The Wisconsin Humanities Council believes that everyone in the state should have the opportunity to explore the rich histories and diverse cultures that together inform our ideas about the past and shape the future of our communities. With seven deadlines every year, our grant program is accessible. It provides the assistance community leaders need to turn their ideas into home-grown experiences.
Below are eight short summaries of the big ideas that recently received WHC funding! Every year we give away around $200,000 in grants to schools, libraries, museums, churches, historical societies, colleges and civic groups for projects that promote new understanding and that reflect the needs and interests of the community.
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$1,995 to Brown County (Green Bay) | Gardening – Exploring Cultural Roots
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.
$1,950 to Paper Industry International Hall of Fame (Appleton) | Paper Arts Summer Camp
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.
$10,000 to Reedsburg Area Historical Society | Prisoners of War: Filling the Labor Shortage on the Homefront
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.
$10,000 Forest County Potawatomi Community (Crandon) | Museum Exhibit Planning, Design and Fabrication Project
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.
$10,000 Rock County Historical Society (Janesville) | A Pure Woman’s Victory! The private life and public trials of Lavinia Goodell, Wisconsin’s first woman lawyer
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.
$9,456 Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters (Madison) | Heritage and Horizons
WHC funds will help support a new exhibition and programs in the Academy’s James Watrous Gallery called Heritage and Horizens. Curated by artist Marth 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.
$6,681 UW-Green Bay | And so we walked TOGETHER
“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.
$4781 Wisconsin Library Association (Madison) | Celebrating Every Story Pre-Conference: So You Want to Talk About Race with Ijeoma Oluo
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.
The Wisconsin Humanities Council couldn’t fund these projects without support from the National Endowment of the Humanities, the State of Wisconsin, and private donors. This money invested in our state multiplies locally! Learn more…