Quick Grants

With awards up to $4,999, a streamlined application process, and only one month from application to award notification, Quick Grants continue to help organizations create small-scale humanities programs that have big impacts on their communities. Quick Grants can be used to expand or enrich a larger public presentation project or serve as a standalone exploration of a specific topic or theme.

Quick Grants can be used to fund:

  • Small exhibitions
  • Discussion-based public programs (lectures, symposia, community conversations, pre- or post-performance talkback sessions, author talks, film talks, etc.)
  • Local history tours
  • “One Book” community reading projects

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Application deadlines:

June 1, 2018
August 3, 2018
October 5, 2018
December 7, 2018
February 1, 2019
April 5, 2019
June 7, 2019

Award decision: the first workday of the following month.

Applications must be submitted using Connecticut Humanities’ online grant portal.

Click here to view the Quick Grants program grant guidelines.

Before applying, organizations must contact CTH staff member Scott Wands at swands@cthumanities.org to discuss your project idea. We are eager to help you submit a strong application and are available to review draft applications received at least two weeks before the grant deadline. Applications submitted without prior communication with CTH staff will not be considered.

In FY2018, Connecticut Humanities awarded the following organizations Quick Grants for projects that helped their communities better understand and appreciate human history, culture, values, and beliefs.

American Clock & Watch Museum (Bristol), $1,659: “Scandals & Scoundrels” -This exhibition (on display April 2018 – December 2018) will highlight tales from the dark side of the clock and watch Industries. The stories will explore the darker aspects of the industry – its crimes, criminals, and ethical lapses – told from the vantage point of the timepieces on display. Each tale will also provide glimpses into what life was like during various stages in our nation’s development, and contribute new information about American clock and watch making.

Connecticut Aeronautical Historical Association (Windsor Locks), $1,000: “2018 Speaker Series” – The first in the series, “23 Years and Counting…The Restoration of the K28 Blimp Car” featured Crew Chiefs George Diemer and Russ Magnuson discussing the lone remaining Blimp Car used to detect and destroy German submarines in WWII. The second lecture, “The History of Pratt & Whitney,” was given by Mark P. Sullivan, former Communications Director for Pratt & Whitney. Mark will provide insight into one of the most iconic names in aviation, including background on Pratt & Whitney’s humble beginnings in a former cigar warehouse. “Maiden Flight – The Role of Katherine Wright” featured Guilford author Henry Haskell. His grandfather’s second wife, Katherine Wright, was the sister of Orville & Wilbur Wright. Haskell brought together the love and strife experienced by Katherine, her husband Henry Haskell, and brother Orville. Katherine was an integral member of the “team” and without her intervention during some of the brother’s toughest times, history may have taken a different turn.

Connecticut Storytelling Center (New London), $2,000: “37th Annual Connecticut Storytelling Festival & Conference” – Participants at the Connecticut Storytelling Festival & Conference had the opportunity to hear, work with and learn from an ethnically and stylistically diverse group of top-notch professional storytellers. The festival, which took place April 27th and 28th, included performances, hands-on intensive workshops and story sharing circles.

Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum (Hamden), $4,400: “Making America: The Irish in the Civil War Era” – This exhibit will be on display April 2018 through October 2018 to tell the story of the Civil War from the ethnic perspective of the Irish. Drawings, some never on display before, and journalism pieces will explore the differences that often take place from the original to what is published.

Litchfield Historical Society, $3,720: “By the Virtue of its Citizens: Educating a New Nation at Sarah Pierce’s Academy” – “By the Virtue of its Citizens” is an exhibition celebrating the 225th anniversary of Sarah Pierce’s Litchfield Female Academy, an important institution for female education that numbered over 3,000 graduates. The exhibit will run from April 14, 2018, to November 25, 2018, with a second season in 2019. The show covers all aspects of the school’s history, with specific focus on Pierce’s educational philosophy and the ways in which she helped to shape new opportunities and roles for women.

Russell Library Corporation (Middletown), $4,720: “Celebrating Black History Month” – Programs highlighting Black History Month educated library patrons of all ethnicities about the rich history of African Americans. Programs increased awareness of opportunities for ongoing partnerships between the library and the African American community and increased patronage. Funding went to support for a musical performance, film showings and discussions, book discussions, and marketing materials for an art exhibition.

