Published September 27, 2021

Charlottesville, VA—Today, Virginia Humanities announced $231,750 in new grants to twenty-four nonprofit organizations dedicated to amplifying lesser-known historical narratives and initiating conversations around topics relevant to all Virginians. Since 1974, Virginia Humanities has awarded grants to museums, historical societies, and other nonprofits reaching every corner of the Commonwealth.

“Understanding each other, both how we’re similar and how we’re different, is the key to bridging what divides our society,” says Virginia Humanities’ executive director Matthew Gibson. “These projects are inclusive in the truest sense of the word and each one contributes to our understanding of a different facet of Virginia’s history and culture.”

Each year, Virginia Humanities grant projects reach an estimated audience of 1.5 million and achieve an average 4:1 dollar match. This multiplies the investment in the cultural economies of the communities that receive Virginia Humanities grants. Many of the projects in this grant cycle have a multimedia component, featuring films, webinars, visual history exhibits, or podcasts. All of them contribute to a more robust and complete understanding of Virginia’s history and the diverse cultures found within our borders.

All participating organizations agree to follow the Commonwealth of Virginia and/or CDC guidelines that are in effect regarding social distancing during any Virginia Humanities funded activities and programs. 

To learn more about Virginia Humanities’ grants program, visit VirginiaHumanities.org/grants.

The following organizations received grants from Virginia Humanities between February 2021 and September 2021:

Access Virginia: $4,500
Newport News, VA
An original play and accompanying public discussions exploring the challenges faced by people living with deafness or hearing loss.

Albemarle County Historical Society: $15,000
Charlottesville, VA
An oral history project on the experience of desegregation in Charlottesville and Albemarle County seen through the lens of high school athletics.

AMMD-Pine Grove Project: $5,000
Henrico, VA
A series of public webinars organized around the theme “Partners in Philanthropy,” exploring and celebrating the roles of local African American communities in building and sustaining Rosenwald Schools.

Birthplace of Country Music: $10,000
Bristol, VA
Planning and development of an exhibit on Women in Old Time Music, past and present.

Catticus Corporation: $4,500
Berkeley, CA
Development of a prototype for an educational website exploring the story of the 1951 Student Strike in Farmville, Virginia, a landmark in the American Civil Rights Movement.

Columbia Pike Documentary Project: $20,000
Arlington, VA
The culminating phase of a 15-year effort to document the changing face of Arlington’s Columbia Pike corridor through photographs and interviews focusing in this phase on voices and perspectives of The Pike’s younger residents.

Creciendo Juntos: $10,000
Charlottesville, VA
A series of public workshops, internships, and printing/distribution of four ‘Zine’ publications highlighting the voices and perspectives of Latinx youth.

Eastern Shore of Virginia Historical Society: $20,000
Onancock, VA
Production of two segments of a six-part hour-long video on the history of Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

Fairfield Foundation: $3,250
White Marsh, VA
Planning and production of on-site signage and other educational resources designed to expand and deepen interpretation at the birthplace of Dr. Walter Reed in Gloucester County.

Fluvanna County Arts Council: $5,000
Palmyra, VA
Production of a documentary film exploring the role that African American churches and other religious organizations in Fluvanna County played in creating and sustaining local Rosenwald Schools.

Hardwired Global: $15,000
Richmond, VA
A pilot training program designed to help refugees and their host communities address challenges to refugee integration through partnerships with refugee resettlement agencies statewide.

Historical Society of Washington County: $2,500
Abingdon, VA
A virtual conference on African American genealogy and history, part of a larger effort by the Historical Society to better understand the lives of African Americans who left Washington County and their relationships with those who remained behind.

Jefferson School African American Heritage Center: $1,500
Charlottesville, VA
Promotion and public discussions of two original plays exploring issues of African American life in Charlottesville.

Johns Hopkins University: $12,000
Baltimore, MD
A multi-media art and storytelling project focusing on the stories of eleven Muslim women in Virginia and their experience of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim bigotry in the post-9/11 era; part of a larger project profiling 99 Muslim women nationwide. The project began with the act of creating 99 clay pots and bowls, one for each of the women being interviewed. The number 99 also corresponds to the number of different names for God in Islam.

Louisa County Historical Society: $3,000
Louisa, VA
A pilot community history project including research and oral histories focusing on African American life in Louisa County.

Nansemond Indian Tribal Association: $20,000
Suffolk, VA
Research, collection of oral histories, and other cultural preservation efforts leading to the creation of a Tribal archive.

Northampton Historic Preservation Society: $10,000
Eastville, VA
Production of an exhibit exploring the history of jails and incarceration on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

Pocahontas Reframed Storytellers Festival: $20,000
Richmond, VA
The fifth annual Pocahontas Reframed Film Festival, including screenings, discussions, and other events in what is currently the largest Native American film festival on the East Coast.

Presidential Precinct: $3,000
Charlottesville, VA
A Global Democracy Summit, part of the Leadership in Civic Development Institute whose participants include 25 emerging leaders from 17 Sub-Saharan African countries.

St Luke’s Historic Church and Museum: $7,500
Smithfield, VA
Production of a series of twelve one-hour podcasts exploring issues related to the early American religious experience and how these issues continue to inform and challenge us today.

The Mariners Museum & Park: $10,000
Newport News, VA
Research and programming, part of a larger effort to honor the contributions of African American workers who built the Mariners Museum and its park-like campus.

Virginia Friends of Mali: $10,000
Richmond, VA
A 90-minute documentary film on the experience of two young female journalists—one from Richmond, the other from Segou, Mali—as they develop their craft and work toward empowerment of women in both cities.

Virginia Tech Foundation (WVTF): $5,000
Blacksburg, VA
Production of the pilot episode for a larger series of audio podcasts exploring the stories of Virginia’s indigenous communities, focusing on Tribal heritages, cultures, and current issues, and featuring the voices of Chiefs and other Tribal leaders.

Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation: $15,000
Arlington, VA
A traveling exhibit on the lives and contributions of women of color serving in the U.S. military from the Revolutionary War era to the present day.

About Virginia Humanities

Virginia Humanities is the state humanities council. We’re headquartered in Charlottesville at the University of Virginia, but we serve the entire state. We aim to share the stories of all Virginians—or, better yet, find ways for people to share their own stories. We want Virginians to connect with their history and culture and, in doing that, we hope we’ll all get to know each other a little better. Founded in 1974, we are one of fifty-six humanities councils created by Congress with money and support from the National Endowment for the Humanities to make the humanities available to all Americans. To learn more, visit VirginiaHumanities.org.

Our work brings people together and honors our shared humanity.