January 24, 2019
 
Mass Humanities Grants $134K to Nine Nonprofits Statewide

December 20, 2018 — Mass Humanities, a Northampton-based nonprofit that advocates for the public humanities to enhance and improve civic life in Massachusetts, recently announced that it has awarded $134,649 to nine nonprofits statewide developing projects for local communities.

“We were impressed by the range of relevant, dynamic projects in this round of applications,” said Brian Boyles, executive director of Mass Humanities. “Organizations around Massachusetts are responding to their communities through new approaches to the humanities. They’re asking big questions, reaching new audiences, and shedding new light on our shared history and culture.”

Receiving grants were the following:
  • American Antiquarian Society, Worcester: $14,935 for an educational website on Isaiah Thomas, a printer who was instrumental in starting the American Revolution and creating a uniquely American literature and culture after it.

  • Clark University, Worcester: $14,998 to support ESL teachers in learning Poetry Inside Out, a translation-based approach to literary interpretation, and implementing it in their classrooms. The approach encourages multilingual students to see their translation skills as a foundation for humanities-based inquiry.

  • Eggtooth Productions, Greenfield: $7,500 to support conversations between scholars, artists, and the audience at the Radical Interconnectedness Festival, a two-day event in Turners Falls featuring art that engages issues of race, age, gender, religion, class, and those aspects of cultural identity that have been suppressed.

  • Historic Holyoke at Wistariahurst, Holyoke: $14,500 for an oral history project and exhibit examining the lives and experiences of Black residents of Holyoke from the second half of the 20th century to the present.

  • Interlock Media, Cambridge: $13,500 to support promotion and distribution of the documentary CodeSwitching, which explores the experience of shifting between home and away cultures for two generations of students who were bused from urban to suburban schools as part of Boston’s METCO program.

  • Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge: $3,000 for a series of conversations following one-act plays by the cemetery’s Playwright Artist in Residence, Patrick Gabridge. The plays are site-specific, inspired by the cemetery’s landscape and designed to bring its 187-year history to life.

  • The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights Institute, Amherst: $12,209 for a week-long teacher’s institute on the holocaust, genocide, and human rights to be held at UMass Amherst.

  • UMass Amherst Labor Center, Amherst: $15,000 for a film project to help local workers see their work lives as worthy of attention and part of a historical trajectory in which they are agents. Includes a three-day digital storytelling workshop, 1.5-day conference, and website showcasing the videos.

  • UMass Boston CANALA Institutes, Boston: $14,047 for a five-day summer teacher workshop highlighting historic sites in Boston where communities of color struggled for recognition and inclusion in the social contract: Deer Island, Prince Hall Masonic Lodge, Chinatown’s Quincy Grammar School, and Villa Victoria.
Mass Humanities, established in 1974, is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, governed by a volunteer board of 25 directors who reflect the social and geographic diversity of Massachusetts.

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