Rhode Island Council for the Humanities
Grants Awarded in Fiscal Year 2010
2010 Major Grants to Organizations:
Documentary Educational Resources
$4000 to Claiborne Pell: A Passion for Education. Funds support the scripting and development phase of a documentary film by Elyse Katz on the legacy of Claiborne Pell, with focus on the debate surrounding the development of Pell Grants.
Olneyville Neighborhood Association
$5000 to Love and Money Across Borders. Funds support the research and development phase of a collection of stories and data surrounding the practice of sending remittances by migrant workers in Rhode Island to their home countries. Project plan is to identify 12-15 migrants from a range of countries as participants for story-gathering and documentation. Proposed research will capture the impact of sending remittances on both the sender and family recipients.
Little Compton Historical Society
$5000 to The History of Little Compton – Part I Exhibition. Funds support the development of the first phase of a multi-year project to complete a new permanent exhibit for LCHS. Part of the request includes the creation of an online exhibit, as well as related public events.
Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre
$6200 to Straight Talk: Rock’n’Roll by Tom Stoppard. Funds support a series of public forums and a contextual pre-show digital slideshow exploring the role that music, art, and theatre play in political transformation.
Mathewson Street United Methodist Church/ Heads Up Inc.
$7000 to Life Before and After Stone Wall Rhode Island LGBTQ Oral History Project. Funds support the collection of stories from older (55+) members of the LGBTQ community in Rhode Island to ascertain if and/or how the Stonewall Rebellion impacted their lives. This research, which will be donated to a local public archive ensuring future access, will serve as the basis for an original theatrical production to be presented across the state.
$8,400 to Perishable Humanities Bridge. Funds support “Humanities Bridge” supplemental programming to Perishable’s 2010 theatrical season, including a podcast series, panel discussions, and scholarly essays.
Ocean State Learning
$9300 to William J. Brown: Lessons from a Free Black Man in 19th Century Rhode Island. Funds support walking tours, guide, exhibition, public events and social media website based on the biography of William J. Brown, a free African American born in Providence in 1814. Project utilizes local book groups, libraries, and historical societies to promote the reading of the biography and related events.
$9384.80 to Hope and Glory. Funds support training youth interpreters from RI 14th Regiment in the skills and knowledge needed to portray Black Civil War soldiers on a 5-day march from Providence to Bristol. The program includes several public events and demonstrations.
Associacao Cabo Verdiana de Brockton, Inc., $9465 to Who’s History Is It? Interpreting History, Memory and Culture. Funds support three-day conference aimed at presenting "first voice" scholarship and building community among various members of the Cape Verdean Diaspora.
$10,000 to Behind the Hedgerow. Funds support the post-production costs for an hour long, feature-length documentary film by Rhode Island filmmakers G. Wayne Miller and David Bettencourt on the life of Newport’s last “grande Dame,” Eileen Slocum.
Rhode Island College
$10,000 to Professor Chester Smolski Slide Archive, Digitization and Public Scholarship Project. Funds support digitization and dissemination project with the goal to bring scholarship and images related to architecture and urban transformation (from the collection of RIC Professor of Geography Chester Smolski) into the “digital commons.”
South Kingston Education Foundation
$10,000 to Citizen’s All Project. Funds support the implementation phase for a 6-week summer institute for 10 South Kingston high school students addressing the central topics of slavery, the slave trade, and Native American interactions. The project will ultimately yield a new curriculum, educational framework, and professional development opportunities for teaching about New England’s slave past and ethnic tensions.
International Institute of Rhode Island
$12,500 to Raise Your Voice - Examining Culture, Clash, Community, Change. Funds support community project addressing diversity issues using poetry and storytelling as a tool in non-violence training. Participants will include 370 local students (grades 7-12, and adult ed students at the IIRI), 6 facilitators, visiting poet Naomi Shilab Nye, and the URI Center for Non-Violence and Peace Studies.
Parents and Friends for Alternative Living
$12,512 to Best Judgment: The Complex Legacy of the Joseph H. Ladd Center. Funds support the media production phase of a documentary film by Rhode Island filmmaker Jim Wolpaw on the legacy of the Ladd Center institution for the mentally disabled in Exeter and Rhode Island’s subsequent transition to a community-based system for the developmentally disabled.
$15,000 to Action Speaks! Funds support multi-format, interdisciplinary humanities program that explores 'under-appreciated dates' in twentieth-century American history. Program includes a live public panel discussion (featuring guest panelists and moderator, Marc Levitt), complementary RIPBS documentary screenings, radio broadcast of edited panel discussion on RI Public Radio, and secondary materials including Levitt's production blog and interactive resources for discussion and commentary available on the Action Speaks website.
