Connecticut Humanities Awards $21,214 in Quick Grants to 6 Cultural Nonprofits
November 15, 2020 • Features & News, Grants

Connecticut Humanities (CTH) awarded $21,214 at its October Quick Grant deadline.

“America is reckoning with racial injustice, gender inequality, economic and social injustice; while the country appears dangerously polarized and increasingly more divided,” says Marcella Monk Flake, executive director at Monk Youth Jazz and Steam Collective which will be running a two-part program on the impact of jazz music on race relations in America. “Our event will bring people of various demographics together for an evening of hope and unity. We will discuss the power of music to unite and we will remind those in attendance that love is greater than fear and hate,” continues Flake.

According to Laura Clarke, executive director at Site Projects, Inc., which is creating educational programming about a 19th-century Black leader, “the story of New Haven’s William Lanson — so long forgotten — cannot be re-told often enough at this time in all its glory and tragedy.  Site Projects is gratified to have CT Humanities as an underwriting partner in this endeavor.”

Ann Shapiro, executive director at the CT Storytelling Center, explains that through their program and workshops, “the stories by Ubuntu Storytellers will help participants deepen their empathy and open their hearts.  The workshops will inspire participants to look inward and to make a difference.  This program would not be possible without the support of Connecticut Humanities.

“CTH is proud to be funding projects that encourage dialogue, connection, and understanding and highlight the histories, stories, and cultures of Black, Indigenous, and Peoples of Color in diverse and engaging ways,” says Dr. Jason Mancini, executive director at Connecticut Humanities.

Four (4) of the awardees are receiving grants from CTH for the first time and are three (3) are first time applicants this year. “CTH is committed to strengthening the network of humanities organizations in Connecticut and broadening the reach and impact of quality humanities programming for our state’s residents,” adds Mancini.

The six (6) organizations to receive Quick Grants this round are:

Connecticut Storytelling Center (New London, $3,600)
Stories Build Bridges
Ubuntu Storytellers will give a performance and two workshops for adults, open to the public and free of charge.  The Ubuntu Storytellers are a newly formed ensemble of experienced Black, brown and biracial performers who tell stories of “being” as well as of “being in the skin we’re in” realities.  Ubuntu Storytellers’ purpose is to open hearts through empathetic listening, and to engage in respectful, honest dialogue, moving attendees to be open to change.  The performance will include stories that provide a window into the lives of the tellers, all people of color and workshops will facilitate self-understanding and build bridges between people.

Site Projects Inc. (New Haven, $4,450)
William Lanson Educational Outreach Program
Site Projects will release an Educational Outreach Program centered around the 19th-century black leader, William Lanson, and the oldest waterfront neighborhoods where he lived and worked. The outreach program will tell of his legacy in New Haven, as well the barriers he faced.

Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (Old Saybrook, $3,200)
Katharine Hepburn: Unintentional Trailblazer
The “Kate” will produce “Katharine Hepburn: Unintentional Trailblazer” (working title), an online exhibit that explores the personal and professional life of this influential cultural figure. A lecture focusing on Hepburn’s defiance of traditional societal roles for women and a moderated discussion of her influence in fashion are also planned.

Immigrant History Initiative (New Haven, $4,215)
Talking Asian American Identity with Your Children: Racism, Parenting, and Child Development during the Pandemic
This project addresses anti-Asian racism during the COVID-19 pandemic and equips parents with strategies, tools, and resources to help their children navigate complex racial dynamics.

Monk Youth Jazz and Steam Collective (New Haven, $4,999)
Thelonious Monk 103: “Monk, Jazz, and Bridging the Racial Divide”
This two-part virtual event highlights the life of Jazz Great Thelonious Monk and the impact of jazz music on race relations in America with documentaries and a panel discussion with Thelonious Monk III; Monk biographer Dr. Robin D.G. Kelley, and Dr. Nicole Ivy, Assistant Professor of American History at The George Washington University.

Yellow Farmhouse Education Center (Stonington, $750)
“Gather” Screening & Community Conversation
The film “Gather” tells the story of Native Americans working “to reclaim their spiritual, political and cultural identities through food sovereignty, while battling the trauma of centuries of genocide.” The screening will be followed by a virtual community conversation facilitated by Rachel-Beth Sayet, an indigenous educator, food anthropologist, and member of the Mohegan Nation.

For more information on all of our grant lines, visit

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