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Humanities New York awards 38 Action Grants for programs on Indigenous history, incarceration, immigrant culture


Mon, Aug 22nd 2022 05:20 pm

Humanities New York (HNY) announced $188,023 in summer Action Grants to 38 organizations for innovative public humanities offerings, which will take place primarily in autumn 2022. Awards were made to tax-exempt entities in nine regions of the state, and are regrants of funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

A press release stated, “These awards of up to $5,000 will support the implementation of projects that encourage audiences to reflect on their values and explore new ideas with other members of their communities.”

Grants went to organizations that creatively employ the tools of the humanities to “respond to the issues capturing the imagination and passion of New Yorkers today,” said Sara Ogger, HNY executive director.

Several grants support programs on Indigenous history and culture: Buffalo’s Spark Filmmakers Collaborative will hold the Haudenosaunee micro short film program in September; the State University of New York at Oneonta will consider Indigenous women’s influence on the women’s rights movement at the 2022 New York State History and Education Conference in October; and throughout the year, the Six Nations Iroquois Cultural Council will invite audiences to reflect on Haudenosaunee past and present oral traditions. Additionally, spring 2023 will find the work of Iroquois artists Ernest Smith, Jim Beaver and Jesse Cornplante on view at the Iroquois Museum, which will set their works against the themes of cultural assimilation and reclamation.

The grants also provide funding for programs that tell the story of incarceration in New York. Story House Ithaca will showcase formerly incarcerated individuals’ art and writing at five public libraries; the Cayuga Museum of History and Art will revise its exhibition on the history of the Auburn Correctional Facility, with input from community members and stakeholders; and the Adirondack Architectural Heritage will convene a panel to discuss how North Country towns can repurpose currently vacant historic prisons in ways that respond to residents’ current needs while also honoring their former inhabitants.

A focus on immigrant contributions to civic and cultural life in New York links awardees including the Irish American Heritage Museum, which will look at the Irish origins of America’s Halloween tradition; Raga Massive, which will produce four events celebrating the diversity of South Asian musical traditions; and Labor Arts, launching a digital exhibition that considers the legacy of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which integrated 2.7 million formerly undocumented Americans into the civic and economic fabric of the U.S.

Additional activities that HNY’s summer Action Grants support include expanding access to archives and films, creative writing workshops, and gathering oral histories. View the full list of these 38 grants or visit HNY’s Action Grant page to see them in the context of previous awards.

The press release noted, “Founded in 1975, HNY is the sole statewide proponent of public access to the humanities in New York. Using dialogue, reflection and critical thinking, Humanities New York applies the humanities to strengthen democratic society. For more information, visit http://humanitiesny.org, call 212-233-1131, or follow on social media at https://instagram.com/humanitiesny and https://twitter.com/humanitiesny.”

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