April 18, 2018
Indiana Humanities awards 27 nonprofits with nearly $60,000 in grants

Humanities Initiative Grants, Quantum Leap Grants provide public with access to history, literature, and STEM-related projects; more funding opportunities still available.

A total of 27 libraries, schools, museums and other nonprofit organizations from Michigan City to Lawrenceburg have received grants from Indiana Humanities this spring.

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 April, Indiana Humanities awarded more than $40,000 in Humanities Initiative Grants to 22 organizations, funding projects that intertwine history, literature and culture with opportunities for public dialogue and conversation.

Quantum Leap Grants 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 formats and methods in unexpected and creative ways. In this spring’s round of Quantum Leap Grants, Indiana Humanities awarded more than $17,000 to five organizations for projects that include the development of a space-related curriculum for students, readings and discussions on Afrofuturism, and an educational program that explores conservation through the work of Indiana author Gene Stratton-Porter.

“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.”

Humanities Initiative Grant recipients (more detailed information about the projects follows):

  • Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library, Indianapolis
  • The History Museum, South Bend
  • Dearborn County Historical Society, Lawrenceburg
  • Franklin College, Franklin
  • InterAction Initiative, Inc., South Bend
  • Logan Street Sanctuary, Noblesville
  • Kankakee Valley Historical Society, Kouts
  • Batesville Community Schools, Batesville
  • University of Southern Indiana/Historic New Harmony, Evansville
  • Friends of the Limberlost, Geneva
  • Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, Indianapolis
  • Jack and Shirley Lubeznik Center for the Arts, Michigan City
  • Covenant Christian High School, Indianapolis
  • Trustees of Indiana University/Frederick Douglass Papers, Indianapolis
  • Trustees of Indiana University/Indiana University Kokomo, Kokomo
  • Trustees of Indiana University/IUPUI School of Liberal Arts, Indianapolis
  • Trustees of Indiana University/Center for Ray Bradbury Studies, Indianapolis
  • Elkhart County Historical Society, Bristol
  • Ball State University/Book Arts Collaborative, Muncie
  • Johnson County Public Library, Franklin
  • Seedlings Theatre Company, Hobart
  • Indianapolis Public Library Foundation, Indianapolis

Quantum Leap Grant recipients (more detailed information about the projects follows):

  • Nickel Plate Heritage Railroad, Arcadia
  • Borden Elementary School/West Clark Community Schools, Borden
  • Kheprw Institute, Indianapolis
  • The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indianapolis
  • Indiana Writers Center, Indianapolis

Indiana Humanities has one more round of Humanities Initiative Grants and Quantum Leap Grants this year, with the deadline on July 30, 2018.

Those interested in learning more about Indiana Humanities grants may attend one of two grant workshops to be held in May. Workshop participants will receive information about available grants, an overview of the types of activities they support and tips on how to write successful grant proposals. Workshops will take place in Terre Haute on May 10 and Portland on May 15. Both events are free and open to the public, but registration is required. More information is at www.IndianaHumanities.org/grants.

 

Humanities Initiative Grant project descriptions:

 

Banned Books Week 2018 at KVML

Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library, Indianapolis

Awarded: $2,000

Timeline: Sept. 2018

During Banned Books Week, the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library will host a series of events highlighting free speech and the freedom to read and write; much of the programming will focus on themes of loneliness and mental health challenges.

 

Louis C. Tiffany: Art and Innovation

The History Museum, South Bend

Awarded: $863

Timeline: April 6–Sept. 23, 2018 (exhibition); April 21, 2018 (lecture)

To complement its exhibition Tiffany: Luminous Masterworks, the History Museum will host a lecture by collector and decorative arts historian Tom Wester. Wester will discuss the history and artistic mastery of Louis Comfort Tiffany and his predominance in the art nouveau movement.

 

Who, What, When and Where Is Dearborn County!

Dearborn County Historical Society, Lawrenceburg

Awarded: $2,000

Timeline: April–Dec. 2018

The Dearborn County Historical Society will create a traveling exhibition for use in classrooms and at events around the county. It will highlight the society’s collections and will feature costumed performers.

 

An Evening of Poetry

Franklin College, Franklin

Awarded: $2,000

Timeline: Spring 2019

Franklin College will use grant funds to bring an award-winning poet to campus. At an event open to the public, the poet will read and discuss his or her work and process.

 

Community Theater for Social Justice Action

InterAction Initiative, Inc., South Bend

Awarded: $2,000

Timeline: April 27–28, 2018

The InterAction Initiative will host a two-day conference in which theater artists, educators, storytellers, activists and experts will explore the role of theater in driving social change. Ntozake Shange, author of the play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf, will deliver the keynote address.

