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List of Humanities for All Project Grants

Get the full list (PDF). 

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 for Humanities for All Project Grants: Youth Voices (denoted by “*”) and Second Responders: The Humanities in the Aftermath of Natural Disasters (denoted by “”).

GRANTS AWARDED IN SPRING 2020

Both Eyes Open
Musical Traditions, San Francisco
Project Director: Paul Dresher
Both Eyes Open, a new chamber opera created by First Look Sonoma, with adjoining visual/oral histories drawn from community outreach activities, will explore a pivotal moment in U.S. history: the internment of American citizens of Japanese descent during and after World War II. This history resonates today, as seen in the growth of anti-immigrant sentiments and fears related to cultural difference between ethnic groups resulting in conflicts. The project team includes many with immigrant backgrounds, including some whose family members experienced the internment. With performances planned in the Bay Area as well at several historic sites where Japanese Americans were interned in California, the project aims to reach a broad diverse audience across the state, including young and old, performing arts devotees, Japanese Americans with direct knowledge of the internment, and individuals of all ethnicities, in order to promote historical awareness and the need for greater equity within our society.

Chinese in the Richmond
Western Neighborhood Project, San Francisco
Project Director: Nicole Meldahl
Chinese in the Richmond is a collaboration between two community-based historical organizations, the Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA) and Western Neighborhoods Project (WNP), that illuminates the lives of Chinese Americans in San Francisco’s Richmond District from the community’s point of view. This project will continue and extend the work begun with the CHSA’s earlier exhibition, Chinese in the Sunset, in 2017, to explore and document the migration of Chinese families to the west side of the city. By weaving together recorded oral history interviews with primary resources, Chinese in the Richmond will produce a traveling interpretive exhibition with associated programming as well as an archive of bilingual transcripts. Potential venues include community centers, libraries, and ephemeral gatherings including street festivals and markets.

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
Ventura County is being severely impacted by the state’s homeless crisis, with thousands of people living on the streets (including many near the Center), in vehicles or encampments, in shelters within the city, or temporarily staying with family and friends. As Oxnard prepares to open its first 24-hour, year-round shelter, the time is ripe for dialogue. CLOSE TO HOME: A year-long community conversation spotlighting the people, places and perspectives surrounding homelessness seeks to engage the community (residents, students, artists, businesses, nonprofits, government) in exploring this layered topic through an open, thoughtful, and humanistic series of activities and events: presentations and discussions, film screenings, an exhibit of photography and artwork created by homeless people, and storytelling. Through these means, the Center aims to bring those with and without homes together – under its roof – and find common ground.

Compassion and Self Deception
Los Angeles Poverty Department, Los Angeles
Project Director: John Malpede
This multidisciplinary public humanities project will explore the conflicted responses to homelessness in the City of Los Angeles through a community-generated performance, exhibition, and conversation series that will draw upon the experiences of people working and living in Skid Row. Tracing the evolution of public sentiment regarding homelessness since the 1980s. Compassion and Self Deception seeks to address these fundamental questions of human rights and moral values by creatively lifting the voices, experiences, and histories of people living and working in Skid Row, to create a context for public dialogue that addresses the powerful role of affect—such emotions as compassion, fear, guilt, and anger—in compelling action. Utilizing the engagement and research strategies, as well as the performative and artistic practices established across LA Poverty Department’s (LAPD’s) 35-year history of work embedded in the Skid Row neighborhood, Compassion and Self Deception showcases the ways people in living poverty, and those working in Skid Row have agitated for the rights of the poor and unhoused, how they have translated compassion into activism, and successfully ignited change in perception and policy.

Exhibition to Commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the El Monte Thai Garment Slavery Case
Thai Community Development Center, Los Angeles
Project Director: Panida Rzonca
A unique partnership between the Museum of Social Justice, located in LA’s historic El Pueblo district, the Thai Community Development Center, and a California State University, Northridge design class, the project will produce an multilingual interpretive exhibit, website, and publication in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the landmark El Monte Thai Garment Slavery Case. In addition to raising awareness of the prevalence of human trafficking of foreign nationals into the United States for sexual exploitation or the performance of slave labor, both then and now, the project will tell the inspiring story of the Thai garment workers, from their recruitment, trafficking, captivity, and enslavement to their liberation, activism, and personal transformation. It will also raise awareness of the important role this California story played in sparking garment industry reforms, creating legislation to protect worker rights, and launching a global movement against human trafficking and modern-day slavery.

Glendale Tree Stories
City of Glendale, Glendale
Project Director: Katherine Williams
Glendale Tree Stories is a public story-sharing project that seeks to elevate, celebrate, and archive residents’ shared histories and relationships to their city’s urban forest. Connecting to urban nature is not only personally enriching; it is a way for communities to share their landscape, values, and vision for protecting and preserving these natural resources for future generations. Through an extensive outreach effort, involving public programming and multiple partners, the project team will invite residents to share a story about their favorite tree. Over the course of a year, the team will collect and transform these stories into a visual illustrated history which will be re-presented to the public via the City’s social media channels, public exhibits, interpretive maps, and at the City’s annual Arbor Day celebration. At the conclusion of the project, these stories will be collected in an online, interactive gallery website that will serve as a permanent record of the city and its residents love for their trees.

Home in the Bay
Aunt Lute Foundation, San Francisco
Project Director: Joan Pinkvoss
Home in the Bay will be a three-part reading series and publication honoring the different experiences of and relationships to the concept of “Home” in the Bay Area. Through online reading events, Aunt Lute Books will elevate marginalized voices, spotlighting the fiction, nonfiction, and poetry of those most impacted by the Bay Area’s housing crisis, as well as issues of homelessness, gentrification, colonization, and immigration. Selected writings will be published in a chapbook and E-book. This project will bring together different Bay Area communities, including poor, indigenous, immigrant, elderly, and people of color, united by the shared effort to create a home in this complicated landscape. In addition to forging cross-cultural connections, this project aims to empower historically underserved peoples in the region by providing them a platform from which to speak and be heard.

Humanities Beyond Bars: Incarceration, Visibility, and Humanization
CSU Bakersfield Auxiliary for Sponsored Programs Administration, Bakersfield
Project Director: Michael Burroughs
Despite high rates of incarceration in California’s Central Valley, the realities of imprisonment and the voices of those incarcerated are often unseen and unheard, resulting in a lack of understanding regarding the scale of incarceration and, importantly, the life experiences of those incarcerated. This project aims to increase the visibility, and, in turn, understanding, of incarceration and the human condition of those incarcerated. Through a series of public-facing activities and events including lectures, a documentary screening, and community conversations featuring formerly incarcerated students, professionals serving currently and formerly incarcerated student populations, and incarceration scholars –– the project will increase public engagement with the humanities and foster understanding between formerly and non-incarcerated populations. Through these means, as well as a compilation website, will enable the project to reach the campus community as well as a diverse audience of greater Kern County community members.

The K.N.O.T: Knowledge to Nurture our Traditions*
California Indian Basketweavers Association, Woodland
Project Director: Rebecca Tortes
The Knowledge to Nurture Our Traditions (The K.N.O.T) Program is designed to increase basketweaving knowledge in the California Indian community, with an emphasis on connecting tribal youth to culture bearers, and increase public appreciation, knowledge, and support for California Indian basket weavers. The program format will include six intergenerational basketweaving workshops and two panel presentations with master level, elder basketweavers and culture bearers from Southern, Central, and Northern California tribal populations. Workshops will provide participants with a hands-on opportunity to work with traditional basketweaving materials while panel presentations will provide education on the unique history, cultural traditions, and weaving styles of the presenters’ tribal area. The overarching goal of the program is to increase the number of California Indians engaging in traditional basketweaving practices and continue to grow connections between California Indian basketweavers and individuals, organizations, tribes, and community institutions to help preserve and perpetuate this unique art form.

Sounds of California – Boyle Heights
Alliance for California Traditional Arts, Fresno
Project Director: Amy Kitchener
Produced by the Alliance for California Traditional Arts in partnership with the Community Power Collective, Sounds of California-Boyle Heights is a collaborative recording, composing, and community engagement initiative that cultivates stewards of place by engaging residents from the historic Boyle Heights neighborhood in Los Angeles to explore, analyze, create, and share the local soundscape, focusing on themes of anti-displacement and belonging. Part of a statewide series, this hybrid arts-humanities project will engage neighborhood sounds (music, stories, poetry) to create new songs about Boyle Heights and residents’ ongoing struggle to stay rooted there. Over the course of two years, the project will present a series of online public humanities events and a public festival that will reach people in the neighborhood and beyond, and enable project-created content to be shared, explored, and celebrated through performance and interactive activities.

SPACES: Oakland
Downtown Oakland Association, Oakland
Project Director: Simón Adinia Hanukai
This project will weave together storytelling with theater, dance, music, and multimedia to create a performance that is place-specific, as it is created and presented with and for the community of Oakland, one of the most culturally diverse cities in the US. At the heart of the project are real-life stories of local residents. Through storytelling workshops and events, community members will be invited to share personal and collective stories about the place they call home. During this process, residents who are willing to share their stories will be identified; they will work with the project team to jointly determine the themes that will be the unifying elements behind the narrative. In parallel, local artists will generate creative content that draws from the residents’ stories. Ultimately, a series of performances over consecutive weekends at the Oakland City Hall and the Frank H. Ogawa Plaza will portray the present-day diversity of Oakland residents in the course of re-inhabiting their public space. By reflecting on their shared history and features, the project will invite Oaklanders, both participants and audience members, and enhance their sense of belonging in a common community.

