Five Outstanding Public Humanities Programs Receive WHC Major Grants


We have seven grant rounds every year and when applications come in, we are impressed with the public humanities projects going on around the state. We are proud to be able to support these home-grown ideas with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the State of Wisconsin, and individual donors.

The projects are often innovative, always interesting, and potentially transformational for the communities involved. In February, a total of $43,877 was awarded to five applicants.

The grant program is competitive and applicants put a lot of time and energy into their applications.  So we say a big “Congratulations!” to the following organizations:

Buildings-Landscapes-Cultures Field School | $9,978 awarded to the School of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

In the summer of 2014, UW-Milwaukee students along with residents of the city’s Washington Park neighborhood will work together to collect, and then digitally curate, stories and photos about the homes and people of their community. They are focusing on places that will illustrate to insiders and outsiders the collective memories of caring and civic pride of the neighborhood.

To Be!  Shakespeare Here and Now | $10,000 awarded to the Optimist Theatre

Ron Scot Frye, a Milwaukee-based actor and Shakespeare expert, has been traveling the state spreading the literary richness and plain tom-foolery of Shakespeare for years. We have been a proud supporter of the Optimist Theatre outreach program  for several years. And now again, throughout 2014 and 2015, students, teachers, and average Wisconsinites will be entertained while they learn more about the language, history and culture of Shakespeare. The first-person interactive theatrical program is typically booked by schools and libraries, reaching a broad and diverse audience.

One World Global Arts, Literature, and Film Series | $7,474 awarded to the University of Wisconsin-Barron County

In Rice Lake this spring, a series of four events has been organized to spark community conversations about world art, literature, and film. There will be film screenings and other opportunities for people to meet, talk, and increase their understanding of the diversity of northwestern Wisconsin within a global context. The programs are designed for high school students, university students, and members of the general public.

Heritage Days:  Get Hooked on History! | $6,425 awarded to The Friends of Fred Smith

For the second time, we are happy to support this two-day event at the Wisconsin Concrete Park in Phillips. Located in north central Wisconsin, the historic home of the folk artist Fred Smith is also an educational center dedicated to the history of Price County. The first day of the event is for school children. Hundreds of students arrive by bus to spend the day immersed in live performances and demonstrations. The second day is open to the general public and includes historical reenactments and a showcase of regional music traditions.

Cultural Watershed Mapping with the Bad River Ojibwe | $10,000 awarded to the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Bad River Ojibwe tribal members, including elders and young people, have been collaborating with humanities experts at the UW-Madison to create multimedia maps that represent important cultural resources in northern Wisconsin.  The finished maps will be a visual illustration of cultural and historical values of the indigenous people of the Lake Superior watershed.  A large interactive floor map, paper wall maps, some web-based maps, and a cultural atlas, will all be displayed for the public as part of celebration and discussion events in four locations in the summer and fall of 2014.

Learn more about our  grant program!

The next deadlines are April 15  (for grants up to $10,000) and May 1 (for grants up to $2,000). We are always interested to talk about your ideas, think through program  format and audience questions with you, and facilitate connections with humanities experts. Don’t hesitate to be in touch!

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