2010 Special Initiative Major Civic Grants:
Barrington High School
$7,750.00 to A Look at Rhode Island’s Judiciary. Funds support an experiential component to an existing 2-week unit of study on the state and federal judiciary system in their upper class required American History Course.
Brown University (Office of Sponsored Projects for Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology)
$8,980.00 to African Americans in Rhode Island. Funds support development of online curriculum materials to complement and expand on the Haffenreffer’s Cultural CaraVan outreach program Sankofa: African Americans in Rhode Island. (The Cultural CaraVan program brings discussion to the classroom through direct interaction with objects and images from the museum.)
Global Rhode Island
$9600.00 to Teaching Complex International Issues and RI Capitol Forum on America’s Future. Funds support training teachers in multi-perspective approach to international issues at a 1-day workshop; dissemination of Choices curriculum materials into participating classrooms; public event at the State House for teachers and students; and evaluative workshop for teachers who elect to participate in the program.
Foster-Glocester Regional School System
$9840.00 to Perspectives: Using Multiple Lenses for Historical Understanding. Funds support training US History and World History teachers in six selected Choices curriculum units as well as the purchase of these units for students as part of an ongoing revision of pedagogy and content in this school’s Social Studies Program.
San Francisco Film Society
$10,000.00 to Slavery and Racial Identity Development: How to Teach Our Complex History. Funds support workshops to educate middle and secondary teachers in Rhode Island’s role in slavery and the slave trade, to disseminate curriculum developed by the Rhode Island Historical Society on these topics, and to provide information on additional resources.
University of Rhode Island (for the Center of Nonviolence and Peace Studies)
$10,000.00 to Gandhi-King Teacher Institute: Integrating Nonviolence, Humanities & Civics Education. Funds support development of an institute for secondary teachers to learn about nonviolence, and how to use the Raise Your Voices program – with its stress on humanities reflection and arts, to engage students with this topic.
Vartan Gregorian Elementary School PTO
$10,250.00 to I WAS THERE Project. Funds support expansion of an existing multidimensional oral history project that connects students to the history of their local community. The scope of the project includes professional development for teachers, creation of lessons and student experiences on the theme of “Factory Work and Jewelry,” and development of 3-day teachers institute on methods to disseminate model across the school system.
West Warwick Public Schools
$10,000 to Units of Study Workgroup. Funds support further work already begun by this school system to align systematically their district curriculum to the Civics GSEs at the elementary level and also to create two units of study for K-4 Social Studies that are both grounded in humanities content and perspectives as well as the GSEs. Specifically, funds allow ten K-4 Social Studies teachers to develop these units and purchase classroom materials.
2010 Special Initiative Civics Mini Grants:
Ponaganset High School
$1982.20 for Studying the Spanish Flu through Local Town Records. Funds support production of educational materials for a collaborative history and math unit for high school students, which uses local town records as sources.
Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum
$2,000 for Storytelling Through Film: A Humanities Curriculum. Funds support development and dissemination a companion curriculum to the film Places, Memories, Stories & Dreams: The Gifts of Inspiration (a NMAI funded Visual and Expressive Arts project). The film reflects Narragansett Tribal history through the eyes of oral historian and storyteller Paulla Dove Jennings. Loren Spears, founding teacher at the Nuweentooun School on the Narragansett reservation, will create 6 unit lessons appropriate for middle school social studies teachers to assist teachers’ abilities to present accurate Native perspective to Rhode Island history by bringing to life a deeper understanding of Narragansett culture and history.
Rhode Island Social Studies Association
$2,000 for National History Day in the Classroom. Funds support a free, one-day workshop for grades 6-12 Social Studies teachers to inform them about the linkages between National History Day’s program and RI Civics GSEs, including training on how to implement NHD programming methods in their classrooms.
International Charter School
$2,000 for Documenting Cultural Communities. Funds support dissemination of the results and methods of a Rhode Island Foundation funded Social Studies curriculum developed by teachers at ICS to suit the unique needs of their global student body and dual language model for education through a web platform.
Lincoln School District
$1,924.57 for Preserving Living Legacies. Funds support creation of intergenerational oral history project to increase historical thinking skills among 80 Lincoln High School students. Participating students will interview seniors on-site at the Lincoln Senior Center about specific historical events they have lived through. The culminating work will be presented at a public expo in April at the high school.
