Schools, libraries and other organizations from Gary to Evansville recently received grants from Indiana Humanities for projects ranging from a four-hour reading of Shakespeare’s sonnets to a program at an Indiana cemetery teaching fifth graders about African Americans in the Civil War.
From October 2019 to March 2020, Indiana Humanities awarded 20 Action Grants, 12 Historic Preservation Education Grants and three INcommon Grants.
Action Grants offer up to $3,000 to support nonprofit organizations that sponsor public humanities programs such as exhibitions, workshops, lectures and reading and discussion programs.
Historic Preservation Education Grants, awarded in partnership with Indiana Landmarks, fund programs that educate Indiana citizens about historic places and properties—and particularly about the need to preserve and protect them. The grants provide up to $2,500 for programs that come in a variety of formats—workshops, presentations, booklets, brochures, reading and discussion programs, exhibitions, film documentaries and more.
INcommon Grants are awarded to Indiana nonprofits to develop and implement public programs that use the humanities to look at the longer histories driving contemporary debates around immigration, gentrification, incarceration, policing, institutional racism, the legacies of segregation in housing and education, and more. The grants offer up to $5,000. The Indianapolis Foundation, a Central Indiana Community Foundation affiliate, provides funding for programs that take place in Marion County.
Applications for Action, INcommon and Historic Preservation Education Grants are accepted throughout the year.
“We’re proud to support Indiana nonprofits in promoting the humanities across the state” said Keira Amstutz, president and CEO of Indiana Humanities. “We’re always amazed at Hoosiers’ ability to create engaging and impactful public humanities programs for their communities.”
The following organizations received grants from October 2019 through March 2020:
- Ben Davis Ninth Grade Center, Indianapolis
- Brick Street Poetry, Beech Grove
- Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, Indianapolis
- Englewood Community Development Corporation, Indianapolis
- Monroe County History Center, Bloomington
- Indianapolis Public Library Foundation, Indianapolis
- Marion Public Library, Marion
- Purdue University, West Lafayette
- Jay County Public Library, Portland
- Trine University, Angola
- Book Arts Collaborative, Ball State University, Muncie
- Wabash County Museum, Wabash
- The Indiana Album, Indianapolis
- Kheprw Institute, Indianapolis
- Michiana Jewish Historical Society, South Bend
- Department of English, Purdue University, West Lafayette
- Daviess County Historical Society, Washington
- Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis
- Harrison Center, Indianapolis
- Science Central, Fort Wayne
Historic Preservation Education Grants
- Embassy Theatre Foundation, Fort Wayne
- Pulaski County Historical Society, Winamac
- Franklin Heritage Inc., Franklin
- Historic Madison, Inc., Madison
- Center for Independent Documentary/For Goodness Sake Productions, Valparaiso
- Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, West Terre Haute
- Sheldon Swope Art Museum, Terre Haute
- Wabash County Historical Museum, Wabash
- Crown Point Chamber of Commerce, Crown Point
- Decay Devils, Gary
- Indiana Historical Society, Indianapolis
- Historic Urban Neighborhoods of Indianapolis, Indianapolis
- InterAction Initiative, Mishawaka
- Trustees of Indiana University/IUPUI, Indianapolis
- VOICES, Indianapolis
Here are descriptions of the projects:
Provide Travel and Ticket Subsidies for RosieCon Attendance
Ben Davis Ninth Grade Center, Indianapolis
The Ben Davis Ninth Grade Center will host the RosieCon Book Festival, celebrating the authors and books on the Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School Book List. The two-day event will include author visits and signings, panel discussions and other activities. The Action Grant will allow sponsors to offer transportation/admission subsidies to schools across the state so that more students will have the opportunity to attend.
Black History Month: Embracing Heritage through the Written Work
Brick Street Poetry, Beech Grove
In February 2020, poet Shonda Buchanan visited the Eiteljorg Museum as part of the museum’s Black History Month celebration, and Brick Street Poetry used grant funds to send her to two schools, one in Indianapolis’s and the other in Greencastle. Buchanan led workshops/discussions with students to share her personal story and encourage their interest in reading and writing poetry.
Lunch and Learn at the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site
Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, Indianapolis
Lunch and Learn at the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site will offer the public an opportunity to engage four times throughout the year with a captivating scholar. Each presenter will shed light on a topic related to President Harrison that isn’t well known, using a format that promotes interaction and engaging discussion.
One Site, One Hundred Twenty Years: Portrait of an Ever-Changing Community
Englewood Community Development Corporation, Indianapolis
Englewood Community Development Corporation will produce a documentary on the history of the P. R. Mallory building/site in Indianapolis and its various uses over time. It will host a series of screenings and discussions, inviting the public to contemplate the site’s ongoing role in the neighborhood and city.
Suffrage Centennial Programming
Monroe County History Center, Bloomington
The Monroe County History Center will hold a series of programs centered on the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted suffrage to women. Activities will include an exhibition on suffrage activities in Monroe County, a speakers series, panel discussions, walking tours and a commemorative march.