 

2018 Annual NICE Project

Logan Street Sanctuary, Noblesville

Awarded: $2,000

Timeline: April–Oct. 2018

The Logan Street Sanctuary will sponsor a year-long program that features four classic literary passages. During a series of lectures and workshops, community participants will consider the works in depth, exploring themes, historical content and why the works are relevant today.

 

The Collier Lodge Archaeological Story Project

Kankakee Valley Historical Society, Kouts

Awarded: $2,000

Timeline: April 2018–April 2019

The Kankakee Valley Historical Society will develop a short video that tells the story of historic Collier Lodge through the lens of its archaeological record. The society will publish the video on its website, show it at stakeholder gatherings and use it to build organizational capacity.

 

World Music Week

Batesville Community Schools, Batesville

Awarded: $2,000

Timeline: May 22–25, 2018

Batesville Community Schools will host World Music Week, educating students about West African culture and the music of the African Diaspora through hands-on clinics and a program that’s open to the public.

 

Historic New Harmony Heritage Artisan Days

University of Southern Indiana/Historic New Harmony, Evansville

Awarded: $1,980

Timeline: April 18–20, 2018

Heritage Artisans Day will welcome elementary students to experience what life was like in New Harmony in the early 1800s. More than 16 artisans, including a doctor, blacksmith and frontiersman, will demonstrate what their lives were like and explain their roles in the context of the town’s beginnings.

 

Tea with Teddy Roosevelt

Friends of the Limberlost, Geneva

Awarded: $200

Timeline: April 28, 2018

The Friends of the Limberlost will bring in a reenactor to portray Theodore Roosevelt and discuss conservation efforts in the early 20th century, a topic that was vital to the work of Gene Stratton-Porter.

 

New Avenues Collaborative

Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, Indianapolis

Awarded: $2,000

Timeline: April 2018–Jan. 2019

The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site will use 3D printing to reproduce a number of its artifacts. It will present a session at the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, letting students touch the reproductions and teaching them about the national significance of President Harrison. Students will then visit the museum, where they can interact with the real objects. The site will also use a portion of grant funds to produce materials in Braille to offer broader accessibility to its resources.

 

Zine and Small Press Fest

Jack and Shirley Lubeznik Center for the Arts, Michigan City

Awarded: $2,000

Timeline: April 21, 2018

The Lubeznik Center for the Arts will host a Zine and Small Press Fest in the spring of 2018, highlighting artists, poets and authors who self-publish works in small circulation. The festival will feature an exhibition, a panel discussion, a reading and a family workshop. Activities will explore the role of zines in the larger context of community activism, contemporary historical documentation, literature and art.

 

Our Innovative Indiana: History and Future

Covenant Christian High School, Indianapolis

Awarded: $1,989

Timeline: April 2018–June 2019

Covenant Christian High School’s VEX Robotics team, including experienced mentors, teachers and students, will bring its passion for robotics and STEM to local elementary and middle-school students through a number of interactive educational events. Activities will include a pilot workshop and a series of one-to-two-hour programs coving history, science, writing, robotics and coding.

 

Frederick Douglass at 200: Public Lecture and Workshop

Trustees of Indiana University/Frederick Douglass Papers, Indianapolis

Awarded: $2,000

Timeline: Oct. 25–26, 2018

The Frederick Douglass Papers will bring together scholars, educators, students and members of the public to consider the lasting significance of Frederick Douglass’s words and deeds during the 200th anniversary of the year of his birth. The two-day event will also serve as a kickoff for establishing a “Reading Frederick Douglass Together” program in the state of Indiana.

 

Think. Imagine. Create. Humanities Summer Camp

Trustees of Indiana University/Indiana University Kokomo, Kokomo

Awarded: $2,000

Timeline: June 11–15, 2018

IU Kokomo will design and host a week-long summer camp for 7th and 8th graders to engage them in a dialogue of inquiry based on the Philosophy for Children movement, helping them to realize the value of art, philosophy and the humanities.

 

Migration and Environmental Justice in Indianapolis

Trustees of Indiana University/IUPUI School of Liberal Arts, Indianapolis

Awarded: $2,000

Timeline: Aug. 2018–Feb. 2020

This grant will support IUPUI’s participation in the Humanities Action Lab’s project Migration and Environmental Justice.” Students will conduct research on the history of environmental justice and migration in Indianapolis, contribute to a national traveling exhibition, curate a local exhibition, produce digital humanities projects and develop public programs.