Tell Our Stories: Artifacts from the Assyrian Genocide
California State University, Stanislaus, Turlock
Project Director: Erin Hughes
This project will create an interpretive exhibit documenting the causes and impact of the Assyrian Genocide that took place in the former Ottoman Empire(1895–1924), and the subsequent experience of Assyrians resettling in California, at California State University Stanislaus’s Art Gallery, from June through August 2021. The project will invite members of the Assyrian diaspora community to participate in developing the exhibit by sharing personal histories and artifacts, and help build a collective narrative of genocide and survival. A companion speaker series will feature scholars of migration and Assyrian history along with descendants of survivors, to provide additional perspective. Aiming to reach the Assyrian community in California, students and scholars, and the general public, the project will acquaint the larger California community with the experiences of people who settled in our state, and further an understanding of our shared heritage and diverse cultures. The exhibit and programs will be free and open to the public.

Theater Across Borders: Resilient Migrant
TeAda Productions, Santa Monica
Project Director: Ova Saopeng
TEADA PRODUCTIONS, a theater arts organization with a long history of innovative community participatory theater work, will collaborate with the Program for Torture Victims, a nonprofit organization that supports the recovery and health of torture survivors, to offer a series of weekly storytelling circles for migrants and asylum seekers. Drawing from content shared in the workshops, the company will produce a series of free public readings and discussions throughout the Los Angeles area. Venues will include galleries and coffee shops or (possibly) virtual spaces. The poems and short stories shared in the story circle sessions will be published in a compilation book that will be made available to the public online.

Tu voz importa / Your Voice Matters
Migrant Clinicians Network, Chico
Project Director: Jillian Hopewell
Tu voz importa / Your Voice Matters is photovoice project with youth and women in Latino farmworker families in Northern California. The project will amplify the unique voices of youth and women, by fostering their abilities to tell their own stories through guided photography and storytelling workshops. The anticipated outcomes are a series of evocative images and narratives about issues that matter most to them that will create pathways for dialogue and action, mobilize change-makers, and promote understanding of the needs of the community. As part of the process, participants will determine a culminating activity aimed to reach a variety of audiences locally and beyond. Project goals are to create a safe space for youth and women in the Latino farmworker community to share their stories and build their networks of support; and contribute to building a stronger and more resilient community in which all voices are heard.

Voices of our Story*
Nevada City Community Broadcast Group, Nevada City
Project Director: Betty Louise
This multifaceted project will promote greater awareness about the experience of homeless people through in Nevada County residents, connecting young people, homeless folks, and the general public in effort to increase empathy, understanding, and compassion. Dialogue and story-sharing activities using a variety of formats and media, many led by high school students with the support of experienced facilitators, and involving members of the homeless population as cultural guides and experts, will provide opportunities for learning, exchange, and connection between residents of the Sierra region, both housed and unhoused.

Yolanda López: Portrait of the Artist
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego – Downtown, San Diego
Project Director: Jill Dawsey, PhD
The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) will present an original exhibition centered on California artist Yolanda López that will delve into the artist’s impact as one of the earliest and most important Chicana feminist artists working on the West Coast. The exhibition will present a compendium of López’s work from the 1970s, when she created a vivid body of work exploring the representations and roles of women within Chicanx culture and mainstream society. A series of public programs will complement the exhibition, including lectures and panel discussions as well as special tours and events centered on the artist and themes in her work. Aiming to reach a broad and diverse audience of San Diegans, those who travel across the border from Mexico, as well as national and international tourists to the region, the project will also focus on engaging engage young people (museum admission is free for anyone under age 25) and students, staff, faculty, and alumni of the University of California, San Diego community, of which the artist is herself a member. All didactic materials, object labels, and wall texts will be bilingual to promote greater access for audiences.

GRANTS AWARDED IN WINTER 2019

The 1000 Ships Project*
RYSE, Inc., Richmond
Project Director: Tara Malik
The 1000 Ships Project will recover, preserve and share stories about the role the Richmond shipyards played in shaping families and community in this East Bay city. In collaboration with California Shakespeare Theater and Allen Temple Arms retirement home, a cohort of youth interns will help develop, facilitate, document, and participate in story circles with community elders. These stories will provide inspiration for interns’ individual artistic projects and showcases, as well as the development of a new play, A Thousand Ships, premiering Summer 2021. Stories will be shared through multiple media, including spoken word and poetry events, a visual art exhibition, audio slide shows, podcasts, dance and video, and a community night celebration prior to the play production. By creating loving spaces for young people’s family and community history stories to be preserved, shared and valued, the project will ensure that individual narratives are carried forward and connected to broader community stories, building social consciousness about the relevance of these stories today to the people of Richmond. $20,000 

1,001 Stories Project
California Shakespeare Theater, Berkeley
Project Director: Raeshma Razvi
A collaborative endeavor involving the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California along with independent artists, scholars and community members, the 1,001 Stories Project aims to disrupt conventional stereotypes about Middle Eastern and Islamic cultures, and promote conversation and communication within Bay Area Middle Eastern, North African, and South Asian (MENASA) communities as well as the broader public about the themes of feminism, plurality, and democracy. Project activities, including a series of story-sharing events involving the Shahrazad Squad, a group of Bay Area women of MENASA backgrounds, will contribute to the development of a new play, 1,0001 Nights—A Retelling, a contemporary reimagining of the classic A Thousand and One Nights, that will be mounted as a full-scale theatrical production in August 2020, accompanied by a variety of community engagement events including panel discussions, talk-backs, and community dialogues. Drawing on insights provided by contemporary scholarship and community members, the entire project will empower individuals and communities throughout the region by providing spaces for reflection, discussion and dialogue that will promote greater understanding of the richness and complexities of MENASA culture. $18,000 

Ashes from Ashes: Recovering Cremains from the Wreckage of California Wildfires
Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park
Project Director: Dana Shew
As people flee from threatening wildfires, frantically waking family members and collecting pets and belongings from their homes, the ashes of cremated loved ones (cremains), are more often than not left behind. In the tragic event that homes are lost to these increasingly destructive and frequent fires, the inadvertently overlooked cremated remains become part of the charred remnants of people’s homes, almost indistinguishable from the burnt debris. Anything that is not salvaged afterward from the wreckage is considered toxic waste and disposed of as such, including the lost ashes of loved ones. This project aims to capture the stories and reflections of the archaeologists, dog handlers, and affected families through creation of a short video that will feature interviews and footage from cremains recoveries. The video will provide a focus for screenings, panel discussions, and other public events in communities around the state beginning in fall 2020. A project website will house clips of the oral history interviews and provide information about cremains recovery including the methods, process, volunteer opportunities, and ways to receive services. $20,000 

BANDALOOP’s #OaklandPublicCanvas
Project BANDALOOP, Oakland
Project Director: Amelia Rudolph
#OaklandPublicCanvas is a new large-scale free outdoor performance work by BANDALOOP that will integrate vertical dance, spoken word, music, and video and informed by residents’ stories, songs, and poems about their home, Oakland. The project will engage small groups of community members through workshops in Bandaloop’s studio in developing the piece, while a larger cohort of residents of all ages, races and backgrounds will provide the audience for the open rehearsals and performances. #OaklandPublicCanvas will be a new iteration of #PublicCanvas, which premiered in 2016 as #SFPublicCanvas in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District with video, spoken word, and visuals by community members. Subsequent touring productions have been mounted in Atlanta, Georgia and Providence, Rhode Island, and a production in Los Angeles is in process. In Oakland, Bandaloop will make the new piece beginning with artist gatherings, town halls, and open rehearsals in early 2020, and premiere it in fall 2020. Amplifying underrepresented voices, #OaklandPublicCanvas will be a platform for residents to share their stories and offer their views on the health of their city including what might need to change. $13,000 

Carr and Camp Fires Oral History Project
CSU, Chico Research Foundation, Chico
Project Director: Marianne Paiva
The Carr and Camp Fires Oral History Project is a storytelling project that will gather, preserve, and archive the voices of survivors and first responders affected by the 2018 wildfire disasters in Northern California. A collaboration between the CSU Chico Sociology Department, North State Public Radio (NSPR), and Meriam Library’s Special Collections and University Archives, the project will consist of three phases: storytelling, listening, and reflection. Drawing from both new and already-conducted oral histories and interviews with community members, audio recordings will be edited for a radio show to be aired on NSPR during the anniversaries of the Carr and Camp Fires in fall 2020. The interviews will be summarized and cataloged along with photographs, art, and archival materials donated by the storytellers. These materials, along with photographs of participants, will provide content for exhibits at public libraries within the service region during 2020 and 2021. The oral history interviews will remain publicly accessible and preserved for posterity at the CSU Chico Meriam Library in the Special Collections and University Archives Department. $19,959 

