Mass Humanities Announces $47,000 in Grants

Funds support local history projects, community discussions around state

Northampton, MA (May 30, 2019) – Mass Humanities has awarded grants totaling $47,519 in support of 21 humanities projects in communities across the state. Grants include support for six local history projects as well as fifteen community discussions on a number of topics: the relevance of Frederick Douglass’s Fourth of July speech to the present day; the importance of the humanities in death and dying education; the LGBTQ+ community in New Bedford, and more.

The grants are part of more than $500,000 which will be awarded in 2019 by Mass Humanities. The organization is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and receives funding from the Mass Cultural Council. Museums, libraries, community centers, and universities are among the beneficiaries of Mass Humanities grants, reviewed and approved by members of the Mass Humanities board of directors.

See below for a full list of projects funded.

Berkshire

  • $2,325 to Chester Theatre Company for four post-performance discussions with various scholars. Plays include Now Circa Then and On the Exhale.
  • $2,000 to Lee Historical Society to inventory their collection and create a finding aid.
  • $3,500 to the City of Pittsfield Office of Cultural Development for “Class and Culture in the Gilded Age Berkshires,” a lecture and moderated discussion on the early lens of James Van Der Zee and the pen of W.E.B. Du Bois, part of The Mastheads’ 2019 season.
  • $3,500 to Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield for a free symposium on environmental challenges in the Berkshires accompanying a performance of Fall Springs, a dark musical comedy about environmental disaster.
  • $395 to the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum in Adams to host an educational family day culminating in a reading and discussion of Frederick Douglass’s speech on the meaning of the Fourth of July.

Central

  • $2,000 to the Photographic Presentation Center to organize, inventory, and digitize items from the collection of Auburn photographer Winfried Sommerfeld.

Cape Cod & Islands

  • $1,500 to the Cape Cod Cape Verdean Museum and Cultural Center/Associacao Caboverdiana de Brockton in Brewster for a reading and discussion of Douglass’s speech on the meaning of the Fourth of July. The reading will take place on July 5th, Cape Verdean Independence Day.

Greater Boston

  • $3,000 to Fort Point Theatre Channel in Boston for a discussion of the “Her Story Is” project, exploring how a small group of American and Iraqi female writers are collaborating with each other as they translate both language and culture, including the impact of war.

Metrowest Boston

  • $600 to The Robbins House in Concord for a reading and discussion of Douglass’s speech on the meaning of the Fourth of July that illuminates the black freedom struggle from the Declaration of Independence through the present day.
  • $3,500 to Good Shepherd Community Care in Newton and the organization Living Wisely, Dying Well to host four lecture and small-group discussion events that incorporate the arts and humanities into death and dying education.

Northeast

  • $3,500 to New Lynn Coalition for a July 3 reading and discussion of Douglass’s speech on the meaning of the Fourth of July and a follow-up discussion in September, “The Unfinished Agenda of Frederick Douglass in the 21st Century: Which Way is the Arc of Justice Bending Today?”
  • $2,000 to the University of Massachusetts Lowell for a finding aid for a collection of Jack Kerouac’s papers recently gifted to the university.

Southeast

  • $500 to Old Parish Preservation Volunteers in Norwood to host a reading and discussion of Frederick Douglass’s speech on the meaning of the Fourth of July. The reading will be part of the town’s July 4th celebration.
  • $500 to The Frederick Douglass Neighborhood Association in Brockton to host a reading and discussion of Frederick Douglass’s speech on the meaning of the Fourth of July. The speech will be read in many different languages.
  • $3,500 to South Coast LGBTQ Network in New Bedford for a series of four films at the New Bedford Whaling Museum related to LGBTQ+ experiences, followed by panel discussions and conversations with the audience.
  • $2,000 to Sharon Public Library for the repair and digitization of the papers of Eugene Tappan, Sharon’s first historian, as well as the creation of a finding aid.
  • $2,000 to Mansfield Public Library to digitize 30 reels of the Mansfield News, a local newspaper dating back to 1873.
  • $2,000 to the Hanover Historical Society to produce an annotated catalog of documents and artifacts related to the history of shipbuilding on the North River.

Western Massachusetts

  • $2,200 to Shaw Memorial Library in Plainfield to host a reading and discussion of Douglass’s speech on the meaning of the Fourth of July, and a follow-up discussion of the Massachusetts State Constitution.
  • $3,500 to the Institute for Environmental Awareness in Petersham for “Building Bridges at the Great Falls: Native Roots and Current Challenges,” a series of events for participants to experience and reflect upon Native culture and presence in Western Massachusetts.

Outside Massachusetts

  • $3,500 to Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives in Honolulu for scholar-led discussions accompanying a performance about one of the first Native Hawai’ian missionaries to travel to New England.

###

ABOUT MASS HUMANITIES
Mass Humanities, a non-profit based in Northampton, conducts and supports programs that use history, literature, philosophy, and the other humanities disciplines to enhance and improve civic life throughout Massachusetts. Since its founding in 1974, the organization has provided millions of dollars in support of thousands of humanities projects across the Commonwealth. Established as the state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Mass Humanities is an independent programming and grant-making organization that receives support from the NEH and the Massachusetts Cultural Council as well as private sources. masshumanities.org Twitter Facebook Instagram

Share the news on FacebookTwitter