March 31, 2017
Seventeen Indiana nonprofits receive grants for projects that intertwine history, literature, social justice and more

Indiana Humanities awards nearly $30,000 to support humanities-based programming throughout Indiana; more funding opportunities still available

Projects ranging from teacher workshops incorporating Indiana’s historic Buffalo Trace into lesson plans, Saturday-morning book classes centered on social justice, a future presidents summer camp and more have received funding from Indiana Humanities. Public media, local libraries, small museums and other nonprofit organizations from South Bend to Batesville will receive Humanities Initiative Grants totaling $29,901 for projects that will intertwine history, literature, art history and world religions with opportunities for public dialogue and conversation.

“Funding a wide range of thoughtful and creative programming that exposes 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 types of programs that we are able to support and the opportunity to touch the lives of residents all over Indiana.”

New in 2016, Indiana Humanities introduced the Nancy Conner Grant. This annual award honors former employee Nancy Conner for her more than three decades of service to Indiana Humanities, and her passion to ensure that all Hoosiers—particularly those in smaller Indiana towns—have the chance to experience the richness of the humanities. Funding for this award is granted to projects that serve towns with a population of 35,000 or less. This year’s recipient is the Lanier Mansion Foundation, which will host a literary series in Madison, Ind.

Those interested in learning more about Indiana Humanities grants may attend one of two grant workshops in to be held in April. 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 Greensburg on April 11 and Lafayette on April 25. Both events are free and open to the public, but registration is required. More information is at

Humanities Initiative Grants support nonprofit organizations that sponsor public humanities programs such as panels, workshops, lectures, reading and discussion programs, and production of humanities resources. The next application deadline is July 31, 2017.

This round of Humanities Initiative Grantees includes:

A World of Faith and Cultures in Our Neighborhoods
Batesville Memorial Public Library, Batesville
Awarded: $2,000
Timeline: April 22 and Aug. 19, 2017

This project will bring people educated in world religions to Ripley County to share their knowledge; the goal is to educate local residents about different religions and promote understanding and acceptance of others’ beliefs and cultures.

Adult Summer Reading Program
Indianapolis Public Library Foundation, Indianapolis
Awarded: $2,000
Timeline: June—Aug.2017

This grant will support a series of book discussions that encourage adult readers to come together and share in their passion for reading. Professional facilitators will moderate the discussions at library branches and other community venues.

Books and Breakfast
Desmond Tutu Center, Butler University, Indianapolis
Awarded: $1,800
Timeline: April 8, June 24, Aug. 19, Oct. 21, and Dec. 2, 2017

The Desmond Tutu Center will host two-hour Saturday-morning discussions centered around a specific book and theme dealing with issues such as race, activism, justice and racism. The goal of the program is to grow levels of participation, engagement, literacy acquisition, neighborhood buy-in and interests in social-justice issues.

Contemporary Indiana Writers: A Discussion Guide
Indiana Writers Center, Indianapolis
Awarded: $2,000
Timeline: Fall 2017

The Indiana Writers Center will design and develop a curriculum, based on its publication “Not Like the Rest of Us: An Anthology of Contemporary Indiana Writers.” The curriculum will be available at no cost to teachers and individuals throughout the state, and the center plans to partner with select schools to provide author visits for classroom discussions. 

Educator Resource Packets
Cedar Lake Historical Association, Cedar Lake
Awarded: $1,630
Timeline: May—August 2017

This grant will fund the development of two educator guides with resources for pre- and post-visits to the Cedar Lake Historical Association, as well as handouts/takeaways for the students during the museum visit.

Eva: An Auschwitz Survivor’s Journey Toward Hope
WFYI Public Media, Indianapolis
Awarded: $2,000
Timeline: December 2017/January 2018

From Auschwitz, where she was experimented on as one of Mengele’s twins, 82-year old Eva Mozes Kor has emerged as a global force for good, combating discrimination and bullying. “Eva,” a new 90-minute documentary coproduced by Ted Green and WFYI, will celebrate the Terre Haute woman and her uniquely powerful message of peace, healing, love and strength. Discussion guides and community engagement events developed in tandem with the film will ensure long-term impact. 

Fantasia on the Prairie
Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indianapolis
Awarded: $1,426
Timeline: Oct. 14, 2017

The Eiteljorg will use this grant to present Fantasia on the Prairie: Plains Warriors, Arabic Equestrians, and Art on the American Frontier, 1800-1850, a lecture and paper that will explore the role art played in shaping the ways in which United States citizens and Europeans envisioned the Native peoples whose lands they sought to dominate.

