Published January 23, 2020

Virginia Humanities announces $185,650 in recent grants to twenty-seven nonprofit organizations in support of public humanities programs serving communities across the Commonwealth.

Since 1974, the Virginia Humanities Grants Program has funded community storytelling projects, historical research, preservation efforts, and more from museums, historical societies, and other cultural non-profits working throughout the state. Virginia Humanities grants reach an estimated annual audience of 1.5 million, with an average 4:1 dollar match.

“These projects reflect Virginia Humanities’ desire to help tell the Commonwealth’s stories and to include voices often left out of how our state’s history has been told in the past,” said Virginia Humanities’ executive director Matthew Gibson. “Now more than ever, we need to have a fuller understanding of our collective history so that we can better understand one another. Whether it’s through a community workshop, a local play production, or a redesigned museum exhibit, these projects help us do that.”

The following organizations received grants from Virginia Humanities between July 1, 2019 and January 1, 2020:

American Anthropological Association (Arlington): $10,000
“Southwest Virginia: Rural Towns in Transition”

A research and community development project in which professional anthropologists will work with local residents in two Southwest Virginia communities  – Grundy and Pulaski – to envision a post-industrial future based on shared local values.

American Frontier Culture Foundation (Staunton): $3,300
Annual Lecture Series

A year-long, eleven-part series of lecture/discussion programs exploring the emergence of a “distinct American identity” in the Shenandoah Valley during the 18th and 19th centuries from multiple perspectives and points of view.

APVA/Preservation Virginia (Richmond): $10,000
Needs Assessment for Virginia Indian Cultural Resources

A collaborative needs-assessment process focusing on cultural resources and resource management for the seven federally-recognized Virginia Indian tribes, in which tribal leaders will work closely in partnership with Virginia’s oldest historic preservation organization.

Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia (Richmond): $10,000
Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello: Paradox of Liberty Exhibition Support

A series of lectures, community conversations, and other programs presented as a complement to the traveling exhibition “Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello: the Paradox of Liberty.”

Center for Documentary Studies (Durham, N.C.): $10,000
Rock Castle Home Film Project

A documentary film exploring the themes of land, identity, memory, and displacement through the history of Rock Castle Gorge, a small community in Patrick County whose residents were displaced in the 1930s during construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History (Danville): $10,000
“One House, Many Histories: Representation of Omitted Narratives”
Reconstructing the Danville Museum Introductory Video to include omitted histories and narratives

Production of a new introductory video on the history of the Sutherlin Mansion, current home of the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History and an important site in the intersecting histories of the Confederacy, the Civil War, and the Civil Rights Movement in Danville.

Eastern Shore Virginia Historical Society (Onancock): $3,000
“Notes On The Green Book”

An interpretive performance titled “Notes from the Green Book,” exploring both the music of the Jim Crow era and the restrictions placed on African-American travelers in Virginia, the Eastern Shore in particular, during that time.

Ethiopian Community Development Council, Inc. (Arlington): $10,000
Refugee Integration in Virginia

A series of recorded interviews and photographic portraits, presented in both online and physical exhibits, documenting the experiences of refugees who have recently resettled in Northern Virginia as well as those of the “receiving” communities.

Forgotten Clefs, Inc. (Bloomington): $3,000
Virginia Notes: 1619

A series of five lecture/performance programs linking 17th Century English musical traditions with Virginia history, specifically with the first meeting in July 1619 of the body that became the House of Burgesses and later the Virginia General Assembly.

Friends of Esmont, Inc. (Charlottesville): $5,000
History of Esmont Virginia

Research and writing toward the first comprehensive history of Esmont Village in Southern Albemarle County.

The George Washington University (Washington, DC): $10,000
Teacher Institute: Is There a “Muslim World?” Using global humanities to challenge singular narratives

A two-day curriculum development seminar and two follow-up webinars for middle- and high-school teachers in Northern Virginia, exploring the cultural and political diversity of the “Muslim world.”

James Madison University Libraries (Harrisonburg): $2,000
New Virginians Storytelling Events

A storytelling workshop and related events focusing on immigration stories, presented in conjunction with the traveling version of the “New Virginians” exhibit developed by the Library of Virginia.

