October 16, 2019
Indiana Humanities awards more than $26,000 in inaugural Innovation Grants

Grants to groups in Crothersville, Vincennes and South Bend will push the envelope with virtual-reality history programs and more

Organizations in Crothersville, Vincennes and South Bend are the first to receive new Innovation Grants from Indiana Humanities. Their projects will use virtual reality to present history, provide literary arts programming for prison inmates and explore the diversity of people who power food production.

The grants offer up to $10,000 to support Indiana nonprofit organizations that introduce new ideas, utilize unique approaches and reach underserved audiences. In order to receive an Innovation Grant, applicants must demonstrate they’re stretching boundaries to create fresh, inventive and even risky projects.

“We’re thrilled to award the first-ever Innovation Grants to three organizations that demonstrate the unmatched curiosity and invention of Hoosiers,” said Keira Amstutz, president and CEO of Indiana Humanities. “We continue to be amazed by the innovation of our grant partners and their ability to inspire Hoosiers to think, read and talk.” 

The projects receiving Innovation Grants are:

“Rewriting Incarceration: Moreau College Initiative Literary Arts Project” will receive $10,000 for Holy Cross College in South Bend to provide literary arts programming for inmates at the Westville Correctional Facility. Activities will include a summer writing seminar, a fall-semester poetry and creative-writing course, and a spring-semester advanced-writing course. The college will offer a public reading of the students’ work and produce a catalog of their writings.

“Eye of the Wabash: Collaborative, Historic Virtual Reality,” a project from the Knox County Public Library in Vincennes, will receive $6,040. The library will develop a history-focused virtual reality program that will provide local historical organizations with virtual reality hardware and train them how to use it. The goal is to help the organizations create high-quality virtual reality content that’s engaging and pushes storytelling to a new level.

“Updating Hoosiers’ Narrative about Food and Farming,” a project from the Hoosier Young Farmers Coalition in Crothersville, will receive $10,000. The group will host a series of on-farm events that will include tours, reading and discussion of farm-related literature and the collection of farm and food stories at recording stations. It will produce a series of podcasts using the stories and oral histories it gathers. The goal is to explore our modern-day food-supply system, help the people of Indiana better understand farming in the 21st century and provide a full picture of the diverse people who are providing us with food.

Watch a video of Liz Brownlee of the Hoosier Young Farmers Coalition as she describes her grant project. 

Posted In: Press Releases, Grants