Shakesperience Productions (Waterbury),$3,140: “Waterbury Interactive: Our City, Our Neighborhoods” – This is an inter-generational project within Waterbury that engages participants of all ages to obtain oral histories and adapt them to be presented to the public in performances by casts comprised of young people and older adults and project leaders. These shows are toured to the general public where they live, learn, and recreate to promote dialogue and the further development of this history of the people and cultures of the Greater Waterbury area.

Connecticut Historical Society (Hartford), $4,000: “Facing War: Connecticut in World War I”- Connecticut Historical Society (CHS) will present an exhibition about the experience of Connecticut residents during World War I. Photographs and artifacts from the CHS collection help tell a story about how the Great War affected and changed people’s lives in the state. The exhibition will be on view to the public May 22, 2018 – December 8, 2018.

Fairfield Museum, $4,000: “Revolutionary Spies: Exhibition and Graphic Novel”- From May 17-October 1, 2018, Fairfield Museum will exhibit “Revolutionary Spies.” This series of graphic novel-style panels designed by Kirk Manley will tell the dramatic story of the spy ring that operated between New York City, Long Island, and Fairfield during the Revolutionary War. The exhibition will explore the motivations and interactions of members of the spy ring, bringing to life the risks that they took to secure and transmit intelligence.

Haddam Historical Society, $1,000: “Revolution Song; A Story of American Freedom Book Discussion by author Russell Shorto”- Best-selling author Russell Shorto discussed his new book, Revolution Song, which weaves the stories of six historic figures during the American Revolutionary War, including local legend and freed slave, Venture Smith. The book addresses the significance of individual freedom and rights and how they were the inspiration and catalyst for powerful change and a new nation. Conversation and discussion confronted how these past struggles are still relevant social issues today.

Mattatuck Historical Society (Waterbury), $3,000- “FRÁGIL Maneje con Cuidado: Bienvenido a los puertorriqueños a nuestra communidad / FRAGILE Handle with Care: Welcome Puerto Ricans…”- This multi-part project will recognize, address, and welcome the evacuees from Puerto Rico who have come to Waterbury. “FRÁGIL Maneje con Cuidado” is comprised of an art- and history-based exhibition (open now) and a series of educational programs. It explores the evacuee experience in Waterbury and presents that experience against the broader context of Puerto Rican life and culture before the disaster. The Mattatuck has worked with members of the Puerto Rican community to identify relevant and welcoming works.

Paul J. Aicher Foundation, dba Everyday Democracy (Hartford), $1,800: “Citizen Demos”- The Citizen Demos program consisted of a one hour and forty-five-minute talk and group dialogue with renowned international humanities scholar, conflict mediator, and speaker Ashok Panikkar on the values and culture of Democracy in our modern-day context. Participants engaged in dialogue and deliberation to revisit the role of the “citizen” in a modern-day democracy. The talk and dialogue addressed the role of humanities education in preserving open and free societies.

Quiet Corner Reads (Killingly), $2,500: “Quiet Corner Reads One Book Program 2018”- Quiet Corner Reads presents the annual One Book season, which consists of book discussions and related programming at the twenty-one-member libraries in Connecticut’s northeast corner. This year’s book selection was announced on February 14, 2018, and events at member libraries will be held March 2018 through June 2018. Marie Benedict, the author of the 2018 book The Other Einstein, will be traveling to Connecticut to deliver a presentation and sign books at the Mansion at Bald Hill in Woodstock on June 20, 2018.

Salisbury Forum, $1,000: “Salisbury Forum Lectures”- There were two lectures, a screening, and discussion of five mini-documentaries produced by Connecticut high school students. The first lecture, which took place March 9, 2018, was on contemporary dance by Pamela Tatge of Jacob’s Pillow. The second lecture, which took place April 27, 2018, was on American Political History by PBS journalist and Amherst Professor Ray Suarez. The student documentaries were produced under the Civic Life Project. Students will show their films and discuss them on June 10, 2018.

