Recently Funded Projects
What is a public humanities project?
We fund humanities-based activities and conversations that address what matters to your community. You can read brief descriptions of our most recently funded projects below (and lists from years past in the sidebar menu on the left).
If you would like to talk through your ideas, don’t hesitate to be in touch!
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Mini Grants awarded in 2019
Kao Kalia Yang Presentation | $2,000 to Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Educational Foundation (Green Bay)
WHC funds will help the college bring Hmong author Kao Kalia Yang to the Green Bay campus to provide a community lecture and workshop open to staff, students, and the community. Yang is the author of “The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir” and “The Song Poet.” Her works speaks to the refugee and immigrant experiences and she will address issues of literacy and education, as well as race and class of the Hmong people. This project is part of our focus on race and ethnicity.
Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books | $2,000 to UWM Waukesha Foundation
We’re pleased to again support the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books, a free community celebration of literacy and arts. The 2019 theme is Opening Doors: A Decade of the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books.
The Big Dig at Crossroads, Fall 2019 | $2,000 to Crossroads at Big Creek (Sturgeon Bay)
The Big Dig is an authentic archaeological experience for middle school students of Door County. Funds from the grant enable students to have an archaeological experience that include shovel testing, unit excavation, a flintknapping demonstration, flotation machine use, and the cleaning and classification of artifacts.
Talking Spirits XXI: Forest Hill Cemetery Tour | $2,000 to Wisconsin Veterans Museum Foundation
This popular award-winning living history program illuminates the lives of many prominent and lesser-known figures in Wisconsin history. This year’s theme, “Service Beyond the War,” featured five theatrical performances by actors portraying people with a range of perspectives on both the Civil War and the growth of Wisconsin afterward.
Gardening – Exploring Cultural Roots| $1,995 to Brown County (Green Bay)
Can gardening help bridge cultural gaps? Extension Brown County’s Community Garden program will use WHC funds to work in partnership with The Farmory to give Brown County community members the opportunity to interact and learn from the gardening traditions and foods of Brown County’s non-European cultures. This project is part of our focus on race and ethnicity.
Paper Arts Summer Camp| $1,950 to Paper Industry International Hall of Fame (Appleton)
The Paper Discovery Center is using a Mini Grant from WHC to fund an artist-in-residence who will teach young people about the history of paper making in “the Paper Valley” through hands-on opportunities to make paper, learn about letterpress and bookbinding, and explore the history and culture of the paper industry.
“Forward Wisconsin Women” Lecture Series | $2,000 to Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear in Milwaukee
We’re pleased to fund the presentation of a series of lectures and performances in conjunction with the exhibition “Forward Wisconsin Women,” which explores the significant role played by women of the Badger State in both the Women’s Suffrage and Women’s Temperance Movements.
Shakespeare in the State Parks – Romeo & Juliet | $2,000 to Summit Players Theatre in Milwaukee
We’re pleased to support another season of the non-profit Summit Players Theatre company, which provides free workshops and performances in 18 Wisconsin State Parks and forests. This year, the troupe tackles Romeo & Juliet, producing a 75-minute version of the play and a related educational workshop prior to each performance.
Fish Fry: Illuminating & Expressing Wisconsin Traditions Through the Humanities & Theater |$2,000 to TAPIT/new works, Inc. in Madison
The unique Wisconsin culinary and cultural phenomenon of the fish fry is the subject of this project, which will involve a theater production and post-performance discussions that explore the history, folklore and culture of the fish fry. Bonus, singing fish!
Community Conversation: Japanese Internment Camps and Civil Liberties | $2,000 to Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc
WHC funds will help the museum bring in Sam Mihara, an award winning historian and former Japanese interment prisoner, who will be sharing his lived experience of the civil rights abuses he and his family encountered in the U.S. during World War II. This community-wide event focuses on opening dialogues on immigrants, civil rights, race and America’s complicated history with each. This project is part of our Focus on Face and Ethnicity.
World Languages Day 2019 | $2,000 to UW-Madison Language Institute
This educational program brings about 600 high school students and teachers from high schools around the state to the UW-Madison campus to experience a full day of activities and educational sessions that help students explore cultural traditions, language and literature from around the world.
