Indiana nonprofits receive more than $26,000 in grants

Indiana Humanities has awarded grants of up to $2,000 each to 15 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 Vevay. Funded projects include programs that share Indiana’s rich history – from preserving indigenous cultures to the origin of Alice of Old Vincennes – as well as those that help students, teachers and veterans better understand themselves and the world around them.

“It’s our mission to support nonprofits that are creating enriching, humanities-based programs in order to create a stronger, more vibrant and more engaged state,” said Keira Amstutz, president and CEO of Indiana Humanities. “The Humanities Initiative Grant program provides nonprofit organizations with funding that many desperately need to conduct programs that encourage Hoosiers all across the state to think, read and talk.”

Funding for Indiana Humanities grant programs is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information, contact Nancy Conner ( or 800-675-8897).

The Humanities Initiative Grants are:

Alice of Old Vincennes – Origin and Legacy of a Heroine ($500)
Alice of Old Vincennes a Musical, Inc., Vincennes
A digital presentation will be created to reveal the history behind the classic novel, Alice of Old Vincennes, written by Maurice Thompson in 1901. The program will debut in conjunction with the 2014 Spirit of Vincennes Rendezvous this spring and then be made available for public presentations and online.

Beyond American Indian Stereotypes: The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art ($2,000)
Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indianapolis
The Eiteljorg Museum will create reference materials on the Native American experience and will sponsor a symposium for Indiana educators on Sept. 13, 2014. The project will help to ensure that the cultures and perspectives of idigenous peoples are part of the upcoming state Bicentennial.

Civil War Lecture Series ($597)
Lew Wallace Study Preservation Society, Inc., Crawfordsville
A monthly Civil War lecture series from March – November will accompany the General Lew Wallace Study and Museum’s exhibition theme for 2014. Gail Stephens, author of The Shadow of Shiloh, and other historians will speak about Wallace’s military career and other Civil War topics.

Conversations on Culture Podcast Series ($1,922)
Trustees of Indiana University, Bloomington
A series of monthly podcasts from Sept. 2014 – Aug. 2015 will introduce the collections, research and scholars of Indiana University’s Mathers Museum of World Cultures. The podcasts, featuring both global cultures and Indiana topics, will be available online at a number of different websites and portals.

Cynthia Furlong Reynolds: Writing and Family Literacy Workshop ($1,993)
Trustees of Indiana University, South Bend
The School of Education at Indiana University South Bend will bring in children’s author Cynthia Furlong Reynolds to conduct a workshop for children, parents and teachers at Elkhart Community Schools this summer. These activities are part of a new Laboratory School Network initiative between the univeristy and the school district.

Evenings with Great Hoosier Authors at the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site ($1,540)
Lanier Mansion Foundation, Madison
The Lanier Mansion will host first-person interpretations and readings from Hoosier authors James Whitcomb Riley, Gene Stratton-Porter and Jean Shepherd. The series is co-sponsored by Hanover College, whose faculty will comment on the contributions of the three authors to Indiana literature. (Sept. 13, Oct. 4, Oct. 18, 2014)

“Hidden Within”: Greater Lafayette Holocaust Remembrance Conference 2014 ($2,000)
Greater Lafayette Holocaust Remembrance Committee, West Lafayette
Scholars and survivors of the Holocaust in Poland and Ukraine will be the focus of the 33rd annual Holocaust Conference (April 5-8, 2014). Featured speakers include Jeffery Veidlinger, University of Michigan and Jan Grabowski, University of Ottowa.

International Forum on Violins ($2,000)
International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, Indianapolis
Lectures and discussions during the 21-day International Violin Competition of Indianapolis in Sept. 2014 will take place at various venues in the city.

Ogden Dunes Stories Project ($2,000)
Historical Society of Ogden Dunes, Ogden Dunes
Exhibits at the Hour Glass Museum in Ogden Dunes and the Porter County Museum in Valparaiso will tell the stories of the people and places in this lakeside community. A program series along the South Shore will occur monthly through 2014.

Planting the Seeds of History ($2,000)
Switzerland County Historical Society, Vevay
A lecture by Andrea Wulf on botanists and gardening in 18th century England and America will conclude a series of programs on historic sites and gardens in Switzerland County from May – Oct.

Reclaiming Armistice Day ($2,000)
Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, Indianapolis
A one-day program in Indianapolis on Nov. 8 will combine speakers, discussion sessions and information booths for and about veterans. ISU professor Michael Sheldon will talk about American writers who were WWI veterans, such as Hemingway and Fitzgerald.

Sights, Sounds, and Sweets of the JMS Building’s Golden Age ($2,000)
The Music Village, South Bend
This fall, a guided tour through the John Mohler Studebaker building in South Bend will immerse students and adults in the building’s historic past.

STAND Educational Experimental Community Service Project ($2,000)
Merrillville High School, Merrillville
Students in the STAND organization of Merrillville High School will travel to New York this spring and develop a presentation on immigration from both the national and regional perspective.

Summer of Shakespeare ($2,000)
Community Theatre Guild, Inc., Valparaiso
Workshops, lectures and public discussion of Shakespeare will add to the Chicago Street Theatre’s “Summer of Shakespeare.”

Teaching the Past: Dissenting Histories in the Classroom ($1,953)
Purdue University, West Lafayette
A conference for K-16 teachers on Oct. 11 will explore techniques for teaching students about interpreting history through critical thinking.

Humanities Initiative Grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations that sponsor public humanities programs such as town hall meetings, panels, workshops, lectures, reading and discussion programs, and production of humanities resources. The second (and final) 2014 deadline for applications will be Aug. 1.

Indiana Humanities connects people, opens minds and enriches lives by creating and facilitating programs that encourage Hoosiers to think, read and talk. BH