Yale University/Yale Peabody Museum (New Haven), $3,000: “EVOLUTIONS Exhibition FY18 Unsung Heroes”- Students in the Peabody Museum’s afterschool program will implement an exhibition on the history of women in science. Developed by New Haven and West Haven High School students in the EVOLUTIONS program, with support from museum staff, the exhibition will uncover and tell the story of the history of women in science. In addition to highlighting the scientific achievements of these women, the exhibition will examine the barriers and obstacles these bright, determined, strong individuals overcame. The exhibit will be open for a year, May 2018 to April 2019.

Connecticut River Museum (Essex), $4,999: “Thirsty River: Four Centuries of Drink, Life, and Reform in the Connecticut River Valley”- The exhibit “Thirsty River: Four Centuries of Drink, Life, and Reform in the Connecticut River Valley” will examine through artifacts, documents, and imagery alcohol’s history in the Valley. From colonial settlement to present day, alcohol’s importation, production, and consumption has played a significant social, economic, and political role. The exhibit will explore this complex history that is as dark as it is spirituous, and as historic as it is relevant to today. The exhibit is planned to open on June 7, 2018 and will run through October 8, 2018.

Windham Textile & History Museum, $1,585: “Unraveled Threads: Deindustrialization, Postindustrialization, and the Transformation of Connecticut Textile Mill Towns: An Exhibit”- The project was designed to create and mount a museum-quality exhibit on the decline and fall of the Connecticut textile industry (deindustrialization, 1880-2000) and the subsequent transition to a postindustrial economy (postindustrialization) now underway in the state’s former textile mill towns. The exhibit includes permanent display boards and video, so that it can be recreated later in other venues to stimulate public discussion.

Friends of the Prudence Crandall Museum, Inc. (Canterbury), $1,585: “The Story Will Outlive the Canvas”- This year’s symposium will connect Prudence Crandall with the origins of the New England and American Anti-Slavery movements, in addition to the emerging 19th century women’s rights movement.

Fairfield University, $2,500: “Imagining the Coast: A Public Symposium on the Humanities and the Sea”- A symposium that brings together regional scholars, authors, museums, historical societies and community members to discuss the importance of the coastline and seas to our understanding of the region’s history, culture, ecology, and identity. Long Island Sound and regional maritime zones are the primary focus, but given the global nature of the sea, oceanic connections to other regions will also be considered. Being held at Mystic Seaport and Enders Island in Mystic, September 14-16, 2018.

Florence Griswold Museum (FGM, Essex), $3,750: “Teaching Poster for SEE/change Online Learning Exhibition for Educators and Students of Connecticut History”- FGM received funding to create a humanities-rich teaching poster to equip and encourage educators of history and Social Studies to use FGM’s new history-based online learning exhibition, SEE/change, to lead engaging class discussions of state history. Featuring an iconic Connecticut scene by George Durrie (c. 1853), the poster has been designed to spark discussions on such topics as Connecticut’s historic architecture, agriculture, slavery, geology, clothing, food practices, class, and global events.

Westport Historical Society, $3,000: “Title Not Yet Decided: Exhibit About African American History in Westport”- This as yet untitled exhibit explores the African American history of Westport. It includes an interactive main exhibit, with a replica slave quarters found in a local home built in 1729, the town dock and other locales. Original artifacts from the 18th century to the present are featured. A full roster of programs accompanies the exhibit, which will run from May 11, 2018 to September 10, 2018. A sensitivity board comprising black scholars and community leaders are advising on this project.

Torrington Historical Society, $2,750: “Torrington and World War I (working title)”- This World War I project has two educational components: a World War I exhibition created by the Torrington Historical Society and a World War Living History Day. Both events will be held at the Torrington Historical Society. The exhibit will discuss the Great War and its impact on the Torrington community. The Living History event, free to the public, is a collaboration with the Connecticut Civil War Round Table and will include a lecture, re-enactors, period music, and the exhibit.

Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford (JHSGH, West Hartford), $4,100: “The Power of Protest: The Movement to Free Soviet Jews”- JHSGH is bringing the National Museum of American Jewish History’s traveling exhibit, “The Power of Protest: The Movement to Free Soviet Jews” to West Hartford to be displayed in the Chase Gallery at the Mandell JCC, from June 2018 to August 2018. The opening will include a presentation by Dr. Sheldon Benjamin, who worked closely with the movement’s founders, and two additional programs about former Russian immigrants and community leaders that assisted with the resettlement in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.