James Madison University (Harrisonburg): $10,000
Simms 2.0: Spreading the Story of the Lucy F. Simms School

Expansion of an exhibit on the history of the Lucy F. Simms School in Harrisonburg and creation of two smaller versions, one to be installed permanently at Harrisonburg High School, the other designed for circulation to sites throughout Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.

Jefferson School African American Heritage Center (Charlottesville): $16,000
Localizing The Narrative Curriculum Project

Development of a study guide and website on the history of race and race relations in Charlottesville, connecting this history to the larger state and national narratives.

Lynchburg Museum Foundation (Lynchburg): $10,000
Exhibit Support for ‘Commemorating 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage in Lynchburg’

An exhibit and related events commemorating the history of the women’s suffrage movement in Lynchburg on the 100th anniversary of adoption of the 19th Amendment.

Mountain View High School (Stafford): $3,000
The Celia Project and the Teachable Moment

Three post-performance conversations—two for an audience of teachers, one for the general public—using the 1855 trial of an enslaved woman named Celia to address issues of race and power in American history.

Persian Classical Music Co. (Vienna): $10,000
Persian Folk Music Monthly Lecture & Performance Series

A nine-part series of lecture/performance programs exploring various aspects of Persian “folkloric” music and the history and cultural traditions it embodies.

Preservation Piedmont (Charlottesville): $2,950
The Drewary Brown Bridge Builders Project

A panel discussion and website exploring the continuing legacy and influence of Drewary Brown, a prominent Civil Rights leader and advocate for social justice in Charlottesville and Albemarle County.

Secretly Y’all, Corp (Richmond): $6,500
Archival Project

Development of an online database of stories collected mostly from Richmond-area residents at public storytelling events held city-wide.

Stratford Hall (Stratford): $10,000
Stratford Hall at the Crossroads: Atlantic Cultures and the Creation of America

A series of public programs to be presented in conjunction with a new exhibit at Stratford Hall titled “Atlantic Cultures and the Creation of America.”

Suffolk River Heritage, Inc. (Suffolk): $2,000
Suffolk River Heritage Website and Digitization

Planning, cataloguing, and digitization of primary source material acquired during twelve years of research into the communities of Northern Suffolk, which has resulted in four published books.

University of Richmond (Richmond): $3,000
Growing Up in Civil Rights Richmond: A Community Remembers “Museum in a Box” Educational Resource

Production of a traveling version of the exhibit “Growing Up in Civil Rights Richmond: A Community Remembers” which featured photographic portraits and excerpts from in-depth interviews with 30 Richmond residents, black and white, whose lives were shaped by their experience as children during the Civil Rights movement.

Virginia Civics Education, Inc. (Orange): $8,000
We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution

A series of professional development programs for Virginia middle- and high-school teachers based on the “We the People” curriculum and designed to improve civics education generally and teaching about the U.S. Constitution in particular.

Virginia Department of Historic Resources (Richmond): $1,900
In Search of Virginia’s Maritime Heritage

A public seminar to promote awareness of Virginia’s maritime heritage and the need to discover and preserve that heritage through underwater and coastal archaeology.

Virginia Friends of Mali (Richmond): $3,000

Truth & Conciliation in the 400th Year: A Shockoe Bottom Public History Symposium

A one-day public symposium on the history of Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom and its potential as a place for “conciliation” in the City.

Virginia Wesleyan University (Virginia Beach): $3,000
Warrior Chorus: Greek Tragedy for Veterans

A staged public reading of selections from Greek tragedy performed by military veterans recruited from the Norfolk/Greater Hampton Roads area, home to sixteen military bases and many active-duty and retired military personnel and their families.

William King Museum of Art (Abingdon): $10,000
The Virginia Long Rifle

Development and promotion of a new exhibit on the Virginia long rifle, both as an item of material culture and decorative art and as a window onto the larger stories of 18th and 19th century European settlement in the Valley of Virginia, the Appalachian region, and beyond.

Vanessa Adkins, right, is apprenticing under her cousin Jessica Canaday Stewart learning the finer points of traditional Chickahominy dancing. Photos taken at the Fall Festival and Pow Wow in Charles City on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012.

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