Major Grants Awarded in 2019
The Gun Violence Project: Narratives of Violence in Milwaukee | $10,000 to UW-Milwaukee
We’re proud to help fund an important collaborative effort to map the human experiences of gun violence in Wisconsin, beginning with the Milwaukee area. Using a digital platform, this evolving resource will share the audio stories, images, and interactive maps to help engage the community understanding the realities of gun violence at its aftermath.
Courage in Storytelling: Workshops inspired by regional premiere GRETEL! | $5,525 to First Stage Milwaukee
We’re pleased to again support First Stage’s Foundry Stage Series production and workshops. The musical theater production reinterprets and combines the folktales of “Vasilisa the Beautiful” and “Hansel and Gretel,” relating how a girl overcomes life’s obstacles with courage, perseverance, determination and kindness. The reach of this project includes extended programming for Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee.
Conversations About Immigration in Marathon County | $9,175 to Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service (WIPPS)
WHC funds support a three-part series designed to lay out facts, bust myths, provide local perspective and make space for conversations on how the issue of immigration affects central Wisconsin communities. This project is part of our focus on race and ethnicity.
INDECENT: A Tony-winning play with extensive significance | $10,000 to Music Theatre of Madison
We’re pleased to support this ambitious presentation of “Indecent,” a play the explores themes of anti-semitism, censorship, sexuality, and love of art. In association with this production, MTM will work in collaboration with numerous community partners to provide supporting educational materials.
Prisoners of War: Filling the Labor Shortage on the Homefront| $10,000 to Reedsburg Area Historical Society
600,000 Prisoners of War were used during World War II to do jobs in canning factories, lumber yards and agricultural fields. At the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, this project explores the impact POW camps had on local communities, including Reedsburg, Wisconsin. WHC funds support research into this history and the production of a traveling exhibit.
Museum Exhibit Planning, Design and Fabrication Project| $10,000 Forest County Potawatomi Community (Crandon)
WHC support goes to the Forest County Potawatomi Community for the research and collection of materials and artifacts for new exhibits in its museum. They will work with community elders to breathe new life into the museum’s storyline, history and traditions. This project is part of our focus on race and ethnicity.
A Pure Woman’s Victory! The private life and public trials of Lavinia Goodell, Wisconsin’s first woman lawyer| $10,000 Rock County Historical Society (Janesville)
Lavinia Goodell was Wisconsin’s first woman lawyer and a pioneer in the 19th century women’s rights, temperance and prison reform movement. She left behind a trove of letters, diaries, essays and articles on topics from marriage to suffrage to equal rights. WHC funds will enable the creation of a digital biography of her life that will follow the challenges she faced from gaining acceptance for the female practice of law to her jailhouse school and temperance work.
Heritage and Horizons| $9,456 Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters (Madison)
WHC funds will help support a new exhibition and programs in the Academy’s James Watrous Gallery called Heritage and Horizens. Curated by artist Martha Glowacki, the exhibit will include a recreation of archaeological and natural history collections gathered by early members of the Academy – prominent people such as Increase Lapham, Thomas Chamberlin and Edward Birge. Programs will include a conversation about the ethics of collecting and exhibiting Native American art and artifacts, as well as a conversation about material culture and the history of science.
And so we walked TOGETHER| $6,681 UW-Green Bay
“And So We Walked: An Artist’s Journey Along the Trail of Tears” at UW-GB’s Weidner Center for the Performing Arts is a play that focuses on the Cherokee experience of removal from North Carolina to Oklahoma and the playwright’s personal journey to tell that story. The WHC is proud to support public programs that provide a local context for understanding broad themes in the play, including Indian removal, traditional storytelling, research methods for narrative history, and Native American family history research. This project is part of our focus on race and ethnicity.
Celebrating Every Story Pre-Conference: So You Want to Talk About Race with Ijeoma Oluo | $4781 Wisconsin Library Association (Madison)
WHC is proud to support the Wisconsin Library Association’s effort to help librarians more effectively serve diverse communities. Programs will examine systemic racism, privilege and intersectionality and provide the tools, guidance and information for discussing these issues and bringing the discussions to the communities libraries serve. WHC funds will help bring Ijeoma Oluo, the author of “So You Want to Talk About Race,” to a workshop that will encourage more productive discussions of the issues. This project meets our focus on race and ethnicity.
