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 Winter 2022
California State University, San Bernardino Philanthropic Foundation, San Bernardino
Project Director: Arianna Huhn
Before California was incorporated into the United States, it was part of Alta California, and one in five Californios(Mexican settlers) was of African descent. Although people of African descent played an important role in modern California’s development, Afrolatine identities, experiences, and cultures are seldom highlighted (or even recognized) as unique contributions to the fabric of our state today. To correct this, the Anthropology Museum at California State University, San Bernardino, is preparing an exhibition to open in September 2023 aimed at recognizing and amplifying silenced and overlooked Afrolatine stories and experiences. “Afrolatine California” will include interviews with 21 Afrolatine Californians in written and audio forms, along with portraits of interviewees commissioned from California-based artists. To further disrupt stereotypes of latinidad that erase or negate Blackness, the exhibition will highlight the identities and cultures of four Afro-descendant populations in contemporary Mexico, curated by community representatives. Accompanying public programming will include an art competition (crowdsourcing the design of an Afrolatine-themed lotería game, that will be freely distributed), opportunities to learn from and build traditional dance structures with a Oaxacan artisan, performances by Afrolatine creators, and a working group to produce Afrolatine-focused lesson plans for California schools.
Before Silicon Valley Project: Mexican Cannery and Agricultural Workers in the Santa Clara Valley 1920-1960
San Jose Parks Foundation, San Jose
Project Director: Margo McBane
A three-month series of community engagement activities programs in spring and summer 2023 will accompany the soft launch of “Before Silicon Valley: Mexican American Agricultural and Cannery Workers in the Santa Clara Valley 1920-1960,” a new bilingual website on the San Jose State University Library website. This website frames local 20th century Mexican American history within recent scholarship using oral histories, an online exhibit, mini-documentaries, scholar commentaries, a timeline, and K-12 lesson plans. Public programs, which will be hosted by libraries, museums, historical institutions, and community organizations throughout Santa Clara County, will include a tardeada (a traditional afternoon party featuring music, food, and dancing), a bicycle tour of historic sites led by a local cycling club San José Bike Party, and a series of community conversations built around themes of work, home, family, community, and culture, each one incorporating a mini-documentary screening, a scholar talk, and audience discussion that will reference and draw attention to the rich content of the website. The complete website will be available beginning with Hispanic Heritage Month 2023.
Braiding Water: An Art and Cultural Festival Celebrating Our Water Resources and Rituals
R.A.C.E. Matters San Luis Obispo County, San Luis Obispo
Project Director: Courtney Haile
“Braiding Water” is a two-month long, multi-location, multimedia arts experience centering water and local BIPOC communities’ relationships to it through culture and art, which will be held in San Luis Obispo County during September-October 2023, with a culminating living archive/gallery exhibition January-March 2024. A collaboration between R.A.C.E. Matters, the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art (SLOMA), and Southern-California-based visiting artist April Banks, the project foregrounds the aquatic connections of populations historically marginalized from public water resources and discussions about water planning and conservation, asserts a critical lens of environmental justice into public dialogue, engages participants in an exploration of water’s varied meanings for the region’s diverse communities, and invites all community members to brainstorm and envision a sustainable and racially just water future. Events will include a poolside opening ceremony/community forum, community painting of a beach lifeguard station to serve as a hub for a variety of beach events, an oceanside mini film festival, pier-based live storytelling event, world-building zine workshop, a web experience, and program archive/gallery exhibition and panel discussion.
Bringing it Home: Humanities Learning through Japantown Immersive
San Jose Taiko, San Jose
Project Director: Wisa Uemura
San Jose Taiko (SJT), a nationally recognized professional taiko group and an artistic voice for Japanese and Asian Americans, will dive into the world of humanities education through “Bringing it Home: Humanities Learning through Japantown Immersive.” Using the power of the performing arts in an interactive open-street event, the project will bring people of different ages, experiences, and cultural backgrounds together to explore and better understand the Asian American experience and the complex ways art, culture, and daily life influence and are influenced by race, geography, and ethnicity. JI will increase knowledge and raise awareness of San Jose Japantown (Jtown) and the ways Japanese/Asian Americans have been shaped by, and have shaped, the Silicon Valley region; gather, share, and preserve stories reflecting the contemporary Jtown and Asian American experience; and establish new, and strengthen existing, connections between artists, business owners, residents and culture bearers within Jtown and between Jtown and its surrounding environment. The event in May 2023 will draw an estimated 1500 people representing the full diversity of the San Francisco Bay area in all ways.
Homeland and Homemaking: Arab Youth Tell Their Stories through the Arts*
Majdal: Arab Community Center of San Diego (Fiscal Sponsor Mission Edge San Diego), San Diego
Project Director: Ramah Awad
San Diego is home to many new Middle Eastern immigrant and refugee communities. To provide an opportunity for some of these new residents to share their stories and experiences, the Majdal Center will organize an interpretive exhibit, “Homeland and Homemaking: Arab Youth Tell Their Stories through the Arts,” hosted at the El Cajon Public Library in 2024. The Center’s Arab refugee and new immigrant youth members will showcase content that will be developed through a series of workshops led by experts over the course of two years. Using various media, including digital storytelling and intergenerational oral histories, youth participants will have the opportunity to reflect on their lives and develop their own narratives relating to themes of displacement, migration, resettlement, and diaspora. The exhibit will be accompanied by public programs organized by the youth participants, the project team, and community partners.
