VFH Grants – Exploring Virginia Histories

Grants  •  News

The Mercury-Atlas rocket lifts off, carrying John H. Glenn, Jr into orbit. Photo courtesy of NASA

The VFH Grant Program responds directly to the interests and concerns of local communities in Virginia, and to the needs of the educational organizations that serve them. Grants provide financial support for exhibits, research, public forums and discussions, and media programs that range from films and videos to radio broadcasts and digital projects. In cities and counties across the state, VFH grants help make possible publications, teachers’ institutes, conferences and seminars, as well as oral history projects and the other kinds of programs that draw on the resources of the humanities, addressing important contemporary issues and enriching the cultural life of the state.

In the roster of recently funded awards you’ll find we helped fund a workshop on the musical traditions of Southwestern Virginia as well as an exploration of new directions in African American poets. Other recent VFH grants support research that reaches back into the history of seed saving at Monticello and to a 19th century Shenandoah Valley dressmaker, the daughter of enslaved parents. But we are equally excited to support projects on the Tidewater area women whose mathematical talents allowed them to function as “human computers” during the early days of the U.S. space program and the experience of returning veterans.

VFH Open Grants are awarded in two cycles each year—in December and June. Discretionary Grant proposals are accepted year-round. Prospective applicants should consult our online Application Guidelines. VFH staff is also available to provide assistance and advice.

Recent Grants

Between January and July 2014, VFH awarded 12 grants to the following organizations:

Chestnut Creek School of the Arts
Galax Fiddlers’ Week Musical Heritage Events ($3000)

A series of public lectures and workshops, focusing on the musical heritage of Southwestern Virginia, offered in conjunction with the 2014 Galax Fiddler’s Convention. VFH funds also support filming the workshops for public and in-school program use.

Furious Flower Poetry Center
Furious Flower: Seeding the Future of African American Poetry ($8000)

A three-day conference exploring new directions in African American poetry designed to bring together scholars, teachers, students and a public audience with emerging black poets and more established authors.

Library of Virginia Foundation
To Be Sold: Educational and Public Programs ($4000)

A series of African American genealogy workshops and other public programs, presented in conjunction with the traveling version of a major exhibit (“To Be Sold”) examining the impact of the domestic slave trade, as well as Virginia’s role in that commerce.

Mathews County Historical Society
The Year of Finding History in Mathews County ($4000)

An oral history project focusing on landscape changes and the relationship between local culture, memory, and the “built environment” of Matthews County, conducted as part of a larger county-wide effort to explore the history of Matthews and its communities.

Old Dominion University Research Foundation
Mapping Lambert’s Point: Visualizing Cultural History & Geography ($5000)

Development of an interactive digital map of Norfolk’s Lambert Point neighborhood, focusing on the history and “cultural geography” of a long-time African American area of the City that is now undergoing rapid change.

The Fellowship for Intentional Community
Saving the Past (Documentary Film) ($5000)

Research and pre-production support for a documentary film tracing “the lineage of seed-saving in Virginia” beginning with Jefferson’s work at Monticello and continuing to the present day.

Staniar Gallery, Washington and Lee University
Exhibition and Catalogue for Vincent Valdez’s “The Strangest Fruit” ($3000)

Publication of a bi-lingual exhibit catalogue designed to complement an exhibit of paintings (“The Strangest Fruit”) by the Mexican American artist Vincent Valdez.

Roanoke College
US vs Art Thieves: Priceless Tales of the FBI’s Real Indiana Jones ($1000)

A public lecture on the subject of art crime, focusing on the value of art as cultural heritage and an expression of the human experience. The lecturer is a former FBI agent who has investigated many incidences of stolen art and other cultural patrimony.

Bath County Historical Society
An Enslaved Woman and her Dressmaker Daughter Bath County, Virginia ($3000)

Two public lectures and a related audio-visual presentation focusing on several recently discovered textiles that are known to have been produced by an African American woman, the daughter of enslaved parents, in Bath County, Virginia. The discovery is of statewide and national significance.

Virginia Tech Foundation, Inc.
Veterans in Society: Humanizing the Discourse ($1500)

A two-day conference on the subject of “Veterans in Society” the second in an annual series of events examining this complex topic in depth.

The College of William and Mary
RSRFP: Josephine City Community Program in Clarke County, VA ($1500)

A series of community-based programs to commemorate the founding of Josephine City in present-day Berryville (Clarke County), Virginia, and to honor Josephine’s African American residents including formerly enslaved persons and African American Civil War veterans buried in the local cemetery.

Hampton Roads Branch ASALH
The Human Computer Project ($1850)

Planning, research, and oral history collection for the first phase of a long-term project to document and make accessible the stories of women who served as “human computers” in the early days of the U.S. Space Program.