Humanities Initiative Grants offer up to $2,000 to support nonprofit organizations that sponsor public humanities programs such as exhibitions, workshops, lectures and reading and discussion programs. In September, Indiana Humanities awarded more than $36,000 in Humanities Initiative Grants to 20 organizations, funding projects that intertwine history, literature and culture with opportunities for public dialogue and conversation.
Quantum Leap Grants, which are new this year, fund projects that align with Indiana Humanities’ two-year Quantum Leap theme exploring the intersection of the humanities and the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. The grants offer up to $4,000 for experimental public programs that fuse together formats and methods in unexpected and creative ways. In the inaugural round of Quantum Leap Grants, Indiana Humanities awarded more than $21,000 to seven organizations for projects that include development of a STEAM curriculum, a workshop on pioneering women naturalists and a winter reading program with hands-on robotics activities.
“Funding a wide range of thoughtful and creative programming that connects so many Hoosiers to the depth and breadth of the humanities is core to our mission,” said Keira Amstutz, president and CEO of Indiana Humanities. “We are encouraged, every year, by the innovative programs proposed by the grantees and the opportunity to touch the lives of residents all over Indiana.”
Quantum Leap Grant recipients (more detailed information about the projects follows):
- The Anderson Center for the Arts, Anderson
- Indiana University, Bloomington
- Wabash College, Crawfordsville
- Carnegie Museum, Crawfordsville
- Girls Inc. of Johnson County, Franklin
- Shelby County Public Library, Shelbyville
- Trustees of Indiana University/IU South Bend, South Bend
Humanities Initiative Grant recipients (more detailed information about the projects follows):
- Trustees of Indiana University/Indiana University Center for Documentary Research and Practice, Bloomington
- PATTERN, Carmel
- Embassy Theatre Foundation, Fort Wayne
- Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites Foundation/Levi and Catharine Coffin State Historic Site, Fountain City
- Goshen College, Goshen
- Big Car Collaborative, Indianapolis
- Franklin Central High School Creative Writing Club, Indianapolis
- Indianapolis Liederkranz Damenchor, Indianapolis
- JCC, Indianapolis
- Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library, Indianapolis
- Peace Center for Forgiveness and Reconciliation, Indianapolis
- Trustees of Indiana University/Institute for American Thought, Indianapolis
- Trustees of Indiana University/Spirit & Place Festival, Indianapolis
- University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis
- Floyd County Historical Society, New Albany
- Pike County Public Library, Petersburg
- National Center for the Great Lakes Native American Culture, Portland
- Jackson County Public Library, Seymour
- CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center, Terre Haute
- Association for the Wolf Lake Initiative, Whiting
Indiana Humanities will award Humanities Initiative Grants and Quantum Leap Grants two times each in 2018, with the first application deadline on Jan. 29, 2018, and the second application deadline on July 30, 2018.
Those interested in learning more about Indiana Humanities grants may attend a grant workshop this fall. Participants will receive information about the grants offered, an overview of the types of activities they support and tips on how to write successful grant proposals. Workshops will take place in South Bend on Oct. 25 and New Albany on Nov. 14. Both events are free and open to the public, but registration is required. Additional information is at www.IndianaHumanities.org/grants.
Quantum Leap Grant project descriptions:
STEM/Automata Curriculum for Madison County Schools
The Anderson Center for the Arts, Anderson
Timeline: October 2017–September 2018
The Anderson Center for the Arts will develop a K–12 STEAM program curriculum that incorporates stories from local history as well as hands-on projects that combine art and automata machines. It will pilot the program with a small group of Lapel Community Schools students and then offer the program county-wide.
Cultivating Our Gardens
Wabash College, Crawfordsville
Timeline: September 2018–April 2019
Wabash College will deliver a series of public lectures and discussions around themes related to innovation and plant-based science. Lectures will take place at the college, with discussions to be held at a local brewery.
Through the Eyes of STEM: Our Past, Present and Future World
Carnegie Museum, Crawfordsville
Timeline: March–December 2018
The Carnegie Museum will create a nine-part exhibition exploring STEM and the humanities. The program will use panel discussions, technology, viewing stations and historical documents to look at contributions that Montgomery County residents have made to the sciences and the humanities and to consider emerging ethical dilemmas related to science and technology.
Wondrous World: Introducing Nature-Study and the History of Female Naturalists and Conservationists
Girls Inc. of Johnson County, Franklin
Timeline: October 2017–June 2018
Girls Inc. of Johnson County will present a series of workshops to introduce girls to the global history of pioneering women naturalists and conservationists. Participants will explore the literary genre of nature writing and conduct research with a female field biologist in urban forests and parks.