2010 Mini Grants to Organizations:
League of Advancement of New England Storytelling
$2000 for Sharing the Fire: Community and Cultural Outreach Program. Funds support storytelling project which aims to bring the experiences of storytelling and oral tradition (with a focus on multicultural folk tales) to audiences across Rhode Island. Project Director will identify 30+ venues underserved by arts and humanities programming to host storytelling events.
Vartan Gregorian Elementary School PTO
$2000 for I WAS THERE: Explorations of Narragansett Bay. Funds support a K – 5 oral history and audio documentary project which aims to connect students and the greater community to the life and stories of Narragansett Bay.
Friends of Brown Street Park, Inc.
$2000 for Providence Children’s Film Festival. Funds support educational workshops for children that serve as supplementary programming to the Providence Children’s Film Festival taking place at RISD and Cable Car Cinema in February.
$1500 to Living Literature a Brief Visit with “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”. Funds support development of a performance based on the above chosen novel to supplement RI Center for the Book’s Reading Across RI initiative. Living Literature’s methodology is to ‘take the page to the stage’ – turning this 274 page novel in to a 50 minute script that will be performed at libraries across the state.
New Urban Arts
$1500 to Creating Family Stories: A Writing and Online Exploration. Funds support a creative writing workshop experience for 20 youth participants as part of New Urban Arts’ afterschool program. The workshop brings together a memoirist and historian for a three hour writing workshop to prompt youth on to use storytelling to share experiences of migration and examine what it means to be a “citizen of the world”. As a follow up to the workshop, a local artist and mentor at New Urban Arts will work with a select group of students to create companion How To Videos to their creative essays.
San Francisco Film Society
$2000 to Traces of the Trade: Ongoing Cuba Research. Funds support expenses to send D’Wolf descendents (Katrina Browne and James DeWolf Perry) to Cuba for a research trip to meet with Cuban scholars of the slave trade, to investigate archival records in Cuba, to develop research collaborations with local academic institutions to foster further exploration of Rhode Island – Cuban historical connections through the slave trade, and to seek to locate descendents of people enslaved by the D’Wolfs.
Pettaquamscutt Historical Society
$2000 to What's In a Name? State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Funds support public programs – exhibition and public lectures – examining the historical context of the naming of “State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.”
Providence Inner City Arts, Inc.
$2000 to Understanding Our Past, Creating Our Futures. Funds support the planning phase of an arts, humanities, and education project that aims to integrate performance art methods in the telling of RI’s history from the perspective of African Americans, other persons of color, and women whose voices have often been omitted or marginalized in basic formal texts.
Environmental Council of Rhode Island Education Fund
$2,000 to Mashapaug Pond, A Picture Book by Narragansett Families and Holly Ewald. Funds support an intergenerational arts and humanities workshop for Narragansett families. The workshops, organized by book artist Holly Ewald, will occur weekly from May - October and are intended to facilitate and capture memories and stories about the former Narragansett community displaced from Mashapaug Pond in the 1950s. Funds will assist the Museum Director to coordinate and promote the workshop series; compensate museum staff in locating and presenting pertinent artifacts in the Museum’s holdings; and provide honorarium for scholar Bill Simmons and tribal elders.
$2,000 to Playback Theatre Project. Funds support the production of four performances at assisted living facilities, senior centers and nursing homes relating to the theme of “Life Review.” Playback Theatre is an original form of improvisational theatre where audience members tell stories from their own lives and then watch them performed on the spot. !Improvise! Inc. hopes to provide an opportunity for elderly Rhode Island residents to share their stories and revisit memories with the other people with whom they live.
AS220 (Paul Krot Darkroom)
$2,000 to Glass Negative Preservation Project. Funds support a public exhibition of photographic prints (from the Providence Public Library’s Special Glass Negative Collection of historic glass plates); creation of online visual database to catalogue the collection; and scholar honoraria for public program.
Museum of Natural History
$2,000 to Down the Rabbit Hole of the Natural History Collection. Funds support Curiouser, an exhibition examining natural history as a cultural phenomenon, with an artistic lens on the Victorian era's obsessions with amateur natural studies, specimen collecting and the natural world. Artists will be given unprecedented access the Museum of Natural History's archived collections to create works of art that uncover new relationships, patterns and meanings among antique scientific specimens. RICH funds will be used to coordinate the work of the participating artists with associated humanities scholars, write all collateral material to frame the exhibit for viewers - gallery descriptions, exhibit catalog, and marketing and advertising - and to publicize the exhibit through advertisements, posters, mailings and social media marketing.
