Published April 7, 2022

Charlottesville, VA—Today, Virginia Humanities announced seven new grants totaling $52,000 for projects that highlight local stories from communities across Virginia.

“The stories of Virginia’s local communities, their histories, and their people are the heart of what makes our state a commonwealth,” says Virginia Humanities’ executive director Matthew Gibson. “These projects help put those stories into a statewide and national context. We’re honored to be able to support them.”

Virginia Humanities has been working on revamping their flagship grants program that has served museums, historical societies, and other humanities nonprofits throughout Virginia since 1974. The regular January grant deadline was suspended while the rolling grants program continued to make smaller awards, including the seven highlighted below. In May, Virginia Humanities will unveil changes to the grants program which will streamline the application and reporting process, making it more accessible.

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

The following organizations received grants from Virginia Humanities between October 2021 and March 2022:

Amherst Glebe Arts Response, Inc.: $5,000
Amherst, VA – Karenne Wood: Virginia Poet, Mother, Monacan, Scholar and Historian
A panel discussion and production of two exhibits honoring the life and legacy of Karenne Wood (Monacan), an educator, poet, scholar, advocate, and leader within the broader Native community of Virginia prior to her death in 2019.

More Than a Fraction Foundation: $8,000
Baltimore, MD – The Merry Tree Event
A three-day public program featuring lectures and presentations, performances, tours, and ceremonies, the outgrowth of a longer-term case study exploring the possibilities for reconciliation between descendants of the Fraction family who were enslaved at Smithfield and Solitude Plantations in Montgomery County Virginia and the Preston family who enslaved them.

National Center for Community Strategies: $10,000
Alexandria, VA – Documentary: The Arrival of the First Africans in Virginia
A documentary film on the arrival of the first Africans in Virginia, focusing on the lives and experiences of the thirty-two enslaved Angolans received by the Virginia Colony in 1619.

Virginia Organizing, Inc./ Beloved Community Charlottesville: $5,000
Charlottesville, VA – Beloved Community Virtual Tour, Phase Two
Development of eight new videos for a “Beloved Community Virtual Bus Tour” highlighting locations of significance in the history of Charlottesville’s African American community.

The Valentine: $6,000
Richmond, VA – Augmented Reality Tour Experience and Lost Cause Programming Development
An Augmented Reality walking tour of Richmond’s Monument Avenue, designed to spark in-depth, small group discussions and personal reflection about the history of the Confederate monuments and the Lost Cause ideology that created and supported them.

Virginia Civics Education, Inc.: $6,000
Orange, VA – Interactive Field Guide to Local History, Exploring Your Neighborhood (The Virginia Edition)
Planning and initial steps in creating the design framework for a “Field Guide to Local History,” designed to give users the tools to understand their individual and/or local stories within the larger shared narratives of Virginia and the United States.

University of Richmond: $12,000
Richmond, VA – Through It All: Public Transit and Civil Rights in Richmond, VA
A multi-faceted project documenting the history of the Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC) as seen through the lives and careers of GRTC’s pioneering African American bus drivers, mechanics, and their families. The project includes oral history interviews, photo documentation, organization and digitization of GRTC’s archives and creation of three “site-specific” works of art based on the interviews and research.

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.