Funded Grants

Bull City 150: Reckoning With Durham's Past to Build a More Equitable Future

Sponsored by Duke University

This grant supports the Bull City 150 project’s mission to invite Durhamites to reckon with the racial and economic injustices of the past 150 years, and commit to building a more equitable future. The project presents original historical research through public exhibitions, where visitors can explore their shared history together, in public. Bull City 150’s exhibitions allow visitors to delve into Durham’s history through first-hand encounters with images, archival documents, sound recordings, maps, data visualizations, and hands-on interactives. Carefully researched and curated, the project’s exhibitions connect with visitors on an intellectual and emotional level by sharing personal stories of everyday Durhamites alongside evidence of the broader social and economic conditions that shaped their lives. By relating the past to their own lives in the present, visitors are invited to learn about local inequality and contribute to critical, historically-grounded dialogue about the future of their city.

To learn more about this project and how to participate, click here.

New South for the New Southerner

This grant supports the museum's "New South for the New Southerner" cultural series which allows new North Carolinians in the Piedmont region learn about our state. The program is geared for adults interested in the history and culture of the Piedmont region in general and the city of Charlotte in particular. The program will feature guest speakers drawn from academia, publishing, media and the arts. Informal in nature, each program may also feature music, food and drink, short films, interviews, panel discussions and audience participation. 

To learn more or participate in the series click here.

Greensboro Literary Organization

This Large grant supports the Greensboro Literary Organization's project "Immigration Stories." Their fall 2018 series of events address immigration and refugee issues in America, but specifically as they impact and affect the local community, as part of the organization's year-round Greensboro Bound (GB) programming. The project responds directly to contemporary immigration issues by providing attendees with opportunities to interact with and engage in a series of moderated panel discussions and public readings with scholars, writers, and community leaders.

Click here for a full list of project events.

Southern Women Writing America between the World Wars

This grant supports a partnership between the Wilma Dykeman Legacy and the Buncombe County Public Libraries, to host a 2018 series of lectures, documentary film screenings, and book club discussions to introduce Ashevillians to four important Southern women writers.

The years from World War I to World War II constituted one of the greatest periods of productivity in American literature. The names and novels of Sinclair Lewis, Ernest Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald and William Faulkner are well known to many, but few Americans know of Lillian Smith, Caroline Miller, and Elizabeth Madox Roberts – although one of them won the Pulitzer Prize and the other two earned international reputations.  Another fourth featured woman author will be, Mildred Haun, wrote a remarkable short story cycle revealing little-known facets of American society and culture.

Each session will be led by a humanities scholar who will lead the public through a discussion of these authors. The lecture will be followed with a book club discussion of the author’s work the following week. 

Pride and Pain: Remembering the Polio Hospital Site

This grant supports the creation of a traveling exhibit and three public programs commemorating and honoring the contested history of the Central Carolina Convalescent Hospital. The first event is on the 70th anniversary of the polio hospital opening; the second, on World Polio Day; and third on International Students Day.

During a polio epidemic Greensboro installed a polio hospital in a former building of the Overseas Replacement Depot, a military installation where troops were stationed before traveling overseas. In 1948, the Piedmont Triad and surrounding communities banded together, funding and completing construction on the hospital in just ninety-five days. The polio hospital was one of the first racially integrated hospitals in the nation. The hospital declined in importance as the threat of polio diminished, and it closed in 1961. Two years later, the city used the site as a makeshift prison for high school and college students fighting segregation, many of whom stayed in the hospital with limited supplies for nearly three weeks.

Elizabeth Hobbs Keckly Bicentennial Symposium

This grant supports the Historic Hillsborough Commission's events to mark the 200th anniversary of the 1818 birth of Elizabeth Hobbs Keckly, who lived at the Burwell School Historic Site from 1835 - 1842 as an enslaved member of the Burwell household. Their year-long commemoration includes a series of programs which started February 11, 2018 and consists of exhibits, lectures and dramatic representations.