Cross-Cultural Voices & Explorations to Empower Change [working title] Oakland Asian Cultural Center, Oakland
Project Director: Akemi Imai
Beginning January 2020, Oakland Asian Cultural Center (OACC) will offer Cross-Cultural Voices & Explorations to Empower Change, a two-year programming series encompassing film screenings, workshops, performances, book talks, readings, and oral histories that will give voice to Asian/Pacific Islander (API) communities underrepresented in the humanities while exploring pressing issues ranging from immigration and refugee crises to climate change to aging & senior care. Seven programs will be offered in close partnership with community partners, humanities experts, and presenters representing many disciplines (performing, visual, literary, theatrical, etc.), each exploring a topic that reflects current concerns within the API community). In addition to reaching Bay Area API communities, the project will also aim to reach a broad, general audience, and foster understanding, empathy and solidarity among participants and empower their civic engagement through highly participatory learning and shared experiences. $13,000

Deep Humanities and Arts for Socially Responsible Technology
San Jose State University Research Foundation, San Jose
Project Director: Revathi Krishnaswamy
Digital technologies, including the internet and social media, have become not only ubiquitous but also virtual extensions of our inner selves. While they offer opportunity for free, unconstrained, anonymous expression, their power to reproduce or amplify inequities and injustices has also thrown up new challenges and responsibilities. The need to identify fake news and counter disinformation, harassment, discrimination, and disparity is becoming not only a pressing technological challenge but also an urgent civic responsibility. Deep Humanities for Socially Responsible Technology is a multifaceted project aimed at engaging the local community in exploring these topics. Funding will support a series of activities including an online story contest, a map building hackathon, and a story slam, leading to the creation of an interactive, multimedia, digital San Jose Story Map composed of people’s ideas, memories, experiences, thoughts, and feelings about the place they call home or workplace in the high-tech hub’s various neighborhoods/locations. A team of faculty and students from San Jose State University will lead the project, which will be conducted in collaboration with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library, the major public library network serving the San Jose area, connecting the academic community with the public at large in order to advance a more inclusive, culturally sensitive, civic minded, and socially responsible approach to digital technology. $20,000

Miercoles de Mariachi
East Los Angeles Community Corporation, Los Angeles
Project Director: Cesar Castro
Miércoles de Mariachi will be a series of summer events in 2020 produced by East LA Community Corporation and the Mariachi Coalition in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles that will uplift the local mariachi community and bring recognition to their cultural contributions. Monthly programs at Mariachi Plaza and adjacent First Street will feature live participatory performances, storytelling, educational workshops, and a changing pop-up gallery exhibition of archival objects and media. Connecting low-income Latino residents on the Eastside of Los Angeles with culture bearers, musicians, oral historians, curators, organizers, and other community members who are stakeholders in the future of Mariachi Plaza and its performers, the project will create a participatory space where residents come together to learn about and reflect on their shared history and the contemporary conditions that have contributed to the disappearance of essential cultural practices and encourage awareness of the importance of maintaining and celebrating mariachi culture and its roots. $13,000 

One Community, Many Voices*
Inlandia Institute, Riverside
Project Director: Cati Porter and Rachelle Cruz
One Community, Many Voices, harnesses young people’s power to change the future both as leaders and as program participants. Issues of race, culture, gender, sexuality, income inequality, and ethnicity will be explored through a two-tiered humanities program that addresses the major socioeconomic factors facing the Inland Empire, home to 4.5 million people, and an historically underserved and disadvantaged region where 2.2 million residents are Latinx and two out of three claim a minority heritage. The project will kick off in summer 2020 with a creative writing summer program for young people in the Inland Empire, which will incorporate and highlight the first “Big Read” selection, There Should Be Flowers, a poetry collection. The second selection, Still Water Saints, a novel, will be spotlighted in spring 2021. Both books are by local LGBTQ authors. Discussion groups led by activists and educators in LGBTQ issues and a series of public programs featuring author readings and conversations will provide opportunities for community engagement. These activities will segue into a series of writing workshops led by the Inlandia Literary Laureate and trained student interns from local colleges and universities. These programs will encourage participation from LBGTQ youth and young adults, using themes and prompts generated from earlier community discourse in order to explore the potential of creative expression, to promote personal growth, and to foster inclusion and radical acceptance in the wider community. $11,000

Preserving the History of South Los Angeles: A Community Digitization Initiative
Pepperdine University, Malibu
Project Director: Mark Roosa
This project seeks to document, preserve, and share the often-neglected history of one of America’s most vibrant African American communities. Pepperdine University Libraries and its partners will organize a series of community digitization events to catalogue and preserve artifacts, documents, and memories of the African American experience in South Los Angeles between the 1930s and 1970s. Beginning in fall 2020, digitization events will be held in community spaces provided by program partners led by the project team, who will scan artifacts and documents and record associated oral histories of the South LA community members, many of whom are of advanced age. A culminating event at the California African American Museum in December 2021 will provide the means to present key findings and explore next steps with community members and other stakeholders. A curated selection of digitized materials will be added to an open access, online portal accessible to students, scholars, and others interested in history, critical race students, and social anthropology. $19,815 

Revealing Women in the Archives
Autry Museum of the American West, Los Angeles
Project Director: Carolyn Brucken
As the 2020 centennial of women winning the vote approaches, the Autry Museum of the American West seeks to celebrate and facilitate discovery of women’s historical contributions. Launching in January 2020, the Revealing Women in the Archives project will encompass an exhibition drawing on the museum’s own archival collections, archiving workshops for college-age women, a public talk, collaborative partnerships with local archives and organizations, and social media content that will empower a shared discovery of women’s voices and explore how the recovery of women’s archives changes how we view history and ourselves. It asks a broad public to join a conversation around fundamental questions: what do we (personally and collectively) save? What do people value enough to collect? What do we discard? Who are—or could be—the users and creators of women’s archives today? Archives are an ideal vehicle to provide a variety of learning experiences, including collaborative learning, facilitated discussion, creative storytelling and empathy. Through fostering “Discovery” of the archive by others—of the intellectual content and the physical materials—and raising awareness of the importance of archiving, the project will explore the idea that the first step in representing the accomplishments of women in history is often to take care of the materials that tell women’s stories, so they can be discovered and revealed. $20,000 

Rumbo A California—An Exhibition of the Strachwitz Frontera Collection Celebrating California’s Mexican American Musical Legacy
Arhoolie Foundation, El Cerrito
Project Director: Adam Machado
Rumbo a California will be a traveling multi-media exhibit, featuring 78 and 45 rpm discs with playlists available digitally and ambiently, LP covers, photographs, posters, cinema lobby cards, self-guided audio, thematic podcasts, bilingual label copy, and bilingual transcriptions of topical corridos addressing the themes of immigration, California as symbol and destination/the Dream of California, pachuco culture, the United Farm Workers Movement, the Chicano Civil Rights Movement, natural disasters, important historical figures, crime, politics, cultural identity, love, and death. The exhibit will draw from materials in the Strachwitz Frontera Collection housed at UCLA, the nation’s premiere audio collection documenting the Mexican American experience. As it travels to venues around the state beginning in January 2021, the exhibit will be enhanced with live music performances and panel discussions that will enable attendees to appreciate the rich interplay between historical forces affecting the lives of California’s Mexican Americans and their music, which both responds to and informs these historical forces. Arhoolie Foundation will also provide outreach to, and resource materials for, local and regional middle schools, high schools, and colleges. $20,000 

Sharing Comfort and Care: Intergenerational Story-Mapping in the Cambodian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Communities of Orange County
The Regents of the University of California, Irvine
Project Director: Judy Wu
Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) are the two fastest growing populations in the US and in Orange County, which ranks third nationally for its populations of AAPIs. Sharing Comfort and Care seeks to promote intergenerational and intercultural sharing of stories related to migration, health care, and food for two of the most underrepresented groups within this census category, namely Cambodians and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islanders (NHPI). California is home to the largest Cambodian American community and second largest NHPI community in the United States. The project team, based at UC Irvine, will partner with two local community colleges and two community-based organizations (Empowering Pacific Islander Communities and The Cambodian Family) to train underrepresented college students to conduct oral histories with community elders, create digital story-maps and exhibits, and publish cookbooks. The results will be featured in a series of public events beginning in January 2021 that will illustrate migration routes, explain health challenges, and demonstrate cultural foodways as practices of resilience within the Cambodian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. $20,000 

Tanforan Assembly Center Exhibit
San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, Oakland
Project Director: Jennifer Easton
The Tanforan Assembly Center Exhibit project will include the design and installation of a long-term exhibit inside the San Bruno BART station that will support a deeper understanding of the impact of Executive Order 9066 issued by President Roosevelt authorizing the internment of tens of thousands of American citizens of Japanese ancestry and resident aliens from Japan, particularly on Japanese Americans from the Bay Area. The station is located at the site of the former Tanforan Racetrack, one of the “assembly areas” where Japanese Americans were forced to gather for transport to the detention camps. With its placement in a public transit facility now adjacent to a shopping center, the exhibit will make this history available to an audience who may not otherwise access exhibits in more traditional facilities and retain the history in situ. The project will involve an intergenerational team of humanities experts, exhibit professionals, people who personally experienced the detainment facilities, children of detainees, and young curators who can see the past through the eyes of the future. An opening event in spring 2021 will provide an opportunity for members of the public to engage with the humanities experts, while online materials, brochures, tours and other interpretive activities will provide long-term information and learning opportunities. $20,000 

