Council Announces 14 Major Grant Awards
After a thorough review process, the Michigan Humanities Council is proud to announce that 14 organizations have been awarded major grants under the Fall 2011 granting period. Totaling $193,167 in grant award dollars, these 14 grantees will leverage an additional $469,937 through cost share. With projects ranging from art exhibits, documentaries and book tours, this next year will bring a new level of community engagement to Michigan.
Provided below are the grant recipients and a brief overview of their projects. Stay tuned to future issues of Michigan Stories and the Happenings calendar for information on these projects.
Plainwell Historic Interpretive Plaque Exhibit
Plainwell Downtown Development Authority
Plainwell DDA will create a permanent interpretive exhibit showcasing several buildings within its historic business district through the installation of 12 historic, decorative plaques on the structures. These plaques will highlight local stories and information related to the history and usage of the buildings. A “walking tour” will be developed and promoted with self-guided brochures and maps, along with a monthly guided tour narrated by a local historian.
Native Americans in the Civil War
Central Michigan University Clarke Historical Library
This grant will support the completion and dissemination of "The Road to Andersonville: Michigan Native Americans Sharpshooters in the Civil War," a film documenting the history of the Native American soldiers of the 1st Michigan Sharpshooters during the Civil War. The film chronicles the history of the 139 Anishinabe men who served in Company K as Union soldiers, and will be publicly shared through PBS television, local showings and an interactive website.
1934: A New Deal for Artists
Muskegon Museum of Art
The Muskegon Museum of Art (MMA) is the exclusive Michigan venue for the Smithsonian American Art Museum exhibition, 1934: A New Deal for Artists. The exhibit is comprised of 55 oil paintings organized around the themes of American people, city life, leisure, labor, industry, the city, the country and nature. This exhibit will be at the MMA from Feb. 16 – May 6, 2012. The MMA will add works from its collections that pertain to 1934 and the Depression. This exhibition will also examine the impact of the Depression era in West Michigan and throughout the state. It will tell the local story through photographs from archived collections of the Lakeshore Museum Center and Michigan State University.
Preservation of Scottish – American Cultural History in Storytelling and Dance
Saint Andrews Society of Detroit
This grant will fund presentations and recitals by three humanities professionals who are experts in the fields of traditional storytelling, history and dance, intended to help preserve Michigan’s Scottish history, while educating the community and attracting interest of youth to Scottish – American culture. The programs and recitals will take place at the Kilgour Scottish Center in Troy, where they will be videotaped and made available to local libraries.
Rekindling the Michigan African Mexican Connections
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Task Force Inc.
This interactive traveling exhibit will illustrate the timeline and escape routes taken by enslaved Africans who escaped to Mexico with the help of the Underground Railroad. Personal stories will be included about Michigan residents of African Mexican descent and the influence of African Mexican culture on Detroit area dances, music and customs.
Art in War
Northwestern Michigan College Foundation – Dennos Museum Center
Art in War, a traveling exhibit, will be at the Dennos Museum Center from April 15 – June 10, 2012. This exhibition features photography from Benjamin Busch’s 2003 and 2005 tours of Iraq as a member of the United States Marine Corps serving in combat units. Writings by Busch, a resident of Reed City, and other humanities scholars on the topic of war and peacekeeping will also be included in the interpretive materials. There will also be a showing of a related documentary film and panel discussions will also be developed. A K-12 touring program that includes an exhibition guide and lesson plans will also be developed to accompany the traveling exhibit.
The Grand History Lesson Project
Grand Rapids Public Museum
This grant will provide the implementation of a pilot program at the museum to incorporate new educational strategies as they relate to humanities-based concepts. The museum program will focus on active learning and project-based learning following the pattern of a successful program that was initiated at the Michigan Historical Museum. The Grand Rapids Public Museum program, “The Grand History Lesson,” will focus on the West-Michigan region and incorporate aspects of the museum’s existing “Life Along the Grand” program. Three separate classrooms from three different West Michigan schools, each with different demographics, will participate in testing and launching the program at the museum.
A Heritage So Richly Woven
Troy Historical Society
The Troy Historical Society will host a number of programs at Troy Historic Village including reading aloud, storytelling and lectures by Michigan humanities professionals. These interactive programs will focus on different cultures that comprise the diverse population of Southeast Michigan. The goal is to develop a shared understanding of the region's various ethnic groups by sharing their stories with each other. Components are included for children, youth, adults and visitors of all ages. In addition, a series of workshops are included to strengthen the capacity of humanities professionals, educators and the public to share their own and other’s stories.
Magic in Michigan
American Museum of Magic
This grant will support a virtual exhibit on the rich history of Magic in Michigan. The exhibit will highlight the reasons why south central Michgian became a haven and respite for some of the 20th century’s most-famous magicians, how these magicians affected the identity and economics of south central Michigan, and the impact of itinerant magicians on the small towns and big cities they visited in Michigan. The web exhibit will prioritize and utilize the extensive collections housed at the American Museum of Magic in Marshall, and include oral histories and videos of 10 elderly, prominent Michigan magicians to be recorded as part of this project.
Setting Our Table
Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS)
ACCESS will develop an interpretive exhibit focusing on Arab American foodways and customs highlighting food as a gateway to culture. This exhibit will be on display at the Arab American National Museum from July through December 2012, and will explore the culinary diversity of the Arab world and how foods have changed as Arab immigrants acclimated to life in Michigan and America. Exhibit components include 10 interpretive panels, five display cases, two interactive stations to experience Arab foods and spices, a video component, and a cell phone audio tour.
Long Road to Freedom – African Heritage in Salvador and Detroit
Con/Vida Popular Arts of the Americas
Production of a 36-page exhibition catalogue and K-12 educational materials will be developed by Con/Vida. The publications will support an exhibition scheduled to open at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in the winter of 2012 entitled, "Bandits & Heroes, Poets & Saints – Popular Art from the Northeast of Brazil." This exhibition will remain at the museum for six months and use popular folk art to showcase the mingling of African, European and Amerindian traditions in the northeast of Brazil. The materials will encourage discussion of the history and culture of the area Northeast of Brazil as it relates to African Americans in Detroit, and the commonalities and differences in history and experiences.
Scattered to the Winds: The Vanished Community of Cable’s Bay
Northern Michigan University – Beaumier UP Heritage Center
Creation of this exhibit is based on an archaeological dig conducted for the past two summers by NMU students and faculty at two separate sites on Beaver Island in Lake Michigan. The exhibition will use collected artifacts, images and interpretive panels to tell the story of the former fishing village that was located on the island. The exhibition will be on display at the Beaumier UP Heritage Center at NMU from late April to August 2012, and then will be housed at the Beaver Island Historical Society beginning in spring 2013.
International Documentary Association
This grant will fund post-production work on 70 hours of film footage shot by a documentary team beginning in January 2010 covering the opera, "Rockland," in Houghton. This original opera is based on a historical event from Michigan’s mining history. The proposed documentary, titled "Yoopera!" also covers the work of community artist Mary Wright as she implemented “The Story Line Project,” another Council-funded project.
U.P. Book Tour 2012
Peter White Public Library
The U.P. Book Tour 2012 will feature writers from Michigan or the Midwest who write about Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. A series of readings, workshops and panels are planned to bring literature to underserved communities. This project is intended to reach economically depressed communities with high levels of unemployment and/or low per capita income. The tour will partner with libraries, book stores, community colleges, community centers and other organizations to bring at least 20 authors to at least 15 small, rural communities through the U.P. during June and July 2012.
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