Cal Humanities

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"Part of resilience is finding joy, finding beauty, finding love."

— George Takei, Actor, Author, Director, Activist

$98,300 Awarded to Humanities Projects Reaching New and Underserved Audiences

Quiet Lightning_Evan Karp_July2022

For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Christi Shortridge, Interim Communications Director, cshortridge@calhum.org 

September 1, 2022—(OAKLAND, CA)—California Humanities is proud to announce that twenty public humanities grantees will receive $98,300 in funding through the Humanities for All Quick Grant program. The June 2022 cohort of new grantees offer powerful examples of the ways in which community-focused public humanities projects are underway across the state. The June 2022 cohort of grantees demonstrate this grant program’s goal to connect Californians to the histories, ideas, and experiences that inspire civic participation, shape our future, and foster access to the humanities. 

From projects exploring topical issues of contemporary concern to Californians, like “Crossroads: Californian Artists of Ukrainian and Russian Origin,” organized by Liana Stepanyan, at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. “Crossroads: Californian Artists of Ukrainian and Russian Origin,” will produce talks, exhibitions, and musical performances by artists of Russian and Ukrainian origin who have made great contributions to the artistic life in California. United in their opposition to the war in Ukraine, the artists taking part in “Crossroads,” will discuss how they rethink their identity, cope with the trauma, and overcome tragedy through their work as they attempt to coexist peacefully in California. Programming will begin in September 2022 and run through summer 2023. 

To historically focused projects, like, “Who Is Sarah Kidder?” organized by Pamela Biery at the Nevada County Historical Society, Nevada City, a program that seeks to foster meaningful reflections on community histories that have shaped this state. “Who is Sarah Kidder?” will consist of a series of 16 programmatic events and three participatory activities as part of a major exhibition at the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum running from March through June 2023, in celebration of National Women’s History Month. “Who is Sarah Kidder?” is an interdisciplinary exhibition that features historical artifacts, the ability to ride a historic narrow gauge railbus, and an educational video produced by the Nevada Union High School broadcast department. This project 

seeks to engage youth in history and in general elevate the understanding and appreciation of women’s contribution to California. 

As California Humanities President & CEO Julie Fry affirms, “We continue to share great pride in the important public humanities work that will be undertaken by our June 2022 Humanities for All Quick Grant cohort. The funded projects will support impactful public humanities learning experiences that will foster public participation with the humanities in communities across the state. The projects included in the June 2022 cohort of grantees will reach new and historically underserved audiences by providing relevant, participatory, and audience-centered programs that ask thoughtful questions about the past, present and future of California.” 

The Humanities for All Quick grant is a competitive application that provides up to $5,000 to support small-scale locally initiated public humanities projects. See a complete description of awarded projects below. 

Humanities For All Quick Grants Awarded Fall 2022 

Note: In this round of Humanities for All Project Quick grant awards, California Humanities designated specific funding for the area of Youth Voices. These projects involve teens as primary program participants or audiences and address topics or subjects of interest to them (denoted by “*”). Specific funding was also designated for the area of Arts & Humanities (denoted by “+”). 

Crossroads: Californian Artists of Ukrainian and Russian Origin + 
University of Southern California, Los Angeles 
Project Director: Liana Stepanyan 

California is home to the most Russian- and Ukrainian-born immigrants in the United States. Today the members of these once closely-knit communities are struggling to cope with the devastating and divisive war in Ukraine. “Crossroads: Californian Artists of Ukrainian and Russian Origin,” will produce talks, exhibitions, and musical performances by some of the artists of Russian and Ukrainian origin who have made great contributions to the artistic life in California. United in their opposition to the war in Ukraine, these artists will discuss how they rethink their identity, cope with the trauma, and overcome tragedy through their work as they attempt to coexist peacefully in California. Programming will begin in September 2022 and run through summer 2023. 

Project Pimu+ 
Catalina Island Museum, Avalon 
Project Director: Sheila Bergman Ph.D. 

“Project Pimu,” will feature a series of free public programs that will engage children and adults with contemporary Tongva artists, storytellers, and scholars whose practices are rooted in the Tongva (Gabrieliño) Native people to expand the public’s understanding of the original inhabitants of Catalina Island. “Project Pimu” will serve 700 children and adults, including underserved students from the isolated rural 

community of Catalina and the underrepresented Tongva peoples of the Los Angeles Basin. The project is the result of a partnership between the Catalina Island Museum Avalon School and three Tongva humanities experts. Programming will run from February through March 2023. 

