CTH Renews 5 Partnerships, Adds 1 New, in Grants Totaling $348,750 to Organizations ‘Essential to CT’s Cultural Infrastructure’

For Immediate Release
January 18, 2024

Contact: Dana Barcellos-Allen | dbarcellos-allen@cthumanities.org | 860-937-6648

CT Humanities Renews 5 Partnerships, Adds 1 New, in Grants Totaling $348,750 to  Statewide Organizations that are ‘Essential to CT’s Cultural Infrastructure’

MIDDLETOWN, CT (January 18, 2024) – The Connecticut Humanities Board of Directors has voted to renew partner support for five organizations and fund one new partner through Partnership Grants totaling $348,750 in State of Connecticut funds. These Partnership Grants support Connecticut organizations and their projects which have a strategic statewide, regional, or national impact in the humanities for the public.

The five organizations receiving continued funding are: Connecticut Council for the Social Studies, Connecticut Democracy Center, Connecticut Heritage Foundation, Connecticut League of Museums, and International Festival of Arts & Ideas, Connecticut Arts Alliance is a new funded partner.

“These funded partnerships are essential to Connecticut’s cultural infrastructure as they expand access to digital resources and educational programs and bring more inclusive stories from our past into our public spaces today,” said Jason R. Mancini, executive director of CT Humanities. “Importantly, our partners convey the value of public arts and humanities to residents across the state. They help us make Connecticut a great place to live, work, and play.”

CT Humanities serves as a collaborative hub to combine the expertise and best practices of these partner organizations, expanding their reach to provide enhanced benefits across Connecticut. Over the past three years, CT Humanities has invested nearly $3 million in partnerships with 10 organizations, funded by the State of Connecticut and the CT Cultural Fund.

“All of our partners play a critical role in supporting the state’s cultural infrastructure,” said Michael Kemezis, manager of partnerships and projects for CT Humanities. “I am excited to continue working with these great organizations in supporting and developing Connecticut’s cultural and heritage communities.”

Funded organizations call the funding crucial and impactful, noting that the state’s humanities landscape now features expanded access, more inclusive content, new contributors, and organizations that better represent all of Connecticut.

Connecticut Arts Alliance is grateful for this support and the trust that Connecticut Humanities has placed in our organization as a strategic partner,” said Brett Thompson, executive director of the Connecticut Arts Alliance. “This partnership grant supports our work to build a stronger cultural sector that brings the power of creativity to our state’s economy, vibrancy of our cities and towns, and quality of life for our residents.”

“With the funding support of Connecticut Humanities, the Connecticut Council for the Social Studies revamped their organizational structure, wrote the state’s first set of social studies standards, and provided over 300 hours of professional learning for over 3,000 educators,” said Anthony Roy, president of the Connecticut Council for the Social Studies. “With continued funding, CCSS is able to sustain this pace of providing leadership and professional development for teachers, develop museum-school partnerships, write US History curriculum focused on including representative narratives, and host a student-teacher conference focused on the commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.”

“Support from Connecticut Humanities helps the Connecticut Democracy Center provide high quality, low-cost civics and history programs to almost 20,000 Connecticut students of all ages each year,” said Sally Whipple, CEO of Connecticut Democracy Center. “Through CT History Day, CT’s Kid Governor, and CT’s Old State House field trips, students develop valuable skills that serve them well in the classroom and beyond as they grow into committed and engaged community members.”

“The Connecticut Heritage Foundation is appreciative of the continued support from and partnership with Connecticut Humanities,” said Kendall Wiggin, treasurer of the Connecticut Heritage Foundation. “This new funding will allow Conservation ConneCTion and the State Library to bring best practices to more repositories in our effort to preserve the historical record which is critical to understanding our history.”

“With partnership funds from Connecticut Humanities, the Connecticut League of Museums has developed a new strategic plan and hired additional staff to support our growth and enhance our ability to serve our members,” said Amyrs O. Williams, executive director of the Connecticut League of Museums. “Continued partnership support will allow us to sustain our level of staffing and grow our organization to meaningfully serve the full diversity of Connecticut’s museum community.”

“In our Ideas program, we tackle pressing social and political issues through dynamic conversations,” said Denise Santisteban, curator of tours, ideas & storytelling at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas. “CTH’s Partnership Grant will allow us to bring in a diverse group of thought leaders from across the state for these talks to dream about the steps we can collectively take towards a better future.”

Descriptions of the organizations’ funded projects follow:

Connecticut Council for the Social Studies: Partnership funding will continue the successful work of the Connecticut Council for the Social Studies to employ an equity lens to lead implementation of the new social studies standards, offer professional development, and provide funding for sustainable partnerships between cultural institutions and schools.

Connecticut Democracy Center: Through this partnership, the Connecticut Democracy Center will be able to increase staff for two signature and award-winning civics/history programs: Connecticut History Day and Connecticut’s Kid Governor®. Increased staff will allow for expanded audiences and participation, deepen engagement opportunities, add enhancements and resources, and increase focus on equitable access. CTDC will also be able to deepen and expand services to teachers and students in underserved communities.

Connecticut Heritage Foundation: Our partnership with the Connecticut Heritage Foundation and Conservation ConneCTion supports the Collections Assessment Grant Program, which provides small and mid-sized museums with a free assessment of their museum or archive collections. Grant recipients receive a half-day site visit from a museum curator or archivist who examines collections on exhibit and in storage, along with policies and procedures related to collection care and management, with a written report provided when concluded.

International Festival of Arts & Ideas: CT Humanities will continue to work alongside the International Festival of Arts & Ideas to elevate conversations centered on the most pressing issues of our time through the Ideas series – the flagship humanities component of the Festival for almost 30 years. In 2023-2024, funding from CT Humanities will support presenting world-renowned speakers from Connecticut and around the globe and building deeper connections with educators and young people across the state.

Connecticut League of Museums (CLM): The Connecticut League of Museums unifies and strengthens our state’s museums and cultural resources to expand their capacity and community impact. CLM provides support to cultural organizations to advance professionalism of the cultural field through programming and advocacy.

CT Arts Alliance: The Connecticut Arts Alliance is the only statewide advocacy organization for the arts. Currently led by a volunteer board of directors, the organization has made significant strides in recent years to unite the arts community in support of the arts and to elevate awareness of its importance among leaders of state government.

For information on partnership grants, click here.


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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