Future Presidents of America Senior Seminar
Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, Indianapolis
Awarded: $2,000
Timeline: July 17–21, 2017

The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site will host a one-week summer camp, allowing children ages 9 to 12 to join Colonel Benjamin Harrison as he embarks on an experience that will change his life—and the course of our country’s history—forever. Civil War Camp will offer a one-of-a-kind opportunity for new “recruits” to enlist in the 70th Indiana, drill, train and develop important leadership skills.

“Getting from Here to There” Teacher Workshop
Indiana’s Historic Pathways, Jasper
Awarded: $1,605
Timeline: Oct.10, 2017

Indiana’s Historic Pathways will use this grant to hold a workshop geared toward third- and fourth-grade teachers and interested members of the public. This workshop will focus on Indiana’s Buffalo Trace through scholarly lectures, lesson plans and a teacher panel about innovative classroom learning ideas.

Great American Authors Series*
Lanier Mansion Foundation, Madison
Awarded: $1,978
Timeline: Sept. 29–Nov. 4, 2017

The Lanier Mansion Foundation will use this grant to host a fall 2017 literary series featuring re-enactors portraying Washington Irving, Laura Ingalls Wilder and David Graham Phillips. Hanover College faculty will introduce each author, and afterward, the audience will be encouraged to ask questions.
*Recipient of the Nancy Conner Grant

Harrison and His Contemporaries
Grouseland Foundation, Vincennes
Awarded: $1,999
Timeline: March 2018—Summer 2018

This grant will support development of an exhibition titled William Henry Harrison and his Contemporaries; the goal is to educate students and other visitors to Grouseland, Harrison’s home as territorial governor, about the connections and important relationships Harrison had to notables of national significance during his lifetime, including Aaron Burr, Tecumseh, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Chief Little Turtle, Anthony Wayne and Arthur St. Clair.

Historic New Harmony Heritage Artisans Days
University of Southern Indiana, Evansville
Awarded: $1,980
Timeline: April 19–21, 2017

Grant funds will support Historic New Harmony’s Heritage Artisans Days in April. Over the course of three days, southern Indiana elementary students will experience 19th-century history through interaction with more than 16 historic interpreters who present how their professions and roles were an integral part of New Harmony’s founding.

Interrobang?!: A Book Arts Celebration
Ball State University Department of English, Muncie
Awarded: $2,000
Timeline: April 21–23, 2017

In April, Ball State will host a public conference in Muncie featuring lectures, demonstrations and workshops related to traditions around printing and book making. The event will feature regional book-binders, letterpress printers and book and printing historians. Ball State’s new student-driven press will unveil its first publication.

Lesbian History in South Bend, Indiana
The LGBTQ Center, South Bend
Awarded: $1,000
Timeline: Late summer—fall 2017

This grant will fund two public lectures by Eli Williams, the executive director of The LGBTQ Center. Williams is currently working on a book manuscript titled, “‘I don’t want to be the victim no more’: A Lesbian History of a Midwestern City,” a text about the lesbian history of South Bend.
Let’s Talk about Racism Book Club
Indy Reads Books, Indianapolis
Awarded: $1,984
Timeline: April 2017 and August/September 2017

Indy Reads Books will host two book club/panel discussion events focusing on America’s racial and cultural divide. One will center on the graphic novel series “March,” a history of the Civil Rights movement by Congressman John Lewis. The other will focus on the documentary books “White Like Me by Tim Wise and “White Trash by Nancy Isenberg.

One Town/One Book
Boston Middle School, La Porte
Awarded: $499
Timeline: September—October 2017

This project will encourage the La Porte community to read “Out of My Mind” by Sharon Draper, the story of a brilliant girl who cannot speak or write. Organizers will host small discussion groups across town on different dates so people have the opportunity to meet and discuss the book.

Study Guide for “A Year with Frog and Toad”
Actors Theatre of Indiana, Carmel
Awarded: $2,000
Timeline: August 2018

The Actors Theatre will produce a study guide for “A Year with Frog and Toad,” a play based on four of Arnold Lobel’s prize-winning books that emphasize that people who are different can make very good friends. The study guide will be geared to elementary school students and will contain suggested activities and project ideas covering literature, drama and other disciplines.

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