Congratulations to 15 new public humanities grantees who received funding through the Humanities for All Quick Grant program! The Spring 2019 cohort helps us connect to each other and to ideas through a range of topics and humanities practices throughout the state. From an initiative mapping the rich history of Pacific Islander communities in Southern California to a symposium in Eureka offering walking tours featuring local historians and storytellers spinning tales of Humbolt’s lore, there are many incredible projects that make up this cohort. The diversity of projects, communities, and geographic areas represented speak to the incredible breadth and richness of our state, and we hope that readers will stay tuned to hear more about the upcoming public events from each one, taking place through April 2020. Check out our calendar here and subscribe to our eNews to stay tuned for updates.
Our quick grant program, a branch of our Humanities for All grants, offers funding (between $1,000 and $5,000) for small-scale public humanities activities that take place within a year. These grants are offered three times a year. All projects address the needs and interests of Californians, encourage greater public participation in humanities programming, particularly by new and/or underserved audiences, and promote understanding and empathy among all our state’s peoples in order to cultivate a thriving democracy. The range of public humanities projects supported can include interpretive exhibits, community dialogue and discussion series, workshops and participatory activities, presentations and lectures, conversations and forums, and interactive and experiential activities.
In the Spring 2019 round of Humanities for All Quick Grant awards, in addition to continuing consideration of all eligible project applications on any topic, using any mode or format and reaching any public audience, California Humanities designated two specific funding focus areas:
ARTS + HUMANITIES
California Humanities recognizes the strong interconnections between the arts and humanities. These projects provide humanities learning experiences primarily through the medium of visual or performing arts programming (denoted by “+”).
California Humanities has a strong interest in humanities programming that will reach and engage the next generation. These projects involve teens as primary program participants or audiences, and address topics or subjects of interest to them (denoted by “*”).
Grants Awarded in Spring 2019
The Legacy Project: Voices Reflecting on the Fires
The Sitting Room, Sonoma, CA
Project Director: Maya Khosla
The Legacy Project: Voices Reflecting on the Fires will present a series of public poetry readings and storytelling events that will reflect on the 2017 Sonoma County fires, to encourage lively discussions centered on the post-fire recovery processes. Contributors to The Legacy Project will include contributors ranging from established and emerging writers, students, first responders, and other community members. Programming will run from May 2019 through April 2020, and will be presented at locations across Sonoma County, including the Fairfield Osborn Preserve, Sonoma State University, Glen Oaks Ranch, Sonoma Land Trust, Santa Rosa Junior College, Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Cloverdale Public Library, The Sitting Room Community Library, Santa Rosa Public Library, and La Luz Center. All program events will be recorded and made available to the public. $5,000
Centering the Masses+
Visual Communications, Los Angeles, CA
Project Director: Francis Cullado
Centering the Masses will explore the histories and relationships that have strengthened some of Southern California’s ethnic enclaves, such as Little Tokyo, Boyle Heights, Crenshaw, and Long Beach—all of which are experiencing community redevelopment and displacement. Centering the Masses will comprise of an exhibition of photographs from the Visual Communications archives featuring historic photographs of Asian Pacific American communities from 1970 to 1990. The exhibition will also be accompanied by a series of book talks highlighting multiethnic stories that reinforce themes of community, film screenings, and live podcasts. These events will invite critical conversations to celebrate and interrogate the power of place and the possibilities that can occur when experiences and perspectives collide. Programming is scheduled for May 2019. $5,000
Humboldt History Symposium
Humboldt Historical Society, Eureka, CA
Project Director: Katie Buesch
The Humboldt History Symposium is a regional conference that will launch in September 2019. This conference will connect professional and amateur local historians, as well as representatives of regional historical and tribal organizations, and university faculty and students with the local community, and with one another. Conference attendees will explore unique historical landscapes throughout the recently designated Eureka Cultural Arts District. Conference programming will include walking tours lead by local historians and storytellers of Eureka’s Old Town and Waterfront Trail, to showcase historical structures and introduce visitors to the “other side of Humboldt’s history,” with tales of historical instances of murder and mayhem that have evolved into local lore. Both walking tours will utilize original photographs and ephemeral materials from the hosting organizations’ archives and will inspire visitors and new residents to learn more about the history of this historic port city. $5,000
2019 San Diego Rep Latinx New Play Festival+
San Diego Repertory Theater, San Diego, CA
Project Director: Maria Amon
The 2019 San Diego Rep Latinx New Play Festival is a celebration of Latinx playwrights and theater produced by the San Diego Repertory. Festival programming will begin August through September 2019. The festival will showcase four of the country’s strongest Latinx playwrights with music stand readings, playwright insight panels, historical context panels, a curated art exhibition, and a designer showcase. Featured playwrights will be selected from over 90 script submissions. The festival seeks to expand the presence of Latinx stories and artists on the American stage that spotlight the broad range of today’s Latinx experience thereby fostering greater understanding among people. $5,000