Gendered Differences of Abilities and Milwaukee Muslim Immigrants | $9,948 to Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition
This project aims open a dialogue about the experiences, cultural beliefs, needs and experiences of Muslims who have differences of abilities or who are caregivers in the Greater Milwaukee Area. The goal is to lower barriers Muslim women face due to cultural stigmatization. This project is part of our Focus on Race and Ethnicity.
Civil War Living History Days 2019 | $6,965 to Milton Historical Society
We’re proud to once again support Civil War Living History Days, which includes historical re-enactments and programming for students and families. This year will mark the 150th anniversary of African American suffrage passing in Congress and the 100th anniversary of Women’s suffrage. In honor of these important milestones, 2019’s Civil War Living History Days will focus on “Elections and the Suffrage Movement.”
Nature of Culture – Insecta Aestas (Summer of Insects) | $10,000to Neighborhood House of Milwaukee
This project for low-income Milwaukee youth focuses on cultural exploration and educational activities. Insecta Aestas programming is infused with traditional and contemporary cultural references to insects as children learn about the history, art, language and customs of ethnic groups from Africa, Southeast Asia and Pacific Islanders, Latin American and Native American Woodland tribal groups. This project is part of our Focus on Race and Ethnicity.
Gete Anishinaabe Izichigewin – Ancient Anishinaabe Lifeways | $10,000 to Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (Bayfield Co.)
A community-oriented series of archaeological and cultural programs will bring ancient Anishinaabe culture to life for K-12 students and the Red Cliff community. The five-week collaborative project connects community members to their history through a hands-on archaeological dig led by professional archaeologists. At the same time the archaeologists will learn about the culture of present day Anishinaabe, modern reservation life, and how to conduct culturally respectful excavation. This project is part of our Focus on Race and Ethnicity in Northern Wisconsin, thanks to special funding from the Mary H. Rice Foundation.
Stories from the Flood | $10,000 to Driftless Writing Center in Viroqua
We’re pleased to support this project that collects the stories of record catastrophic flooding in late August 2018. This project will collect and disseminate residents’ experiences processing what happened, rebuilding, and worrying about an uncertain future. These stories will be generated at workshops held in affected communities and will be archived in a public location for future use.
Neighbors Past and Present: the Wisconsin German Experience – Traveling Exhibit and Community Programming | $10,000 to Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies in Madison
WHC funds will support the creation of a traveling exhibit on the Wisconsin-German experience. The history of German migration to Wisconsin, questions of ethnicity and identity in newly forged Wisconsin communities, and the cohesiveness of these communities over the decades, especially in times of economic crisis or war, will be explored. Local collaborators will augment the exhibit with displays or programming to allow for a community-and place-based interpretation. This project is part of our Focus on Race and Ethnicity.
From Good Will to Good Work | $5,388 to Bridge the Divide in Cedarburg)
A series of family film screenings in different racial, cultural or religious groups will be followed by a Talk Back led by a member of the featured population. This project is part of our Focus on Race and Ethnicity.
Among the Wonders of the Dells: Photography, Place, Tourism – Exhibition and Public Programs | $9,475 to Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend
WHC funds will help support an exhibit of 100 photographs spanning the late 1850s to the present day by seven photographers. The exhibit tells the story of the Wisconsin Dells’ transformation from natural wonder and ancient Native American site to waterpark capital of the world. Programming will include talks and classes at MOWA, youth camps, online engagement, and more.
La Crosse Reads 2019: The Latehomecomer | $8,961 to UW-La Crosse English Department
This La Crosse Reads project is based on a memoir by Kao Kalia Yang, “The Latehomecomer,” a self-described “love letter” to her grandmother. In focusing both programming and community conversations on the Hmong immigrant experience in the Upper Midwest, La Crosse Reads will engage with what has historically been a largely invisible local history. This project is part of our Focus on Race and Ethnicity.
UntitledTown Book and Author Festival 2019 | $10,000 to UntitledTown Co in Green Bay
We’re pleased to again support this festival in its third year. The Festival continues its highly popular youth programming and celebrates book culture in all its forms. In addition to 90+ other events on publishing, writing and reading, 2019 will include writing workshops dedicated to the distinct demographics and stories of the region’s aging populations, veterans, and writers of various religious faiths.
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