Indianapolis Special Collections Room Lecture Series
Indianapolis Public Library Foundation, Indianapolis
The Indianapolis Public Library’s Indianapolis Special Collections Room (ISCR) houses collections of local archival materials, including books, periodicals, manuscripts, photographs and more. To highlight its focus on local history, the ISCR will hold quarterly programs, inviting scholars to present their research on historical topics related to Indianapolis and Indiana. Proposed talks will focus on Central State Hospital, the Indiana State Museum, women’s suffrage, and Indianapolis’s African American heritage.
History Made Here: Telling a People’s Story
Marion Public Library, Marion
The Marion Public Library will host the traveling exhibition Telling a People’s Story: African-American Children’s Illustrated Literature. In conjunction, it will highlight African American children’s literature in its collections and offer a series of related public programs, including workshops on genealogy, storytelling and the importance of bias awareness in children’s cultural competence.
Indiana Digital Humanities Research at Purdue University
Purdue University, West Lafayette
Purdue University will host a four-day Digital Humanities Research Institute. The institute will introduce participants to the key computational tools and methodologies that are becoming crucial to research in humanities and social sciences and will further expand a growing network of digital humanities scholars.
Axton Betz-Hamilton Visit
Jay County Public Library, Portland
The Jay County Public Library hosted author Axton Betz-Hamilton for a presentation and book signing. Betz-Hamilton has received critical praise for her memoir about family history and identify theft. Programming included a series of facilitated book discussions.
Trine University Poetry Kickoff
Trine University, Angola
Trine University will host a celebration of poetry. Activities will include a “sonnet-a-thon,” featuring a four-hour reading of Shakespeare’s sonnets, as well as readings by and conversations with Indiana-based poets and a poetry-writing workshop.
Interrobang Wayzgoose 2020
Book Arts Collaborative, Ball State University, Muncie
Interrobang Wayzgoose will bring together historians, book builders, students, and community members for a two-day celebration of book arts. The conference will focus on popular culture (with Indiana Authors Award honoree Lori Rader-Day presenting the keynote), activism (including the role of African American printers in cultural change) and printing and press history from around the world.
Explore Home Program Series
Wabash County Museum, Wabash
The Wabash County Museum will collaborate with the Wabash Carnegie Library to present a series of programming around the theme “Explore Home,” which ties into Indiana Humanities’ statewide read of The Year We Left Home. Grant funds will support a speakers series, children’s book events, a “then and now” exhibition and other activities.
The Indiana Album: Historic Photographs Workshops and Scan-a-Thons
The Indiana Album, Indianapolis
The Indiana Album will host eight photograph history/preservation workshops and seven scan-a-thons at which staff will copy, catalog and digitize historic photos that community members share. It will hold the programs in underrepresented areas of the state and will target two of them toward Indianapolis’s African American community, so that the history of these places and groups is collected, preserved and made available to researchers.
Mo*Con: Origins— “Deep Dive into Writing Diverse Characters” Workshop
Kheprw Institute, Indianapolis
As part of its Mo*Con convention, the Kheprw Institute will bring in authors Nisi Shawl and K. Tempest Bradford to lead an in-person version of their workshop “Deep Dive into Writing Diverse Characters.” The program will include a presentation, a workshop and a follow-up panel to discuss and engage around the process of “writing the other” and practical considerations when it comes to the craft of writing diverse characters.
History of Jewish Businesses and Institutions in Downtown South Bend: Research and Scavenger Hunt
Michiana Jewish Historical Society, South Bend
The Michiana Jewish Historical Society will research and conduct oral histories on regional Jewish businesses and institutions in and near downtown South Bend. It will make this new information available in its online archive and will incorporate it into a public scavenger hunt.
Department of English, Purdue University, West Lafayette
As part of its annual Big Read, Purdue University’s English Department selects a book, develops a series of themed programs and provides free copies of the text to the community. This year’s selected book is Spinning Silver, and grant funds will support a public reading, Q&A session and book signing with author Naomi Novik.
A Woman’s Right to Vote
Daviess County Historical Society, Washington
The Daviess County Historical Society will celebrate the 19th Amendment’s centennial with a number of activities. Programs will feature a storyteller, a reading and discussion of the book Maude, a lecture by suffrage historian Anita Morgan and an exhibition on 19 notable women from Daviess County.
Spirit of Freedom: A Celebration of African American Civil War Soldiers
Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis
Crown Hill Cemetery will host Indianapolis Public Schools fifth graders for an afternoon program that teaches them about African Americans in the Civil War. Programming will include reenactors portraying historic figures, speeches, demonstrations and music of the era.
Harrison Center, Indianapolis
The Harrison Center will help prepare 400 “humanity delivery” bags to neighbors in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The bags will include inspiring art and humanities projects, books, prompts and history/community information to encourage reading, writing and contemplation during the quarantine.
Honoring Female Scientists
Science Central, Fort Wayne
Science Central will honor female scientists throughout history by installing informational signs throughout its building highlighting 32 different women and their accomplishments. At the signs’ unveiling, Dr. Sarah Vosmeier, professor of history at Hanover College, will give a talk about female scientists’ contributions throughout time.