Plugging the Imagination Gap: Sustainability and Speculative Design
Indiana University Bloomington
Timeline: January–April 2018 (tentative)
Doctoral students from Indiana University’s School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering will create interactive exhibitions using speculative designs to look at the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Visitors will engage with the designs to understand the short- and long-term consequences of environmental disaster and learn about the interaction between technologies and ecology.
Rise of the Robot: A Winter Reading Program
Shelby County Public Library, Shelbyville
Timeline: January–March 2018
The Shelby County Public Library will sponsor a six-week winter reading program for kids. Participants will take part in hands-on activities to learn concepts of robotics and 3D printing and will read related books to understand the history, theories and ethics behind robotics and artificial intelligence.
Conservation with James Rebanks: A Shepherd’s Perspective on Stewardship and Ethics
Trustees of Indiana University/IU South Bend
Timeline: Jan. 22, 2018
IU South Bend will bring author James Rebanks to campus to discuss his book The Shepherd’s Life: A Tale of the Lake District. Rebanks will explore his work in traditional shepherding and his approach toward environmental stewardship. His talk will be the premier event in the university’s six-part series “The Environment and Society: Ethical Foundations for a Sustainable Future.”
Humanities Initiative Grant project descriptions:
Reclaiming Armistice Day
Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library, Indianapolis
Timeline: Nov. 11, 2017
The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library will bring award-winning author Brian Turner to Indianapolis to headline its annual Reclaiming Armistice Day program. Turner will explore how veterans and active-duty military personnel can use the arts and humanities to cope with wartime experiences and other personal traumas.
Voices of Conscience: Peace Witness in the Great War
Goshen College, Goshen
Timeline: February–March 2018 (tentative)
Goshen College will bring to its campus the traveling exhibition Voices of Conscience: Peace Witness in the Great War (from the Kaufman Museum and World War I Museum). Organizers will supplement it with additional programming, including a lecture and a one-man performance, to educate audiences about pacifism in World War I and more broadly to raise questions about personal, religious and civic values during times of national mobilization.
Calumet Revisited: A Monthly Forum on the Calumet
Association for the Wolf Lake Initiative, Whiting
Timeline: November 2017–October 2018
Grant funds will support the Association for the Wolf Lake Initiative’s annual speakers series, which consists of monthly talks related to the Calumet Region’s history, culture and environment.
Rwandan Genocide Pop-Up Museum
Peace Center for Forgiveness and Reconciliation, Indianapolis
Timeline: February–May 2018
The Peace Center will create a pop-up exhibition detailing the 1994 Rwandan genocide, its aftermath and the power of forgiveness in breaking the cycle of violence and facilitating peace. The display will include photographs, artifacts and written accounts from the genocide.
Mari Evans’s “Ethos and Creativity” Three Decades Later: Art and Race in Indianapolis
Trustees of Indiana University/Institute for American Thought, Indianapolis
Timeline: Mar. 8, 2018
The Institute for American Thought will host a public conversation about race and practicing art in Indianapolis. The discussion will center on ideas that the late Mari Evans presented in her essay “Ethos and Creativity: The Impulse as Malleable”—about how conditions in the city have produced an environment of trauma and stress for black people and their creativity.
Confronting Acts of Dehumanization Speakers Program
CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center, Terre Haute
Timeline: March–May 2018 (tentative)
CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center will bring three distinguished speakers onsite for public lectures focused on the issues of dehumanization and discrimination. The presenters are Lydia X.Z. Brown, an advocate for disability justice and LGBT rights, Sam Mihara, a survivor of Heart Mountain Japanese internment camp, and Immaculée Ilibagiza, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide.
150 Years of Quaker Freedom Fighters
Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites Foundation/Levi and Catharine Coffin State Historic Site, Fountain City
Timeline: April 2018 (tentative)
The Levi and Catharine Coffin State Historic Site will present “150 Years of Quaker Freedom Fighters,” a community discussion with David Fankhauser regarding how the Coffins and the Quaker community helped runaway slaves prior to the abolishment of slavery. Fankhauser’s background as a Quaker and Freedom Rider will create meaningful experiences that challenge participants to better understand the importance of activism by intertwining history and contemporary issues.
Educate the Indianapolis Community about German Songs and Culture
Indianapolis Liederkranz Damenchor
Timeline: Apr. 4, 2018
The Indianapolis Liederkranz Damenchor will present a concert of German songs in Indianapolis’s Union Station. It will use grant funds to produce and distribute at the concert a booklet with historical information about the musical pieces, the venue and German culture.
Why? Explaining the Holocaust: An Evening with Professor Peter Hayes
Timeline: Nov. 13, 2017
The JCC will host Peter Hayes as part of its 19th annual Ann Katz Festival of Books and Arts. Hayes will explore his latest book, Why? Explaining the Holocaust, an eye-opening, accessible look at a seemingly incomprehensible subject. The book brings the subject matter to a new, wider audience and warns that what happened in the past has implications for the future.