Humanities for All: DEEP MAPS*
Fresno City College, Fresno
Project Director: Elena Harvey-Collins
The term “Deep Maps” was first used by Osage writer and historian William Least Heat Moon in descriptions of place, which include storytelling and personal experience to articulate the ineffable, living complexity of places and landscapes. Using this framework, “Humanities for All: DEEP MAPS” will create an interpretive exhibition and public programs featuring artists, designers, and cultural practitioners whose place-based, interdisciplinary work re-introduces such subjective and social qualities of space–including memory, history, longing, grief, time, possibility, informal uses, and the needs of plant and animal communities—into the maps we make (and stories we tell) about landscape at a moment of ecological crisis. Rooting these ideas within Fresno’s local context, the exhibit will also include materials related to the region’s geographic history, focusing on land use and water politics, addressing themes of spatial and environmental justice in rural, urban, and suburban places. Several public programs will provide additional engagement opportunities, including a community mapping workshop and a weekly “deep dive” into a single work in the show called “One Hour, One Work.”
Platforms—Bridging the Legacies and Futures of Black Autonomy in Leimert Park
Southern California Institute of Architecture, Los Angeles
Project Director: Thabisile Griffin
“Platforms—Bridging the Legacies and Futures of Black Autonomy in Leimert Park” is a place-based story gathering and sharing project led by a multidisciplinary team of humanities and design faculty at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) with a multi-generational group of culture bearers, business owners, and artists of Leimert Park. The project will create both literal and figurative platforms for the people of Leimert Park to share stories of their community’s cultural life, while providing an opportunity for residents to affirm their rights to spatial justice and claim their roles as collaborators in re-envisioning its public space and its future. The project promotes understanding of the complex and contested architectural and urban possibilities nested within legacies and possible futures of Black autonomy in this neighborhood, considered the Black nucleus of Los Angeles, at a critical moment in its history. Activities will include study circles, story gathering, public space design and culminating with a free, outdoor public event in summer 2024 to engage the broader Leimert community. The project goal is to harvest, produce, and share knowledge through “Leimert Stories” that honor historical, existing, and emerging systems of Black autonomy in this community.
The Salir del Closet (Out of the Closet) Project*
Teatro Nagual (TeNa), Fiscal Sponsor: Latino Center of Art and Culture, Sacramento
Project Director: Richard Falcon
Teatro Nagual (TeNa), in collaboration with Sacramento State University’s Center for Race, Immigration, and Social Justice (CRISJ), will organize “The Salir del Closet (Out of the Closet) Project”, a 12-month series of bilingual dialogues (or charlas) among young adults who self-identify as Latinx and LGBTQ+ in the Sacramento community to gather and share their stories. Using a conversational format, guided by an experienced facilitator, these charlas will provide comfortable spaces for young people to explore the intersection of gender, sexual, and cultural identity and to examine Latinx-specific cultural strengths and challenges, and how these can influence, contribute, and/or challenge the process of acceptance of intersecting identities. Simultaneously, participants will be guided to see how the arts can be a vehicle for their individual and community expression, foster self-reflection and encourage healing, promote understanding, support our LGBTQ+ family members as well as strengthen intergenerational connections.
Shakespeare for All
Old Globe Theatre, San Diego
Project Director: Danielle Mages-Amato
The Old Globe, one of the country’s leading Shakespeare theatres, will host a city-wide series of free humanities events to accompany the production of a new adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry VI in summer 2024. Titled Henry 6 to underscore its contemporary resonance, the play is a timely and timeless portrayal of political disarray and illegitimacy that illuminates how debates over political legitimacy, civil unrest, and the machinations of the elite impact the lives of everyday people. To explore the relevance of this classic in our time, The Old Globe will host scholar and artist discussion panels, exhibitions, a film series, and community education workshops from January 9 to September 15, 2024. San Diegans will learn about the development of Henry 6 and understand the process of interpreting the original text from the perspective of scholars, artists, dramaturgs, stage designers, costumers, directors, and their fellow community members in San Diego and around the world. With partners to include the San Diego Public Library, San Diego State University, the University of California at San Diego, and the University of San Diego, Shakespeare for All will truly bring Shakespeare to all regions of San Diego and reach an estimated 65,000 people.
Yuba-Sutter Black History
Sutter County Museum, Yuba City
Project Director: Molly Bloom
Working in collaboration with community members, culture bearers, and local historians, staff at the Sutter County Museum will research, develop, design, and install a permanent interpretive exhibit about Black history within Yuba and Sutter counties, which will open February 2024. Drawing on findings, stories, and artifacts that have already been uncovered through an extensive research process, the Sutter County Museum will develop a series of public programs to complement the new exhibit, including lectures, panel discussions, an opening reception, educational tours for elementary school students, and curriculum guides for educators. “Yuba-Sutter Black History” will highlight the long-standing but little-known history of African Americans within the Yuba-Sutter region, provide an opportunity for Black residents to share their stories and experiences with other community members, and present a more inclusive and accurate representation of regional history to benefit everyone.
Grants Awarded Summer 2022
We Are Home
Delivering Innovation in Supportive Housing, San Francisco
Project Director: Mattie Loyce
“We Are Home” is a reflective and educational project that explores what home means to San Francisco residents, centering on people who have experienced homelessness in the Tenderloin neighborhood. Through a series of workshops and discussions, residents of the Tenderloin community, including DISH supportive housing residents, will craft a community quilt to share their thoughts and ideas about the meaning of home. In addition, a series of connected humanities-based events, including public round table discussions, audio and written recorded participant interviews, and a culminating exhibition of the collective work, will engage the broader San Francisco community and build bridges between communities of varying socioeconomic backgrounds. Through this project, the greater San Francisco community will better understand what home means for people who have experienced homelessness and why having a safe place to call home is essential to everyone.