Historic Preservation Education Grants
Study Trips, 2020–21
Embassy Theatre Foundation, Fort Wayne
The Embassy Theatre Foundation will host nearly 2,000 students on 50 field trips to the theater. It will offer four different programs, targeting age groups from preschool to late teens. Each of the programs will teach the students about the theater’s history, efforts to preserve it and the role it continues to play in Fort Wayne’s cultural life.
How to Research the History of Your Old House
Pulaski County Historical Society, Winamac
The Pulaski County Historical Society will design and conduct four workshops on researching the history of houses. Participants will learn how to research property records and title abstracts, identify house styles and context, and utilize other tools. A digital media specialist will help to prepare sessions for potential online audiences.
Franklin Heritage Educational Video Series
Franklin Heritage, Inc., Franklin
Franklin Heritage, Inc., will produce a series of short educational videos that focus on different aspects of its preservation efforts. It will host the videos on YouTube and develop a series of trailers that it airs before movies at the Historic Artcraft Theatre in Franklin.
Save That Sash! Historic Windows Tour and Workshop
Historic Madison, Inc., Madison
Historic Madison, Inc., will conduct a program on historic window preservation. The program will include a half-day tour of Madison’s historic district to educate participants about historic window styles and a full-day workshop to provide hands-on instruction on how to repair and maintain wood windows.
Center for Independent Documentary/For Goodness Sake Productions, Valparaiso
The Center for Independent Documentary, in conjunction with For Goodness Sake Productions, will produce Walkable USA, a short documentary about the efforts to reinvigorate historic downtown Hammond through walkable urban design and historic preservation. The center will screen the documentary to the public in downtown Hammond and make it available online.
Stories from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Historic District
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, West Terre Haute
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College will produce an exhibit at Terre Haute’s Swope Art Museum, presenting architectural elements from the college’s historic campus along with historical vignettes illustrating the importance of historic preservation. The college will also reprint a brochure highlighting the campus’s historic buildings.
Art and Architecture
Sheldon Swope Art Museum, Terre Haute
The Swope Art Museum will host a summer Art and Architecture program, touring students ages 9-13 through historic buildings in Terre Haute then encouraging them to create artworks based on what they see. The program will emphasize the importance of the buildings and the impact that art has on architecture and vice versa.
Historic Digital Walking Tours
Wabash County Historical Museum, Wabash
The Wabash County Historical Society will re-create outdated paper-based historic walking guides, transitioning them into a new digital format hosted on an app platform. As part of the revision, it will update photos and text for each of the three tours.
Downtown Crown Point Self-Guided Historical Walking Tour
Crown Point Chamber of Commerce, Crown Point
The Crown Point Chamber of Commerce will create a self-guided walking tour of downtown Crown Point. The tour will feature signage at a number of historic sites; QR codes will link to web pages with photos, videos and interviews that tell the stories of Crown Point’s built environment.
Gary Landmarks and Art Guide
Decay Devils, Gary
Decay Devils will create a booklet and online guide that tells the historical significance of Gary’s downtown buildings and highlights more than 50 murals located in the downtown district. Decay Devils will distribute the booklet at the annual Gary Love Fest and at other venues to encourage residents and visitors to tour the area and learn about Gary’s history, culture and future.
Lost Landmarks of Indianapolis Exhibit
Indiana Historical Society, Indianapolis
The Indiana Historical Society will produce an exhibit on Lost Landmarks of Indianapolis during the city’s bicentennial. The exhibit will recall lost architectural icons, explore the reasons behind their demolition, celebrate their significance to Indianapolis history and prompt guests to consider their role in preserving buildings in their community today.
Indy’s Historic Neighborhood Tours Go Digital
Historic Urban Neighborhoods of Indianapolis, Indianapolis
Historic Urban Neighborhoods of Indianapolis (HUNI) will digitize 23 walking and biking tours through historic neighborhoods in Indiana’s capital. The tours will highlight significant architecture, important businesses and prominent citizens who have shaped Indianapolis over the past 200 years.
InterAction Summer Institute
InterAction Initiative, Mishawaka
InterAction Initiative will host an inaugural institute that creates a nurturing space and community for young people of color to intentionally invest in their counternarratives, their stories, their healing and the advancement of racial justice in their communities. The goal is to help participants understand how their history creates present-day experiences of oppression related to immigration, gentrification, mass incarceration and the legacy of segregation in housing and education.
Advancing Awareness of the Hoosiers Reading Frederick Douglass Program
Trustees of Indiana University/IUPUI, Indianapolis
IUPUI and the Papers of Frederick Douglass will present the “Race, Religion, and Politics in the Age of Frederick Douglass (and Donald Trump)” Symposium, a two-day series of public performances, lectures and workshops planned to bring together scholars, educators, students and members of the general public to consider the significance of Frederick Douglass’s words and deeds in our modern times. A goal of the symposium is to increase public awareness of and participation in “Hoosiers Reading Frederick Douglass Together” across Indiana.
Breaking Up the Concrete
VOICES will work with its program participants (systems-impacted young men from low-income backgrounds) to create a documentary that provides a lens into their lived experiences. It will then screen the film and host a panel with the participants, allowing them to discuss the film and its themes within the community.