CinEskwela Class #3: Filipino Film History + 
Cinema Sala, Sherman Oaks 
Project Director: Marie Jamora 

“CinEskwela” is a free community-focused master class program that will be accessible to community members throughout October 2023, in celebration of Filipino American History Month. The goal of this project is to provide community members with the opportunity to learn from established industry professionals. This program will also include an exhibition screening of Philippine films that have influenced many rising Filipino and Filipino-American filmmakers. There will be a panel discussion with available film and TV directors and Professor of Film and Media Studies at UC Irvine, Bliss Cua Lim, to help better root our community in its history. 

The Electric Company Theatre Presents: The Fender Project + 
Electric Company Theatre, Brea 
Project Director: Brian Johnson 

The Electric Company Theatre presents “The Fender Project” at The Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Fullerton. This original play with music will follow the life of Leo Fender, who was a Fullerton native and inventor of the Fender Telecaster, the first mass-produced solid-body electric guitar, the Fender Stratocaster, and the Fender Bassman. The play will be researched in collaboration with the Fullerton Museum and the Fullerton Library Local History Room, and it will be written and performed for elementary students in the Fullerton School District, as well as for the general public in 2023. 

Where Has All The Housing Gone? 
Beyond Baroque Foundation, Venice 
Project Director: Judy Branfman 

“Where Has All The Housing Gone?” will bring together a diverse group of Venice community members, humanities scholars, writers, artists, researchers, and local non-profit organizations to participate in four workshops that will explore the history and loss of affordable and rent-stabilized housing in the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles. “Where Has All The Housing Gone?” will document over 30 years of change through photography, writing, and story-collecting–and share this work with the LA public through a community tour, community housing resource fair, and a reading. Programming will run from October 2022 through February 2023. 

Nikkei Angel Island Pilgrimage+ 
Nichi Bei Foundation, San Francisco 
Project Director: Kenji Taguma 

Although Japanese Americans now thrive across the United States, approximately 85,000 of them first stepped foot on the U.S. mainland after being processed at the U.S. Immigration Station on Angel Island or on their ships. Japanese immigrants were also interned on the island during World War II, deemed “enemy aliens” even though by law they could not naturalize. In an effort to reclaim this part of Japanese American history, the Nichi Bei Foundation will hold its fifth Nikkei Angel Island Pilgrimage, and first since the start of the pandemic, on October 2, 2022, on the island located in San Francisco Bay. This multi-disciplinary program will include performing artists, visual displays, and videos, and will feature the premiere of a site-specific work to be performed by local artists about the Angel Island immigration experience and have taiko drummers perform on ferries to the island. 

Disasters on Humboldt Bay+ 
Humboldt County Historical Society, Eureka 
Project Director: Jane Hill 

“Disasters of Humboldt Bay,” a video project about three famous wrecks, is a free presentation at the Arcata Playhouse in March, 2023 offering short videos and a discussion about the historical significance of the bay. For the original Wiyot inhabitants of the region, Eureka sits on land known in the Wiyot language as Jaroujiji, where you sit and rest; Humboldt Bay is Wigi (how it became a saltwater bay). This program will explore how tides, currents, shoals, and fog are powerful analogies for shifting relations of inhabitants. And, how our view of the natural world and its challenges shapes our experiences as individuals and societies. 

Quiet Lightning: Better Ancestors+ 
Quiet Lightning, Oakland 
Project Director: Evan Karp 

“Better Ancestors,” is a four-event showcase of writers of color developed in partnership with the poet Michael Warr. Each event features five authors reading original work. Each author selects one performer for the following show, so the series and community self-generate. Authors are paid and published in a print anthology available at the fourth event and online for free. A Q&A panel will follow the readings at each event, with authors from the previous show posing questions to the group. Shows rotate between Bay Area independent bookstores, galleries & other cultural spaces, and are virtual when unable to host in-person. Programming will run from October 2022 through July 2023. 

