Nonprofit organizations from Kokomo to Bloomington have received an INcommon Grant from Indiana Humanities for projects that will spur public conversations and connect Hoosiers on topics involving social, cultural, economic and racial issues. Indiana Humanities awarded more than $32,000 to seven organizations through this one-time initiative supported by funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Humanities and the Legacy of Race and Ethnicity Initiative, as well as The Indianapolis Foundation, a CICF affiliate.
Proposals were chosen from a highly competitive pool by a panel of experts from the academic, civic and cultural sectors. Awarded projects will explore topics including gentrification, the integration of refugees into Hoosier communities, and the legal history of slavery and freedom.
“The thoughtful applications revealed that Hoosiers are not afraid of engaging in tough conversations about important, difficult issues and that they want to have these conversations with neighbors of all ages and backgrounds,” said Modupe Labode, assistant professor of history and museum studies, Indiana University, and a member of the grant review committee. “It is clear that people throughout Indiana are making coalitions to connect over important issues and creating opportunities to bring people together. I am deeply moved by the commitment to community and empathy revealed in these projects. I can’t wait to see what happens next.”
Designed to leverage the humanities to tackle these vitally relevant issues, the INcommon grants support projects that creatively use historical and scholarly readings and ideas to spark in-depth conversation and learning opportunities. Programs will take place between April and October 2017. Hoosiers are encouraged to attend events and participate in conversations that will be available statewide.
“Now, more than ever, programming like the kind supported by the Indiana Humanities INcommon Grant is vital to our state,” said Keira Amstutz, president and CEO of Indiana Humanities. “Encouraging Hoosiers to think, read and talk about topics that many find difficult only strengthens our communities and provides an opportunity for us all to learn from one another in a thoughtful environment. We are thankful for the support from our partners at the National Endowment of the Humanities and The Indianapolis Foundation to champion such critical programming for all Hoosiers.”
“CICF and The Indianapolis Foundation are dedicated to making this community a place where everyone has an opportunity to succeed,” said Brian Payne, president of The Indianapolis Foundation and president and CEO of CICF. “Because race so often plays a role in opportunity inequity, it is more important than ever that we have and support thoughtful and frank discussions on the subject.”
Projects awarded through the INcommon Grant program include:
Water Is Life: Native Peoples of the Great Lakes
Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indianapolis
Timeline: Sept. 16, 2017
The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art will present a symposium to analyze how indigenous peoples shaped the land and history of the Great Lakes region. The program will create a dialog with the broader community to discover shared values centered upon water.
Thirteenth: Literature and Legacy
Trustees of Indiana University (Indiana University Kokomo)
Timeline: August–October 2017
Indiana University Kokomo will present “Thirteenth: Literature and Legacy,” a public humanities program that invites Hoosiers to come together for multiple events centered on conversations about seminal texts of African American literary and legal history; a screening of “13TH” will also take place along with a public discussion of the film.
Deep Dialogue: Readings on Race and Ethnicity
Writers Guild at Bloomington
Timeline: Sept. 7–Oct. 14, 2017
The Writers Guild will highlight four contemporary poets whose writing explores the meaning of race, history, beloved community and healing. Through contemplative readings, public events and workshops, the Guild will provide historical context and highlight the impact of literature in revealing these experiences.
The Art of Being Black in America
Trustees of Indiana University Bloomington
Timeline: Oct. 5, 2017
This event features an outdoor screening of a research-based film; a panel discussion of scholars, practitioners and artists whose work draws upon the intersection of African American history, race and popular culture; and small group discussions. The goal is to ignite a conversation about how the creative arts have the capacity to give a voice to historically silenced people.
PEOPLE + PROPERTY: Uncovering Housing Inequities
The House Life Project in partnership with Renew Indianapolis
Timeline: May–October 2017
The House Life Project will collaborate with humanities scholars to organize a series of community conversations that explore racial and ethnic discrimination in housing policy. Scholars will generate essays in response to each conversation in order to document and contextualize the complexity of the issues. Intimate public events will be hosted to spotlight this work, and essays, zines and other public outlets will reach a broader audience on this topic.
Powerful Conversations on Race
Indiana University on behalf of Spirit & Place, a project of The Polis Center at IUPUI, Indianapolis
Timeline: April–October 2017
As Spirit & Place celebrates the theme of POWER in 2017, it will launch “Powerful Conversations on Race,” a community discussion series that will bring together diverse citizens, humanities-based readings and facilitators trained in the civic reflection dialogue model for critical conversations on historical and contemporary issues surrounding race. The primary source for this work will be The Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism and Racial Violence (2016). Spirit & Place will provide individuals with civic reflection training and work with them to facilitate a number of community conversations around central Indiana.
Welcoming Refugees: Communities in Conversation
Butler University (Desmond Tutu Center), Indianapolis
Timeline: Late April/early May–October 2017
The Desmond Tutu Center will complete a short documentary film featuring refugees from Burma and the communities in Indianapolis that have welcomed them; it will and collaborate with various organizations to highlight the film and raise awareness of the presence of refugee neighbors in hopes that public conversations will lead to cooperation and collaboration.
More information about Indiana Humanities grant opportunities can be found at www.indianahumanities.org/ grants.