Wakaji Matsumoto: An Artist in Two Worlds, Los Angeles and Hiroshima, 1917-1944
Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles
Project Director: Clement Hanami
Wakaji Matsumoto: An Artist in Two Worlds, Los Angeles and Hiroshima, 1917–1944 is a travelling exhibition accompanied by a public programming series, focusing on an artist who represents a generation of talent that was influential at the time in both the US and Japan, whose legacy has been largely forgotten. Wakaji’s art created a documentary record of the lives of Japanese immigrant farmers in rural Los Angeles in the early 1900s. After his return to Japan in 1927 he also created extremely rare images of urban life in Hiroshima. Wakaji was an active member of the Los Angeles Japanese Camera Club and a pioneer in the pictorialist movement, as evidenced in many of his works. Some of the most progressive art photographs made in America were created in the 1920s by Japanese immigrants in the Little Tokyo District of Los Angeles. The exhibit, which will open in October 2020, will showcase a selection of rare photographs never before seen in the US, including rare photographic images of Hiroshima before the atomic bombing in 1945, and provide a rare glimpse into the lives and accomplishments of Japanese immigrants in California, as well as into the unique and tragic history of Hiroshima City. $20,000 

We the People: 50 Years of Women’s Studies and Activism Through Art
San Diego State University Research Foundation, San Diego
Project Director: Arzu Ozkal
In Spring 2020, the School of Art + Design at San Diego State University (SDSU) will mount We the People: 50 Years of Women’s Studies and Activism Through Art, an exhibition at the SDSU Downtown Gallery in coordination with and celebration of the 50th anniversary of SDSU’s Department of Women’s Studies, the first department of its kind in the United States. In an era of widespread interest in social justice, We the People will showcase selected artwork of high-profile female artists from the late 1960s to the present who have creatively addressed topics of feminism and gender equality. Accompanying educational programs (including artist lectures, panel discussions, interactive workshops, and live performances) will engage high school and college students, members of community organizations serving underrepresented populations, and the general public in meaningful dialogue about identity, community, and human rights. Through these means, We the People will provide rich arts and humanities experiences, along with a robust forum in which to explore the essential qualities of inclusivity, diversity, and compassion. $11,483 

You Are Here: California Stories on the Map
Oakland Museum of California, Oakland
Project Director: Penny Jennings
You Are Here: California Stories on the Map will open on February 14, 2020 and will be on exhibit for approximately two years, along with an array of programs and activities geared for the general public and school visitors. The exhibition will help visitors engage with maps using a critical and inquisitive eye and will inspire visitors to consider that maps are a tool that anyone can use to share ideas, information, or aspirations for a place. Although mapping and cartographic practice were historically used by governments and those in power, in recent years mapmaking has been democratized and repurposed by communities and artists as storytelling and community organizing tools. This exhibition will leverage OMCA’s interdisciplinary strengths, using maps from the arts, history, and sciences to explore ideas about maps as a tool for communication. By comparing and contrasting different types of maps, visitors will develop a richer understanding of mapping as a cultural practice and form of storytelling, and cultivate their own abilities to better read and understand the stories in the maps that they encounter, and to tell their own story through the maps that they make. $20,000

GRANTS AWARDED IN SPRING 2019

AfroLatinidad in Los Angeles
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes Foundation, Los Angeles
Project Director: Mariah Berlanga-Shevchuk
A quarter of US Latinos identify as “Afro-Latino”, “Afro-Caribbean,” or “of African descent with roots in Latin America,” yet understanding and representation of Afrolatinidad remains marginal. This exhibition, scheduled to run between February and July 2020, supplemented with a scholarly catalog and a rich array of public programs, will provide a space for members of Los Angeles’ Afro-Latinx community as well as the broader public to explore and learn about the experiences of this group. Through photographs, art, music, oral histories, and material objects such as restaurant menus, musical instruments, clothing, sports memorabilia, and personal keepsakes, the exhibition will showcase the contributions and rich history of a community that remains conspicuously absent from national discourse. $20,000

Cultivating Seeds of Community/Cultivando Semillas de Comunidad
Cal Poly Pomona Foundation, Inc. (California State Polytechnic University), Pomona
Project Directors: Teresa Lloro-Bidart, PhD and Jeff Roy, PhD
Building on contemporary community knowledge shared by local culture bearers about indigenous and urban foodways, health, and wellbeing, this project will complement current food justice initiatives in the Pomona Valley through a traveling narrative documentary series and photo exhibition, a cultural festival, and weekly interpretive programming at the Pomona Valley Certified Farmers Market, a 37-year-old community space. A cultural festival in May 2020 will launch the oral history documentary series and photo exhibition titled Cultivating Seeds of Community or Cultivando Semillas de Comunidad, to reflect the rich Mexican-American history of the city. In the fall of that year, the exhibition will travel to the dA Center for the Arts, Café con Libros, and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. The project will strengthen connections between the community and campus by involving students and faculty from the Department of Liberal Studies at Cal Poly Pomona in the development of an arts and humanities program dedicated to the documentation, dissemination, and creation of local cultural knowledge. $20,000

FORESTFIRE
Arts Council of Nevada County, Grass Valley
Project Director: Michael Llewellyn
Debuting in October, 2020 at the Truckee-Donner Recreation Center, FORESTFIRE is a traveling interpretive exhibit and companion civic and educational engagement platforms, Fire Circle and Forest Home, that will help transform viewers’ cultural understanding about the Sierra Nevada forest, its relationship with fire, and their stewardship role within that relationship. Flowing thematically through past, present and future, the exhibit will include multi-lingual (English, Spanish, Washoe) didactic material and works of art in various mediums, including painting, textile, beadwork, narrative film, sculpture, scent, and photography, to tell the story of how indigenous people, using low intensity fire, created and maintained the West’s pre-European, old growth forest for thousands of years, why our forests are currently in ecological collapse, and what can be done immediately to prevent further losses. An accompanying series of panel discussions led by scientists, artists, and Native culture bearers will be presented over the course of the four-month exhibition, along with special programs for local children. $20,000

From Killing Fields to Sanctuary: Voices of Oakland’s Cambodian Refugees
ARTogether, Oakland
Project Director: Leva Zand
This multimedia oral history project will use recorded testimonies, photography, documentary film, and community dialogue to tell the story of Cambodian refugees as part of California’s cultural fabric, juxtaposing past historical atrocities with the refugee experience of today, including difficulties caused by recent shifts in US immigration policy. The project team will interview and photograph survivors of the Cambodian genocide of 1975–79 now living in the Bay Area. Recordings and images will be made available on an interactive website and incorporated into a short documentary film. A series of events in 2020 and 2021, including three public forums featuring discussion panels and film screenings, will engage and educate the public about the Cambodian refugee experience, as well as explore issues common and endemic to all refugees and immigrants. $20,000

In the Movement
Asian Improv aRts, San Francisco
Project Director: Lenora Lee
Inspired by the stories of formerly incarcerated individuals, Lenora Lee Dance (LLD) will develop In the Movement, a series of 12 site-specific immersive performances on Alcatraz Island, which will serve as a meditation on forgiveness, reconciliation, and redemption, and the power of individuals to transcend. Premiering April 29, 2021, the four-week run of performances will be augmented by public humanities programming that will enrich the audience experience: panel discussions, lecture/presentations, community dialogues, and a companion interpretive exhibit. The project will be supported by the contributions of advocates, scholars, and formerly incarcerated people, as well as locally and nationally recognized performing and visual artists and designers. $10,000

Migration, Environment, and the Search for Sanctuary*
The University Corporation (California State University, Northridge), Northridge
Project Directors:  Lisa Sun Hee Park, PhD and Stevie Ruiz, PhD
This public history project addresses two of the most urgent contemporary social issues —migration and the environment—through multiple activities as part of a unique, interdisciplinary project that is both international in its intellectual scope and community-based in its grounding in the lived experiences of immigrants in Southern California. In partnership with local environmental justice organizations, students and faculty at California State University, Northridge and UC Santa Barbara will explore how environmental factors have affected local migrants—both here and in their home countries. Oral histories and other research products will be shared through public programs and a community-created exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History that will coincide with the arrival of a traveling exhibit curated by the Humanities Action Lab (HAL), a coalition of universities and civic organizations in 21 cities around the globe, working to educate people about the little-understood linkage between human migration and environmental issues. $15,000

Position Vector Salton Sea*
Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians, Thermal
Project Director: Beverlyann Cedeno
The Salton Sea and the surrounding Coachella Valley are the homeland of the Cahuilla since time immemorial, and the Tribe is inextricably linked to the future of this landscape. The project combines elements of social justice, cultural recognition, youth outreach and human health to address the Salton Sea crisis through the lens of Indigenous knowledge. Beginning in June 2019, a series of workshops to be conducted by the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians and the scholar/land artist Hans Baumann will engage youth and elders in order to strengthen and sustain Cahuilla folkways. Knowledge and insights generated through this process will inform the creation of a site-specific interpretive exhibit and related programming that will express the Cahuilla community’s relationship to this land—past, present, and future—and draw attention to the central role that Indigenous culture can take in addressing critical social and environmental issues. $15,000

