Cal Humanities

"The understanding of a culture comes from hearing the language, tasting the food, seeing personal interactions, experiencing the traditions, and so much more in context."

— Elizabeth Laval & Candice Pendergrass, Sikh Youth Public History Project

"The understanding of a culture comes from hearing the language, tasting the food, seeing personal interactions, experiencing the traditions, and so much more when it is in context."

— Elizabeth Laval & Candice Pendergrass, Sikh Youth Public History Project

California Humanities Awards $301,735 to 16 New Humanities for All Project Grants

Yolanda López, Runner: On My Own!

Humanities for All Grants Support Locally-Initiated Public Humanities Projects

June 4, 2020
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Felicia Kelley, Project & Evaluation Director,

(Oakland, CA) —After a highly competitive process, California Humanities is pleased to announce $301,735 in awards to 16 new projects through the 2020 Humanities for All Project Grant program.

The 16 Humanities for All Project Grants include a range of locally-initiated public humanities projects from across California. Some grantee projects include the development of a new performance and dialogue project in Santa Monica exploring the experience of refugees and asylum seekers, a retrospective exhibition in San Diego featuring the work of Chicana artist Yolanda López, and a year-long series of community conversations in Oxnard highlighting the people, places, and perspectives surrounding homelessness. Every project in this round of grants contributes to a rich portrayal of California’s culture, people, and history.

“Our Humanities for All Project Grant program is always very competitive and drew applicants from across California this spring,” said Julie Fry, President & CEO of California Humanities. “We are very pleased that California Humanities supports these 16 projects, which will share high-quality public humanities events and programming with the people of California while raising awareness on a variety of relevant issues that face our state.”

Our Project Grant program, a branch of our Humanities for All grants, offers funding (from $10,000 to $20,000) awarded twice a year for larger public humanities projects of up to two-years duration from the award date. Programming formats include but are not limited to interpretive exhibits, community dialogue and discussion series, workshops and participatory activities, presentations and lectures, conversations and forums, and interactive and experiential activities.

In this Spring 2020 round of Humanities for All Quick Project Grant awards, in addition to continuing consideration of all eligible project applications, California Humanities designated one specific funding focus area: Youth Voices.


California Humanities supports 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 May 2020

Both Eyes Open
Musical Traditions, San Francisco
Project Director: Paul Dresher

Chinese in the Richmond
Western Neighborhood Project, San Francisco
Project Director: Nicole Meldahl

CLOSE TO HOME: A year-long community conversation spotlighting the people, places and perspectives surrounding homelessness
Oxnard Performing Arts Center, Oxnard
Project Director: Carolyn Mullin

Compassion and Self Deception
Los Angeles Poverty Department, Los Angeles
Project Director: John Malpede

Exhibition to Commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the El Monte Thai Garment Slavery Case
Thai Community Development Center, Los Angeles
Project Director: Panida Rzonca

Glendale Tree Stories
City of Glendale, Glendale
Project Director: Katherine Williams

Home in the Bay
Aunt Lute Foundation, San Francisco
Project Director: Joan Pinkvoss

Humanities Beyond Bars: Incarceration, Visibility, and Humanization
CSU Bakersfield Auxiliary for Sponsored Programs Administration, Bakersfield
Project Director: Michael Burroughs

The K.N.O.T: Knowledge to Nurture our Traditions*
California Indian Basketweavers Association, Woodland
Project Director: Rebecca Tortes

Sounds of California – Boyle Heights
Alliance for California Traditional Arts, Fresno
Project Director: Amy Kitchener

SPACES: Oakland
Downtown Oakland Association, Oakland
Project Director: Simón Adinia Hanukai

Tell Our Stories: Artifacts From The Assyrian Genocide
California State University, Stanislaus, Turlock
Project Director: Erin Hughes

Theater Across Borders: Resilient Migrant
TeAda Productions, Santa Monica
Project Director: Ova Saopeng

Tu voz importa / Your Voice Matters
Migrant Clinicians Network, Chico
Project Director: Jillian Hopewell

Voices of our Story*
Nevada City Community Broadcast Group, Nevada City Project Director: Betty Louise

Yolanda López: Portrait of the Artist
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego – Downtown, San Diego
Project Director: Jill Dawsey, PhD

Full project descriptions of the May 2020 Humanities for All Project Grants are available on our website at Click here to see the list of Humanities for All Project Grant projects funded to date. Visit the Humanities for All Funding webpage for more information.

About California Humanities:
California Humanities, a 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, or like and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.



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