(Trenton, NJ) – The New Jersey Council for the Humanities (NJCH) recently awarded $250,383 in Action Grant funding to sixteen organizations. Action Grants help organizations implement a wide array of humanities-based projects, including public programs, exhibitions, installations, tours, and discussion groups.
Public humanities programming allows individuals to share in the exploration of history, values, cultures, and beliefs. NJCH supports and acts as a resource for cultural and service-oriented nonprofit partners as they bring public humanities experiences to the citizens of New Jersey, harnessing the power of the humanities to strengthen communities. The most competitive grant applications proposed a bold vision for a new or existing program that balances strong humanities content with deep audience engagement.
Grants were awarded to:
- Cherry Hill Public Library, Cherry Hill ($6,000) to organize a community-wide book discussion and program series focusing on books and authors that explore issues pertaining to Cherry Hill and South Jersey.
- City of Jersey City, Jersey City ($20,000) to host a series of discussions about the evolution of feminism through the historical lens of the woman’s suffrage movement and the passage of the 19th amendment.
- coLAB Arts, Inc., New Brunswick ($20,000) to create a month-long exhibition of art, artifacts, video, and audio installation exploring restorative justice and juvenile sentencing in collaboration with the Zimmerli Art Museum through a coLAB Arts residency.
- County College of Morris, Randolph ($12,685) to broaden the scope of The Legacy Project, a CCM interdisciplinary initiative that engages the community and features a public lecture series, this year on the themes of war, peace, and healing.
- Isles, Inc., Trenton ($14,000) to foster historic and cultural tourism in two sections of Trenton by developing two walking and two virtual tours to complement significant redevelopment momentum in the areas.
- Lake Hopatcong Foundation, Landing ($3,500) to develop and offer three programs featuring humanities scholars with accompanying exhibits on local history topics – history of the Lake Hopatcong Train Station, transportation in the lake region, and Lenape folklore.
- Mighty Writers Camden, Camden ($20,000) to bring GirlPower!, one of Mighty Writers most popular programs, to Camden, which will help participants develop critical reading and writing skills.
- Morven Museum & Garden, Princeton ($20,000) to create an exhibition, Dreaming of Utopia in Roosevelt, New Jersey, that will explore the visionary design, architecture, and cultural history of Roosevelt, New Jersey, a communal experiment and artistic haven founded on ideals of social justice.
- Newark Performing Arts Corporation, Newark ($20,000) to pursue research and interpretation regarding the African-American experience at Newark Symphony Hall in order to support goals of offering diverse, engaging experiences from the vantage points of Black barrier-breaking storytellers.
- People & Stories/Gente y Cuentos, Lawrenceville ($19,362) to support their Enriching Lives Through Literature project, which will provide seven 8-week literature reading and discussion programs in English and Spanish to underserved audiences throughout the state.
- Perkins Center for the Arts, Moorestown ($19,220) to create Upon Our Authority: 100 Years of Women’s Empowerment in New Jersey through Oral Expression and Folk Tradition, a project that will illuminate the history of women’s movements and explore issues around women’s rights through the lenses of history, ethnography and gender studies.
- Rowan University, Glassboro ($20,000) to create a digital exhibition to explore, capture, and visualize place-based, human connections to water in New Jersey that will include interpretive display material for ‘listening stations’ at public libraries or community sites throughout the state.
- Rutgers University – Camden, Writers House, Camden ($9,100) to host six generative writing workshops for veterans to draw public attention to the experiences of women, transgender people, and people of color in the armed forces.
- Rutgers University, Department of Landscape Architecture, New Brunswick ($19,200) to continue the exploration of connections between the environmental, cultural, and political histories of the Ringwood Mines Superfund Site in order to develop an expanded book publication, an exhibition, and a website.
- Thomas Edison State University, Trenton ($19,974) to host dinners, dialogues and deliberate cultural simulations to encourage participants think deeply about race relations and what individuals can do to be more culturally and linguistically responsive.
- Woodbury Community Pride, Woodbury ($7,342) to expand and deepen efforts to engage with local audiences and facilitate informative community conversations for the Woodbury Pride LGBTQ Film Festival.
“Addressing complex topics through public humanities programs in New Jersey strengthens communities and widens the perspectives of individuals,” said Executive Director Carin Berkowitz, Ph.D. “Action Grants support the efforts of the organizations doing this important work. Each of these applications thoughtfully proposed meaningful work that will explore and tackle issues that affect us all.”
As a humanities-focused nonprofit re-granting organization, NJCH awards Action Grants from $2,000 to $20,000 to implement or expand programs. Also, NJCH awards Incubation Grants from $1,000 to $5,000 to experiment, research, prototype, and consider new models and topics for public humanities programs. Each dollar invested into communities through the grant program is matched by the grantee partners. Nonprofit organizations interested in learning more about NJCH’s grant program can visit njhumanities.org.
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About the New Jersey Council for the Humanities
The New Jersey Council for the Humanities is a nonprofit state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. NJCH harnesses the power of the humanities to strengthen our pluralistic society. We envision a New Jersey that delights in diversity, appreciates that there are no easy answers, and finds joy and understanding in the humanities. We work statewide with cultural and community organizations to bring dynamic programming to the local level.
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