Riverfront Recapture (Hartford), $2,500: “On Board the Onrust: Bringing Dutch History to the Hartford Riverfront”- Riverfront Recapture worked with the Connecticut River Museum (CRM) to bring the Onrust, a replica of a ship sailed up the Connecticut River by Dutch explorer Adriaen Block in 1614, to Hartford’s Mortensen Riverfront Plaza from June 21 to June 24, 2018. The Onrust served as a dockside floating museum, and Riverfront Recapture offered land-based activities and tours of the vessel while it was docked during the day and public cruises on the Connecticut River in the afternoon and evening.

CitySeed, Inc. (New Haven), $3,000: “Sanctuary Kitchen Community Event Series @ Common Ground: Sí Se Puede-A Screening of Dolores & A Global Farm-to-Table Evening”- CitySeed will hold a two-part community event series at Common Ground High School this summer. First will be a film screening and panel discussion of the film Dolores, the story of Dolores Huerta, a farm worker activist. Panel includes: Unidad Latina en Acción, UConn’s El Instituto, Department of Labor, and a farm worker. Food by Sanctuary Kitchen. Second will be a Global Farm-to-Table dinner hosted by Sanctuary Kitchen chefs from Sudan, Afghanistan, and Syria, with storytelling & discussion.

Guilford Preservation Alliance, $3,000: “Witness Stones Project Implementation in Middletown and West Hartford”- Witness Stones is a collaboration between students, teachers, local scholars, and the community to reveal the history of Connecticut’s enslaved. It started in Guilford in 2017. With CTH funds, the project will expand to West Hartford and Middletown with teachers researching enslaved in the summer and creating lesson plans to be used at their schools. Teachers will share this information with their classes in the fall, resulting in student research projects and culminating in public dedication ceremonies in November.

Norfolk Historical Society, $2,500: “Artistic Taste and Marked Skill: The Photography of Marie H. Kendall”- The 2018 exhibition will focus on the life and award-winning photography of Marie Hartig Kendall (1854-1943). Her keen eye for nature and affinity for her craft have left us a unique archive of photographs and glass-plate negatives, which have just been digitized. Many of these images will be on display for the first time. A printed brochure and educational programs will accompany the exhibition.

East Lyme Puppetry Project, Inc. (Niantic), $2,500: “’We the People’ Preview Showcase”- ELPPI requested funds to debut through three preview showcases of “We the People,” their new fifty-minute educational puppet show about David Bushnell, Ezra Lee, and America’s first attack submarine, The Turtle. Showcases are designed to introduce educators, museum directors, historians, representatives from local submarine-related entities, and the public to the story and a unique technique for conveying it to youth and family audiences. They will also seek feedback to make the show more effective.

Connecticut 4 H Development Fund, Inc. (4H Education Center at Auerfarm) (Bloomfield), $2,500: “Auerfarm’s History on Display: A Model Farm, A Retreat and A Place for Learning”- 4-H Education Center at Auerfarm will collaborate with The Connecticut Historical Society (CHS) to present an exhibition about the history of Auerfarm. Photographs and artifacts from the CHS collection, along with archival material from Auerfarm, tell the story of how Beatrice Fox Auerbach transformed the land into a model farm, where she entertained and sought respite from her corporate and philanthropic life. The farm also exemplifies the generational philanthropy of the Auerbach’s heirs.

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts (Old Lyme), $3,250: “A Living Monument to Cultural Heritage Preservation: Cities of Peace”- Exhibit of large works focused on ten global cities ravaged by war. This is a collaboration of city artists, archaeologists, poets, writers, historians, cultural leaders, preservationists, city officials and others drawing attention to strife in their city and resilience of citizens to celebrate the “soul” of their city. The project includes a panel discussion with renowned experts elucidating exhibit themes. Themes include the power of creativity, of art to preserve cultural heritage and support peace-building, and the triumph of hope over darkness.

Russell Library Company (Middletown), $3,725: “Common Ground 2018 — The 10th Middletown International Film Festival”-Six international films will be hosted by three collaborating partners–Russell Library, Wesleyan University and Middlesex Community College–with each film reinforcing the fact that, as people, we’re more alike than we’re different, despite any apparent variations in skin color, language, political affiliation or religious preference. An experienced, well-vetted facilitator will introduce each film and lead a discussion afterward, allowing viewers to benefit from one another’s shared insights. Screenings will take place six consecutive Tuesdays, October 2nd – November 6th, 2018 at 7:00 pm.

