Humanities Iowa Awards $45,355 in Major Grants

Spring 2014

Humanities Iowa, the local affiliate for the National Endowment for the Humanities, awarded $45,355 in grants to fund projects across the state during its board meeting on June 6 in Dubuque, IA. This cycle, the major grants will be distributed to 7 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: 2013

Major Grants awarded for Spring 2013.

The grants awarded are:

Title of Project: Railroads at War
Sponsoring Organization: Iowa Railroad Historical Society
Grant: $5,000
Project Description: Railroads at War is an upcoming exhibit for the James H. Andrew Railroad Museum and History Center opening May of 2015. This exhibit will highlight the contributions Iowa railroading, and more importantly, Iowans have made to the founding of the state and in support of numerous war conflicts throughout the years. Exhibit banner topics include the following: Civil War/General Dodge and the Spanish American War and Iowa, a banner devoted to World War I and the public support and impact, 3 banners for World War II (WWII - Economy, WWII - Utility, and WWII - The Troop Train, two banners devoted to Women at War and their contributions (women hired, or volunteered in jobs, such as railroad telegraphy, or washing or running steam engines - previously held by men who left for war), Camp Dodge and the Railroad, The North Platte Nebraska Canteen, a banner on Unity/Rationing - Food, and 2 banners for government control of the railroads. Railroads at War since WWII - Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm and the last banner highlighting the locomotive stars of World War II the Union Pacific "Big Boy" steam locomotives crossing Sherman Hill, Wyoming and how they brought needed supplies to the citizens of the United States. In addition there will be archival motion picture footage as well as interactive displays showcasing the "human element" of railroading's contributions. These are important topics which inform today's generations of the value of hard work and effort.

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Title of Project: Dance Me A Story: Exploring Literature through Ballet
Sponsoring Organization: Ballet Quad Cities
Grant: $5,000
Project Description: Dance Me a Story complements Ballet Quad Cities’ 2014-15 season which features performances based on five great works of literature: Dracula, Romeo and Juliet, The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker and The Ugly Duckling. As the Ballet Company prepares to perform each of these works during the year, we will provide free programs in local libraries, senior centers and youth programs about the stories that underlie each for children of all ages, their parents, and seniors. Dance Me a Story increases knowledge and interest in these literary classics, improving literacy for children and mental engagement of seniors. Participants learn how the literature inspires the choreographer and dancers; see costumes, head pieces, props and special pointe shoes that bring the story to life; and learn about these stories that provide a foundation for so much literature and cultural references. It encourages people to read these great works of literature while exposing children to dance and providing a fun and engaging learning experience for seniors.

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Title of Project: First in the Nation: The Evolution of the Iowa Caucuses
Sponsoring Organization: Drake University
Grant: $10,000
Project Description: “First in the Nation: The Evolution of the Iowa Caucuses” will be a feature documentary that will summarize the development and evolution of the Iowa caucus process since 1972, including unique aspects of the state and our people that make the caucus process work in Iowa; analyze the rise of electronic and social media as powerful dynamics in political reporting and campaigns; and examine the future of the Iowa caucuses and the presidential election process. Interviews will provide first-person commentary from former candidates, current candidates and federal political office holders, national and international media personalities, academic authorities, Iowa elected officials, state party officials, and Iowa leaders.

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Title of Project: Behind the Beat: History of African Americam Music
Sponsoring Organization: African American Museum of Iowa
Grant: $5,355
Project Description: The African American museum of Iowa new exhibit “Behind the Beat” explores the evolution of African American music from its roots in the rhythms in West Africa to the music and cultural phenomenon of hip hop. Along the way you'll find spirituals, gospel, ragtime, the blues, jazz, rhythm & blues, soul, rock, and even discover the legacy of Iowa African American music! The "Behind the Beat" Lecture Series will take and in-depth look at history of African American music in America. This series will feature African American music scholars from primarily across Iowa who will discuss the many genres of African American music and explore the relationship between music and the past. Through lectures and music we hope to provide a better understanding of the significant role African American music played in building America.

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Title of Project: Linn County in the Modern Era - Change and Development Exhibit
Sponsoring Organization: Linn County Historical Society
Grant: $10,000
Project Description: The History Center opened its current permanent exhibit when the building opened in 1999. The last portion of the exhibit is a 150 feet lineal section on Communications concluding with Collins Radio Company. Collins became Rockwell in the 1970s, therefore, there is a huge gap in our permanent exhibit area from 1970s-present. No changes or updates have been made to it since the original installation. Much has happened in the history of Linn County since the exhibit was installed and much more was not interpreted in the original installation. History is in constant motion, and we currently discount more than 40 years of events. With the conclusion of the first decade of the 21st century, and much post-flood recovery being completed, this is the perfect time to make changes and upgrades.

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Title of Project: Apron Chronicles and What's in a Name?
Sponsoring Organization: Grout Museum District
Grant: $5,000
Project Description: The Grout Museum District will host a quilt workshop and retreat on October 3 & 4, 2014 that will bring together the themes of two exhibits that will go on display in 2014. Apron Chronicles: A Patchwork of American Recollections will be on display July 15 - October 14. It pairs powerful photographs with real world stories in the form of vintage aprons. Pairing artifacts and stories with portraits taken by award-winning photographer Kristina Loggia, the diverse contributors include an 111‐year‐old mother and her only child; a Holocaust survivor; a biology professor from Mali, Africa and a preteen and her grandmother. The contributors to Apron Chronicles recall the women in their lives who wore aprons and what they represented to their family: an event when an apron was worn, recipes, values and traditions, the bond between parent and child, survival, friendship, opportunity, challenge and modern perspective. The gallery space will a lso features 150 vintage aprons, hung on clothesline.

What's in a Name? The Soul of a Quilt will be exhibited September 23 - March 14, 2015. This exhibit will explore the stories behind designs, like Jacob’s Ladder, Log Cabin, Churn Dash, Clay’s Choice, Rose of Sharon, and Hands All Around. Over 50 quilts, artifacts and photographs allow visitors to reflect on the names of the quilts lending a different perspective on quilts and the history of specific designs.

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Title of Project: WOW! Wonder of Words Festival
Sponsoring Organization: Downtown Events Group
Grant: $5,000
Project Description:The WOW! Wonder of Words Festival is a literary and linguistic art event staged over approximately two weeks in November. This year the Festival will enter its third year of serving as Central Iowa's premier celebration of the power of language. WOW! is the product of intense collaboration between a wide group of Central Iowa academic, public and non-profit institutions.

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