NEW YORK CITY, NY – Humanities New York (HNY) today announced $194,534 in awards to 41 grantees for innovative public humanities offerings. Awards were made to non-profits in every region of the state, from the North Country to Long Island.
“History, philosophy, and literature give us the tools to understand the unfolding historic moment,” said Executive Director Sara Ogger. “The awarded programs nimbly engage participants in compelling topics, and ultimately, with each other. It is inspiring to see how cultural service providers find new ways to reach their communities–HNY is honored to support them in their endeavours.”
These grants are federally funded through the National Endowment for the Humanities, thanks to the United States Congress. Previous years have included New York State funding.
Action Grants offer up to $5,000 to implement humanities projects that encourage public audiences to reflect on their values, explore new ideas, and engage with others in their community. Grants are awarded to organizations that connect audiences more deeply to the communities where they live, solidify community partnerships, diversify audiences, and creatively employ the tools of the humanities to respond to issues and ideas capturing the imagination and passion of New Yorkers today. Action Grants are offered twice a year with a Spring and Fall deadline.
Several grants promote documenting and understanding the Coronavirus pandemic in New York State. Across the state, the Correctional Association of New York (CANY) will gather and interpret letters received by CANY from people incarcerated in New York during the pandemic. The letters will offer glimpses into lives deeply impacted by the complex, tragic nexus of inequality, mass incarceration, and disaster. In Manhattan, New Heritage Theatre Group will tell the stories of people making a difference in the health of the community now and look at historic racial disparities through history.
Over ten of the grants will provide funding for the Centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment in 2020. In the Capital Region, Albany Institute of History & Art will offer a series of public programs exploring diverse perspectives on the women’s suffrage movement. In the Mid-Hudson region, The Historical Society of Woodstock will create an exhibit and events connecting Woodstock, NY to the US early women’s rights movement highlighting activists Edna Kearns and Elisabeth Freeman, with participation by their community-related descendants—Kearns’ granddaughter and Freeman’s grandniece. In Western New York, Niagara County Historical Society will share the history of Belva Lockwood, the first woman to run for president of the US, who journeyed from wife and mother to lawyer and politician as an advocate for equal rights.
Several grants went to organizations offering programs on the legacy of race in America. In the Finger Lakes region, Wharton Studio Museum will host “Race Films/Race Matters: Conversations About Race in America,” a new Finger Lakes Film Trail program series, that draws on “race films” from the 1910s-1920s to begin important conversations about race and race relations today. In New York City, The Museum of Food and Drink is creating the country’s first large-scale exhibition celebrating the countless African American contributions to American cuisine.
Complete list of 2020 Grantees, sortable by region.
About Humanities New York:
The mission of Humanities New York is to strengthen civil society and the bonds of community, using the humanities to foster engaged inquiry and dialogue around social and cultural concerns. Established in 1975 as the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Humanities New York is a private 501(c)3 that receives Federal, State, regional, and private funding.
Nicholas MacDonald, Communications Manager