VFH Announces Twenty-Three Grants to Humanities Organizations

Grants  •  News

Polynesian Voyagers: An exhibit and symposium on Polynesian navigation techniques at the Mariners' Museum.
Polynesian Voyagers: An exhibit and symposium on Polynesian navigation techniques at the Mariners' Museum.

Charlottesville, VA—Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH) announces $92,400 in grants to twenty-three nonprofit organizations in support of public humanities programs for audiences throughout the Commonwealth and beyond.

The VFH Grant Program responds directly to the interests and concerns of local communities in Virginia, as well as to the needs of the educational organizations that serve them. Since 1974, VFH has awarded more than 3,500 grants, bringing scholars and citizens together to promote a greater understanding of the humanities.

VFH grant projects reach an estimated annual audience of 1.5 million, with an average 4:1 dollar match. Rob Vaughan, founding president of VFH, comments: “The Foundation’s work touches every city, county, and district across the state and beyond. Our grants are often the initial source of funding, helping ambitious projects find a foothold and supporting small organizations that encourage connections and discoveries at the most local level.”

As a result of VFH grant funding, exhibits, public forums and discussions, media programs (film, video, radio, and digital media), publications, research, teachers’ institutes and seminars, oral history projects, lectures and conferences, and other kinds of programs have harnessed the power of the humanities to address important issues and enrich the cultural life of the state.

The following organizations received grants from VFH between January and July 2016:

2019 Commemoration, Inc. (Williamsburg): $4,000
The Year Before the Pilgrims: America in 1619 – Research and script development for a documentary film on the early years of the Jamestown story, focusing on the events of 1619.

Christopher Newport University (Newport News): $5,000
Teach the Middle East Conference – A three-day teachers’ conference on the Middle East and North Africa, culminating in a festival featuring food and music from Middle Eastern and North African communities in the Hampton/Newport News area.

Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program (Harrisonburg): $3,000
A State of Many Nations: The Many Faces of Harrisonburg – A storytelling and film discussion program organized around the theme “The Many Faces of Harrisonburg,” focusing on immigrants who have lived in the Shenandoah Valley for generations as well as those who have arrived more recently.

Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program (Harrisonburg): $6,500
CWS Immigration and Refugee Program Photography Exhibit – An interpretive exhibit, publication, and two public lectures focusing on immigration and the experience of immigrant and refugee families in the Harrisonburg area.

Downtown Farmville Partnership (Farmville): $5,000
Farmville Civil Rights Walking Tour – Design and development of a civil rights walking tour of downtown Farmville, to be presented in a printed brochure and through a website.

Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg): $6,500
The Mennonites: A People Apart – Research and pre-production for a documentary film on Mennonites in America, with a focus on the history of Mennonite communities in Virginia.

EVS Communications (Washington, D.C.): $6,000
Línea Directa Project – Production of a special episode of the Spanish-language program Linea Directa, exploring the “origins, development, and growth” of Latino communities in Northern Virginia.

Foundation for Historic Christ Church (Weems): $1,500
Robert Carter III and the 1791 Deed of Emancipation – An exhibit and related programs commemorating the 225th anniversary of the 1791 Deed of Emancipation, by which noted Virginian Robert Carter III provided for the gradual manumission of more than 500 African Americans enslaved on his plantations.

Fractured Atlas (New York): $3,000
Presentation of Son Jarocho music and culture from Veracruz, Mexico – A series of events in Charlottesville and the Eastern Shore exploring and presenting the Son Jarocho musical tradition native to the Veracruz region of Mexico.

Furious Flower Poetry Center (Harrisonburg): $1,000
Throw Your Head Back and Sing: A Tribute to Maya Angelou – An interpretive performance of African American poetry and music honoring the legacy of Maya Angelou.

Hampton History Museum Association (Hampton): $6,000
Virginia’s First Lunch Counter Sit-In Demonstration: A Public Key to Civil Rights and Responsibilities – Oral history interviews, an interpretive exhibit, and a series of community conversations on the history and continuing legacy of the first sit-in demonstration to be held in Virginia during the civil rights movement.

