative process with their peers from across the state and empowering them to share their views with state and federal policy makers.
Colonial Times at
Historic New England
$9,100 has been awarded to support increased access for underserved schools to Historic New England's Colonial Times program, which includes a series of classroom-integrated curricula of historical content and hands-on activities and culminates in a field trip to Arnold House, an historic house in Lincoln, Rhode Island.
Jamestown Windmill Didactic Signage
Jamestown Historical Society
$11,650 has been awarded to support improved interior signage in Jamestown's historic windmill, built in 1787. Signage will improve visitor experiences, docent training, and be integrated into a middle school science program to create connections between the humanities and sciences.
Little Compton Historical Society
$10,000 has been awarded to support a local history project celebrating the history and heritage of Adamsville, Rhode Island, a village within the town of Little Compton. The project will engage a community-oriented approach to history through gathering oral histories and family artifacts in order to develop an exhibition and public programs and to add Adamsville-themed archival materials to the Little Compton Historical Society collection.
An Eagle on Their Buttons
$12,550 has been awarded to support a four-day march up the Blackstone River Valley bike path by the 14th Rhode Island Heavy Artillery, a group of Met High School students who re-enact Civil War history as Rhode Island's Black Civil War regiment. Along the march, re-enactors will set up living history encampments, perform an original play, and engage with students from schools in Lincoln, Cumberland and Woonsocket as well as the general public.
Natural Selections: Imagining the Museum's Victorian Past
Museum of Natural History
$10,000 has been awarded to support an upgrade and revision of the Natural Selections exhibition, which focuses on the historical origin of Providence's Museum of Natural History, how it evolved in its early years, and collecting issues today. The project will also include school group and adult education programming, a global history of collecting essay and exhibit gallery guide, and a collaborative program with the Audubon Society to celebrate the centennial of one of the Museum's premiere collections.
The Spectacle of Toleration; implementation
Newport Historical Society
$10,000 has been awarded to support an academic conference and statewide public programming exploring the lived experience of tolerance and religious pluralism in society. By examining 18th century Newport and Rhode Island and comparing it to other times and places, the project seeks to extract lessons on how we deal with diversity in thought, culture and belief today.
The Greatest Singer of Her Race: Sissieretta Jones
$4,900 has been awarded to support a series of multidisciplinary events on the life of Sisserietta Jones of Providence, a celebrated African American soprano during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Public events will include a lecture by Jones' foremost scholar, Maureen Lee, a concert of songs sung by Jones, an exhibit of ephemera related to her life and times, and two walking tours of Providence sites associated with her life and work.
The Athenaeum as Cultural Amplifier
$6,384 has been awarded to support the Athenaeum's efforts to become an "amplifier" in the cultural community, and to serve as a place where everyone can gather for a civil exchange of ideas, a practice that is essential to a successful and participatory democracy. The Athenaeum will create new marketing materials, extend their outreach toward younger audience members, and identify and support the work of five emerging scholars through their intensive programming.
Providence Children's Film Festival
Providence Children's Film Festival
$12,000 has been awarded to support the expansion of the 4th annual film festival from a week-long festival into a year-round project. Screenings of high-quality independent and international family films take place in downtown Providence, along with accompanying workshops, filmmaker presentations, and hands-on drop-in activities that help children learn to think actively about film as a medium to tell important stories, understand new concepts, and delight the imagination.
Unearthing the North Burial Ground
Rhode Island Historical Society
$9,718 has been awarded to support an interdisciplinary project that integrates history, politics, geography, and technology to create free downloadable thematic tours and maps of Providence's North Burial Ground. The project aims to use digital technology to tell the story of Providence through those buried in the city's oldest continued use cemetery.
Rhode Island, Faith and Freedom: Exhibits and Programming
Rhode Island Historical Society
$7,976 has been awarded to support Rhode Island Historical Society's 2013 programming on Faith and Freedom in Rhode Island, marking the anniversary of the issuance of Rhode Island's Charter 350 years ago. Lectures and exhibitions will explore how the separation of state and church has affected different sectors of Rhode Island throughout four centuries as well as how the freedoms of Rhode Islanders have been expanded, limited, celebrated and ignored at various points in history.
Story in the Public Square
Salve Regina University (The Pell Center)
$11,500 has been awarded to support a new programming initiative at the Pell Center that engages the greater public with an examination of the role and ethics of storytelling in the public arena, and how stories, collectively, shape public discussion and influence public policy about war, peace, veteran's benefits, and more. Included in this new initiative are two panel discussions featuring an impressive and diverse array of scholars, documentary film screening, and a keynote featuring former Senator Gary Hart.
Talking Head: Anne Boleyn, Reformation and the Making of King James' Bible
Sandra Feinstein Gamm Theatre
$5,350 has been awarded to support the Gamm's Pawtucket Humanities Forums, a series of three public forums exploring themes raised by the Gamm's production of Anne Boleyn by Howard Brenton, as well as a digital presentation providing historical, biographical, and humanities context for both the play and the humanities events surrounding the production.
Serve Rhode Island
$7,121.38 has been awarded to support a unique discussion and reflection series that engages participants to think about and thoughtfully reflect upon complex social issues and explore the meanings of an engaged citizenry. The program will be expanded to reach not only AmeriCorps members serving in Rhode Island, but also high school students through area high schools and youth-serving organizations. "Justice Talks" was developed by the Illinois Humanities Council and has been implemented by humanities councils nationwide.
Slatersville: America's First Mill Village
Southeast New England Film, Music, and Arts (SENE)$4,000 has been awarded to support the production phase of a 30-minute educational and promotional video on the historical significance of the Slatersville mill village founded by Rhode Island's Father of the Industrial Revolution, Samuel Slater.