Humanities Council Invests $48,774 in Eight Cultural Projects Statewide

Elsewhere Collaborative: Living Room Lectures

The North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, has awarded $48,774 in grants for public humanities projects. All funded programs are free and open to the public.  

Projects supported by the North Carolina Humanities Council are vital to its commitment to serve as an advocate for lifelong learning and thoughtful dialogue about all facets of human life. Through grants and public programs, the Humanities Council facilitates the exploration and celebration of the many voices and stories of North Carolina’s cultures and heritage.

North Carolina Humanities Council awards during this grant cycle include:

$10,000 to the American Indian Center at UNC Chapel Hill for “Revision and Implementation of the K-12 Curriculum Guide on American Indians in North Carolina” to develop educational resources on the history and culture of six state-recognized North Carolina American Indian tribes – the Coharie, Haliwa-Saponi, Meherrin, Occaneeechi Band of the Saponi Nation, Sappony, and Waccamaw-Siouan Tribe. The material will be incorporated into the Teachers Institute Curriculum Enrichment Project: North Carolina American Indian Studies, which currently covers the Eastern Band of Cherokee and Lumbee. Title VII Indian Education coordinators in districts serving students from the six tribes will receive training to assist teachers in integrating the new resources into their students’ course of study.

$9,950 to the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County for “FayetteNow Oral History Video Documentation,” a scholar-led oral history project cultivating dialogue between the area’s Vietnam veterans, Vietnamese emigrants, Vietnamese Americans, and members of the larger community. The project’s title derives from the popular identification of Fayetteville/Fort Bragg as “FayetteNam.” It aims to promote an informed understanding of the city’s social dynamics during the turbulent 1960s and early 70s and examine history’s impact on the current reality of one of America’s largest military communities.   

and or 910.323.1776.

$6,660 to the Elsewhere Collaborative of Greensboro to support “Living Room Lectures,” a series of critical and reflective conversations investigating issues of social, political, artistic, and cultural import, with monthly lectures staged in a store-front window that opens on a downtown sidewalk. Community curators will select speakers to address such topics as the history of street theater, food and urban permaculture, and the museum’s place in civic life. The Elsewhere Collaborative is a living museum housed in a former thrift shop and offers through its creative residency program experimental project space for artists worldwide.    

$6,507 to the Chatham County Arts Council of Pittsboro for “Racial Justice and Reconciliation in NC Film Forum,” a continuation of the ChathamArts Sustainable Film Series, designed to  address African American history, identity, culture, and social justice and racial reconciliation within the context of storytelling and documentary film. The two-day forum includes educational outreach screenings, filmmaker question-and-answer, and panel discussion. Five films, all related to African American life in North Carolina, will be shown during Black History Month: Moving Midway, Greensboro Closer to the Truth, The Trials of Darryl Hunt, Blood Done Sign My Name, and An Unlikely Friendship.

$5,000 to the Black Heritage Society, Inc., of Kinston for “Civil War to Civil Rights-I,” a two-part project timed to coincide with North Carolina’s commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Part One initiates research and documentation of United States Colored Troops (USCT) cemetery sites in Wilmington, Raleigh, New Bern, and Roanoke Island.  The African American Civil War Museum in Washington, DC, will use data gathered to compile a national registry of USCT burial sites. Part Two features a three-day symposium with Civil War battle re-enactments and presentations exploring such topics as the pivotal role of the USCT in battles of eastern North Carolina, the extensive network of black spies throughout the South during the Civil War, and black naval history. The project culminates in a commemoration of Lenoir County residents who served in the USCT.

$5,000 to the Cabarrus County Public Library of Concord for the third “One Book, One Community-Cabarrus Reads” featuring Tim O’Brien’s classic The Things They Carried as the book selection, a collection of stories about a platoon of American soldiers during the Vietnam War. O’Brien will attend and plans to lecture and visit local schools. Project activities include “Paying Tribute,” a multi-media presentation based on the oral histories of local Vietnam War veterans, film screenings, scholar talks, explorations into aspects of Vietnamese culture, and a reader’s theater of Shirley Lauro’s play “A Piece of My Heart,” about American women who served in Vietnam during the war. This spring, in conjunction with the community-read, a replica of Maya Lin’s Vietnam War Memorial will be displayed and curated at Frank Liske Park in Cabarrus County.

$4,057 to the Anson County Writers’ Club and the South Piedmont Community College and Hampton B. Allen Library of Wadesboro for the 2011 “Carolinas Writers’ Conference.” The event celebrates readers and writers at all levels and ages and supports the literary arts by encouraging creativity. Agents, publishers, news columnists, scholars, storytellers, poets, and authors such as Omar Tyree, Robert Macomber, Susan Sloate, and J.D. Rhoades will share their professional insights in workshops and panel discussions. A “moveable feast” luncheon will bring audience and presenters together for one-on-one dialogue about the creative process and the love of reading and writing.  

 $1,600 to the Traditional Voices Group of Burnsville for “Gospel Music in the Toe River Valley,” the fourth annual RiddleFest celebrating the life of Yancey County’s Lesley Riddle, a collector and conduit of traditional sacred music of the North Carolina’s Appalachian region. Riddle profoundly influenced the famous Carter family, who popularized the mountain music that Riddle taught them. Components of the project include an evening concert and interpretative performances by musicians and educators. Also planned are workshops on such topics as shaped-note singing, black gospel, and the origins of southern gospel.    

Contact: Project director Larry Howell at or 828.682.9654.