CT Humanities Awards $186,423 to 10 Cultural Organizations for Project and Capacity Building Grants and Announces New Partnership with EPOCH
February 28, 2023 • CTH Funded, Features & News, Press Release

Dr. Michael Groat, Silver Hill Hospital, consults with Ordinary People cast members Cooper Smithers of Redding, CT (R, as Conrad Jarrett) and Chandler Hall of Darien, CT (C, as Karen Aldrich)

For Immediate Release
February 23, 2023

Contact: Scott Wands | swands@cthumanities.org | 860-937-6535


CT Humanities Awards $186,423 to 10 Cultural Organizations for Project and Capacity Building Grants and Announces New Partnership with EPOCH

MIDDLETOWN, CT – At their recent meeting, the board of directors of CT Humanities (CTH) awarded $186,423 in Capacity, Planning, and Implementation Grants from the CT Humanities Fund and a $200,000 Partnership Grant from the CT Cultural Fund to further support statewide projects and collaborations with humanities and arts organizations. The CT Cultural Fund is administered by CT Humanities, with funding provided by the Connecticut State Department of Economic and Community Development/Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) from the Connecticut State Legislature.

“CT Humanities is excited about our new Partnership with EPOCH as well as the variety of major project grants awarded at this deadline,” says Dr. Jason Mancini, executive director at CTH. “In particular, these awards highlight CTH’s commitment to tell fuller, more inclusive stories about Connecticut and its communities.”


Partnership Grant recipient:

The organization receiving a two-year partnership grant is:
UConn Foundation/EPOCH (Storrs, $200,000) An Integrated Framework for Engaged, Public, Oral, and Community Histories (EPOCH)

EPOCH will leverage the subject matter expertise and resources of the state’s flagship university to tell fuller, more inclusive stories about Connecticut through collaboration and capacity building with community organizations, K-12 teachers, historical societies, public libraries, and individuals in the areas of engaged, public, oral, and community histories.

About UConn Foundation

The UConn Foundation is an independent non-profit organization that operates exclusively to promote the educational, scientific, cultural, research, and recreational objectives of the University of Connecticut and UConn Health.


Capacity Grant recipients:

Wethersfield Historical Society (Wethersfield, $9,999) Planning for Reinterpretation of the Hurlbut-Dunham House and Grounds

Mystic Museum of Art (Groton, $9,999) Mystic Museum of Art Strategic Plan

Stonington Village Improvement Association/James Merrill House Committee (Stonington, $3,260) Towards James Merrill’s Centennial: A Strategic Planning Process for the James Merrill House

Capacity Building grants support Connecticut organizations that bring the humanities to the public by helping them better understand their audiences, assets, and operations.

“CT Humanities is making possible for Mystic Museum of Art (MMoA) to raise its standards for curatorial excellence, program delivery, and inclusion by funding the critical planning required for sustained institutional growth,” explains Susan Fisher, executive director and chief curator at MMoA. “Strategic planning drives our core values and mission to the very heart of all we do and envision. We are deeply grateful to CTH for putting exceptional planning within our reach, and as a result, exceptional art experiences within reach of our visitors and neighbors.”

Chair of the James Merrill House Committee Kathryn Burchenal says, “CTH’s generous Capacity Grant has enabled the James Merrill House to conclude a new strategic plan for the nationally-known Writer-in-Residence program for 2023-2027, which includes the centennial of Merrill’s birth in 2026. The James Merrill House is balancing in-person, digital programming, and collaborations with other CT non-profits to ensure continued accessibility for diverse audiences throughout Connecticut, and to contribute to the state’s cultural vitality.”


Planning and Implementation Grant recipients:

Arts Council of Greater New Haven (New Haven, $24,610) Native Peoples in Connecticut (working title)

The Housing Collective (Bridgeport, $35,000) The Practice of Democracy: The Connecticut Experience

James Baldwin Project (Easton, $25,000) James Baldwin Centennial:  Identity, Then & Now  

Westport Museum for History & Culture (Westport, $24,715) Black Women’s History Video Project (Final Title TBD)

Connecticut Daughters of the American Revolution (Windsor $21,440) Gov. Jonathan Trumbull House Interpretative Plan

Weston History & Culture Center (Weston, $16,900) “Weston at Work” Exhibition in the Coley Barn

Hartbeat Ensemble (Hartford, $15,500) (im)migration 360

Planning and Implementation grants support projects that help us understand and appreciate human history, culture, values, and beliefs. They allow us to analyze our complex society and to make thoughtful, reasoned decisions based on inquiry, evaluation, and empathy.

Native Peoples in Connecticut will explore some of the most important histories and current issues facing Connecticut’s five state and federally recognized tribes. Based on extensive interviews with 15 of these tribal members, a research document will be written conveying their most compelling histories and humanities themes to be part of the draft outline documentary script used to produce a one-hour documentary film. Four interviews have already been conducted, resulting in the development of four themes: 1) Kinship and Gender, 2) Maintaining culture and staying connected, 3) Reclaiming Homelands and Homewaters, 4) Governance as tribal nations. The additional eleven interviews will continue to develop and expand upon relevant themes.

Documentary filmmaker and project director for Native Peoples of Connecticut Karyl Evans elaborates that, “with the support of the CTH Planning Grant, a group of Native and non-Native filmmakers and scholars are actively working with all five State and Federally Recognized Native American tribes in Connecticut. This project represents an incredible opportunity for Connecticut citizens to learn directly from the Indigenous Peoples living in our state about their history and current state of affairs.”

Westport Museum for History & Culture will be creating an entirely new video series that continues their work around African American communities in their neighboring towns and beyond focused on examining the many aspects of the lives of African American women in Connecticut from the period of enslavement through the era of Civil Rights.

“Thanks to Connecticut Humanities, we’ll be able to produce a video series with living historian and YouTube star Cheyney McKnight of Not Your Momma’s History, about Black Women’s history in Connecticut,” says Ramin Ganeshram, executive director of Westport Museum for History & Culture. “This program furthers our ongoing mission to deeply explore hidden histories in order to present the most well-rounded and inclusive view of American history.”

Opportunities to apply for a grant from CT Humanities exist throughout the year. For more information on eligibility and application due dates, visit cthumanities.org/grants/.


About CT Humanities
CT Humanities (CTH) is an independent, non-profit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. CTH promotes civic engagement and connects people to the humanities through grants, partnerships, and collaborative programs. CTH projects, administration, and program development are supported by state and federal matching funds, community foundations, and gifts from private sources.

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