CT Humanities Awards Over $2.4M, Funds Collaborations and Partnerships

For Immediate Release
November 11, 2021
Contact: Aimee Cotton Bogush | abogush@cthumanities.org | 860-937-6648

Over $2.4 M from CT Humanities Funds Statewide Collaboration with Arts Alliances and Partnerships to Support Museums, Serve Diverse Cultural Communities, and Strengthen Civics Education

MIDDLETOWN – At their October meeting, the board of directors of CT Humanities (CTH) awarded $2,384,484 from the CT Cultural Fund and $80,000 in SHARP funding to further support statewide collaborations with humanities and arts organizations. The CT Cultural Fund is administered by CT Humanities (CTH), with funding provided by the Connecticut State Department of Economic and Community Development/Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) from the Connecticut State Legislature. SHARP funding has been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and the NEH Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan (SHARP) initiative.

“We recognize that our state’s cultural resources make Connecticut a wonderful place to live, work, and experience,” states CTH Executive Director, Dr. Jason Mancini. “This particular funding strengthens regional and statewide-focused organizations and programs so that every resident of Connecticut has greater access to resources that cultivate their knowledge of and interest in our history, our cultures, and our civic traditions.”

The organizations receiving two-year partnership grants are:

Connecticut League of History Organizations (New Britain, $800,001), Strengthening and Transforming the Connecticut League, Connecticut Democracy Center (Hartford, $400,000), Expanding CT Democracy Center’s Service to K-12 Teachers and Students Through Kid Governor and CT History Day, and Connecticut Historical Society (Hartford, $699,483), Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program.

CT Humanities’ continued partnership with the Connecticut League of History Organizations (CLHO) will forge a stronger, more robust, and sustainable Connecticut League with the capacity to serve not only Connecticut’s history community but its entire museum ecosystem.

Dr. Amrys Williams, executive director at CLHO, says, “This year we learned how incredibly valuable museums and local history institutions are to residents and how vitally important and relevant they are to our communities. Our work will help the state’s network of museums meet the demands of the moment in sustainable ways that broaden access and stories. The pandemic has also propelled us into the digital realm, and we will collaborate with CTH and partners to continue building digital infrastructure at and among organizations through the Connecticut Collections project.”

CT Humanities is committed to promoting the value of civic engagement among young people in Connecticut. The partnership with the Connecticut Democracy Center (CTDC) helps teachers and students to interact with Connecticut history and learn about the electoral and legislative process in fun and meaningful ways through two signature and award-winning civics/history programs, Connecticut History Day (CHD) and Connecticut’s Kid Governor® (CTKG).

According to Sally Whipple, executive director at Connecticut’s Democracy Center at Connecticut’s Old State House, “Our partnership with CT Humanities will enable us to expand audiences and participation, deepen engagement opportunities, add enhancements and resources, and increase our focus on equitable access to teachers and students in underserved communities.”

CT Humanities strives to ensure the public humanities will strengthen communities and enhance the quality of life for all Connecticut’s residents. The Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program (CCHAP) at the Connecticut Historical Society’s collaborative work fosters the sustainability of traditions by encouraging tradition bearers to continue and pass on their unique cultural knowledge. CCHAP’s public programs enhance understanding of the artists, art forms, histories, values, and sense of place that define Connecticut and its communities.

Dr. Kate Schramm, director of CCHAP, explains, “Through this partnership, we can better serve diverse cultural communities throughout the state through increased community-informed consultation, in-depth cultural instruction within communities, community-led projects and collaboration, and open access to a growing catalog of digital assets in the CCHAP archive of materials at the Connecticut Historical Society.”

The regional arts alliances receiving one-year funding are:

Cultural Alliance of Western CT (Danbury, $50,000), Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County (Norwalk, $50,000), Greater Hartford Arts Council (Hartford, $50,000), Northwest CT Arts Council (Torrington, $50,000), Shoreline Arts Alliance (Madison, $50,000), the Arts Council of Greater New Haven (New Haven, $50,000), the Arts & Culture Collaborative (Waterbury, $50,000), Southeastern CT Cultural Coalition (Norwich, $100,000), and the statewide CT Arts Alliance (Waterbury, $125,000).

At CTH’s recent public comment session, Elizabeth Shapiro, Director of Arts, Preservation & Museums for the state, noted, “The work that the Office of the Arts and the State Historic Preservation Office is doing in conjunction with CT Humanities comes from a sense of joy and a deeply held set of shared values. Working collaboratively, we have already accomplished more in the past 2 years than ever before. Our voices are stronger when we are collaborating.” Shapiro continued, “We are forging a path towards challenging implicit bias together and challenging the way funding is done, this is a path toward continued improvement, and we are in it for the long haul to make systemic changes.”

About the Connecticut League of History Organizations
The Connecticut League of History Organizations (CLHO) builds connections among those who preserve and share the stories and objects of our past. For over 50 years, CLHO has strengthened and sustained its members by sharing knowledge and experience and promoting best practices among museums, historical societies, and all who steward Connecticut’s heritage collections.

About the Connecticut Democracy Center
The Connecticut Democracy Center (CTDC) provides people with a lifetime pathway to active citizenship and the tools to take civic action in their own communities.

Founded in 1998, The Connecticut Public Affairs Network (CPAN) is the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization at the heart of the CTDC. Beginning with the launch of CT-N in 1999 and the start of its relationship with Connecticut’s Old State House in 2008, CPAN’s successful public-private partnerships with the Connecticut General Assembly have provided the first critical milestones along our Lifetime Pathway. Complimented and augmented by our independent initiatives, CPAN’s entire family of civic education and engagement programs now form the Connecticut Democracy Center.

About the Connecticut Historical Society
The Connecticut Historical Society (CHS) mission is to cultivate deep understanding of the history and culture of Connecticut, and its role in America and the world, through reflection of the past, active engagement with the present, and innovation for the future through our collections, research, educational programs, and exhibitions. The CHS is home to the Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program (CCHAP), which serves as the state’s official folk and traditional arts initiative. CCHAP explores the rich diversity of Connecticut’s ethnic and occupational communities and artists, developing partnerships that help to bring their deeply rooted cultural practices and artistic expressions to wider public attention.

About the Designated Regional Service Organizations
The Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) partners with Regional Service Organizations (DRSOs) that serve as local field offices to constituents and citizens. The statewide network of DRSOs plays a key role that is mutually beneficial to the state’s residents and creative economy, the regional arts and cultural infrastructure, and COA’s goals, programs, and services. DRSOs support Connecticut’s economy by providing arts and cultural leadership at a regional level.

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. For more information, visit CTHumanities.org.


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