Hampton Roads Naval Historical Foundation (Norfolk): $4,000
Shaping Policies: The U.S. Navy during America’s Civil Rights Era – Development of a website, digital content, and two lesson plans for classroom use, exploring the history of civil rights and civil liberties in the U.S. Navy during the Cold War era.

Hampton University (Hampton): $4,000
Miko Kings: Touching All of the Bases and Stealing Home – A two-day seminar for teachers using the novel Miko Kings: An Indian Baseball Story to explore questions of identity and the historical threads connecting African Americans and Native Americans.

Library of Virginia (Richmond): $3,000
A State of Many Nations: Immigration and the Changing Face of Virginia – A panel discussion exploring religious freedom in Virginia and the U.S., to coincide with the Library’s exhibition titled “First Freedom: The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.”

Local Colors of Western VA (Roanoke): $3,000
A State of Many Nations: Harvest of Empire, The Untold Story of Latinos in America – A film screening, lecture, and panel discussion program on the subject of Latino immigration in the U.S., Roanoke in particular.

Norfolk State University (Norfolk): $3,000
A State of Many Nations: Immigration and the Changing Face of Virginia – A film screening/discussion on Latino immigration in the U.S.; a public forum on immigrants in academia; and a book discussion program focusing on the novel Americanah, by the Nigerian author Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie.

Norfolk State University (Norfolk): $3,500
The Changing Face of Virginia: The Early Years (1607-1799) – Research and digital mapping designed to illustrate and explore the racial and cultural diversity in the Virginia Colony during its early decades.

St. George’s Episcopal Church (Accomac): $3,000
Hearing With Our Hearts: The Music of Migration – A film screening, discussion, and cultural festival focusing on Latin American immigration and featuring foods and music of Latino communities on Virginia’s Eastern Shore—the Son Jarocho tradition from Mexico, in particular.

The Dream Project (Arlington): $3,000
A State of Many Nations: Forty Years of Freedom, Celebrating the Experiences and Legacy of Immigrant Communities in Arlington – Two community forums, one for students and one for the general public, focusing on milestones in Arlington’s 40-year history as a gateway for immigrants to Virginia and the U.S., and on the future of Arlington as a community committed to diversity and inclusion.

The Mariners’ Museum (Newport News): $6,400
Polynesian Voyagers: The Truest of Mariners – An exhibit and symposium on Polynesian navigation techniques and indigenous maritime knowledge, to coincide with and explore the impact of the “world-wide voyage” of Hokule’a and its visit(s) to Virginia.

The Senior Center, Inc. (Charlottesville): $2,000
Lovell Coleman: Charlottesville’s 92 Year-Old Fiddle Player – A mini-documentary film on the bluegrass fiddler Lovell Coleman, his life and musical career.

Virginia Tech (Blacksburg): $5,000
The Central Role of the Humanities in Advancing Appalachian Community Revitalization – A series of public programs presented as part of the 2017 Appalachian Studies conference, focusing on Appalachian economy, traditional culture, and renewal.

Women in Film & Video, Inc. (Washington): $5,000
Black Diplomacy – Research and pre-production for a documentary film on African-American diplomats during the Cold War era, focusing in part on Virginian Edward R. Dudley, who served as the first African-American to achieve the rank of ambassador (to Liberia).

About VFH Grants: The Open Grant Program welcomes proposals on a wide range of subjects, for projects in any format. Deadlines are April 15th and October 15th. Draft proposals are strongly encouraged. The Discretionary Grant Program provides smaller grants of up to $3,000. There is no deadline for this program, but applicants should contact VFH staff in advance before submitting a proposal. For more information, visit VirginiaHumanities.org/Grants.

About VFH: The mission of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities is to connect people and ideas to explore the human experience and inspire cultural engagement. VFH reaches an estimated annual audience of 23 million through Community Programs, Digital Initiatives, Scholarship, and the Virginia Center for the Book. For more information, visit VirginiaHumanities.org.