15 R.I. civic and cultural groups receive $140K in Humanities Council grants

PROVIDENCE – Fifteen civic and cultural organizations are receiving a total of $140,000 in grants from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities that will pay for humanities initiatives throughout the state, the council announced Monday.

“The Humanities Council is dedicated to seeding, supporting and strengthening the connection between culture and community,” Elizabeth Francis, the council executive director, said in a statement. “We are truly proud to be part of Rhode Island’s cultural ecosystem and the outstanding programs and projects that the grants … will support.”

The groups and the projects receiving grants:

  • New Urban Arts received $12,000 for “Art Inquiry: The Immigrant Story.” Funds support a summer education program rooted in humanities learning and skills. The interdisciplinary program engages low-income youth from Providence public high schools. Students’ research and art-making connects to experiences of immigration and the demographic and cultural legacies of the Pond Street neighborhood of Providence.
  • Pushed Learning and Media received $12,000 for curriculum implementation and long-term curricular design in Rhode Island public schools. Funds support public programs connecting students with performers and educators who utilize hip hop and humanities learning to explore the state’s economic, racial and cultural divisions.
  • Wilbury Theatre Group received $12,000 for “The Olneyville Expo: A Chautauqua-Style Celebration of Olneyville Past, Present, and Future.” Funds support a neighborhood-based program engaging artists, scholars and community members in a celebration of the Olneyville section of Providence. Connecting to the annual PVD Fringe Fest, the Chautauqua will be family-oriented and explore topics such as history, cultural heritage, community and artistic production.
  • Futuro Media Group received $11,910 for “UNLADYLIKE2020: Sissieretta Jones and Annie Smith Peck.” Funds support the production and premiere of two documentary shorts exploring the life and times of vocalist Sissieretta Jones and mountaineer Annie Smith Peck. The videos are part of the larger UNLADYLIKE project, celebrating the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage and the accomplishments of Progressive Era women.
  • Community MusicWorks received $11,000 for “Traces.” Funds support a history-based performance project tracing the “sonic memory” of the neighborhood and new home of Community MusicWorks in the West End of Providence.
  • Generation Citizen received $11,000 for improved civics education for English language learners. Funds support the adaptation of Generation Citizen’s educational materials for English language learners. Working with scholars from Rhode Island College, Generation Citizen’s new civic education materials are piloted with ELL teachers and students in Providence and Central Falls.
  • Rhode Island Public Broadcasting System received $11,000 for “The Missing Season: Race and Community in Rhode Island’s Golden Age of Baseball.” Funds support the production and premiere of the documentary film that focuses on Providence’s early 20th-century black community and the interwoven threads of race, money, sport and social power as they affected the “national pastime” in Rhode Island.
  • Rhode Island Historical Society received $10,465 for “EnCompass: A Digital Archive of Rhode Island History.” Funds support seven additional chapters for the online Rhode Island digital history textbook “EnCompass” covering topics ranging from indigenous history to the Gaspee affair, women’s suffrage and the civil rights movement.
  • Providence Children’s Museum received $10,230 for its “Cultural Connection” program. Funds support the program that brings local artists to the museum for family-oriented programs exploring history, heritage, identity and culture.
  • Firstworks received $8,250 for “Raise Your Voice: ‘Outsider’ Perspectives and Performance.” Funds support public discussions and performances exploring the roles of gender and sexuality in shaping historical representative and artistic production. A performance reimagining the history of American music through a queer lens will be recorded and shared with audiences statewide.
  • NewportFILM received $8,250 for newportFILM OUTDOORS 2019. Funds support the 10th annual outdoor documentary film series held weekly in the summer at venues across Aquidneck Island.
  • Providence Public Library received $6,895 for “Within a Lifetime: Immigration and the Changing City.” Funds support a conversation series exploring the complexities and universalities of immigration to Rhode Island as reflected in the history of the Pond Street neighborhood of Providence. The series focuses on six interrelated themes: education, law enforcement, citizenship, voting rights, worker rights, and housing.
  • Center for Independent Documentary received $5,000 for “Blood and Watershed: The Scituate Reservoir.” Funds support the scripting phase of a documentary film exploring the creation of the Scituate Reservoir and its current role as Rhode Island’s largest freshwater resource. The final film examines the multidimensional role and impact of the reservoir on Rhode Island culture, economics, infrastructure and citizens’ sense of civic agency.
  • Rhode Island State House Restoration Society received $5,000 for “A State House of the Future.” Funds support the planning stages of a civics project creating and exploring the “statehouse of the future.” The project challenges architects, designers and the public to consider the histories of statehouses and ways the buildings can and should be adapted to serve the civic needs of a 21st-century population.
  • Warwick Center for the Arts received $5,000 for a public educational exhibit commemorating the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment. Funds support the planning stages of the project to create a project plan, partners list and detailed list of resources required to explore 100 years of women’s suffrage in 2020.