New London Landmarks, $1,571 : “Discrimination, Urban Renewal and New London’s Lost Neighborhood: a Walking and Virtual Tour”-Using photographs, oral histories and appraisal forms, this program will explore the effects of urban renewal on residents of a neighborhood razed as part of the Winthrop Cove Redevelopment Project, as well as the 20th century policies which made this neighborhood vulnerable to demolition. New London Landmarks will offer a guided walking tour and digital tour, including audio clips, and will produce a program booklet printed and available for download free of charge. The walking tour will be Saturday, September 15th at 1:00 p.m. The digital tour and booklet will be permanently available.

Sankofa Kuumba Cultural Arts Consortium (Hartford), $4,999: “Emancipation: From the Caribbean To the United States”-“Emancipation” is a cultural exchange summer camp program aimed to invigorate and educate youth about their lineage and the use of traditional artistic methods as a means of emancipation. Youth will learn about various Caribbean islands and their perceptions of freedom, as compared to liberation of people of color in the United States. Attendees will participate in a four-week program, panel discussion and final presentation to showcase their knowledge of each construct learned. Camp will run from July 20, 2018 to August 20, 2018.

Bethany Library Association – Clark Memorial Library, $899: “Small Great Things – A Community Reading Beyond the Cover”-Using the Jodi Picoult novel Small Great Things as the anchor for a One Town, One Book, Bethany Library Association will engage the town in community discussions and programs geared to increasing the community’s awareness of racism’s many forms, including institutional and cultural. Programming will focus on creating a public dialogue for discussion and reflection on race, power, and privilege. They will offer programming appropriate for all age groups. The “Beyond the Cover Kickoff” will take place September 11, 2018 all day. “Beyond the Cover” book discussion will take place October 9, 2018 from 6 pm – 8 pm.

Connecticut College (New London), $4,999: “One Book, One Region 2018: Exit West”-Connecticut College is a partner of One Book, One Region of Eastern Connecticut, which is based on the idea of expanding a small book club to that of an entire community. This is the third year that the College has been a partner, and they are thrilled to host a community event with the author of this year’s selection Exit West, Mohsin Hamid, on September 26, 2018. The event is free and open to the public in their largest meeting space, Palmer Auditorium, followed by a book signing.

Fairfield Historical Society, $1,874: “Flappers: Fashion and Freedom Exhibition”-At this key moment in our national history, the Fairfield Museum will explore the long struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression. The Fairfield Museum will present an exciting new exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and Freedom,” examining the history and social impact of early 20th century fashion and its relationship to the women’s movement in the 1920s. “Flappers: Fashion and Freedom” will be on view August 16, 2018 – February 10, 2019. Programs, such as lectures and workshops, will also be held in the evenings.

Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc., $4,998: “Arts on the Quad, Mystic Seaport Museum’s Summer Evening Program Series”-Mystic Seaport Museum requested funding from CT Humanities to produce the museum’s “2018 Arts on the Quad Summer Evening Program Series” in an expanded format. This year, the four selected performances will support the content of the four exhibits currently on display around the Gallery Quadrangle. Each program in the 2018 series will feature humanities-based discussions linking exhibit content with the performances. Arts on the Quad programming runs from 5 pm to approximately 8 pm on July 14th, July 29th, August 11th, and August 25th.

East Lyme Public Library, $2,899 : “100 Years at The Farm”-July 10, 2018 marked the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Connecticut State Farm for Women, now known as York Correctional Institution (Connecticut’s only state prison for women). Through a series of events including book discussions, a lecture, a performance and a photography exhibition, the East Lyme Public Library will explore the history of this institution. The public will be encouraged to learn about and discuss the changing purposes of this institution over the past 100 years. Book Discussions will include “Couldn’t Keep it to Myself: Wally Lamb and the Women of York Correctional Institution” on July 23rd at 7 pm and “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander on August 18th at 7 pm. A historical photography exhibit will be on display in the Community Center Lobby from July 2, 2018-July 31, 2018.

Total Quick Grants Awarded = $110,422.

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