Who Is Sarah Kidder?* 
Nevada County Historical Society, Nevada City 
Project Director: Pamela Biery 

“Who is Sarah Kidder?,” is a series of 16 programmatic events and three participatory activities as part of a major exhibition at the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum, running from March through June 2023, in celebration of National Women’s History Month. “Who is Sarah Kidder?” is an interdisciplinary exhibition that features 

historical artifacts, the ability to ride a historic narrow gauge railbus, and an educational video produced by the Nevada Union High School broadcast department. This project seeks to engage youth in history and in general elevate the understanding and appreciation of women’s contribution to California. 

Liwanag (Light): Stories of Filipina Front-line Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic+ 
Filipino Migrant Center, Long Beach 
Project Director: Karen Roxas 

“Liwanag (Light): Stories of Filipina Front-line Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic” will consist of multiple community forums incorporating a pandemic documentary produced by immigrant filmmakers, panel discussion, and art displays to share the stories of Filipina women migrant workers in Los Angeles during the pandemic. The Filipino Migrant Center aims to hold these interactive community forums and exhibits to celebrate Filipino American History Month in October by uplifting the stories of our modern-day working heroes and the sacrifices they had to shoulder for their families and the bigger society. Programmiing will begin in October 2022. 

Gathering Time: Pomo Art During the Pandemic+ 
Sun House Guild Association, Ukiah 
Project Director: David Burton 

From September 2022 through January 2023, the Grace Hudson Museum will present an exhibition it has organized tentatively titled, “Gathering Time: Pomo Art During the Pandemic.” Funding from California Humanities will be used to support public programs over the course of the show. Presenters will include many of the artists exhibited in the show, and will also include a Pomo dance group that will perform on opening night. This project will focus on the work and impact of contemporary Pomo artists, giving audiences the opportunity to learn about Pomo history, experience, perspective, and lifeways through the lens of traditional and modern art mediums. 

Día de los Muertos in the Cuyama Valley: Creatively cultivating youth empowerment, community ownership, and cross-cultural dialogue
Blue Sky Sustainable Living Center, New Cuyama 
Project Director: Jack Forinash 

Blue Sky Center’s 7th annual Día de los Muertos event in the Cuyama Valley builds on a history of family-oriented, youth-led celebration to elevate teen voices, cultural relevance, and community dialogue through storytelling workshops, performance, and discussion led by a culturally aligned teaching artist. This project is tailored to a priority of creative youth development, primarily supporting underserved teens in a rural community and will honor the cultural significance of Día de los Muertos as a means of facilitating cross-cultural dialogue among community members. Programming will launch in October 2022. 

Perspectives of the Pinata – Examining Community, Culture and Celebration 
Mingei International Inc., San Diego 
Project Director: Shannon Foley 

“Perspectives of the Pinata – Examining Community, Culture and Celebration,” will explore traditional and contemporary piñata art. Piñatas are a deeply rooted and accessible Mexican tradition made from humble materials that take many forms, and, despite their popularity, are relatively unexamined. The program series titled “Perspectives of the Pinata – Examining Celebration, Culture and Community,” will explore the importance of traditional arts, celebration, and shared memory through contemporary pinata artist talks, craft demonstrations and conversations with local traditional pinata makers. Programming will run from October 2022 through April 2023. 

Let Your Voice Be Heard* 
Write Out Loud, San Diego 
Project Director: Veronica Murphy Smith 

“Let Your Voice Be Heard,” will use poetry as a vehicle for San Diego County youth to encapsulate what “My Community” means to them. Through poetry writing workshops, one culminating poetry performance event, a digital magazine, and “Poetry in the Windows,” this multidisciplinary program invites San Diego County youth (ages K-12) to compose original poems. Their creative endeavors and the subsequent public presentation will expand the youth’s understanding of their place in the world, and will provide an opportunity for empathy and finding common ground. The program will run from September 2022 through July 2023. 

Reclamation: A Partnership with the Muwekma Ohlone Tribal Council+
Los Gatos Museum Association, Los Gatos 
Project Director: Cristiano Colantoni 

This joint project between the New Musem of Los Gatos, the Muwekma Ohlone Tribal Council, and San José State University collectively called Reclamation: A Partnership with the Muwekma Ohlone Tribal Council. “Reclamation” will feature a photography exhibition on view from November 2022 through May 2023, as well as public programs intended to serve the visibility needs of the Tribe and educate the public about the Tribe’s heritage preservation and federal recognition efforts, building a connection between the Tribe and larger community. 

