$62,000 in Grants Awarded in February!

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We’re pleased to award $62,195 in Mini and Major Grants to twelve incredible projects that tackle everything from the Holocaust to Shakespeare. The Wisconsin Humanities Council couldn’t fund these projects without support from the National Endowment of the Humanities. The NEH provides 90% of the funding that enables us to bring great programming, support and services to the state of Wisconsin. Project sponsors match grants in their community with an average of $3 for every $1 we award.

Congratulations to these twelve organizations! These incredible projects tell meaningful stories about Wisconsin and bring communities together to explore important themes. We welcome you to be a part of the story and see these projects and events.

Inspiration starts here!


Major Grants

Counties in Wisconsin that received major grantsUntitledTown Book and Author Festival | $10,000 awarded to Untitled Town Co. 

This inaugural Green Bay literary festival slated for April 28-30th is intended to be a broad spectrum cultural festival that will feature diverse topics of interest to both readers and writers. Dozen of events are programmed across more than a dozen venues in downtown Green Bay, with one foot in the traditional book culture from printing demos to bookbinding workshops, and another solidly in the 21st century with program including online marketing classes for authors.

Heritage Days: Get Hooked on History! | $7.962 awarded to Friends of Fred Smith, Inc

WHC is pleased to again support the Friends of Fred Smith with the 6th annual Heritage Days event at Wisconsin Concrete Park. This two day event spends one day providing important hands on learning for fourth graders from schools throughout Price County, and a second day open to the public with additional exhibits, traditional and ethnic music, interactive demonstrations of skills, artifacts and tools. The success of this festival has continued to grow and this year it will expand the representation of tribal nations, focusing on lifestyles before the arrival of European settlers. This project is part of our Focus on Race and Ethnicity.

Native Milwaukee: A Here at Home Cultural Tour for K-12 Educators | $10,000 awarded to Wisconsin Teacher of Local Culture 

An award of $10,000 to Wisconsin Teachers of Local Culture will enable its 2017 cultural tour for teachers. “Native Milwaukee” will focus on the urban Indian community of Milwaukee. The three-day professional development opportunity will offer 24 educators from Milwaukee and other school districts immersive experiences in local culture in order to investigate the complexities of life as a Native American in a major urban setting. The tour will expose teachers to the cultural and social assets developed and maintained by the urban Indian community in Milwaukee, as well as exposure to language programs and discussion of topics such as the Indian school mascot and logo issue. This project is part of our Focus on Race and Ethnicity.

Hands-On Wisconsin History | $10,000 awarded to Wisconsin Historical Society  

This project takes Wisconsin history on the road to high-need schools in the Milwaukee Public School District where many students cannot afford opportunities to come to Madison to explore the collections of the Wisconsin Historical Society Museum. “Hands-On Wisconsin History” will put artifacts in the hands of kids, and help them visualize their own roots in Wisconsin’s past. Educators with object-based activity kits will travel to the schools to expose students to a snapshot of individuals of various ethnic backgrounds who formed Wisconsin and help students explore their own heritage.

Florence Eiseman: Designing Childhood for the American Century | $8,250 awarded to Museum of Wisconsin Art  

WHC’s grant will help provide public programming, exhibition materials and a catalog of this exhibition of over 100 historic garments, photographs and objects, as well as online resources. Eiseman, a Milwaukee-based fashion designer (1899-1988) created the style of the ideal Post-War American child. The exhibit explores questions about the history of childhood, girlhood, race, accessibility, the fashion industry and elite culture in the American Century.

Civil War Living History Days Community Festival 2017 | $4523.92 awarded to Milton Historical Society 

History comes alive at the Milton Historical Society’s Civil War Living History Days, May 19-21, on the grounds of the Milton House Museum. The event includes a school day that serves schools of the South Central Wisconsin region and programming over the weekend geared toward families. A grant from WHC will help Milton House add additional context to the experience of Black Americans during the Civil War period with conversations about slavery’s ramifications in modern culture and the legacy of the Underground Railroad in American society. Funds will go toward additional actors and reenactment groups that help contextualize this time period. This project is part of our Focus on Race and Ethnicity.


Mini Grants

Counties of Wisconsin that received mini grantsLessons from the Past: Shaping our Present and Future | $2,000 awarded to Superior High School

Superior High School is using a WHC Mini Grant to bring Holocaust survivor Marion Blumenthal Lazan, author of “Four Perfect Pebbles” to speak to the district’s schools and surrounding community over a three-day period in April, culminating in a public program that takes reflection on intolerance from this dark period of the past and puts these lessons into present practices. This project is part of our Focus on Race and Ethnicity.

Milwaukee Meets Mark Doty | $1,844 awarded to Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets

The Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets will feature renowned poet Mark Doty at its April conference in Milwaukee with sessions open to the public. Doty has published multiple award-winning books of poetry and memoirs that address the intensely personal experiences of loving and living as a gay man, AIDS and grief. WFOP hopes to engage the broader public on the need for diverse poetic voices through Doty’s participation.

Making a Hometown: Life in Neenah’s Progressive Era | $2,000 awarded to Neenah Historical Society

WHC support will help the Neenah Historical Society create a new temporary exhibit featuring the story of industry and community building organizations and how they worked together during the Progressive Era (1890-1920) to establish today’s Neenah, highlighting the challenges of the industrial age and the community’s response to them. Drawing for both history and engineering scholars, the exhibit will introduce visitors to the flour milling industry, paper mills and other local early Neenah industries and the working lives of the time period. Additionally, the development of early organizations and infrastructure are explored, such as the opening of the community’s hospital and the emergence of service and civic organizations. The exhibit asks its visitors to think about what they will do for their home town. This project is part of our Working Lives Project.

Shakespeare in the State Parks, Season Three: The Comedy of Errors |$1,616 awarded to Summit Player’s Theatre (Wisconsin State Parks) 

Support from WHC will help this seven-member traveling theatre company produce free workshops and performances this summer in Wisconsin State Parks. A 75-minute version of Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors will be performed for park visitors, plus a 45-minute educational workshop on Shakespearean history, language and characters will be conducted prior to each performance.

Surviving Terezin: A Holocaust Education Mini Series | $2,000 awarded to Nathan & Ester Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center in Milwaukee 

HERC will use WHC funding to put on an educational miniseries using art therapy, the history of dance, and the testimony of a Danish Holocaust survivor who was interred at Theresienstadt (Terezin) in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, to explore the features of the “model camp.” This program, aimed at teenagers and adults, shows how the camp was used as propaganda to dispel suspicions about rumored mass murder in the ghettos and concentration camps. The camp house intellectuals and fine artists among its inmates and would be remembered as a site of arts, music, theater and dance created in resistance to Nazism, and the series explores as well the loss of this talent to the Holocaust. This project is part of our Focus on Race and Ethnicity.

Native American and Sámi Cultural Connections in Education | $2,000 awarded to Wisconsin Indian Education Association in Lac Du Flambeau Web

With the assistance of WHC, the Wisconsin Indian Education Association will bring Sámi musician and indigenous rights activist Sofia Jannok from Sweden to the organization’s annual conference in Lac Du Flambeau in May. Jannok will focus on how education can lead to indigenous cultural sovereignty and self-determination. The program will expose teachers and students to an international indigenous celebrity and role model, while providing firsthand and experiential learning opportunities that place indigenous issues into both local and global perspectives while addressing racism against Native peoples. This project is part of our Focus on Race and Ethnicity.

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Stories to feed your curiousity:


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