Cal Humanities

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

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

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

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

Quad of four film still images.

California Humanities Announces Support for New CDP Public Engagement Projects in 2024

Clockwise from top left: Stills from SANSÓN AND ME, NEW WAVE, DELANO MANONGS, and REAL BOY.

California Humanities is pleased to announce support for four new California Documentary Project (CDP) Public Engagement projects, each designed to help bring previously supported media productions to new and underserved audiences throughout the state. Presented in recognition of the CDP grant program’s 20th anniversary, this support strengthens California Humanities’ commitment to serving all Californians with meaningful and engaging humanities programs and content.

The selected projects received $20,000 in CDP Public Engagement support to implement a range of participatory activities and programming built around the films. Each will help further the goals of the CDP Public Engagement program by helping engage new and unexpected audiences and communities that might not otherwise have access to this content.

Film poster, with white text "The Delano Manongs" overlaid on a black and white photo of a man with a cigar in his mouth looking off camera.

Project Director: Marissa Aroy

THE DELANO MANONGS tells the history of the Filipino farmworkers who ignited The Delano Grape Strike of 1965 and the birth of the United Farm Workers Union. Through the creation of a social media series that transforms the documentary into a series of TikTok videos, this project will build connections between the past and present and help preserve the legacy of the Delano Manongs and their enduring impact on the Filipino American narrative for new audiences.

A group of four young Asian girls pose together wearing 1980s fashion against a pink backdrop.
Photo courtesy of NEW WAVE.

Project Director: Elizabeth Ai

NEW WAVE tells the story of how a little-known music scene in Orange County spread throughout the Vietnamese diaspora in the 1980s and helped build community and identity among refugee youth. In 2024 the film will be the centerpiece for public engagement activities such as screenings, panel discussions, interactive workshops, local partnerships, and more with the Vietnamese American communities of San Jose and Orange County.

Project Director: Shaleece Haas

This project will offer a series of zine-making workshops and facilitated dialogue for trans and non-binary youth that incorporates selections from the films REAL BOY and TO THE FUTURE, WITH LOVE as prompts. The workshops will expand on the films’ themes of gender identity and the importance of creative self-expression for young trans and non-binary people who face a world that all too often denies their realities.

Sanson and Me film poster, featuring a photo of a boy with his hands up in the air looking off camera, swathed in pink light

Project Director: Rodrigo Reyes

“What is justice?” This is the guiding question behind the public engagement campaign for SANSÓN and ME, a vibrant portrait of a friendship navigating immigration and the depths of the criminal justice system. This screening series in the rural Central Valley will engage immigrant communities and incarcerated populations in deep, locally-grounded dialogues around the meaning of justice and the impact of mass incarceration and immigration upon families in the region.

About the California Documentary Project

For over 45 years, California Humanities has been the leading funder of humanities-based documentaries by, for, and about Californians. Through the CDP grant program, we provide catalytic support for high-quality, far-reaching nonfiction media productions that use the humanities to explore essential California subjects and issues relevant to both statewide and national audiences. Together, they provide a rich and complex portrait of this state and help us better understand who we are and where we live.


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