Black Mariners of the Black Pacific: Reimagining Race, Migration, and Diaspora*
California Institute for Rural Studies Inc, Santa Cruz
Project Director: Caroline Collins
Black Mariners of the Black Pacific: Reimagining Race, Migration, and Diaspora examines 16th – mid-20th century maritime practices of people of African descent including whalers, commercial mariners, fishers, explorers, soldiers, and sailors who settled along the Pacific Coast of what is now the United States. This new public humanities project will employ formats including a traveling exhibit, small vessel build, and short documentary film in the service of investigating a less explored oceanography—the Pacific Ocean—to extend our understanding of the origins of Black people in America and the essential nature of the roles they played in the maritime enterprise and American genesis. Target participants of the boat build workshop include Black and Indigenous (including Black Indigenous) youth and university students. Anticipated program audiences are African American and Indigenous individuals and communities, interested residents within the geographic areas of inquiry, students and educators, maritime enthusiasts, and military personnel. Project goals include inviting participants and audiences alike to reimagine Black folks’ relationships to water and watercraft beyond the trans-Atlantic slave ship and to engender a recognition that Black people not only existed in the Pacific region but served as integral actors in the development of the Pacific economy and society.
The Cultural Work of Poetry: A Reading, Writing, and Community Discussion Series in San Jose, CA
San Jose State University Research Foundation, San Jose
Project Director: Jonathan Gomez
In partnership with the San José Public Library and the Culture Counts Reading Series (CCRS) at San José State University, this project will offer bi-weekly poetry reading, writing, and discussion workshops focused on work by featured poets in San José. The workshops will be facilitated by Dr. Jonathan D. Gomez, Assistant Professor of Chicanx Studies at San José State University, and a group of university students and community members from the CCRS, using a story circle pedagogy. This “testimonial” approach will encourage each participant to draw upon poetry and discussion as a launching ground to write poems about their own life experiences. In addition, project organizers aim to encourage participants to listen and learn from each other, and to practice a form of poetry making in a community that documents, describes, appreciates, and articulates their needs, hopes, and dreams for the world they want to live in.
Oral History from the Heart of California Gold Country*
Manzanita Writers Press, San Andreas
Project Director: Monika Rose
Manzanita Writers Press will create” Oral History from the Heart of California Gold Country,” a multiyear, multifaceted project to collect, preserve, and share family and community stories of the region. The project will connect local high school and college students with elders from many cultural backgrounds, including winemakers, ranchers, miners, and the Miwok people who have lived in the area for 16,000 years. The interviews will enable elders and youth to share their skills and knowledge and learn from one another, whether about using 21st-century technology or recording family and communal stories and histories that might overwise be lost. A publication and a series of readings and other events will ensure these stories are shared widely. Supporting partners include regional media, libraries, museums, Native American groups, businesses and associations, social organizations, and schools.
Transborder: Bracero History from Mexico to California
The Museum of Art and History at the McPherson Center, Santa Cruz
Project Director: Marla Novo
A new interactive mobile installation featuring a new work by transnational sculptor Daniel Ruanova will serve as a jumping-off point for dialog, story-sharing, and educational activities about farmworker histories in Santa Cruz County. Incorporating poster-sized reproductions of 1950s-era photographs of Bracero Program agricultural workers, audio recordings of interviews with Braceros and their descendants, and other historical material, the work will visit farmers’ markets during the MAH’s inaugural CommonGround festival, followed by an exhibition at the museum. Designed to engage local Latinx and farmworker communities, the project will also draw residents and guests from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds in a series of interactive, collaborative programs and events, including a panel discussion, artist/scholar talk, teen story-sharing, and meet-and-greet, film screening, book club, community/collaborator series, and a Family Day celebration. The project aims to increase knowledge and appreciation of Bracero’s history legacy among workers and their descendants and within the larger community, foster interpersonal connections between people from diverse backgrounds, and increase participation in museum programming by Latinx community members.
Imagining Indigenous Cinema: New Voices, New Visions
UCLA Film & Television Archive, Los Angeles
Project Director: May Hong HaDuong
A six-night in-person and live-streamed film series, “Imagining Indigenous Cinema: New Voices, New Visions,” and related public programs will provide humanities-focused programming for the greater Los Angeles region (and via live streaming across the state and the country). These programs will center on the experiences of Native filmmakers and their communities and engage Indigenous and general audiences in timely discussions about the issues and concerns inspiring Native artists. The program will focus on 12-18 short-form, mid-length, and feature-length works produced since 2014 by Native filmmakers that exemplify innovative approaches to cinematic visual and narrative forms. In addition, screenings, panel discussions, conversations with filmmakers, and other community engagement events will be held at two locations in Los Angeles: the Billy Wilder Theater on UCLA’s campus in Westwood and at a new theater in the Eagle Rock neighborhood June 2023.
Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898-1971 film screenings, public programming, and symposium
Academy Foundation, on behalf of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Beverly Hills
Project Director: Dawn Mori
The recently inaugurated Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will present its second temporary exhibition, Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898-1971, a research-driven, in-depth look at Black participation in American filmmaking, opening in August 2022. This ambitious exhibition explores the visual culture of Black cinema in its manifold expressions, from its early days at the beginning of the 20th century to the civil rights movement of the 1960s, highlighting the work of independent African American filmmakers and its relationship with other visual artists. The exhibit will accompany screenings of recently restored “race films” and other related titles and a full slate of public programming. Regeneration is co-organized by Doris Berger, vice president of curatorial affairs, Academy Museum, and Rhea L. Combs, director of curatorial affairs, National Portrait Gallery. The project aims to redefine U.S. film history by elevating this underrepresented aspect of artistic production and presenting a more inclusive story about American film history.
Sonoma History for All
Sonoma Community Center, Sonoma
Project Director: Charlotte Hajer
Many peoples have played a role in Sonoma Valley’s history, but only a few strands of these multiple histories have found their way into the dominant narrative about the community. The Sonoma History For All project will engage the area’s diverse communities by reviving and exploring parts of the more extensive collective history that have been mainly obscured or omitted from teaching history in schools and museums. Through a series of interactive humanities-driven events – including a traveling exhibit, a performance series, and a collaborative mural project – the project will create a more inclusive local history that fully reflects the diversity which has always characterized this region. Project goals are to a) show that local history and culture are living things, collectively created and recreated by all members of our community; b) reveal how power dynamics and structural inequalities shape our perspective on the past and present; and c) come together and build community-based in the understanding that people from all walks of life, all ethnicities, and all language backgrounds, are at home in our shared past, present, and future.