The Rebellious Miss Breed
San Diego Public Library, San Diego
Project Directors:  Marc Chery and Monnee Tong
A multifaceted quarter-long project in fall 2020 will celebrate and raise awareness about the life and legacy of San Diego librarian, Clara Breed, who fought against the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII, corresponded with and sent books to the incarcerated children, and was a leader in the international movement to ensure the right to read for children vulnerable to the effects of war. In collaboration with academic and cultural organizations, the library will organize scholarly presentations, author talks for children and adults, film screenings, exhibits and displays, online and media elements, dramatic performances, scholar-led book discussions, and programs that will explore connections between the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II and current debates related to the incarceration and separation of immigrant and refugee families. To promote dialogue and deepen understanding of history and contemporary issues, the library seeks to engage San Diego’s culturally heterogeneous and multi-ethnic general populations, including Japanese Americans, veterans, other ethnic and religious minorities, and established and newer immigrant communities. $20,000

Toward Peace
Mission Inn Foundation, Riverside
Project Director: Theresa Hanley
Toward Peace is a multifaceted project that will unfold over a two year period (2020-2021), exploring the peace activism of Riverside businessman and civic leader Frank Miller, both before and after World War I, within the historical context provided by contemporary social movements advocating women’s rights, international peace, and social and economic justice. The Mission Inn Museum will partner with three local organizations—the Riverside League of Women Voters, Riverside Public Library, and Glocally Connected, an emerging non-profit refugee service organization—to produce  an interpretive exhibition at the historic Mission Inn museum, a one-day public conference featuring recognized national and local scholars, two film and discussion programs, peace-themed downtown walking tours, an interactive community art workshop traveling to local libraries, and a community forum/conversation that will explore contemporary local-to-global connections and promote awareness of Riverside’s rich historical and cultural legacy. $15,000

We So Bay*
Youth Speaks, San Francisco
Project Director: Brandon Santiago
We So Bay is a performative storytelling project about creative place-keeping and the importance of retaining cultural integrity in Bay Area neighborhoods under duress, especially those with historically marginalized communities. Drawing on their long-track record of work with disenfranchised and at-risk young people in the region, Youth Speaks will organize a series of workshops led by local culture bearers in five Oakland and San Francisco neighborhoods. Participating youth will work with scholars and artists to research and craft a linked series of five performances—one in each neighborhood—each reflecting the unique characteristics of that locale and the people who live there. The project has been designed to encourage audiences to travel from site to site, using public transportation. The presentations and accompanying public dialogues aim to deepen understanding of the connections between these communities and the issues they face. $10,000

“White Nights, Black Paradise” The Play: Exploring Black Women’s Voices in Peoples Temple and Jonestown
Black Skeptics Los Angeles, Los Angeles
Project Director: Sikivu Hutchinson, PhD
White Nights, Black Paradise is a historical stage play which traces the thirty-year history of the Peoples Temple, culminating in the November 1978 Jonestown, Guyana massacre, through the interlocking stories of African American women characters, against the historical backdrop of the Great Migration, the rise and fall of the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, and Black Power and LGBTQ movements. A series of performances in the Bay Area in 2020 and 2021 will be accompanied by public discussions, panel discussions, and film screenings organized in collaboration with local partners. The project aims to bring  community members and cultural experts together to arrive at a fuller and deeper understanding of Jonestown as it pertains to the Black diasporic experience and intersections of gender, classism, gentrification, political agency, the role of women in the Black church, African American religious beliefs, and secularism. $10,000

GRANTS AWARDED IN WINTER 2018

Bridging Arts and Humanities: Communities in Dialogue
Regents of the University of California at San Diego, San Diego
Project Director: Luis Alvarez Ph.D.
Bridging Arts and Humanities will present eight public forums over two years to explore how the arts and humanities can inform discussions about challenges facing everyone including social justice and hot-button political issues both local and global. Participants will include top scholars in their fields, experts on the local impact of these topics and local community members personally invested or experienced in these issues, along with artists who will discuss their work on campus and off campus at mirroring events. Audiences will include undergraduate and graduate students from UCSD and nearby colleges, faculty and local community members. $10,000 

Voices of Courage: Oral Histories of Refugees and Asylum Seekers
East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, Berkeley
Project Director: Lisa Hoffman
Voices of Courage will present historical and current perspectives on sanctuary, highlighting real life experiences of youth and adults who have fled violence and persecution to seek safety and rebuild their lives in the US. It is led by a team of immigrant leaders, humanities specialists and volunteers associated with the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, a community-based organization that serves low income refugees and immigrants. Drawing on content from archival materials and new oral history interviews, the project will facilitate in-person and online activities including workshops, forums and exhibits that help audiences to engage with the asylum seekers’ experience and develop an historical and cultural analysis. The project will also develop educational materials in multi-media formats. Voices of Courage has two main audiences: immigrants who have sought safety and are integrating into U.S. society, especially youth, and non-asylum seekers from the broader society seeking to deepen their understanding and empathy. $10,000 

Familia y Tradiciones: Four Generations of Change at the Jensen-Alvarado Ranch
Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District, Jurupa Valley
Project Director: Antone Pierucci
Familia y Tradiciones: Four Generations of Change at the Jensen-Alvarado Ranch will enhance the visitor experience of this historic rancho through a new exhibit focused on the Californio heritage of the Inland Empire and the multicultural history (Anglo and Mexican) of the family for whom it is named. The exhibit will incorporate immersive and interactive elements specifically designed to engage area schoolchildren and families, including displays of family letters and other ephemera and specially-designed immersive elements, such as a touch-screen kiosk where visitors can listen to period music that would have been played by the family. The project hopes to encourage all visitors to explore their own lived experiences and sense of identity and community and provide a more inclusive and accurate narrative about Southern California history. $17,500 

Imagining Santa Ana
El Sol Science & Arts Academy of Santa Ana, Santa Ana
Project Director: Sue A. Cronmiller
This project will present an eight-part series of public programs at El Sol Conexion, a new cultural center located in downtown Santa Ana, California in 2019.  Imagining Santa Anaaims to bring new and diverse audience participants together to explore the city’s layered, multicultural history and heritage through activities and conversations which encourage deeper readings of the past and a richer vision for the future. All talks in the series will feature local artists, writers and historians speaking on relevant themes. Topics include: the city in relation to major events in Mexican history, Santa Ana’s growth from 1900-1920, Barrio history, Santa Ana artists in the Chicano Arts movement, the mural as vehicle and voice for the community, Santa Ana through poetry and literature, local oral history projects, a look into the current art and music scene and a critical and provocative examination of mainstream media representations of immigration. $20,000 

One Square Mile, 10,000 Voices
Visual Communications, Los Angeles
Project Director: Sue Ding
One Square Mile, 10,000 Voices is an interactive documentary experience with an emphasis on education, oral history and community dialogue. It consists of three main components: a sound installation at Manzanar National Historic Site, a satellite installation in Little Tokyo (and related public programming) and an interactive website. At Manzanar, where more than 10,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated during World War II, audio files will be geolocated across the landscape. Using a mobile app and headphones, visitors will be able to enrich their experience of the site by accessing oral histories, scholarly observations, and comments of other visitors. The satellite installation and a website will feature versions of this experience for virtual visitors. All three components will be fully participatory, inviting visitors to record their own stories to add to the project, and to engage with the contributions of others. This participatory storytelling approach will encourage visitors to engage with both the physical site and its historical archive in new ways and create a living document of resilience and community. $20,000 

Resilience Archives
Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, Los Angeles
Project Director: Mia Nakano
Resilience Archives combines arts education, visual arts, storytelling, collection and digitization of community archives into living digital map to create stories and memories and uplift the history of California LGBTQ Asian Pacific Americans. Over the next two years, the project will conduct storytelling and narrative writing workshops in the Bay Area, Fresno and Los Angeles, and support the gathering, preservation and digitization of materials for an online archive and physical exhibit. Culminating events including performances and readings will launch the exhibit phase of the project in Los Angeles and the Bay Area and be live streamed to reach across the entire state. The project aims to create and share new knowledge that will provide a more complete and inclusive narrative about California’s history and diverse populations. $20,000

Telling Our Personal Stories: Changing How We’re Seen to Who We Are
Filmmakers Collaborative, Inc. San Francisco
Project Directors: Jennifer Crystal Chien and
Sabereh Kashi
Telling Our Personal Stories: Changing How We’re Seen to Who We Are is a two-year public media education series that will provide professional education to emerging filmmakers of color, empower prospective community advocates and at the same time engage general audience members in increasing cross-cultural understanding. This project will develop and mentor two cohorts: emerging documentary filmmakers of color who are seeking to document personal stories and emerging community advocates who want to foster better cultural understanding and may have personal stories to share. They will work together to create short films that document community stories, wisdom, practices and culture that are not often seen in mainstream media, especially from Asian Americans (including Middle Easterners/West Asians), those of mixed race and LGBTQ+ people of color in Oakland. The film screenings and community engagement events will reach 1000 audience members during the initial phase, and thousands more through local festivals, online streaming, and public television broadcast. $20,000