Public Reading & Conversation with Visiting Fiction Writer(s)
Fresno State University, Fresno, CA
Project Director: Joseph Cassara
Fresno State University’s MFA in Creative Writing program will host Public Reading & Conversation with Visiting Fiction Writer(s) which will feature Tommy Orange, Jamel Brinkley, and R.O. Kwon. Programming will feature Orange, Brinkley, and Kwon in conversation with novelist Joseph Cassara, an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Fresno State. Each event will include a reading, craft talk, and discussion with the audience. A team of graduate students in the creative writing program will record the events in both audio and visual formats for the digital archives at the Henry Madden Library. These free events are a collaboration by CSU Fresno Foundation, MFA in Creative Writing, the Department of English, and the College of Arts and Humanities. Programming will begin in October 2019. $5,000
The Rooted Recipes Project x Collective // Memories Community Meal
Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center, San Francisco, CA
Project Director: Kimberly Boral
In June 2019, the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center will present The Rooted Recipes Project x Collective // Memories Community Meal that will feature an afternoon of cooking, storytelling, and interactive stations. Participants will take part in creating a meal while learning how Asian American and Latino cross-cultural histories have shaped current social movements. This program will pay special attention to using the lens of cultural foods and land-based practices as a tool to build solidarity across movements. In preparing the meal, guests will participate in activities such as farm-based projects, sharing seed and crop stories, and cooking and learning about a dish. Through each interaction and each guest playing a part in creating the meal, creating a space to share cross-cultural food and knowledge, and work towards bridging the lessons of our collective memories and cross-cultural solidarity with visioning and practice in our work and daily lives. $4,950
Justin Favela: Birth, Death and Regeneration+
The Museum of Art and History at the McPherson Center, Santa Cruz, CA
Project Director: Stacey Garcia
The Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH) will present an immersive, site-specific art installation by artist Justin Favela, that will reinterpret a 1976 mural by Santa Cruz artist and Professor Eduardo Carillo entitled Birth, Death, and Regeneration. The mural celebrated Mexican culture and called into question the incarceration of Chicanos at the nearby Santa Cruz County Jail, the site the MAH currently stands today. Carillo’s mural was whitewashed three years after it was finished. This exhibition and related programming will celebrate Carillo’s legacy and lasting impact on the Santa Cruz Community. By recreating and adapting the mural in an ephemeral paper-based installation, Favela’s work will explore the ways in which temporary forms of cultural expression have lasting impact. The exhibition and related events will take place July through October 2019. $5,000.
The 1947 Partition Archive: Pop-Up Community Museum+
1947 Partition Archive, Berkeley, CA
Project Director: Guneeta Singh Bhalla
As part of The 1947 Partition Archive’s mission to share the stories of witnesses to the 1947 Partition of South Asia with the broader public, the Pop-Up Community Museum will present a series of events showcasing oral histories and artifacts and engaging in community conversation with Partition witnesses across the Bay Area. The Pop-Up Community Museum’s programming will include a mixture of video excerpts, exhibitions of photographs and old documents, and Partition witnesses themselves who will speak about their experiences and be available for questions and discussion with those in attendance. These events will offer a story booth, where second and third-generation descendants of Partition-impacted California families can record brief narratives of their own experiences growing up in communities in which these stories were paramount. Programming will run from August 2019 through May 2020. $5,000.
Imagining Home: The Stories Photos Tell+
CSU Fullerton Auxiliary Services Corporation, Fullerton, CA
Project Director: Natalie Graham
Imagining Home is a two-day, interactive, multi-genre, creative arts workshop series that will examine the historical and contemporary representation of African Americans through photographs. Using discussion and interactive workshops, Imagining Home will explore how visual rhetoric has been used by iconic African American photographers to resist their exclusion from the cultural landscape. This series will help participants become more familiar with uses of storytelling, photography, and visual arts practice. Participants will engage in a range of activities that integrate humanities scholarship and artistic performance and production. Incorporating practicing academics, local artists, and national performers, these workshops will attract a wide range of community members and provide them opportunities to create and share new narratives of being and place. Programming will take place in July 2019, at the Fifth Street Senior Center in San Bernardino. $ 4,968.
Grassroots Literacy & Education Campaign+*
EastSide Arts Alliance & Cultural Center, Oakland, CA
Project Director: Greg Morozumi
The Community Archival Research Project (CARP) working in collaboration with Holla Back, Mujeres Unidas y Activas, East Oakland Collective, Black Organizing Project, and Regina’s Door will present Grassroots Literacy & Education Campaign, a year-long poetry workshop with East Oakland residents. The series will consist of weekly poetry readings and the creation of chapbooks for both individual poets and group anthologies, accompanied by book launches. The project aims to reenergize interest and excitement in the written word, provide cultural literacy programming, and connect with East Oakland residents for whom access to the humanities is often impeded as a result of systematic marginalization. Programming will run from May 2019 through April 2020. $5,000.