(re)Location: The Lao/Korean Acculturation Project
Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles
Project Director: Joyce Green
(re)Location explores Korean and Lao immigrants’ and refugees’ immigration and acculturation experiences in California through an interactive virtual exhibition and related physical exhibits and public programs. The project will shed light on the experiences of first-generation immigrants from these communities to (1) provide an entryway for younger generations of Korean and Lao Americans to a better understanding of their history while (2) creating an opportunity for the public to explore cross-cultural similarities and differences between the two communities. Guests from the Lao and Korean communities will participate in a panel discussion and public storytelling event to explore the themes in the exhibition and contribute to the store of knowledge the project is building. Through access provided by web technology, the broader California public will be invited to explore a library of first-hand stories and a gallery of artwork created by these immigrants, as well as to participate in educational, humanities-based activities appropriate for all ages. Visitors will have the opportunity to consider themes and topics that will inform the development of the exhibit and programs concerning their own identities and life experiences.
Rancho San Pedro Community Conversations Project*
Cornerstone Theater Company Inc, Los Angeles
Project Director: Bruce A. Lemon Jr.
Working with Humanities Advisor Angela Romero, founder of the San Pedro Heritage Museum, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and the One San Pedro Collaborative, Cornerstone Theater Company will host a series of community conversations in Rancho San Pedro about the redevelopment of the historic public housing project. Employing Cornerstone’s signature Story Circles methodology, these conversations will bring together teens and elders from Rancho San Pedro to reflect on its present, learn about its past, and envision its future. The project will culminate in in-person and online public presentations and performances that will engage residents and the broader community of San Pedro and greater Los Angeles. The project’s goal is to create a “people’s history” of Rancho San Pedro that will increase awareness and appreciation for the history and vitality of this unique community.
Water Is Life
Mt. Shasta Museum Association Inc, Mount Shasta
Project Director: Rosemary Romero
Water Is Life – Past, Present, and Future is a multifaceted three-year project to facilitate an open dialogue about the relationship between people and water in Siskiyou County. Informed by extensive research, the project will use videos, interactive opportunities, and story maps to develop a physical exhibit and an online repository of materials that will make scientific, historical, and traditional knowledge about water available to community members and classrooms throughout the region. Presentations and community storytelling events will allow local partners, including tribal members, conservation practitioners, and scientists, to share their experiences working on water issues impacting the region. In this culminating phase of the project, the museum will pose a series of questions for the public to consider — is water a commodity to be exploited? do living systems have the same rights as people? — to encourage the community to make thoughtful and informed decisions about using this precious resource.
Grants Awarded Winter 2021
Breaking Ground: Women in California Clay
American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona
Project Director: Beth Ann Gerstein
This new exhibition will be the first to chronologize the American Studio Ceramics movement of ceramic art in California focused solely on the work of women artists (previous histories have focused on prominent male artists). The exhibition will include more than 80 works from 40 artists and track significant shifts over three generations, beginning in the 1890s, and provide a compelling history of women’s profound and singular contributions to the American Studio Ceramics movement. In conjunction with the exhibition, AMOCA will offer public programs designed to provide enriching opportunities for a broad range of visitors, including lectures, panel discussions, exhibition tours, and related hands-on programs in AMOCA’s Ceramics Studio. In addition, we will develop special educational experiences for local students in grades K-12 and college undergraduate programs.
Contemporary Indigenous Voices of California’s South Coast Range: Enduring Relationships with the Land
Project Director: Kirti Bassendine
Weaving together still photography, storyboards, and video interviews with in-person presentations, demonstrations, and discussions, this multifaceted project will highlight the voices of the contemporary native people of the South Coast Ranges of California. Through a series of programs in various locations throughout the region to engage Native and non-Native audiences, community members will explore the importance of intergenerational relationships and their role in cultural revitalization as elders pass on their knowledge and wisdom to the next generation. Culture bearers will also share their connection to land and ecology and reflect on their experiences, expressing, relearning, and restoring their culture within a modern world that often denies their existence and heavily restricts their access to land.
Futurisms of Space Travel
ArtLab21 Foundation, El Segundo
Project Director: Rodrigo Ribera D’ebre
The El Segundo Museum of Art will produce a series of in-person and/or virtual events in summer 2022 that invites engineers and scientists from the local aerospace community. Over 30 aerospace companies are located in LA’s South Bay. Along with artists, filmmakers, writers, scholars, students, and the public, we will reflect on how the American Frontier mythology has shaped the trajectory of space travel and exploration over the last century. Ideas excavated in the discussions will become starting points for other art, maker, and literary workshops and experiences that will invite the public to imagine (and create) alternative concepts, values, and visions that might guide space travel/exploration in the future. Community partners include Starburst Aerospace, the City of El Segundo, the El Segundo Public Library, and local high schools.
Mineral King Preservation Society, Three Rivers
Project Director: Lisa Monteiro
A collaboration with members of the local Yokuts community, the Three Rivers Historical Museum, and the Mineral King Preservation Society, this project will develop a new interpretive exhibit about local Native history. Using objects in the museum’s collection and informed by the knowledge of the last fluent speaker of Wukchumi of the Tule-Kaweah Yokuts, the exhibit will show how Native peoples traditionally lived and worked the land, how European settlement impacted them, and how they live today. The exhibition will launch with “Native Voices Day,” featuring culture bearers from local tribes, who will share traditional cultural knowledge, demonstrate basketry and games, and provide beginning lessons in the Wukchumi language. Located on the main highway to Sequoia National Park, the exhibit will be accessible to thousands of visitors and locals on an ongoing basis. In addition, we will develop special activities for school-age children, including an annual tour for Native students who attend the Owens Valley School.