The Indigenous in Us: Embracing Ancestral Knowledge and Sharing the Beauty of Practice
TIA Chuchas Centro Cultural, Inc. Sylmar
Project Director: Melissa SanVicente
Indigenous-based arts and wellness practices are reemerging as an option for self-care and community-careThis project will showcase community-based indigenous healing and wellness practices of Native Mexica and local Native American groups whose combined teachers and teachings form a human bridge connecting the Northeast San Fernando Valley to the past and present of the United States, Mexico and Central America. A series of free public cultural events over an eighteen-month period will enable the public to witness the art of incorporating nature, social beauty and abundance into traditional ceremonies involving dance, drumming, songs and oral traditions. People of all backgrounds and ages will be invited to engage in original peoples-inspired celebrations of their humanity. A variety of panels, presentations, workshops and traditional ceremonies will provide opportunities to delve deeply into the rich history and motherlode of knowledge that is the source of today’s expressions of ancestral practices. $17,500 

Tracing Memory
Friends of the Chinese American Museum, Los Angeles
Project Director: Long (Michael) Truong
Through Tracing Memory, a photographic and visual arts exhibition, the Chinese American Museum will examine the significance of the Garnier Building. Now home to the museum, it is the oldest surviving Chinese building in California and a site of importance to the history of the state and the Chinese American community. Using artifacts, stories and artworks, the exhibit will explore the evolution of the Chinese American community and downtown Los Angeles. A slate of free programs that includes walking tours, panel discussions about urban planning and gentrification and a community fair will accompany the exhibit and reinforce its themes. The museum hopes the project will reframe what the historic site means to the Chinese American community, promote connections to other communities of color and all Californians and provide opportunities for learning, story sharing and dialogue. $20,000

We Are Not Strangers Here: A Cal Ag Roots Story Series
California Institute for Rural Studies, Inc. Davis
Project Director: Ildi Carlisle-Cummins
We Are Not Strangers Here will shine a light on African Americans in the history of California agriculture and rural communities and black people’s relationship with food, farming and land. The third of the Cal Ag Roots story series, this project has three main elements: podcast audio stories which will be posted on a  digital Story Hub accompanied by text and archival visual materials, a live storytelling event at the African American Museum and Library at Oakland and a Story Listening Booth—a travelling exhibition which will include archival materials and audio files from the podcast series evoking the agrarian experience of African Americans in California. The project, which will unfold throughout the 2019 calendar year, is a collaboration between the Cal Ag Roots Project at the California Institute for Rural Studies, the African American Museum and Library at Oakland, Exhibit Envoy and three rural museum and library partners in the Central Valley who will host the exhibit and related public programs. $20,000

GRANTS AWARDED IN SPRING 2018

A Teen-Focused Exploration of Migration, History, and Culture Through Film, Photography, and Dialogue*
Outside the Lens, San Diego
Project Director: Lucy Eagleson
Outside the Lens, in collaboration with the Sherman Heights Community Center, will use digital media to engage teens in learning about, reflecting on, and responding to their community’s history and culture. A series of film screenings (Sept 2018 – Feb 2019) open to the entire community will launch the project and spark conversation, invite collaboration, and encourage exploration of local history and culture. Each film will be accompanied by facilitated dialogue (with humanities experts as facilitators and discussants) inviting meaning-making, connection, and reflection. The film series will be followed by two photography workshops with support from Humanities Advisor Dr. Guillermo Gomez, in which participating teens will learn about documentary photography and produce an exhibit of their work. $17,500 

Central Valley Latino History Project
Arte Americas:  The Mexican Arts Center, Fresno
Project Director: Nancy Marquez
Central Valley Latino History Project, a multimedia exhibition and public programming project, will provide a comprehensive and contemporary history of the Latino presence in the Central Valley (Nov 2018- March 2019). With a bold design and interactive displays driven by video content, large scale photos, re-designed maps, and infographic data, this project will illustrate how Latinos are part of a greater history, not only as immigrants, but integral to this societal landscape. The project will provide public programming geared to youth and families, including oral history workshops and teacher trainings, and produce related educational materials, an exhibition guide with essays, and an interactive website. A touring component will reach rural cities throughout the Central Valley next year (Apr – July 2019). Addressing both gaps in historical documentation of local Latino history and gaps in the public’s access to this knowledge, the project will create a highly visible space for education, interaction, and analysis. $20,000 

Commons Archive
Kala Art Institute, Berkeley
Project Director: Sue Mark
Kala Art Institute will partner with cultural researcher Sue Mark and the Oakland Public Library Golden Gate Branch in North Oakland to develop Commons Archive, a neighborhood memory bank for a community in transition. Using the model of popular library-based seed banks and tool lending programs, the project will create a permanent archive of local history that is both participatory and accessible. Intentionally non-bureaucratic, this archive invites community members to be curators and collectors of their neighborhood’s rapidly disappearing local history. Activities will include training neighbors as citizen archivists (Jan – June 2019), gathering materials to form a hyper-local reference collection; creating an audio/visual media station celebrating neighborhood achievements (Sept 2019- Mar 2020); and cultivating a network of community-based organizations to sustain the project in the long-term. Community-led workshops and visually impactful installations within library grounds will extend archiving activities. Commons Archive will be a tangible communal expression of this area’s multifaceted history, critical given the neighborhood’s swift rate of change. $20,000 

“I Too Am” Media Festival*
Critical Media Project, USC Annenberg School for Communications & Journalism, Los Angeles
Project Director: Dr. Alison Trope
“I Too Am” Media Festival will solicit and showcase projects created by Los Angeles youth from underserved communities, and provide a platform for community discussion through a media festival to be held at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism (May – July 2019). Guided by The Critical Media Project, a free web resource and curriculum affiliated with the festival and used in local schools, youth will be given tools to decode media representations of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, religion, ability and age, considering the visibility and invisibility of these identities in the media. Participants will subsequently be prompted to create their own representations, producing knowledge, reflecting on belonging, and reclaiming space in the context of mainstream media as well as the environs of California, Los Angeles, and local neighborhoods in which they live. The ultimate goal of the project is to empower youth in the practice of storytelling as civic participation, to represent, make visible, create counter-narratives, and publicly acknowledge stories that are otherwise invisible and unheard. $10,000 

One Leg at a Time
Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre, Los Angeles
Project Director: Heidi Duckler
Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre (HDDT) will partner with Just Detention International (JDI) to develop a site-specific dance residency and humanities learning program, connecting two distinct audiences:  the inmates and staff at the California Institution for Women (CIW) in Chino, California, and the general public. A series of workshops led by teaching artists and humanities advisors will enable a core group of incarcerated women to reflect on and share their experiences in relation to the theme of “control and manipulation.” Their ideas will be incorporated into a work that will be performed before the larger prison population – inmates and staff – followed by facilitated discussions.  (Mar – Apr 2019). Film Director Ben Dolenc will document the workshops, discussions and stories the women share, and subsequently co-create a mini-documentary to be screened before a public audience in Los Angeles. A panel presentation and audience discussion will promote awareness, activate empathy, and engage the public in thinking about and discussing the subjects of incarceration, freedom and self-determination, and California’s criminal justice system (May – Sept 2019). $20,000 

Speak Ohlone Exhibit Interactive
Richmond Museum of History, Richmond
Project Director: Melinda McCrary
Working closely with the Ohlone community in the design stages, the Museum will create a new interactive programming element for its permanent exhibition that will highlight the language and culture of the Huichin Ohlone, the first inhabitants of the East Bay. An interactive audio station will provide visitors an opportunity to learn a series of phrases in the Chocenyo dialect, taught by a member of the Ohlone community (exhibit opening Nov – Dec 2019). In addition to supporting language preservation efforts, the project seeks to raise awareness about the inspiring work of the Ohlone people to revitalize elements of their culture hidden due to historical injustices. The exhibit will serve school aged children, families, and the general public in the Iron Triangle neighborhood of Richmond and provide a rich learning resource to Bay Area residents, visitors, and researchers alike. $17,500 

Stories from the Farther Shore: Southeast Asian Films
San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose
Project Director: Rory Padeken
Stories from the Farther Shore: Southeast Asian Films is a free public film program with a special focus on Vietnam, to be presented at venues in San José and San Francisco over a four-day period in March 2019. Organized by San Jose Museum of Art in consultation with humanities advisor Vi’t Lê, an expert in Southeast Asian film, and co-presented with the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, Stories from the Farther Shore will feature twelve recent films from established Vietnam-based film studios, experimental video artists, and emerging filmmakers from the region addressing contemporary issues of identity in both Vietnam/Southeast Asia and the diaspora. Public conversations featuring two Southeast Asian filmmakers in dialogue with nationally recognized film scholars will accompany the screenings. A newly commissioned outdoor projection mapping project by photographer and San José State professor of art Robin Lasser titled Vietnamese Diaspora: San José Stories will further enrich the project. The program will engage diverse audiences including exhibition goers, film aficionados, and multi-generational and culturally-specific audiences from San José’s minority-majority demographic, including its significant Vietnamese population, one of the largest in any single city outside of Vietnam. $15,000 

