Connecticut Humanities (CTH) recently awarded $37,265 in COVID-19 related Quick Grants to nine (9) humanities organizations in Connecticut.
“Connecticut Humanities is proud to help the cultural sector remain vital and transform to meet the needs of audiences across the state in response to the ongoing impact of COVID-19,” says Dr. Jason Mancini, Executive Director, Connecticut Humanities.
This most recent round of grants funds projects that explore Latin American cultural influences in Connecticut’s communities, connect educators to rich local curriculum resources for their classrooms, and expand digital access to content for people statewide.
“This is the first grant that INTEMPO received from CT Humanities. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted issues of systemic inequity, racial equity and the need for change. INTEMPO will use this project grant as an opportunity to bring more awareness and understanding about interculturality through music and film. Together, we look forward to helping our communities share that despite having a shared Spanish language, Latin American cultures are not a monolith,” explains Angelica Durrell, CEO and President, INTEMPO.
Gigi Liverant, Co-President, Colchester Historical Society, says, “With gratitude to CT Humanities, the society can now pursue our year-long goal of rebuilding our non-responsive website to include expanded narrative, audio and virtual tours of the Colchester History Museum.COVID-19 has shuttered our museum, but CT Humanities is enabling us reach out to our audience with relevant and dynamic new content.”
“We are grateful to the CT Humanities Quick Grant for making it possible for the Edith Wheeler Memorial Library to present its eight-part online series, United States in WWII: Perspectives on History with a Modern-Day Context in partnership with the Monroe Historical Society,” says Library Director, Lorna Rhyins.
“It’s so important during the pandemic to find ways to connect with our isolated populations and give them a chance for intellectual stimulation and robust discussion. The history topics in this series directly target one of these groups, our male seniors. With increased lecturer costs and concerns about the security of budgets, this CT Humanities grant has been the key to providing culturally significant programming.”
Lauren Coakley Vincent, President and CEO of Bridgeport Downtown Special Services District adds, “Downtown Bridgeport is a commercial area that represents and serves a diverse tapestry of the wider Bridgeport community. The historic buildings, public parks, and independently owned restaurants and shops that populate the street-level spaces in our neighborhood create connection points that foster the sense of community so special to the downtown and the city. Our Jane + Laurayne’s Walk event celebrates our local heroes who embody that diversity and the principles of community-led change. We are so thankful for the Connecticut Humanities Fund – without its support we would not be able to connect participants with the neighborhood while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to persist.”
The nine (9) organizations to receive Quick Grants this round are:
Bridgeport Downtown Special Services District (Bridgeport, $4,975.00)
Jane and Laurayne’s Walk Virtual Tour of Downtown Bridgeport
Funding allows creation of a companion neighborhood tour video to their Jane + Laurayne’s Walk. They will honor Laurayne Farrar-James, who embodies the principles of community-led change, and introduce new people to her story and legacy. The video tour allows participants to connect with the neighborhood while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to persist.
Colchester Historical Society (Colchester, $4,945.00)
Enabling Outreach through an Enhanced Web Platform
Funds are used to upgrade the CHS website to a responsive platform to feature two important new exhibits through 360-degree, narrated virtual tours that enable stories to reach a broad audience and reconnect to students, educators, historians and the public.
Fairfield Historical Society (Fairfield, $4,999.00)
Fairfield Museum K-12 Distance Learning Platform Development
Funds are used to develop a distance learning platform in partnership with Fairfield Public Schools (FPS) and technology company CultureConnect. The platform will host two online content modules for FPS 3rd and 5th grades, using regional history, supporting FPS curriculum, and aligning to social studies standards.
Sonia Plumb Dance Company (Hartford, $1,625.00)
Penelope’s Odyssey – A Digital Exploration of the Humanities Themes in Penelope’s Odyssey the Dance
Funding supports the filming and editing of a performance of Penelope’s Odyssey, a series of humanities discussion-based webinar programs, the performance, as well as the creation of study guides for teachers and students to help contextualize and frame the themes of women’s voices, gender roles, and Greek/Roman mythology in Penelope’s Odyssey.
Friends of the Edith Wheeler Memorial Library (Monroe, $1,824.00)
The United States in WWII: Pivotal Events from a Modern Perspective
This eight-part series looks at United States involvement in WWII and will be presented via Zoom. Each program examines the U.S. role in the war through a specific battle or event that made a critical difference in outcomes. The programs will express perspectives from both sides of the conflict, what was controversial and why, and its impact on later decisions and perceptions in American society. Connections will be drawn to current-day issues and policies. Programs will take place two Thursdays each month from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. starting in September and ending in December.
Central Connecticut State University Foundation (New Britain, $3,900.00)
Connecticut Literary Festival, Online Lit Talks
The 2020 Festival is moving online with a series of Lit Talks, thought-provoking conversations on books, culture, and literary life featuring authors, educators, and arts advocates. These free virtual events for the Connecticut literary community and schools, particularly virtual high school classrooms, are “live” on September 10th, 24th; October 1st, 10th and 22nd; November 5th and 19th; and December 10th. They will be archived for future viewing.
Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum (Ridgefield, $4,999.00)
Funding supports Hindsight is, a digital project to enhance distance learning for families and schools including research materials, a series of podcast episodes dramatizing historical figures, and online public conversations with collaborators including historians. The program will deepen the audience’s understanding of the ways local history can inform contemporary debates including systemic racism, voting rights, erasure of First Peoples, and fascism. The exhibition runs October to March and programming from September through November.
Intempo Organization, Inc (Stamford, $4,999.00)
Andean and Afro-Latinx cultures in the Connecticut diaspora
Funding brings this hour-long program featuring a half-hour documentary, Compadre Huashayo, produced by PBS with Latin Grammy composer Gabriela Frank and multi Emmy-winning videographer, Aric Hartvig to Connecticut audiences this fall. The film features insights into South American, Indigenous, and Afro-Ecuadorian music as a unifying force for cultural identity and social justice. Post-screening, participants will join a guided discussion and see live and/or virtual performances showcasing Indigenous/Andean instruments featured in the film.
Mattatuck Museum (Waterbury, $4,999.00)
Virtual School Tours
With this funding, the Mattatuck will respond to teacher needs caused by COVID-19 by creating virtual school tours for third, fourth, and fifth grade. Tours will reinforce the social studies curriculum and allow students to use objects and primary sources to learn about history.