Never Forget: Filipinx Americans and the Philippines Anti-Martial Law Movement
Regents of the University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles
Project Director: Karen Umemoto and Lucy M. Burns
A curated digital exhibition featuring 25-30 archival political posters produced by the Philippines Anti-Martial Law Movement (AMLM) and a series of events will provide a platform for public dialogue and learning about an important but little-known chapter of California history. This project explores the transnational struggle for human rights and democracy and its impacts on the Filipinx American community, which participated in and grew due to Marcos’ regime (1966 to 1986). In addition, this project foregrounds the understudied history of the largest Asian American ethnic group in California, aiming to strengthen intergenerational connections within the community and build broader understandings of shared experiences and solidarities among Californians whose common histories include struggles for democracy and human rights.
OC Stories: Orange County’s Vietnamese American Community
Orange County Public Libraries, Santa Ana
Project Director: Danilo Serranilla
This digital oral history project will gather stories from members of Orange County’s Vietnamese American immigrant community, the nation’s largest, highlighting a diverse range of experiences and values. The recordings will become part of the library’s extensive online local history archive, accessibly locally as well as globally. Related public programs, including lectures, performances, book discussions, and a film series, will follow the website’s launch. The library aims to provide a platform for Orange County’s Vietnamese American community to share their personal stories and raise greater awareness of its importance within this county of over 1.5 million people and the state and the nation.
Oakland Belonging: A Youth-Led History of Swan’s Market *
Chapter 510 Ink, Oakland
Project Director: Jahan Khalighi
This two-year oral history project will engage a group of Queer and BIPOC Oakland high school students in exploring the historic Swan’s Market, located at the intersection of four diverse Oakland neighborhoods. After an intensive period of research and writing, the young people will share their discoveries with the public through various multimedia performance formats (exhibits, walking and audio tours, podcast, and presentations). As Oakland rapidly gentrifies, this project aims to: 1) engage youth from underserved neighborhoods surrounding Swan’s Market to explore and document the rich history of their changing city; 2) engage the public in dialogue with youth about themes such as individual and community identity, cultural exclusion and acceptance, and community stability and instability in the built environment; and 3) encourage those who design and create public spaces to consider youth in these processes.
The People’s Archive: Los Angeles River narratives, counternarratives, and conversations
Pomona College, Claremont
Project Director: Char Miller
Through community-based programming, curation, and archive-building, the project weaves together narratives, counternarratives, and conversations to explore the world’s longest channelized waterway, the iconic Los Angeles River. A partnership between Pomona College, the Claremont Colleges Library, and two existing community archives (LA River X/El Río de Los Angeles X and the Western Water Archives), this project will galvanize community storytelling and gather people together to explore one of California’s most critical socio-cultural landscapes. In addition, the team is excited to partner with the City of Los Angeles, Elysian Valley Arts Collective, LA as Subject, LA River Kayak Safari, Los Angeles Waterkeeper, Las Fotos Project, Photo Friends of the LA Public Library, River Ridge Club, and Stables, Riverpark Coalition, and the Society of California Archivists to bring bilingual English/Spanish public humanities programming along the fifty-one miles of the Los Angeles River.
Queer Mvmnt Fest
Disco Riot, San Diego
Project Director: Zaquia Mahler Salinas
San Diego’s first queer-focused movement-arts festival, Queer Mvmnt Fest, will highlight the work of queer, trans, and gender-nonconforming BIPOC dance artists, examining and centering the need for addressing inequity through an intersectional lens. In June 2022, the festival will empower and showcase LGBTQ+ artists from diverse backgrounds through panel discussions, performances, workshops, and classes geared for affinity groups and open to the general public. The festival seeks to break down the barriers between “passive audience” and “active artist” by inviting a more fluid, experiential engagement with movement arts and queer theory and culture. Intended to engage participants and audiences to understand that the two groups are not mutually exclusive, the artists participating in the festival will be an integral part of the audience and community support for the festival. Likewise, the audience for the events is an active participant in programming.
Queer Threads Exhibition and Humanities Programming
San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, San Jose
Project Director: Amy DiPlacido
San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles will present the West Coast premiere of the Queer Threads exhibition with a series of public programs from April 13 to July 3, 2022. The exhibition, curated by fiber arts scholar John Chaich, features nearly three dozen LGBTQ+ artists connected to the West Coast. They are remixing fiber and textile traditions as they explore contemporary identity issues. Informed by the diversity of ways contemporary LGBTQ+ artists approach fiber art today, the works in this exhibition interpret and present queer content through processes such as crochet, embroidery, weaving, painting, photography, printmaking, and video. Programs will include a live panel discussion recorded and translated into Spanish; hands-on workshops led by exhibiting artists and others focused on expressions of identity and social justice; a lecture about LGBTQ+ fiber artists and their working processes; and an Artist in Residency program.
Shelter and Place *
Merced County Office of Education, Merced
Project Director: Noelle Chandler
This oral history project will empower local high school students to conduct interviews with community members about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on this rural Central Valley region. Workshops provided by the University of California, Merced humanities students and faculty will develop students’ skills and confidence in public history methods. The oral histories will be developed into dramatic monologues, to be performed through a live, multilingual production at a local theater, followed by a community dialogue exploring the effects of the pandemic on individual and community mental health and related issues. Transcripts and recordings of the interviews and performances will be archived and shared widely to increase the impact and reach of the project, which also aims to strengthen campus-community connections and encourage high school students to pursue higher educational opportunities.