The Cultural and Historical Ecology of the Elkhorn Slough Woven Across Time
Elkhorn Slough Foundation, Moss Landing
Project Director: Virginia Guhin
The Cultural Heritage and Historical Ecology of the Elkhorn Slough Woven Across Time is a multi-media project to strengthen the public’s understanding of the connections between natural and human communities in the region. The new exhibit (opening May – June 2019) will incorporate a digital touch screen, audio recordings, and historical artifacts, weaving accounts from native peoples, early Spaniards, local Mexican farmers, and other residents into the story of ecological changes produced by humans and natural forces. Recordings from recently collected oral history interviews of local farmers, families, and neighbors will complement journal entries, news articles, and other historical artifacts dating back to the 1700s. The new exhibit will also include an interactive timeline that will allow area students, rural neighbors, and everyday visitors to explore the cultural and ecological changes that have occurred in parallel across the Elkhorn Slough watershed, from before the establishment of Spanish missions to the present. $19,998

Unheard LA: The Stories of Where you Live
Southern California Public Radio (KPCC), Pasadena
Project Director: Jon Cohn
Unheard LA: The Stories of Where You Live is a community-driven storytelling series that puts diverse voices center stage in venues around the sprawling and often disconnected metropolis of Greater Los Angeles. Programs will feature storytellers of various backgrounds, ethnicities, ages, and genders who share compelling true stories of struggle and survival, hope and fear, the unexpected and the unbelievable through spoken word, music, poetry, and other forms. Each show concludes with a mixer that enables the KPCC In Person team, storytellers, and attendees to interact, serving as a catalyst for cultural connection and learning. Related audio and video recordings will be shared through radio broadcast, digital media, and potential on-demand and podcast opportunities. Following well-received pilot shows last year in Whittier, Downtown LA, and Hollywood, California Humanities support will enable expansion to six more LA neighborhoods, including Mid-City, Downey, and Baldwin Park (May – Sept 2018). $15,000

Voices of the Golden Ghosts
Shasta Historical Society, Redding
Project Director: Mark Oliver
One of the largest gold mining events of the 19th century took place in the mountains of Northern California, bringing miners from all corners of the globe to the region. By 1853, over two thousand men of African American decent, both free and enslaved, were working in the “Negro Mines” Northern California. Now, the Shasta Historical Society, in collaboration with community partners and humanities experts, will organize a project to document and share this little-known chapter of California history.  Local residents, guided by humanities experts, will uncover the hidden history of these miners and their families and communities; theater professionals will support the development of dramatic presentations to share their stories.  Performances at local educational and cultural partner organizations followed by community dialogues (Mar – May 2019) will encourage the public to re-examine the history of their communities and increase awareness of the experience of African Americans in Northern California. $20,000

GRANTS AWARDED IN WINTER 2017

1500 Stories: Giving Voice to Economic Inequality
Foothill-De Anza Community College District, Los Altos Hills
Project Director: Dr. Jennifer Myhre
1500 Stories is a cooperative art and storytelling project that aims to focus public attention on the chasm between the rich and poor in the U.S. through storytelling and the humanities. Inspiration for the project came from a poster created by economist Dr. Stephen J. Rose depicting the current distribution of income and wealth in the U.S. (at present, the poster would need to be 1500 stories tall– roughly five miles long– to capture the disparity in income between the bottom tier and richest 1% of the population). The project will develop an interactive website that marries quantitative data about economic inequality with video, audio and photo stories of what it is like to live at different economic positions in America. A series of face-to-face forums and facilitated conversations in San Jose will provide opportunities for learning and dialogue among a diverse group of residents of Silicon Valley. $20,000

Growing Justice: Raising the Voices of Underserved Youth to Build a Culture of Health
Community Agroecology Network, Santa Cruz
Project Director: Dr. Roseann Cohen
Growing Justice: Raising the Voices of Underserved Youth to Build a Culture of Health is a community-based and youth-led participatory project that empowers Pajaro Valley Latinx youth, of mostly farmworker families, to produce knowledge and tools that promote cross-cultural and intergenerational understanding and about the interrelated challenges of food insecurity, substandard housing, and neighborhood safety. The goal of the project is to foster a more inclusive community in a region deeply shaped by the inequities of the industrial food system. This project will present a mobile exhibition for display in community gardens and host community dialogues with residents. The exhibit and products resulting from the community conversations will be digitized and archived in an open-access online digital story map. $19,000

Little Manila Recreated
University of the Pacific, Stockton

Project Director: Dr. Joshua Salyers
The University of the Pacific, in collaboration with the Filipino-American National Historical Society (FANHS) and Little Manila Foundation, will create a virtual reality museum exhibit, website, and mobile app game to digitally reconstruct the now-demolished Little Manila neighborhood in Stockton, California and interpret its significance as a center of regional and national Filipino-American culture.  Little Manila Recreated brings the lost history of Stockton’s Little Manila, once the largest concentration of Filipinos outside of the Philippines, to life using digital humanities tools.  By virtually placing players in the shoes of mid-twentieth-century Filipino immigrants who forged a vibrant ethnic enclave in the face of discrimination and oppressive working conditions, the exhibit/game forges ties between past and present immigrants, while historicizing the effects of immigration policies and city planning decisions on community cohesion.  Fourth grade curriculum development and teacher outreach will encourage use of the game in conjunction with the Common Core California History curriculum immigration strand. $15,000

Little Saigon Mobile Museum
Media Arts Center San Diego, San Diego
Project Director: Mr. Ethan van Thillo
Little Saigon Mobile Museum will provide the means to capture and share the stories of Vietnamese refugees and immigrants who make up San Diego’s designated Little Saigon Cultural District located in City Heights, the most diverse community in San Diego, where over 30 languages are spoken. The project will support the creation and display of artworks representing residents’ living histories, provide professional training to youth facilitators in visual art forms and interviewing techniques, facilitate inter-generational learning experiences with community-based storytelling workshops, and create exhibits and mobile installations. Refugees and immigrants will contribute first-hand accounts of their experiences, explore the role the U.S. played in their emigration/immigration, and reflect on how they identify with both their old and new homes. $15,000

Our Giant Rock: A Community Touchstone in the Mojave
Town of Yucca Valley, Yucca Valley

Project Director: Ms. Karyl Newman
The Hi-Desert Nature Museum in Yucca Valley will develop Our Giant Rock: A Community Touchstone in the Mojave, a multimedia project incorporating a digital touch screen exhibit and related public programs exploring the relationship of the distinctive local landmark to the history and histories of our community.  The project will demonstrate how a geological formation can become an intermediary, a hub for honoring Mojave heritage by connecting stories, characters and events. The project will keep an array of cultural memories accessible and enable community members and visitors to gain deeper understanding and appreciation of the human condition. $16,000

Taking Flight: Conversations In and About the Oaxacan Languages of the Central Coast
Regents of the University of California, Santa Cruz

Project Director: Professor Maziar Toosarvandani
Tens of thousands of immigrants from the Mexican state of Oaxaca have settled in the Central Coast of California in recent decades. It is less well-known that Oaxaca is home to a truly diverse array of indigenous languages, many threatened by the disruptions of migration. Taking Flight will invite the Central Coast community to discover, explore, and practice the Oaxacan languages now spoken in their midst through a collaboration between the Department of Linguistics at the University of California, Santa Cruz and Senderos, a multiservice community nonprofit in Santa Cruz County. Programming will emphasize interactive activities that immerse participants in indigenous languages, including language games at local cultural festivals, performances of important literary works, language learning classes, and online presentation of oral histories and narratives. $15,000 

Tell Me
Glendale Library, Arts & Culture, Glendale
Project Director: Mrs. Lora Martinolich
The Glendale Library, Arts & Culture staff will work with immigrants, local restauranteurs, culture bearers and educators to identify, interview, record and make available oral histories of Glendale’s diverse immigrant populations. ReflectSpace, a gallery of the Downtown Central Library, will offer multi-media exhibits featuring the oral histories of Glendale settlers and immigrants, including the Shoah Foundation’s oral history collection of Glendale Armenian Genocide survivors previously recorded by photographer Ara Oshagan. A community festival will provide another opportunity for sharing immigrant cuisines and cultural traditions, as well as to collect new stories from community members through the means of a mobile recording booth. And a partnership with the Glendale School District will provide opportunities for student learning. $20,000 

The Chicharrón Chronicles: Post-Colonial Spanish Legacies in Contemporary Historic Filipinotown
Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California, Los Angeles
Project Director: Ms. Reanne Estrada
The Chicharrón Chronicles: Post-Colonial Spanish Legacies in Contemporary Historic Filipinotown is a participatory exercise in public story-gathering and narrative collage: a series of three screening/story-gathering events that will yield community-generated content for an eponymous multimedia walking tour that illuminates the historical, social, and cultural commonalities between immigrants from the Philippines, countries of Central America, and Mexico in one Los Angeles neighborhood. Teasing out the bonds that can form over fried pig skin (chicharrón), Catholicism, and overlaps in language and labor struggles, the project will draw on history, inquiry, and analysis to engage participants in communal investigation and relevant, significant dialogue co-facilitated by local culture bearers and humanities scholars. $15,000