 

Inaugural Ray Bradbury Memorial Lecture

Trustees of Indiana University/Center for Ray Bradbury Studies, Indianapolis

Awarded: $2,000

Timeline: Sept. 2018

The Center for Ray Bradbury Studies will bring to Indianapolis a nationally significant author who has a historical connection to Bradbury. The author will present a public talk at IUPUI and visit a creative-writing class.

 

Archives Digitization Preparedness

Elkhart County Historical Society, Bristol

Awarded: $2,000

Timeline: Aug.–Dec. 2018

The Elkhart County Historical Society will create a plan for digitizing its two-dimensional holdings. The plan will address preservation and accessibility needs as well as create sustainable digitization procedures.

 

Interrobang 2: Text and Technology, A Shared History

Ball State University/Book Arts Collaborative, Muncie

Awarded: $2,000

Timeline: April 20–22, 2018

Ball State’s Book Arts Collaborative will host a public conference in Muncie featuring speakers from across the Midwest. Topics will include discussions around the origin, history and dissemination of print and book materials.

 

Little Library on the Prairie: A Pioneer Festival

Johnson County Public Library, Franklin

Awarded: $2,000

Timeline: June 9, 2018

The Johnson County Public Library will host a festival celebrating the county’s history and demonstrating what life was like for pioneer ancestors. Participants will view craft demonstrations, hear early American music, learn about Native American life, sample pioneer food, explore agricultural techniques and more. The library will tie much of this activity into the works of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

 

Study Guide for The Secret Garden

Seedlings Theatre Company, Hobart

Awarded: $2,000

Timeline: April–Sept. 2018

Seedlings Theatre Company will produce a study guide for its production of The Secret Garden, distribute copies of the book and hold a “Page to Stage” discussion following the performances.

 

Then and Now: Portfolio Club

Indianapolis Public Library Foundation, Indianapolis

Awarded: $2,000

Timeline: Aug.–Nov. 2018

 

In celebration of the Indianapolis Public Library’s newly digitized Portfolio club archives, the library foundation will host a film screening, exhibit prints and conduct a series of workshops to expose people to historic printing and bookmaking techniques (such as letterpress, printmaking and bookbinding). A key goal is to engage the public in conversations about the future of these traditional art forms in the digital age.

 

 

Quantum Leap Grant project descriptions:

 

Nickel Plate Heritage Railroad Depot Exhibition

Nickel Plate Heritage Railroad, Arcadia

Awarded: $4,000

Timeline: May 2019 (exhibition opening)

The Nickel Plate Heritage Railroad will create in the former Arcadia depot an interactive exhibition that tells the story of how science and technological advances have affected the region. The exhibition will explore how the railroad and Indiana’s gas boom impacted communities such as Arcadia, how agriculture and industry fueled railroad development and how railroads transformed Indiana.

 

Reach for the Stars, Indiana Youth

Borden Elementary School, West Clark Community Schools, Borden

Awarded: $3,789

Timeline: April 2018–June 2019

Borden Elementary School will develop a Young Astronauts curriculum for grades 4 through 6 that uses Indiana’s rich space heritage to bridge the sciences with the humanities and the arts. Lessons will include hands-on science activities, engineering design challenges, problem-solving scenarios that encourage conversations in ethical applications and the history of space exploration.

 

Afrofuturism Fridays

Kheprw Institute, Indianapolis

Awarded: $4,000
Timeline: April 2018–Feb. 2019

The Kheprw Institute will present an “Afrofuturism Fridays” discussion series that explores how technology and science impacts our lives, especially within the context of race and the experiences of the African Diaspora. Participants will learn to think critically about how rapid advancement of technology today affects us and about how race, gender, sexuality and power play a pivotal role in that radical reimagining.

 

From the Limberlost to Your Backyard: Connecting Students with Hoosier Naturalists

Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Requested and Recommended: $4,000

Timeline: April–Nov. 2018

The Children’s Museum will develop a program that tells the story of Indiana author and environmentalist Gene Stratton-Porter. A reenactor will use primary resources, including Stratton-Porter’s writings and photographs, to explore her life and career as well as to chronicle the history of Indiana’s ecology. The program will also include a hands-on scientific activity related to wetlands and conservation.

 

New Formulas: Using Literature to Explore Possibility in Science and Technology

Indiana Writers Center, Indianapolis

Requested and Recommended: $1,716

Timeline: Aug.–Sept. 2018

The Indiana Writers Center will present two programs using readings, short discussions and writing exercises to explore the spirit of possibility at the heart of science and literature. Topics to be addressed include the impact of technological innovation, the intersection of science and creativity and creating a bridge between the humanities and STEM.

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