GRANTS AWARDED SUMMER 2021
Oakland Stories: Elders in Social Justice*
Project Director: Clara Kamunde
With guidance from Dorothy Lazard, a head librarian in the Oakland Public Library’s History Center, members of Stagebridge’s cadre of elderly storytellers will research and create new works exploring Oakland’s history. The project will focus on developing stories related to the project’s central theme of social justice and present a live online performance of these stories followed by audience discussion. A project website will house a recording of the performance and historical materials compiled by Ms. Lazard and the elders. Using performance to share knowledge and cultural traditions, the project will forge connections among audience members of different backgrounds and generations and deepen their understanding of their city’s rich history and the state.
Textures of Remembrance: Vietnamese Artists and Writers Reflect on the Vietnamese Diaspora
Exhibit Envoy Inc, San Francisco
Project Director: Amy Cohen
Focusing exclusively on stories and memories from Vietnamese American writers and artists, “Textures of Remembrance” will create a space within California’s cultural fabric that includes, recognizes, and elevates the contributions of diasporic Vietnamese voices. Activities include a traveling exhibition, an online exhibition, and a series of public programs developed in partnership with the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network and the Oakland Asian Cultural Center. The exhibition will premiere in Summer 2022 before traveling to locations around the state. The project aims to present a humanities-driven exploration of the impact of the Vietnam War, collect and share stories in the diasporic Vietnamese community to foster healing and connection, build intergenerational and cross-cultural understanding, and counter stereotypes of and racism towards Vietnamese Americans and refugees.
Voces de las Abuelas: Mexican and Mexican-American Women’s Oral History Project
University of Southern CA, Los Angeles for LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes Foundation
Project Director: Sarah Portnoy
Conducted in collaboration with LA Plaza de Artes y Cultura, Voces de las Abuelas aims to create communities and cultures unique to Southern California. The project amplifies the voices of indigenous, Mexican, and Mexican American abuelitas (grandmothers) who have cooked, preserved, and passed on Mexican and Mexican American cuisine. Voces de las Abuelas reveals the relationship of these women to Mexican cuisine, Los Angeles, and its Latinx communities through recording and sharing their stories and family recipes, interviews, cooking demonstrations, a multimedia exhibit, a short video, and a website. Documenting these histories and family recipes will enrich understandings of the contributions of Mexican and Mexican American women to Southern California culture and enable visitors and audiences to appreciate and even cook these traditional foods. In addition, the project helps preserve Mexico’s diverse culinary traditions in the face of hardship, modernization, and forced displacement.
Xicana[x] Indigenous Values: Encuentros, Convenings, and Conversations
Regents of the University of California at Santa Barbara for Las Maestras Center for Xicana(x) Indigenous Thought Art and Social Practice
Project Director: Celia Herrera Rodriguez
Las Maestras Center for Xicana[x] Indigenous Thought, Art and Social Practice at UC Santa Barbara (LMC) will host Xicana[x] Indigenous Values: Encuentros, Convenings, and Conversations, an intra/intercultural exploration of Xicana[x], Latinx and Indigenous ancestral and relational knowledge and living ethical practices. This multifaceted community conversation will be live-streamed and open to the public at UC Santa Barbara, CSU Channel Islands, and within community centers in the Central Coast region of CA. LMC will facilitate a series of intergenerational discussions, performances, and explorations of questions pertinent to Xicana[x] Indigenous consciousness, including values and their implementation of daily practice. Conversations will occur amidst artists, activists, students, and academics whose political consciousness was shaped during the great waves of activism for Native, Xicanx, and Latinx Americans in North and Central America in the latter part of the twentieth century.
The Re-mapping Project: Listening to California’s Land: Indigenous—Community Dialogues on Place
Earth Island Institute Inc, Berkeley for California Institute for Community Art & Nature
Project Director: Malcolm Margolin
Guided by a committee of Native people, linguists, historians, geographers, and other humanities experts, this project aims to restore Indigenous California place names to the human imagination as a fierce rejection of colonialism and an embracing of beauty and connection to the deeper history of the land in which we live. Twelve public discussion events in locations across the state will engage local Indigenous culture bearers and non-Indigenous community members in exploring the meaning and understanding of place, as seen through Indigenous cultural lenses. Focusing on place as an entry into Native California – understanding land history, stories, living culture, and how it has been erased and harmed by colonization and genocide – will serve as a potent opportunity to protect Native cultures and educate the broader public about their existence and importance.
Rajkamal Kahlon: And Still I Rise
University Enterprises Inc dba Sacramento State Sponsored Research
Project Director: Kelly Lindner
The University Library Gallery at Sacramento State will present an exhibition with related public programs featuring the work of South Asian American artist Rajkamal Kahlon, a locally-born artist who has achieved international recognition. Painting directly atop disassembled book pages from anthropology books, medical reports, travel books, and other materials, Kahlon proposes painting as a strategy to reframe xenophobic narratives. Her work “talks back to these archival documents and points us towards spaces of potentiality and freedom.” The project includes a comprehensive interpretive exhibition, a display of artwork at Yuba Sutter Arts, Marysville, and five public programs on the Sacramento State campus and in the surrounding region occurring in fall 2021.
Chinatown History Project
Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, Los Angeles
Project Director: William Deverell Ph.D.
This multifaceted project recovers the history of a place and a population. In the 1930s, the first Chinatown of Los Angeles was demolished to make way for Union Station. The residents and workers in this vibrant neighborhood lost their homes and places of employment. Working from a set of nearly 150 photographs that captured Chinatown before the bulldozers arrived, the Chinatown History Project reconstructs the neighborhood and its people through compilation of historical data: names, addresses, occupation, family data, citizenship information, photographs, oral histories, sources, even the demolition records issued to tear it all down. Walking tours, a book, a conference, lectures across formats and venues, an interactive website, and an augmented reality installation atop the former sites of homes, apartments, and stores will bring this little-known story to broad audiences. This project asks audiences (across Los Angeles and beyond) to expand our knowledge of this hidden history. It uncovers another troubled moment in the long history of racial oppression in the City of Angels.