22nd Annual Public Conversation
Trustees of Indiana University/Spirit & Place Festival, Indianapolis
Timeline: Nov. 12, 2017
As part of its annual festival, Spirit & Place will sponsor a community conversation featuring Indiana historian James H. Madison, poet Maria Hamilton Abegunde, SongSquad community choir and actors from the Indiana Historical Society’s museum theater program. Using musical selections, historic documents and photographs, these featured participants will engage the audience in civic reflection and facilitate an interactive dialogue around the history of race.
Emily Dickinson Exhibit: Person, Poetry, and Place
Franklin Central High School Creative Writing Club, Indianapolis
Timeline: Feb. 20–Apr. 30, 2018
Franklin Central’s Creative Writing Club will create a student-curated exhibition on Emily Dickinson. The exhibition will look at writers and books that inspired Dickinson, display 19th-century artifacts on loan from the local historical society, create a replica of Dickinson’s room and offer an interactive poetry station to emulate the flowers, fascicles and homemade gingerbread Dickinson would attach to poetic gifts sent to friends and family. The students will also take part in an “Emily Dickinson Tweet-a-Thon.”
Black History in Indiana
Jackson County Public Library, Seymour
Timeline: Feb. 11, 2018
The Jackson County Public Library will host “Black History in Indiana” featuring a talk by Richard B. Pierce from the University of Notre Dame. Local historian Ron Duncan will also speak about black history in Jackson County and efforts to renovate and use as a museum the Lynn Street Colored School Center of Good Will in Seymour.
Embassy Theatre Study Trips
Embassy Theatre Foundation, Fort Wayne
Timeline: October 2017–May 2018
This grant will support the Embassy Theatre’s study trips, which bring more than 2,000 students to the theater to learn about its history and efforts to preserve it. The theater offers three programs targeted to different age groups ranging from age four to young adult.
Timeline: December 2017 or January 2018 (tentative)
PATTERN will sponsor a viewing of the film Fresh Dressed, which looks at the world of hip-hop and fashion, then will follow with a panel discussion and a talk with the director. The goal is to present insights into the sociological, economic and cultural connections between hip-hop and fashion and explore how those connections have played out in literature, music and art history.
the a mind/the b mind Reading and Workshop
Big Car Collaborative, Indianapolis
Timeline: Oct. 20–21, 2017
Big Car Collaborative will sponsor a poetry reading by nationally renowned poet Ariana Reines and a discussion on how she has collaborated with visual artist Larissa Hammond. Big Car will then have Reines conduct two workshops: one at its headquarters, the Tube Factory, and another at the University of Indianapolis.
Early Days in the Delphi Bottoms: An Archaeological Investigation of the Baum’s Landing Site
University of Indianapolis
Timeline: July 2018 (tentative publication date)
For the past four years the University of Indianapolis been surveying and excavating portions Baum’s Landing, an early pioneer site located outside of Delphi. The investigations have provided important insights into the early settlement of Carroll County and the upper Wabash River valley. With this grant, the university will publish a booklet describing the archaeological methods and research questions used to locate and investigate the Baum’s Landing site and communicating what researchers have learned about the region’s early history from these investigations.
NCGLNAC 13th Annual Academic Conference
National Center for the Great Lakes Native American Culture, Portland
Timeline: Apr. 21, 2018
The NCGLNAC 13th Annual Academic Conference will focus on “Great Civil Chiefs” of the Great Lakes Native peoples. Four educators and tribal members will each make an hour-long presentation discussing historical and recent tribal chiefs and their contributions to their tribes, their area and our country.
Historical Women of Letters
Pike County Public Library, Petersburg
Timeline: November 2017–April 2018 (tentative)
The Pike County Public Library will host a literary series featuring actor Debra Miller portraying Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott. Each of the programs will be theater style with a question-and-answer session following the performances.
Walking Tour Brochure Series #2
Floyd County Historical Society, New Albany
Timeline: April 2018 (tentative publication date)
The historical society will revise its New Albany Historic Mansion Row Walking Tour Brochure. Enhancements will include updated maps, new photos and additional historical research/edited text.
I Learn America: Workshopping Race and Ethnicity though Film and Storytelling
Trustees of Indiana University/Indiana University Center for Documentary Research and Practice, Bloomington
Timeline: Oct. 16–18, 2017
Indiana University’s Center for Documentary Research and Practice will bring filmmaker Jean-Michel Dissard to Bloomington to present a workshop on his documentary film I Learn America to three Bloomington-area high schools and to an IU undergraduate class. His visit will conclude with a public screening of his film, followed by a discussion with the audience and with two IU humanities faculty on approaches to the issues raised in the film regarding immigration, race and ethnicity.