Rhode Island Historical Society
$2,000 to RIHS Library Stereoview Project. Funds support the photo digitization of 60 new (previously unseen) historic stereoviews into projectable images for public dissemination and presentations. 50 images are from the RIHS Library archives, while the remaining 10 are from a private collection that will then be donated to RIHS.
Salve Regina University
$1,250 to A Playwright By Any Other Name: Questions of Shakespeare's Authorship Examined. Funds support a panel discussion hosted by the Salve Regina University Theatre Arts program, debating whether or not William Shakespeare actually wrote the plays credited to him. The “mock trial” program complements a series of four interconnected theatrical performances to take place at the historic Casino Theatre.
Adopt a Doctor
$2,000 to “A Christmas Carol:” Building Community through Storytelling. Funds support two dramatic readings of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, accompanied by period music and post-program discussions with RIC scholar Maureen Reddy on the power of storytelling to build community and enhance the experience of literature.
RI for Community & Justice
$2,000 to Immigration in RI: Myths & Realities. Funds support an invitational forum on the complexities of immigration, specifically targeted to leaders of civic, social and cultural organizations from RI’s rural and suburban communities. The forum, to be hosted in Lincoln, will present topical issues surrounding the legal, economic, and social impacts of immigration in RI.
Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association
$2,000 to Beavertail Light Station Interpretive Building Signs. Funds support design, production, and installation of interpretive signs for education and public information at features of the Beavertail Light Station. Signs will include historical information and a brief explanation of the use of each feature. The installation of signage will especially provide educational enhancement for visitors who come to browse the grounds in months when the museum is not open to the public.
2010 Mini Grants to Individuals:
Ana Flores from Wood River Junction, RI
$2000 for Earth Portraits: Collecting and Sharing the Stories of the Land. Funds support development of visual and narrative portraits of six local stewards whose land is protected under the South County Conservancy (Charlestown Land Trust). The project director/artist will interview stewards, edit the stories of the stewards for publication in monthly newsletters from June through September, and construct an exhibit including the stories of the stewards and earth-art pieces at a historical one-room schoolhouse.
Elizabeth Cazden from Providence RI
$2000 to Robinson-Richardson Family Papers. Funds support the compilation and investigation of the Robinson-Richardson Family Papers at the Newport and Rhode Island Historical Societies. Research will be aimed at clarifying the identity of the family and their associations with both the abolitionist movement and the Rhode Island Quaker community.
Elaine Smollin from Lincoln, RI
$2000 to Rhode Island’s Antiquities and New Trends in Art and Design Education on Public Land. Funds support research on art and design technologies / productions present with the historic fabric at Hearthside and Chase Farmhouse in Lincoln, RI toward the development of an educational workshop on the topic.
Raymond Huling from Somerville, MA
$2,000 to The Complicated Life of the Quahaugger. Funds support research that examines the livelihood of Rhode Island’s shellfishery industry workers, namely quahauggers, to see what lessons from their practice may inform the national sustainable food movement. The researcher proposes to use the example of the quahauggers’ work practices and regulations as a catalyst to discuss sustainable food production.
Nancy Newbury from Newport, RI
$1500 to IDAWALLEY. Funds support research on Newport’s famed lighthouse keeper, Idawalley Lewis, focused on the topics of Family, Fort Adams, Newport, and the Women's Movement. Newbury will present her research locally, as well as develop a script for a potentially televised mini-series on Ida.
Tijana Petrovic from Brooklyn, NY
$1953 to Deer Prudence. Funds support the research phase for a feature documentary film set on Block Island, RI, which follows the process and the effects of the community's decision to eliminate the island's deer herd due to their decade long struggle with Lyme disease. Research for the film will be centered around the island community and its history, including issues surrounding Lyme disease such as hunting, land conservation, and animal management.
Francis Leazes, Jr. from Providence
$2,000 to In Search of Albert Martin: A Rhode Island Road to the Alamo. Funds support research to create an internet based presentation to tell the story of Providence native Albert Martin's road to the Alamo by discovering and interpreting the physical and textual artifacts that remain from the Martin's time in Providence and its surrounding area. The project uses visuals and narrative, bringing together history, urban studies and photography.
Micah Salkind from Providence
$2,000 to Becoming Creative. Funds support research to investigate the ways that the changing arts investment and branding strategies have had an impact on the founding, and flourishing, of nonprofit arts organizations in Providence during the last twenty years as well as underground arts collectives and institutions. The project will culminate with a panel discussion integrating the research findings as well as relevant media and visually engaging primary sources to be held in a public venue in downcity Providence.