Collidoscope: A De la Torre Brothers Retro-Perspective
Riverside Art Museum, Riverside
Project Director: Todd Wingate
“Collidoscope: A De la Torre Brothers Retro-Perspective” will inaugurate the new Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art and Culture of the Riverside Art Museum, affectionately nicknamed “The Cheech.” Opening in December 2021, the exhibit, developed in partnership with the Smithsonian Latino Center, will examine the work of two artists whose work crosses the borders of nationality and culture (Mexican and American), media (glassblowing and printmaking), and influences (folk art, technology, and popular culture). In addition, the project will further explore the themes of border and identity in related publications, offer a robust series of public programs, and an artist residency, providing visitors and viewers in the Inland Empire and beyond with opportunities to develop greater appreciation and understanding of the evolving culture of the border region.
Literature Of and About the Dunes & the Central Coast
Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center, Guadalupe
Project Director: Alexis Elias
Through a year-long series built around four books by local writers set in the local landscape, this project aims to increase familiarity with the history, geography, and narratives of the Dunes and the Central Coast. The selected works will be made available in both Spanish and English. In addition, local public libraries will host discussions in both languages, facilitated by humanities experts from Cal Poly SLO and UC Santa Barbara. Project activities will culminate with three public programs that explore the themes of the works, provide an opportunity for the readers to share what they have discovered, promote a deeper understanding of the relationship of literature and place, and encourage self-interrogation and empathy among all participants.
Jakara: Sikh Youth Public History Project*
Fresno City & County Historical Society
Project Director: Candice Pendergrass
By enabling youth to become the collectors and curators of their personal and family histories, a series of educational workshops and intergenerational public history projects will record, preserve, and make the little-known history of the Sikh and South Asian communities in Fresno County more visible. A cohort of 15 to 25 teen participants will acquire skills in family history research, oral history collection, digitization, and exhibit design while developing a deeper understanding of the international context of their family history. Video oral histories and digitize family photographs and documents will be incorporated into digital exhibits and shared via presentations and Google Arts & Culture. A cumulative community listening event will provide the public with the opportunity to view the young peoples’ work, and all project-produced materials will be saved and shared through the physical and online archives of the Historical Society.
GRANTS AWARDED IN WINTER 2020
Blues in the City
Yerba Buena Arts and Events, San Francisco (Bay Area)
Marcus Shelby, Project Director, $10,000
Yerba Buena Gardens Festival (YBGF) Resident Artist Marcus Shelby will develop and present “Blues in the City”, a series of six programs that will put a spotlight on how San Francisco’s most vulnerable lives — the homeless, the poor, and the BIPOC communities — have been drastically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Leveraging his expertise as both an educator and a composer, Shelby will use both lecture and live music to foster greater understanding among people and inspire civic participation. Guest speakers will explore the COVID-19 pandemic through the lens of homelessness, structural racism, and socio-economic inequity, while guest musicians will perform excerpts from new work that has been created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This educational series beginning in Fall 2021 will be co-presented by YBGF, the Museum of the African Diaspora, and the Community Music Center. All programs will be admission-free, ADA accessible, and open to the public.
Humanities in Los Angeles *
Humanities in Los Angeles, Los Angeles (LA Region)
Andrea Quaid, Project Director, $10,000
Humanities in the City will host Humanities in Los Angeles: a dynamic, multifaceted project that includes Youth Workshops, a Public Lecture Series, and an Exhibition and Publication. The project activates experiential humanities learning for youth participants and multigenerational audiences, showcasing the ways interdisciplinary inquiry can shape individual and public life. Youth Workshops provide learning experiences for students from Los Angeles public high schools. All public programming invites participants into dialogue, critical and imaginative thinking, and collaborative knowledge-making. Partners are the Edendale Branch Library, California State University, Los Angeles English Department, Poetic Research Bureau, and Women’s Center for Creative Work. Programming will begin in June 2021.
Judith F. Baca: Memorias de Nuestra Tierra, a Retrospective
Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach (LA Region)
Gabriela Urtiaga, Project Director, $20,000
This project encompasses an 11,000-sq. ft. exhibition of over 110 works presented in three galleries, a robust public programming schedule, numerous K-12 educational activities and a 200-page publication cataloguing Baca’s work, an internationally renowned Los Angeles-based Chicana muralist and activist, with scholarly essays written by MOLAA’s Chief Curator and the project’s Humanities Advisors. The exhibition, the first comprehensive survey on the artist, will feature an immersive mural installation using 3-D mapping technology, photography, and video. A Community Education Series, led by practicing artists, educators, and humanities experts, will provide interactive humanities learning experiences, both free and fee-based, to engage students, families, educators, and the general public. Slated to open at the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) in July 2021, the exhibition will subsequently travel to one or more U.S. venues, with conversations now in progress with the Smithsonian.
Kumeyaay Comics: Indigenous Histories of California *
Campo Band of Missions Indians (Campo Kumeyaay Nation), Campo (San Diego Metro Region)
Ethan Baregas, Project Director, $20,000
Launching in May 2021, the Kumeyaay Comics project responds to the need for more accurate and Indigenous-centered accounts of California history. Initiated by California tribal members and executed in collaboration with a team of humanities advisors from NAGPRA Comics, the project will create a series of comic book-format tribal histories that will make use of history, cultural anthropology, and the arts to increase understanding and access to Indigenous histories and perspectives. The rigorously researched series, both authored and vetted by members of the community, will be published electronically and made available for free use by local newspapers or as exhibit panels in schools and cultural centers, supplemented with lesson plans for classroom use. Printed copies of the comics will be available through Tribal Print Source, a tribally owned publisher in California. A traveling exhibit will also be produced that will launch at the San Pasqual Cultural Center in Escondido.