The Wonderland Radio Hour: Live from the Rio Theater
KRCB-Rural California Broadcasting Corporation, Rohnert Park
Project Director: Ms. Rhian Miller
The Wonderland Radio Hour: Live from the Rio Theater will create a series of public programs at the historic Rio Theater to showcase musicians, artists, writers and characters from the Lower Russian River Area. Anchoring each hour will be three professionally produced audio stories highlighting: A Person, A Place and A (bit of) History from each of the eight distinct communities that lie along the Russian River as it turns and heads west toward the sea. Driving west on Hwy 16/River Road, as you enter Monte Rio, a neon sign suspended above the road greets you– “Welcome to Vacation Wonderland.”  The series will bring together onto the stage and into the audience, members of every lower river community, from Forestville to Jenner-by-the-Sea. Each show aspires to introduce and appreciate the wide and diverse talents of our residents– from the well-known to those whose abilities deserve greater recognition. $20,000

Welcome to the Mix: Recovering the Hidden History of San Diego’s Diversity
San Diego History Center, San Diego

Project Director: Dr. Tina Zarpour
Welcome to the Mix, a community-based research project, will collect personal interviews and video-taped oral histories and photographs from four communities currently under-represented in the museum’s collections, programs, and exhibitions: Native (Kumeyaay and Luiseno), Mexican-American, Filipino, and various refugee groups. These materials will be developed into a new 480 square-foot multimedia exhibition of the same name at San Diego History Center in Balboa Park, as well as a derivative traveling exhibit component that will travel to four community spaces throughout San Diego County. Exhibition materials also will be incorporated into a new permanent exhibition at the History Center. The overarching goals of the project are to broaden and diversify the current oral history collection, making it more accurate and representative, engage new audiences and program participants and to strengthen the institution’s interaction with the diverse communities of our region. $20,000

GRANTS AWARDED IN SPRING 2017

Between Two Worlds: Untold Stories of Refugees from Laos (B2W)
Center for Lao Studies, San Francisco

Project Director: Vinya Sysamouth
This project, through personal interviews, artifacts, and photographs, will produce a traveling interpretive exhibit illuminating the histories and contemporary realities of refugees from Laos (ethnic Lao, Mien, Khmu, and Hmong) and their families now living throughout California. Accessible in multiple languages, the exhibit will travel to the SF Bay Area, Redding, Sacramento, Fresno, and San Diego over a period of 18 months. $10,000

Dreaming the Universe: The Intersection of Science, Fiction, & Southern California
Pasadena Museum of History, Pasadena
Project Director: Jeannette O’Malley
This project will explore the history of science fiction from 1930 to 1980, and how it interacted with advances in science, changes in technology, and shifts in American society. The exhibition will feature historic artifacts, fine and graphic art, books and ephemera, and historic photographs. Oral histories of science fiction creators will be shared via audio kiosks installed in the galleries. A series of lecture/panel discussions, free public programming including several community days, and free field trips for fourth grade students will engage visitors in related topics. $10,000

From Latin America to Hollywood: Latino Film Culture in Los Angeles, 1967–2017
Academy Foundation/Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Project Director: Randy Haberkamp
This nine-part weekly series of live English and Spanish-language film screenings and live-streamed filmmaker panel discussions will be the Academy’s contribution to the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, Latin American and Latino Art in Los Angeles. The project will include dedicated online content, an academic symposium, a companion publication, and K-12 materials. Supported by a two-year research phase, the project examines the shared influences of Latino and Latin American filmmakers and the work they created or presented in Los Angeles, told through the voices of the filmmakers themselves. $10,000

In|Dignity: A Community Narrative-Based Exhibition by the CSUSB Anthropology Museum
California State University, San Bernardino, San Bernardino
Project Director: Annika Anderson
California State University, San Bernardino’s (CSUSB) Anthropology Museum is curating a community narrative-based exhibition about the experiences of marginalized populations. The stories might include experiences with ableism, androcentrism, Islamophobia, cisgenderism, Eurocentrism, racism, heterosexism, educationalism, ageism, classism, colorism, pro-natalism, and other axes outside of the societal “norm.” The stories will make clear both the persistence of inequalities and biased normative standards in our communities – often in subtle and unintentional ways – and their impacts on individual lives. $15,000

Mi Familia, Mi Historia
The New Children’s Museum, San Diego

Project Director: Judy Forrester
Mi Familia, Mi Historia will employ a series of humanities-based activities to provide new community engagement and learning opportunities for low-income Latino families living near the U.S.-Mexico border. This project intends to make museum and university culture more accessible and to make the humanities an integral part of long-life learning for underserved Latina/o families.  Programming will include family workshops, oral history recording and digital mapping, interpretive art-making, family fieldtrips, public community discussions, and an exhibition of completed artwork. $20,000

Punjabi American Women Oral History Project: A Public History Collaboration Between UC Davis and the Punjabi American Heritage Society
Regents of the University of California, Davis

Project Director: Nicole Ranganath
This project will be the first study to preserve and share the life histories of women in the historically significant Punjabi American community in California’s Sacramento Valley. In collaboration with female community experts, UC Davis historians will interview 36 Punjabi American women in the remote rural Yuba City area and record 12 women performing Punjabi folk songs about important life cycle events. The project is part of a robust, long-standing partnership between UC Davis and Yuba City’s Punjabi American Heritage Society. The videotaped interviews, photographs, and transcripts will be shared with researchers and audiences worldwide via the existing UC Davis Pioneering Punjabis Digital Archive. $15,000

Real Veterans. Reel Stories
San Francisco State University, San Francisco
Project Director: Daniel Bernardi
To facilitate greater dialogue and understanding between veterans and civilians, the Veteran Documentary Corps (VDC) at San Francisco State University will organize a series of screenings using seven short films produced by veteran-filmmakers, each profiling a single veteran, on five different California State University campuses: San Diego, Los Angeles, Fresno, Monterrey Bay, and Sacramento. Each screening will be followed by a question and answer session with both filmmakers and veterans, facilitated by Dr. Daniel Bernardi, VDC Director, humanities scholar and veteran. $15,000

Sacred Art in the Age of Contact
Santa Barbara Historical Museum, Santa Barbara
Project Director: Lynn Brittner
This grant will support Santa Barbara Historical Museum’s upcoming exhibit and related programming, Sacred Art in the Age of Contact. This exhibit, including 70 artifacts of Chumash art (some never before on display), explores Spanish influence on Chumash works of religious art from the middle of the 18th century. The exhibit will be complimented with lectures and programming to encourage public engagement with history; all lectures will be provided free of charge. This exhibit will be presented in partnership with UC Santa Barbara as part of the Getty Imitative, Pacific Standard Time. $14,500

San Francisco ACT UP Oral History Project
GLBT Historical Society, San Francisco
Project Director: Joseph Plaster
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Historical Society (GLBTHS) will chronicle and publicize the history of San Francisco’s AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) through a wide scale oral history project; an exhibit incorporating high-quality radio documentary-style “audio portraits,” photos, and other materials; a multi-media web-based component; and a series of culminating events offering opportunities for dialogue and debate. Through partnership with a local GLBT youth center, young GLBT people (18-25) will be trained to conduct oral histories as part of the project. $10,000

Something from Nothing: Art and Handcrafted Objects from America’s Concentration Camps
The University of San Francisco, San Francisco
Project Director: Shirley McGuire
Something from Nothing: Art and Handcrafted Objects from America’s Concentration Camps, includes an exhibition, educational materials and tours, and public programs presented by the Thacher Gallery at the University of San Francisco (USF) in collaboration with the National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS) from August 21 through November 5, 2017. The exhibit will feature handmade artifacts created by Japanese Americans sent to the American concentration camps during WWII. The two public programs include an expert and survivor panel discussion on social justice and legal issues related to Executive Order 9066, and an arts-focused event featuring poets, writers, and visual artists whose work explores the legacy of the camps. Additionally, the aim is to engage USF’s Asian American and first-generation college student communities, the broader San Francisco/Bay Area Japanese American community, the Bay Area arts community, and members of the general public. $20,000

Straight Outta Fresno: From Popping to B-Boying and B-Girling
California State University, Fresno Foundation, Fresno
Project Director: James Marshall
Straight Outta Fresno: From Popping to B-boying and B-girling seeks to radically alter the relationship between academia and the general public by creating a new model for how archives are created and how historical knowledge is disseminated. Building on their work from the Fall of 2016, Fresno State historians and graduate and undergraduate students will work with community partners to host four events related to the history of hip hop dance and culture in Fresno from the late 1970s to the early 2000s. $15,000

Visualizing Language: Oaxaca in LA
Library Foundation of Los Angeles, Los Angeles
Project Director: Kenneth Brecher
Between September 2017 and January 2018, the Library Foundation of Los Angeles will present Visualizing Language: Oaxaca in L.A., a visual art exhibition and 50+ public programs celebrating the rich social fabric of Los Angeles through the lens of the city’s vibrant Oaxacan community.  Project aims are to engage new audiences from immigrant communities with the Library’s resources, explore identity and culture as reflected in the Los Angeles’s diversity, and introduce compelling indigenous artists from Mexico and California to a wider audience. $20,0000