Topaz Japanese American Confinement Site 80th Anniversary Virtual Program 
Tessaku, Newman 
Project Director: Kimiko Marr 

The Topaz War Relocation Camp imprisoned more than 8,000 people of Japanese, Ainu, and Okinawan descent during WWII. The majority of the population came from 

the San Francisco Bay Area. September 2022 will mark the 80th anniversary of Topaz opening. This event will be commemorated by two livestream panels discussing the history of Topaz with survivors as well as lesser known stories of violence that occured in camp (including the murder of James Wakasa by a military guard). Following the live panel discussions we will be facilitating small group discussions that will allow participants to interact directly with Topaz survivors. 

Crafting Feminism: A Community Engagement Project+ 
Women’s History Reclamation Project Inc., San Diego 
Project Director: Felicia Shaw 

The Women’s Museum of California will present “Crafting Feminism: A Community Engagement Project,” on view from September 2022 through August 2023, at its Southeast San Diego Education Center. It will deepen the participants’ understanding of themes explored in the Museum’s exhibit, “Crafting Feminism: Textiles of the Women’s Movement,” which chronicles the women’s movement in the United States through “craftivism,” a method of activism that uses “domestic craft” to promote social justice. The project will feature school field trips, lectures with experts on women’s history, workshops with local craft artists, and the collecting and sharing of “craftivist” oral histories. 

Santa Barbara Community Archiving and Home Movie Days 
Regents of the University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara 
Project Director: Angel Diaz 

“Santa Barbara Community Archiving and Home Movie Days” is a project developed by the University of California, Santa Barbara Library in collaboration with Santa Barbara Public Library. The project focuses on Santa Barbara’s historically Latinx Eastside neighborhood in an effort to enrich the historical record through reflection and storytelling via digitization of home videos and family photographs. An initial event will take place in October 2022 at Santa Barbara Public Library inviting community members to contribute materials for digitization. The project will culminate in a second community event in July 2023, with a Home Movie Day showcase that highlights video contributions. 

Missing Chapters! A Latina Historian tells the untold story of ‘Who Made San Diego’ + 
Teatro Mascara Magica, Chula Vista 
Project Director: William Virchis 

Teatro Mascara Magica (TMM) will present a 90-minute program showcasing the published works of San Diego community historian, Maria Garcia. Ms. Garcia, an iconic figure in San Diego’s Latinx community, has published articles and books, including her recently published book, “We Made San Diego,” which documents first-hand accounts of Latinx who’ve guided and helped make San Diego a culturally diverse community. The presentation, consisting of a reading and dramatization of selected passages from Ms. 

Garcia’s book, will be held on Saturday, March 11, 2023, at TMM’s ‘La Salon’ theatre at San Ysidro’s Casa Familiar, with free admission. 

Rising Tides – Rising Voices
Treasure Island Museum, San Francisco
Project Director: Annamarie Morel 

Through the Rising Tides Voices Project, the Treasure Island Museum will engage Treasure Island community members and high school students from the Life Learning Academy on Treasure Island and the Island’s YMCA to interview residents from San Francisco neighborhoods most vulnerable to future sea level rise (SLR) regarding their perceptions about SLR in their communities. SLR in California’s coastal communities is of major concern for environmental justice as under-served communities are particularly vulnerable to adverse impacts of climate change. The interviews will raise voices of underserved communities to become part of a presentation on SLR at the Treasure Island Museum and at other venues. This project will borrow from the Museum’s current Keeping the Sea At Bay online exhibit to create a rich on-site offering on mitigations and adaptations undertaken for the future Treasure Island. Programming will run from fall 2022 through winter 2023. 

California Humanities, a statewide nonprofit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, promotes the humanities—focused on ideas, conversation, and learning—as relevant, meaningful ways to understand the human condition and connect people to each other in order to help strengthen California. California Humanities has provided grants and programs across the state since 1975. To learn more, visit calhum.org, or like and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

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An African American woman stands in a park speaking into a microphone. She is has long black hair and is wearing a colorful robe and striped dress.
Photo by Evan Karp. Kelechi Ubozoh reading for “Quiet Lightning” in Oakland’s Mosswood Park, July 2022.
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