The Land of Milk and Honey
California State University San Bernardino Philanthropic Foundation, San Bernardino (Inland Empire Region)
Edward Gomez, Project Director, $20,000
The Land of Milk and Honey is a series of multi-disciplinary and multi-lingual traveling arts and culture programs presented by The MexiCali Biennial in conjunction with partnering institutions based in the Inland Empire, the Monterey Bay region, the Imperial Valley and along the California/Mexico border. Drawing inspiration from the writing of John Steinbeck, this program seeks to provide a broad range of audiences throughout the state with a comprehensive look at California agriculture, past and present. Through exhibitions, panel discussions, film screenings, music programs and community-based interactive projects, artists, academic experts, writers and culture bearers will explore foodways, ecology and food security. Special topics include the Bracero program and its legacy, the global impact of migrant workers, the symbiotic relationship between the US and Mexico, the rise and legacy of the United Farm Workers, the importance of land in the Mexican Revolution, and the history and legacy of immigration in our state. Local partners will assist with outreach to engage underserved communities who will be interested in these subjects, along with the general public, and accessibility will be expanded through multilingual programming.
Reclaiming Our Space (ROSe)
Filipino-American Development Foundation on behalf of South of Market Community Action Network (SOMCAN), San Francisco (Bay Area Region)
Angelica Cabande, Project Director, $20,000
Led by the San Francisco South of Market Community Action Network (SOMCAN), Reclaiming Our Space (ROSe) is a multifaceted project that draws on the humanities, art, urban design and community planning to organize, empower, and strengthen the South of Market Street (SOMA) community and SOMA Pilipinas Cultural District. Conceived by arts curator and writer Lian Ladia, the project will engage 15 participants in researching and thinking about art, design, and urbanity over a 10-week series of socially distanced online workshops, writing/visual research activities with site visits, and publicly accessible lectures of guest speakers from multiple humanities and arts disciplines. ROSe plans to document the project through a publication that will provide a long-term resource for current and future SOMCAN partners, including the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, Planning Department and Department of Public Works.
Securing Justice: The Ethics and Lived Experience of California Housing Insecurity
Cal Poly Pomona Foundation, Pomona (Los Angeles Region)
Brady Collins, Project Director, $20,000
The theme of “housing insecurity” will anchor a series of panel discussions and podcasts launching in January 2021, organized by the California Center for Ethics and Policy (CCEP) at Cal Poly Pomona. The panel series developed collaboratively by students, faculty, field researchers and practitioners, provides a platform for experts from a variety of academic and artistic disciplines and local advocates to discuss different topics related to housing insecurity, including the impact of COVID-19 and housing segregation. Podcast episodes, featuring artists, philosophers, and advocates at the forefront of social movements and policy change in the region, will range from interviews and panel discussion to oral histories, performances, and storytelling.
The Black Index*
Regents of the University of California Irvine, Irvine (Orange County Region)
Bridget Cooks, Project Director, $20,000
The exhibition presents visual strategies that contest the overwhelming number of photographs of Black people as victims of violent crimes that are circulated with such regularity that they no longer refer to the persons they depict. Instead, the photographs mark Black death as a normal, monotonous, unremarkable non-event. The Black Index artists ––Dennis Delgado, Alicia Henry, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, Titus Kaphar, Whitfield Lovell, and Lava Thomas –– create new synapses, perceptive inroads into conceiving Black death as loss to be mourned and remembered. Their art argues for recognition of lives that existed in the full complexity of form and spirit. The Black Index will debut at UC Irvine in January 2021, before traveling to the Palo Alto Art Center, Black Studies Galleries at the UT, Austin, and Hunter College in New York. A robust series of related public programs during the California installations consists of artist talks, a summer camp and workshops for East Palo Alto youth, and lifelong learning programming for adults.
Project Wild Edges
Miners Foundry Cultural Center, Nevada City (Sierra Region)
Lisa Barker and Jenny Hale, Project Directors, $20,000
“Wild Edges” is a new site-specific interactive, multimedia theater work exploring the intersection of nature and culture in California’s Sierra. Presented alongside the Wolf Creek Trail which runs behind a rural shopping strip in Grass Valley, the project will provide a platform to share the voices and perspectives of historians, First Peoples, ecologists, and current land managers, who have all had a presence and impact on this site, which is itself the product of a natural disaster. Performances in fall 2021 will invite audiences to reflect on a number of questions: What values have we held as a society that have informed our land management practices, and are they serving us today? How can humans evolve with other species to envision a sustainable world where all may thrive? How can the creative process inspire new connections and possibilities for our rural interface with the wild? Post-performance discussions aim to invigorate civic participation and foster a stronger sense of community.
Woven Lives: Exploring Women’s Needlework from the Italian Diaspora
Historic Italian Hall Foundation, Los Angeles (LA Region)
Marianna Gatto, Project Director, $20,000
The Italian American Museum of Los Angeles will present an interpretive exhibition and associated public programming to examine the largely overlooked topic of needlework in the Italian migratory experience. Long considered an essential domestic skill that was passed down from generation to generation, needlework assumed new importance following immigration to the United States, providing a vital source of income. Although immigrant women continued to practice this tradition in their private lives, their daughters overwhelmingly rejected the cultural expectation to sew. Its transmission interrupted, needlework was relegated to heirloom status, gained new cultural meanings, and became a metaphor for the immigrant experience before being rediscovered and preserved. In addition to highlighting the cultural practices and experiences of Italo Californian women, the exhibition and programs will draw parallels to other immigrant groups, past and present, to promote cross-cultural understanding and appreciation of our collective cultural heritage. Special programs and other efforts to strengthen accessibility will promote cultural equity and inclusion for museum visitors, as well as provide an opportunity for people of diverse backgrounds to engage in dialog and collaborative art making and the sharing of stories and traditions.
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.
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
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
Arts Council of Nevada County, Grass Valley
Project Director: Michael Llewellyn
Debuting in October, 2020 at the Truckee-Donner Recreation Center, FOREST⇌FIRE 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
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
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
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-care. This 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
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
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
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