NJCH awards $184,000 in Action Grants in July 2017

The New Jersey Council for the Humanities (NJCH) recently awarded $184,000 in Action Grant funding to thirteen New Jersey organizations.  Action grants support the implementation of a wide variety of humanities-based projects, including public programs, exhibitions, installations, tours, and discussion groups.  Grantee projects will reach diverse audiences throughout the state and ensure access to public humanities programming.

Public humanities programs allow individuals to share in the exploration of history, values, culture, and beliefs.  NJCH supports and acts as a resource for cultural and service-oriented partners as they bring public humanities opportunities to the citizens of New Jersey.

Grants were awarded to:

  • Bethel AME Church ($10,000) to organize a series of public programs surrounding an exhibition about the history of free African Americans and race relations past and present in Morris County.
  • Bloomfield College, Division of the Humanities ($14,500) to connect contemporary writers and community audiences, particularly underserved audiences, through writing workshops, panel discussions, and readings.
  • Grounds for Sculpture ($20,000) to create an in-gallery programming space that explores the narratives of African American women, supported by a scholar-in-residence, which will serve as a platform for facilitated discussion, making, reflecting, and sharing.
  • Montclair State University ($20,000) to create a 90-minute documentary that will explore the complex meaning of “recovery” from severe psychiatric disorders.
  • Montclair State University, Harry A. Sprague Library ($20,000) to offer a series of free public discussions, panels, experiences, and screenings that compare Japanese and Western perspectives on artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics.
  • Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum ($7,650) to recreate a smaller version of a World War II-era spotter tower and tell the story of the women, elderly, and children that volunteered as plane spotters.
  • Ocean City Historical Museum ($2,200) to fund an American Sign Language interpreter for exhibit tours and the museum’s Thursday Night Lecture series, allowing deaf patrons to explore the museum with support.
  • Old First Historic Trust ($20,000) to develop an oral history project that will record, preserve, and disseminate the stories of the ‘59ers, the Cuban immigrants that came to Elizabeth, NJ in the aftermath of the Cuban Revolution.
  • PCK Media & Stockton University ($20,000) to support the production of a short documentary about Kea Tawana, a self-taught artist who built a 3-story ark in Newark’s Central Ward in the mid-1980s that became a focal point for debate about urban renewal.
  • Ramapo College of New Jersey ($11,400) to further the use of the digital collection of the Papers of Jane Addam’s, who was a pioneer peace activist, social worker, and progressive philosopher, in community collaborations.
  • The College of New Jersey ($10,000) to create a humanities-based disability and cultural studies curriculum and website for students in Trenton High School West and beyond.
  • Whitesbog Preservation Trust ($8,250) to create a series of short films capturing oral histories for the future Cranberry and Blueberry Museum.
  • Who is My Neighbor? Inc. ($20,000) to support Highland Park students’ efforts to create an archive of personal narratives and short films about the rich history of the African American community in Highland Park, NJ.

“The projects that were selected to receive funding present exciting opportunities for New Jerseyans to explore history and values,” said NJCH Executive Director Dr. Briann G. Greenfield.  “Each initiative includes elements of dialogue and connection.  NJCH is proud to support efforts that spark conversations between community members about topics and ideas that affect all of us.”

As a humanities-focused nonprofit re-granting organization, NJCH awards Action Grants up to $20,000, to implement or expand programs.  Also, NJCH awards Incubation Grants up to $5,000 to experiment, research, prototype, and consider new models and topics for public humanities programs.  Each dollar invested into communities through the grant program is matched through our partner organizations.  Non-profit organizations interested in learning more about NJCH’s grant program should visit the website at www.njch.org/grants.

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