October 11, 2019
Programs highlighting history of Midwestern utopian experiments, societal turmoil of the early 1900s earn inaugural Collaboration Grants

New grants from Indiana Humanities bring together arts and humanities organizations in Terre Haute and groups in Indianapolis and New Harmony

Over the next two years, Hoosiers will have opportunities to experience programs focused on Midwestern utopian experiments and America’s societal turmoil immediately after World War I, thanks to nearly $35,000 being distributed to Indiana nonprofits as part of the first-ever Indiana Humanities Collaboration Grants.

Created to encourage Indiana nonprofits to partner on public humanities programming, Collaboration Grants have been awarded to two projects:

· “America at the Crossroads: The Wabash Valley, 1919-1920,” a collaboration including Indiana State University, the Vigo Public Library, the Eugene V. Debs Museum and Foundation, the Vigo County Historical Society and Museum and the Swope Art Museum. The project will receive a grant of $14,927 and focus on the societal changes afoot in 1919 and 1920.

· “Social Alchemy: Storytelling and Place,” a collaboration including Big Car Collaborative, the University of Southern Indiana/Historic New Harmony, the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites, the New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art and the Workingmen’s Institute. The partnership will receive $20,000 and examine the utopian experiments in New Harmony as well as the importance social design and environment play in expressing a community’s values and ideals.

“These inaugural grant recipients demonstrate what happens when nonprofits partner on community programming,” said Keira Amstutz, president and CEO of Indiana Humanities. “They are creating ambitious and innovative ways to engage the humanities and help Hoosiers better understand their state, their nation and their times. We’re delighted by what these organizations proposed for our first-ever Collaboration Grants.”

A yearlong series of talks, public forums and more, “America at the Crossroads” will examine life in early 20th century Terre Haute as a way to offer a snapshot of the United States at a critical period of transition. Among the many movements coming to bear in 1919-1920 were women winning the right to vote, the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, Prohibition’s threat to area breweries and Terre Haute native Eugene Debs’ socialist third-party candidacy for president.

“Social Alchemy” will present a nine-month series of exhibitions, public talks, film screenings and more in Indianapolis and New Harmony to explore the history of utopian societies in the Midwest as well as explore with writers, historians, architects, artists and others how design shapes place.

To qualify for Collaboration Grants, applicants need to meet specific criteria, including a focus on the humanities, programming intended for school or public audiences, and a 50 percent cash or in-kind match.

Posted In: Press Releases, Grants