Constitutional Convention Debates and the Constitution of California
Friends of Rancho San Pedro, Rancho Dominguez, CA
Project Director: Luis Fernandez
In 1849, forty-eight delegates from California gathered at Colton Hall in Monterey, California for its Constitutional State Convention, a key event in moving California towards statehood. Among the forty-eight delegates that contributed to the discourse of the event was Manuel Dominguez, a prominent land owner, businessman, and three-term mayor of the Pueblo of Los Angeles. In an effort to educate the public about California’s rich history and encourage active participation in California’s political sphere, the Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum will host a series of public programs that highlight the importance of the California Convention Debates and Manuel Dominguez’s contribution. Public programming will run from September 2019 through March 2020. $5,000.
Mapping Indigenous Pacific Islanders in Los Angeles+
Asian Americans Advancing Justice—Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Project Director: Natasha Saelua
Mapping Indigenous Pacific Islanders in Los Angeles will present a yearlong series of community convenings from May 2019 through April 2020. Reflecting on the nearly 200 years history of Pacific Islanders in California, these convenings will the engage members of the public in dialogues on the rich history of Pacific Islander communities in Southern California. One of the central concerns informing this project will examine the unique history and struggles of Pacific Islanders in Los Angeles, whose histories have largely remained invisible. To address this problem, this project will implement a series of storytelling events to conduct oral histories, gather digital archive of photographs, flyers and ephemera about community histories throughout the region. These materials will be used to create a Pacific Island digital story map for the Mapping Indigenous LA platform, a photography exhibition, and a Community History Forum. $5,000.
Legend and Legacy: Jose Guadalupe Posada and Contemporary Latinx Art+
CSU Dominguez Hills Philanthropic Foundation, Dominguez Hills, CA
Project Director: Roderick Hernandez
Legend and Legacy: José Guadalupe Posada and Contemporary Latinx Art will comprise of a multimedia exhibit tracing the influence of Mexican illustrator José Guadalupe Posada (1852–1913) on contemporary Latinx artists. Known for his animated skeleton figures—or calaveras—and their role in annual Day of the Dead observances, Posada chronicled and satirized his society in street art that appealed to the public during the reign of dictator Porfirio Díaz. In searching for the spirit of Posada in contemporary art, this exhibit also will explore scholarly debates on the legend of Posada as fomenter of the Mexican Revolution and will discuss the ongoing commercialization of Day of the Dead. This exhibition will feature a suite of public programs that will take place from October through December of 2019. $4,500.
Jiātíng gùshì: Intergenerational Oral History Project
San Diego Chinese Historical Society and Museum, San Diego, CA
Project Director: Juliana Gay
Starting in May 2019, San Diego Chinese Historical Society and Museum will present Jiātíng gùshì: Intergenerational Oral History Project, which will comprise of an intergenerational oral history program that will preserve community voices. Taking place on the last Saturday of the month for a period of six months, each workshop session will engage youth in conducting oral history interviews with family members. Each session will be conducted in English and Mandarin or Cantonese. This program will mark the start of an ongoing oral history program, where Museum researchers, facilities and equipment will be made available to community members throughout the year. The project will also play an important role in the process of revisioning the Museum’s permanent exhibition. Program participants will learn more about the origins and ethics of oral history and examine the methodology for collecting, processing, and disseminating oral histories. $ 3,665.
The Chicana Project*
Makara Center for the Arts, Santa Ana, CA
Project Director: Adriana Alexander
Hosted by Makara Center for the Arts in Santa Ana, The Chicana Project is an arts and culture laboratory that will use listening, reading, writing, and media-making to facilitate and share meaningful conversations around the topic of Chicana identity. This program will explore the current state of Chicana identity, what the term “Chicana” means to women living that identity, and what shared experiences, histories, ideas, and possible futures bind Chicanas in the current post-Chicano Movement context. Programming will support offerings that will include a Community Listening Lab that will train community members to conduct documented, in-depth interviews with women-identifying individuals of Mexican and Latinx descent, as well as a DIY Media Lab that will explore and engage in media-making as another path of research and investigation into Chicana identity. A Chicana Futures Lab will conclude the program and will feature a one-day gathering that invites local scholars, artists, activists, and the community in general to discuss to reflect of the project. Programming will take place July 2019 through January 2020. $5,000.
Click here to see the list of Humanities for All Quick Grant projects funded to date. Visit the Humanities for All funding webpage for more information.