At their June meeting, the board of directors of CT Humanities (CTH) awarded $65,589 in humanities project grants from the CT Humanities fund.
These programs provide participants opportunities to immerse themselves in the human experience and to deepen connections to one another and to their communities. Visitors can explore local histories including a train wreck, a silversmith shop, the rise of Bridgeport’s Columbia Records, and the “understory” of enslaved Africans, indigenous people and free Black communities in the 18th and 19th centuries. A celebration of Hispanic heritage and festivals of film, poetry and literature bring to life the cultural richness of our state. Workshops and discussion series provide spaces for people to engage with issues facing peoples with marginalized identities, examine the bilingual experience in Connecticut and take part in a collective expression of pandemic-related grief and loss.
“This round of grant awards highlights the diversity of cultures and expressions of our humanity as well as the many organizations providing pathways for residents of our state to connect to that richness,” explains Dr. Jason Mancini, executive director at CTH. “CT Humanities is proud to support these programs and we are happy to see first-time grantees in the group.”
The 14 organizations to receive Quick Grants this round are:
Groundwork Bridgeport (Bridgeport, $4,999), The Bridgeport Film Fest; WPKN 89.5 FM (Bridgeport, $4,597), Expressing Collective Grief and Loss in the Age of COVID; Fairfield Museum and History Center (Fairfield, $4,915), Topping the Charts: The Rise of Bridgeport’s Columbia Records; Hill-Stead Museum (Farmington, $4,999), Sunken Garden Poetry Festival; Connecticut Science Center (Hartford, $4,900), Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access in STEM: Evening Program Series; Manchester Historical Society (Manchester, $4,999), Manchester: Then & Now; Connecticut College (New London, $4,999), One Book Region 2021; Custom House Museum (New London, $2,690), Post-COVID-19: Re-Tooling the Visitor Experience at the Custom House; Global City Norwich (Norwich, $4,750), Bank Street Blues Bilingual; Society of the Founders of Norwich (Norwich, $3,975), Upgrades to the Joseph Carpenter Silversmith Shop Museum; Pomfret Historical Society (Pomfret, $4,890), Waking the Dead – archaeology, genealogical and archival research about enslaved Africans in Windham County; Pequot Library (Southport, $4,992), Magic, Mayhem, and Maturity: The Growth of Youth Fantasy Literature; Town of Thompson (Thompson, $4,885), Thompson CT – More Than Just a Train Wreck!; Mattatuck Museum (Waterbury, $4,999), Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month @ The MATT
Hosted by first-time grantee, Global City Norwich, Bank Street Blues Bilingual (BSBB) is a group of local musicians, teachers, video artists and scholars. BSBB uses music and discussion to explore Latino culture and language, issues of social justice and multi-ethnic populations, art in our private lives and as a catalyst for systemic social change and creating safe spaces for communication and artistic expression for all social groups.
“For everyone involved in this project, including community organizations and institutions, CTH’s decision to fund us has brought great hope,” shared Norwich teacher and BSBB member, Resu Espinosa-Frink. “In the words of composer Charles Frink, ‘Music is more than entertainment: it has moral value because of the ideas we transmit through it. Hope hinges on a fundamental change of direction and of heart — the revival of local organizations and community feeling.’ Thank you for the opportunity given to us to continue this work.”
Also funded this round, The Bridgeport Film Fest is a three-day short-film festival with both virtual and in-person viewing options. Hosted in partnership with first-time grantee Groundwork Bridgeport, the festival will bring the community together through film screenings, workshops and panel discussions focusing on Black stories, queer film and the representation of women in and behind the camera.
“We believe that Bridgeport can be a hub for the arts and humanities in CT, with a diverse and thriving artistic scene and a community that’s always looking for enriching events and opportunities to connect with one another,” says Jason Coombs, actor, director, teaching artist and treasurer at Groundwork Bridgeport. “We are grateful to CT Humanities for its support in bringing a film festival to Connecticut’s most populated city and proud to partner with them in celebrating artists and engaging with audiences that too often get ignored.”
There are several opportunities to apply for a Quick Grant from CT Humanities throughout the year. For more information on eligibility and deadlines, visit cthumanities.org/grants/quick-grants.
About CT Humanities
CT Humanities (CTH) is an independent, nonprofit 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.