Humanities Iowa, the local affiliate for the National Endowment for the Humanities, awarded $60,284 in grants to fund projects across the state during its board meeting on November 9 and 10 in Sioux City, IA. This year, the major grants will be distributed to 10 different organizations. The awards were selected through a competitive application and review process and are made possible through Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Mini grants are awarded on a continual basis throguhout the year. Min-grants awarded in the last year are as follows: 2012
Title of Project: Intergenerational Humanities Learning through CommUniversity 2013
Sponsoring Organization: CommUniversity, Inc.
Project Description: The project consists of continuing education classes during Sunday afternoons in February on the St. Ambrose University campus. A keynote address kicks off the program, and the proposed speaker this year is Stacy Cordery, Historical Biographer and Professor of History at Monmouth College. Emphasis this year is on encouraging an intergenerational body of participants. Specifically, CommUniversity is inviting area Girl Scouts and their leaders to attend various classes free of charge in effort to broaden the discussions.. Faculty are drawn from area colleges and churches. CommUniversity’s volunteer board selects instructors for course in theology, arts and humanities, personal enrichment, and public affairs. It produces a widely disseminated promotional brochure. . All four-week classes are open to the public for a $40 fee.
Title of Project: Public Television Launch of "Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic of out Time"
Sponsoring Organization: Aldo Leopold Foundation
Project Description: This is the distribution phase of the first full length film about Aldo Leopold, which was funded through a previous HI grant. The scope of this proposal is the distribution of the film in 2013 with a primary focus on securing and promoting a release on Iowa Public Television and partnering with libraries across Iowa to promote the film and additional community showing and discussions.
Title of Project: AViD (Authors Visiting in Des Moines) 2013
Sponsoring Organization: Des Moines Public Library Foundation
Project Description: The project is a free lecture series designed to appeal to a diverse audience in the greater Des Moines community. It is the series’ 12th year. Nationally and regionally known authors will discuss the challenges and rewards that come with being an author, as well as touch on topics from their writing. Authors are selected because their work stimulates critical thinking, deepens understanding, and inspires a greater appreciation of books, writers, and reading. The central event for each visiting author is an evening lecture/reading program, followed by an audience Q&A session moderated by a humanist scholar or expert in the writer’s field. A public reception is held before or after many of these evening programs, offering an opportunity for informal discussions with the authors. Each author is also asked to visit a local high school or college to interact with students. Several authors usually give substantive radio interviews. Each series is now videorecorded and made available for checkout and the series will be broadcast statewide on IPTV.
Title of Project: The Center Street Story: An Urban Renewal Retrospective (Phase 2)
Sponsoring Organization: Community Legacy Matters, Inc.
Project Description: The project is phase 2 of a feature-length documentary about the historic Center Street neighborhood in Des Moines that was destroyed by urban renewal in the 1960s. While documenting its cultural richness, the film will also examine federal and local policies that led to urban renewal projects, giving examples from other cities, and it will examine the evolution of community and urban planning since the 1960s. Full Spectrum Productions will combine narration, interviews, and archival photographs and video, with titles, graphics, and music. A companion curriculum guide will also be developed, to be marketed to educational institutions, cultural centers and museums, and both public and private planning organizations as a professional development course. The documentary itself will be marketed to public television and would be distributed through ISU Extension. Phase 2 will encompass all of post-production audio and video elements, development of a discussion guide and resource kit, premieres, marketing and distribution.
Title of Project: Western Africa: Before the Boats
Sponsoring Organization: African American Museum of Iowa
Project Description: The project will consist of a major exhibit at the AAMI's permanent facility in Cedar Rapids, a lecture and programming series across eastern Iowa focus communities, a traveling exhibit and children's educational outreach efforts through partnerships with schools, libraries, and community centers. This project will explore what life was like in Africa before the slave trade began--approximately 1500-1650. Topics within the project will include land and climates, food, art, music, and religious traditions. "Before the Boats" will look at difference and similarities between Western Africa then and now and work to dispel common misconceptions about Africa. 11 presentations are planned throughout Eastern Iowa focus communities with furthest west location being Des Moines.
Title of Project: "River to River: Iowa's Forgotten Highway 6" Documentary Film
Sponsoring Organization: Iowa Route 6 Tourist Association
Project Description: The project is a documentary film by Fourth Wall Films for the Iowa Route 6 Tourist Association.
The Association provides grants for the preservation and restoration of significant historical structures along Route 6 and is committed to preserving the unique cultural and historical heritage along this road by assisting in the development of roadside parks, rest areas and visitor centers.
Before Interstate 80 was completed in 1966, Iowa's busiest highway was US Route 6. With I-80's near universal use by travelers, Route 6 and the memories that define it have faded from the public's consciousness. This documentary will tell the unique and important story of Iowa's portion of America's longest transcontinental highway including the history of how the road was created in one day by ten thousand farmers and businessman in 1910 to stories of the infamous Bonnie & Clyde and others. The request is to fund a portion of the cost of gathering on-camera interviews.
Title of Project: History Series Program Enhancements
Sponsoring Organization: Salisbury House Foundation
Project Description: The project will expand the History Series from its current four annual events to six annual events, one of which will be for an Iowa-based scholar to discuss an Iowa related humanities topic, and one of which will be for a day-long pilot of an Iowa Humanities Festival, bringing scholars from disparate humanities disciplines to Salisbury House for a symposium on collecting, framing the event items culled from the Salisbury House library.
Title of Project: Danish Modern: Design for Living
Sponsoring Organization: The Danish Immigrant Museum
Project Description: This exhibition highlights the unique furnishings designed and made in Denmark following WWII. The exhibition will introduce visitors to the design aesthetic and the craftsmanship that are hallmarks of these pieces. A special theme will be the strategies by which Danish design was marketed to American consumers during the period, and the cultural context in which Americans were attracted to these pieces. "Danish Modern: Design for Living" will be the featured exhibit for the museum's 30th anniversary in 2013.
Title of Project: Marking Territory: Cartographic Treasures of the Mississippi Valley
Sponsoring Organization: Figge Art Museum
Project Description: The project is an exhibition and complementary lectures and demonstrations that will address the ways that maps use subjective realities to convey ideas and to construct geographic boundaries that affect social, cultural and political identities. An activity gallery will offer guidance for self-directed art activities that help gain an appreciation of the creative process in cartography, along with docent lead tours, lectures and an artist talk, featuring Maureen Bardusk, make up the programming.
Title of Project: Community Conversations about Cultural Experiences to Strengthen Communities
Sponsoring Organization: CULTUREALL
Project Description: This is a series of programs designed to actively engage Iowans in discovering the benefits of studying, living, and working amidst the many cultures in the region and envisioning how vibrant and rich a person's life can be as a result. A humanities scholar will be brought in to design and facilitate the Community Conversations which will be an integral part of CULTUREALL's Community House Concerts. The overall goal is to enable the public to better understand cultural nuances (traditions, beliefs, rites of passage, etc.) and talk about the impact and benefits of cultural experiences on the community. The conversations will be recorded and documented for future use in communities and on their website as a tool for drawing a larger audience into cultural discovery. The stated long-term goal is to help create a community that understands and appreciates the different cultures that make it come alive and help make Iowa a highly attractive place to live.