October 7, 2015
Indiana organizations receive funds to engage Hoosiers in the humanities

Indiana Humanities has awarded grants of up to $2,000 each to 14 nonprofit organizations for projects that seek to engage the public in the humanities. The grant money will fund a variety of programs across the state, from Valparaiso to Evansville. Funded projects include Bicentennial-themed media productions, community oral history research and exhibitions, public lectures and conversations, and more.

“It’s important that Hoosiers have a chance to experience the humanities in a variety of ways – by attending a thoughtful lecture, participating in an oral history project or learning about their community’s history,” said Keira Amstutz, president and CEO of Indiana Humanities. “We’re happy to help provide that access and we’re excited that our partners all across the state are creating fun and engaging humanities projects.”

Funding for Indiana Humanities grant programs is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information, contact Nancy Conner (nconner@indianahumanities.org or 317-616-9784).

The Humanities Initiative Grant recipients are:

Buffalo Trace Educational Boxes ($2,000)
Indiana Historic Pathways,  Inc., Jeffersonville
The project will create educational boxes designed for 4th-grade teachers in the eight-county area that is crossed by Indiana’s Pioneer era roadway – the Buffalo Trace – which connected Clarksville on the Ohio River with Vincennes on the Wabash River. Each Buffalo Trace Box is designed to teach about the history of this early roadway and the lives of early explorers and pioneer settlers. Boxes, which include reference materials, a childrens book, DVD, hands-on materials and a teacher guide, will be delivered in January, 2016 to 60 teachers in 20 school corporations for a spring classroom pilot.

Hoosier Women at Work Conference ($2,000)
Indiana Women’s History Association, Indianapolis
The Indiana State Library, the Indiana Historical Bureau, and the Indiana Women’s History Association will host a women’s history symposium on March 26, 2016 in Indianapolis. The conference is a special Bicentennial project that will provide attendees with an opportunity to learn about women’s contributions to Indiana’s history and encourage a statewide community to work to ensure access to Indiana women’s history.

OASIS Bicentennial, Bi Generation Project ($1,600)
Indianapolis OASIS, Indianapolis
OASIS will provide programs throughout 2016 that focus on convening multiple generations to study, learn and celebrate ways their family cultures fit into the rich fabric of Indiana’s 200-year history. The program, which runs throughout 2016, will engage ethnically diverse students and their families in the OASIS Intergenerational Program.

Against the Odds ($2,000)
Middlebury Community Public Library, Middlebury
A scholar-led reading/discussion series for adults will offer theme-based book discussions on Oct. 13, Nov. 10 and Dec. 1. The series for this fall is titled “Against the Odds.”

Monroe County @ Work ($2,000)
Monroe County History Center, Bloomington
The Monroe County History Center will sponsor a public lecture/conversation series addressing the changing nature of work in Monroe County since its founding in 1818. This program will complement the Center’s new exhibit, “Monroe County @ Work,” which explores the history of local people’s workplaces and experiences. The series will launch in fall 2015, and run until spring, 2016.

The Beverly Shores Stories Project ($2,000)
Porter County Mueum, Valparaiso
The Porter County Museum and the Beverly Shores Museum & Art Gallery will work together to collect oral histories from Beverly Shores residents (past and present). The year-long work will culminate in two exhibitions in July and Aug., 2016, and several programs discussing what it means to live in community, from July – Dec., 2016.

20th Anniversary Signature Event: A Conversation with David Brooks ($1,000)
IUPUI (The Polis Center), Indianapolis
The Spirit & Place Festival will host New York Times op-ed columnist David Brooks in a conversation with Matthew Meyer Boulton, president and professor of theology at Christian Theological Seminary. The Nov. 8 conversation will center on themes from Brooks’ bestselling book The Road to Character.

Celebration of The Grapes of Wrath ($2,000)
Storytelling Arts of Indiana, Indianapolis
This program will create and facilitate six opportunities that will encourage Hoosiers to think, read, talk and experience The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. In February and March, 2016, three different means of engagement will be used to attract Hoosiers to this program; reading and discussion, watching the movie, and hearing Steinbeck’s words out loud via storytelling.

Fall Fest 2015 Slammin Rhymes Challenge IX ($2,000)
Public Library Foundation, Indianapolis
On Nov. 21, the Indianapolis Public Library will host “Fall Fest 2015/ Slammin’ Rhymes Challenge IX – Still I Rise” in honor of Maya Angelou. Fall Fest is an annual event for the community that particularly targets African-American teenagers through presentations in a variety of areas, including literature, poetry and other performing arts.

Art and Literature of John James Audubon ($1,661)
University of Southern Indiana, Evansville
This grant will support a public lecture on Oct. 1 by art historian Lucy Winters Durkin, who will discuss Audubon’s Ornithological Biographies. Durkin uses an interdisciplinary approach to examine the literary contributions of Audubon, her great-great-great-grandfather.

Celebrating 200: Terre Haute’s Emerald Necklace ($2,000)
Vigo County Public Library, Terre Haute
The Vigo County Public Library will install the Emerald Necklace exhibition, a collection of restored maps and blueprints designed for the city of Terre Haute by renowned landscape architect, George Kessler. The Emerald Necklace exhibition, named for the connecting design of the urban parks Kessler integrated into his plan for Terre Haute, will be a featured component of the celebration for Indiana’s Bicentennial and the city of Terre Haute’s 200th anniversaries in 2016. The exhibit will be installed in August, 2016, and programs will run Sept.-Oct. 2016.

Indiana’s Changing Culture: Celebrating 200 Years ($1,995)
Indiana University (WFIU Public Radio), Bloomington
WFIU Public Radio plans to produce four one-hour themed documentary pieces titled “Indiana’s Changing Culture: Celebrating 200 Years” for radio broadcast over the course of the Bicentennial year (2016). The themes are Labor, Land, Literature and Transportation, as told through in-depth and personal interviews and stories with experts, scholars, and everyday people. Short segments will be released via podcast and online every two weeks, culminating in a long-form radio special aired quarterly.

The Indiana Way ($1,000)
WFYI Public Media, Indianapolis
WFYI will produce a three-part series next spring based on Jim Madison’s new book, Hoosiers: A New History of Indiana. The new television series is designed to spur a better understanding of the past, using the state’s history as a framework for better understanding where we are headed.

From Under the Cloud: A One-Woman Show ($1,580)
Indiana Medical History Museum, Indianapolis
A historical dramatization of Anna Agnew’s memoir of mental illness in the 19th century will be preceded by a lecture by Kathleen Brian of the Smithsonian Institution, in April, 2016.

Humanities Initiative Grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations that sponsor public humanities programs such as town hall meetings, workshops, lectures, exhibits, reading and discussion programs, and production of humanities resources. The next grant deadline will be in spring, 2016. Find more information at IndianaHumanities.org/grants.

Posted In: Hot off the Press, Grants