The North Carolina Humanities Council’s grant supports the culminating scholarly event, a symposium held at a local African American church, featuring several of the most distinguished Keckly scholars from across the nation on November 10 and 11. This will be followed by a "pop-up museum" for young historians, led by Keckly's premiere biographer. The event will be opened by Dr. Michelle Lanier, Director of the NC African American Historical Commission, who will read aloud a Governor's Proclamation declaring November 10, 2018 to be Elizabeth Hobbs Keckly Day in NC.

Our Voices Will Be Heard

This grant supports the interdisciplinary public humanities project, "Our Voices Will Be Heard." This project immerses the audience in the world of the Women’s Suffrage, recreating the urgency of the cause and marches and bringing the experience to life through Virtual Reality. The project features an orchestral concert and related community engagement offerings built around the themes of gender equality, racial equality and social justice as fundamental human rights. The centerpiece of the concert is the World Premiere of the first-ever orchestral work incorporating Virtual Reality and a live symphony orchestra. In celebration of the Voting Rights Act, the orchestra will perform the American premiere of Florence Price’s newly discovered "Ethiopia’s Shadow in America." Ms. Price was the first African American composer ever to be performed by a major symphony. This work was discovered in a forgotten collection of papers in an attic in Chicago, and has only been performed once, by an orchestra in the United Kingdom.

Accompanying the concert is a series of community engagement events that further address the themes addressed in the musical program including: panels, Q&As, and an interactive, contextual display of voting rights movements, the culmination of a semester-long project by NC State Graphic Design students will complement the concert. The project is a collaboration with internationally-acclaimed composer Aleksandra Vrebalov, NC State Assistant Professor of Graphic Design Derek Ham, NC State College of Design graduate students and the community members and students of the orchestras.

Jane Austen Summer Program

This grant supports scholarships for 8-10 North Carolina Public School teachers' to attend at the 2018 Annual Jane Austen Summer Program (JASP). The 2018 conference celebrate the bicentennial of the publication of Northanger Abbey. Her first novel to be completed for publication in 1803, Northanger Abbey did not get published until after her death, in 1817. In juxtaposition with Frankenstein, Mary Shelley's highly influential work of 1817, JASP 2018 will explore the Gothic in all its forms and appearances: in literature, architecture, fashion, and trace its influences, particularly on the horror genre in popular culture today.

The conference provides educators with an opportunity to learn about new scholarly research, as well as gaining a general appreciation of English Literature and an understanding of the culture, life and writings of Jane Austen. Each day includes a plenary presentation by noted national scholars; roundtable discussions addressing historical and contextual issues (politics, material culture, music, dance, science, religion) and topics in Comparative Literature; theatrical performances, readings, concerts of period music, art and rare book exhibits, film screenings, and a ball.

June 14-17, 2018

Freight Train Blues II

Sponsored by Music Maker Relief Foundation

This Grassroots grant provided funding for the fourth annual Freight Train Blues concert series, in May/June 2018. The series will include live Blues music performances on four Friday evenings from 6:30pm-8:30pm, and will be offered free to the public at the Carrboro Farmer’s Market. The performances will include educational introductions crafted by Zoe van Buren, M.A., advised by Music Maker’s Founder, Timothy Duffy, M.A., delving into the history of the music presented and the importance of North Carolina’s musical heritage to our culture today.

Freight Train Blues will present senior traditional artists, whose music has been passed down through generations. Attendees will experience traditional music live while learning more about under-recognized Roots musicians of our region. The performance series will increase appreciation of the music of the American South, and make the case for North Carolina’s ongoing significance in the story of American traditional music.

ISLA Immersion for Spanish Language Acquisition

Sponsored by ISLA Immersion for Spanish Language Acquisition

This Grassroots grant provided funding for an interdisciplinary panel discussion for teachers and school administrators designed to reflect on how to interpret and analyze and these findings and incorporate them into curriculum and classroom experiences. The event brings togehter scholars and community leaders to exchange ideas, interpret findings and share perspectives with local educators on how bilingualism, biliteracy and cultural immersion affect children’s’ brain development, academic and social capabilities, and cultural identity.

"Bilingualism and Multicultural Education: Exploring benefits to cognitive, academic social and identity development"
Saturday, April 14, 2018 at 1:00 pm, St. Thomas More School, Chapel Hill