North Carolina Humanities Council Awards Over $110,000 to North Carolina Community Projects

CHARLOTTE, NC (September 18, 2020) – The North Carolina Humanities Council is pleased to announce $110,197 in Large Grant funding to eight community-based public humanities programs happening across North Carolina. Funded projects include hands-on history kits for students, heritage workshops, veterans’ oral history collection, and symposia for teachers on topics including Native experiences, the Holocaust, and civil rights.

“We’re proud to support cultural organizations in their humanities efforts, especially at this time,” said Sherry Paula Watkins, Executive Director of North Carolina Humanities Council.  “We are always impressed by the resilience and creativity of North Carolina nonprofits and their ability to impact their communities through engaging public humanities programming.”

North Carolina Humanities Council provides Large Grants (up to $20,000), Community Engagement Grants (up to $3,500), and Community Research Grants (up to $2,000) to non-profit organizations that use the humanities (literature, history, philosophy, etc.) to foster critical thinking, enrich communities, and encourage lifelong learning. As a condition for Large Grant funding this year, projects were required to present a COVID-19 compliance plan. The Council also provides other services such as one-on-one technical assistance, grant writing consultations, and referrals for its prospective grantees and project coordinators. Grant opportunities are offered throughout the year. To learn more, please visit 

The following organizations received Large Grants from North Carolina Humanities Council as of September 2020:

“2021 BaobaoTree Summer Institute for Music Educators” from St. Joseph's Historic Foundation | Durham

This 3-day symposium project for music educators will include scholarly presentations, panel discussions, educator workshops, and experiential learning activities to immerse participants in Black music’s historical and cultural foundations so that teachers can provide more inclusive instruction.

“African American Military and Veterans Lineage Project” from NC Department of Military and Veterans Affairs | Raleigh

This collaborative oral history project will collect the stories of African American veterans and service members from America's wars: War World II (1941-1945) through Operation New Dawn (2001 to present). The project will also serve as an avenue for military and veteran service members to share their individual stories of battling with the effects of war such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which will serve as a trauma healing experience.

“Amplifying Native Voices in North Carolina History” from Alliance for Heritage Conservation | Chapel Hill  

This collaborative project aims to improve educational opportunities and outcomes for 6th-12th grade students by creating professional development opportunities for educators. Program features include a 4-day Summer Teaching Institute with workshops, culturally responsive and experiential learning curriculum materials, and museum programming to help teachers effectively incorporate Native American voices, traditional knowledge, and cultures/histories into their classrooms.

“Bridging Divides through Story Circles” from World Council on Intercultural and Global Competence | Durham

This project will bring the proven intercultural Story Circles methodology developed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to North Carolina to train community leaders as facilitators who can take this practice into local communities to bridge divides between groups. Story Circles not only help participants develop intercultural competencies through the sharing of personal stories but also help bridge societal divides.

“Defying the ‘Single Story’: Resistance, Holocaust, and Human Rights in the Classroom” from Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights | Charlotte

This 7-day Summer Teaching Institute aims to improve and promote Holocaust/human rights education in North Carolina using the Holocaust as a lens to examine thematic connections that link past to present and local examples of resistance by Civil Rights and Native American activists. Teachers discover connections among these topics and design a curriculum plan for teaching this difficult material in their classrooms.

“Global Roots of Appalachian Mountain Dance Symposium” from Appalachian State University | Boone

This 3-day interdisciplinary humanities and arts event will include a keynote panel, lecture-demonstrations, a film screening/discussion, an archival exhibit, collaborative performances, dance jams, workshops, and social dances featuring the global roots of Appalachian dance. These include West African, Afro-Caribbean, Cherokee, and Irish dance. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the diverse history of Appalachian dance and its root styles and practice these various styles for themselves.

“The Lafayette Trail - Phase II" from The Lafayette Trail, Inc. | Statewide

This project will support the North Carolina portion of an extensive commemorative effort taking place across the 25 U.S. states visited by General Lafayette during his Farewell Tour of the U.S. 1824-1825 (also known as The Triumphal Tour). This project aims to raise awareness about Lafayette’s contributions to the founding of the U.S. and about his stature as one of the first international crusaders for human rights. By installing official Lafayette Trail Historic Markers, communities are invited to be part of a national dialogue in preparation for the Tour's bicentennial in 2024.

“Tumultuous Times: Antebellum to Reconstruction in North Carolina History-In-a-Box Kit” from North Carolina Museum of History Foundation | Raleigh

This hands-on history tool kit project for students addresses the pre-Civil War era through Reconstruction (1830-1877). The kits will be based on primary sources and include replica artifacts and guides to enable educators to navigate this topic. The kits will help students and teachers explore much of the history that underpins discussions being held around the world today about race, culture, and community in America.


About the North Carolina Humanities Council

The North Carolina Humanities Council is a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Through grant-making and public humanities programs, the Council serves as an advocate for lifelong learning and thoughtful dialogue about our shared human experience. The Council operates the North Carolina Center for the Book, an affiliate program of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. To learn more visit

Press Contact: Melanie Moore Richeson | North Carolina Humanities Council | 704-687-1520 |