Published October 19, 2023

Charlottesville, Va—Today, Virginia Humanities, the state humanities council, announced $218,182 in grants to 21 nonprofit organizations across the Commonwealth. The announcement comes during National Arts and Humanities Month, the largest annual celebration for the arts and humanities in the nation. 

“For democracy and civic society to thrive, the humanities must be a core component of public life,” said Matthew Gibson, executive director of Virginia Humanities. “Each of these projects contributes to our collective understanding of what it means to be a Virginian and an American by amplifying stories about our shared history and culture.” 

Learn more about National Arts and Humanities Month and additional funding opportunities at VirginiaHumanities.org. 

The following projects received grants from Virginia Humanities between July and September 2023: 

Animating Cumberland’s Black History: AMMD Pine Grove Project ($5,000) 
Henrico County 

Production of two animated video webinars focused on Tuskegee/Rosenwald Schools and the historical meeting of Sed Dungee (a Black legislator) and President Rutherford B. Hayes 

Arlington House Descendant Family Reunion: Resource Impact ($5,000) 
Washington, D.C. 

A gathering of the Descendant Family Circle, including descendants of enslaved individuals and enslaver families 

Audio Timeline of the Land: College of William & Mary ($20,000) 

Production of an audio timeline that will be part of an exhibition at James Monroe’s Highland about the use of land at Highland, including the presence of Monacan people in the Late Woodland period, colonial surveying, construction of the house, enslaved workers’ agricultural activities, and other historical occurrences 

August Wilson Symposium: Jefferson School African American Heritage Center ($2,500) 

A symposium celebrating the success of the Charlottesville Players Guild’s production of August Wilson’s entire American Century Cycle 

A Biography of Pierce Street: an African-American Community in Lynchburg, VA: University of Lynchburg ($5,000) 

An oral history and archival research project exploring African American history through the story of Pierce Street, an African American neighborhood in Lynchburg 

Digital Documerica: Picturing the Environment in 1970s America: University of Richmond ($5,000) 

Production of two video vignettes that will be part of a project to create awareness and discussion around the nearly 22,000 photographs of the Documerica collection, showcasing the nation’s efforts to become more environmentally aware 

Enhancing Local History Preservation and Popularization: Prince William Library Foundation ($16,000) 

Equipment for a a digital preservation lab at the Ruth E. Lloyd Information Center which offers genealogy and history services with a focus on Virginia and Prince William County 

Expanding the Audience for Veterans Voices: Longwood University ($682) 

A free writing program offered for military, veterans, and their families which helps authors bear witness to the trials, challenges, and rewards of military service 

Floyd JAM After-school Program Support: The June Bug Center for Arts & Education ($5,000) 

Expansion of the Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) program that teaches students banjo, fiddle, mandolin, or guitar in the style of old-time music from the region 

“Kara Walker: Cut to the Quick” Exhibition: Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art ($10,000) 
Virginia Beach 

Presentation of a career-spanning exhibition featuring over 80 works by artist Kara Walker exploring themes related to African American history, the transatlantic slave trade, and their legacy 

Monticello’s Fiddlers: A Documentary Film: Early Music Access Project ($5,000) 

A documentary film project that aims to tell a more complete story of Black music-making in early America centered around two families of Black fiddlers with familial ties to Monticello: the Hemings and Scott families 

Oral History Project for the Petersburg African American History and Cultural Center: The McKenney Foundation ($20,000) 

A project focused on preserving and sharing African American stories in Petersburg, engaging the community, and introducing the newly-established Petersburg African American History and Cultural Center as a significant institution for preserving local history 

The Peaceful Garden Project: Uniting Diverse Communities Through Human Dignity Training: Hardwired Global ($5,000) 
Chesterfield County 

Training of 12 local YMCA staff members in the Peaceful Garden Project curriculum, which aims to promote inclusion and respect for diverse communities among high school students 

7th Annual Pocahontas Reframed Film Festival: Pocahontas Reframed Storytellers Film Festival ($20,000) 
King William County 

Held annually in Richmond, the Pocahontas Reframed Film Festival is currently the largest and most successful Native American film festival on the East Coast. 

Quiet Courage: Chauncey Harmon, Percy Corbin, and the Fight for Equal Education in Pulaski County: Calfee Community and Cultural Center Inc ($20,000) 

Production of an interactive multimedia exhibit focusing on the stories of key Pulaski County civil rights activists including Chauncey Harmon and Percy Corbin, from the 1930s to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling in 1954 

“The Rosenwald Schools of Virginia”: Longleaf Productions ($20,000) 
Greensboro, N.C. 

Production of a 30-minute documentary highlighting the challenges faced by African American communities as they worked to establish Rosenwald schools across the state, and their role in advancing education for African Americans during the Jim Crow era 

Screen to Square: Using Film to Fuel Dialogue and Build Community: Washington and Lee University ($9,500) 

A film series that brings together students, faculty, and community members for screenings followed by panel discussions, aiming to engage audiences across generations, backgrounds, and experiences, promoting open dialogue and critical thinking about Southern identity, history, culture, and social issues 

“Someone Talked! The Official Podcast of the National D-Day Memorial”: National D-Day Memorial ($12,000) 

Production of a podcast featuring informative and engaging discussions on World War II history with renowned historians, authors, and experts 

W. Wanambi Distinguished Lecture by Mayatili Marika: Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia ($2,500) 

A lecture by Yolngu cultural practitioner Mayatili Marika coinciding with the exhibition “Madayin: Eight Decades of Aboriginal Australian Bark Painting from Yirrkala”  

Walking a New Path Audiovisual Presentation: Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society ($20,000) 

A community history exhibit, highlighting the diverse cultural backgrounds of people in the Central Shenandoah Valley using 3D projection mapping technology to present an audiovisual overview of historical milestones involving various groups, from First Peoples to recent immigrants and refugees 

The Washington Area Music Awards: Celebrating Virginia’s Musical Heritage in the Washington Region: The MusicianShip ($10,000) 
Washington, D.C. 

A celebration of Virginia’s Musical Heritage in the Washington region 

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.