We are excited to announce Major Grant Awards for nine outstanding public humanities projects in Dane, Dunn, Forest, Milwaukee, Racine, Waukesha, and Winnebago counties!
NOTE: The next deadlines are August 1 (Mini Grant Applications) and August 15 (Major Grant Applications)
Check out our Grant Program to learn more about what we fund!
Major Grant Awards
The Race and Place Coalition was awarded $10,000 for “Northside Community History Collection – A Visioning and Planning Project to support a Coalition of Neighborhood and Humanities Groups Devoted to Black Milwaukee History.” This long-term project brings together a citywide coalition of community stakeholders and local historians to envision and plan for a unified Northside-wide Black Archive of Lost Spaces available for public access.
Bodwéwadmimwen Ėthë ték, Inc. was awarded $10,000 for “Archiving Potawatomi Language Zoom Videos Project.” With only a few fluent speakers remaining of the Bodéwadmimwen language, this critical project focuses on archiving recorded language lessons from the late Jim Thunder, a beloved Potawatomi elder, culture-bearer, and fluent speaker. The edited videos will be shared on social media to increase accessibility to the Potawatomi language and instill a sense of ownership and investment in the language and culture, while also promoting community building and discussion.
Ex Fabula was awarded $10,000 for “AfterDark: For the Culture," a project that centers personal storytelling of Black and Brown community members in Milwaukee and intentionally creates a BIPOC affinity space that brings together participants to connect and learn together. Ex Fabula is a community storytelling organization that celebrates the ways that stories both express our common humanity and honor differences because each individual is an expert on their own lived experience. The public slams will highlight the unique lived experiences of BIPOC individuals and affinity storytelling workshops will allow workshop participants to identify and shape their stories.
The Village of Waunakee was awarded $9,000 for the “Ho-Chunk Nation Traveling Museum Exhibit.” The project brings together the Ho-Chunk Nation Museum and Cultural Center with UW-Madison historians and students to create an exhibit focused on the true culture and diversity of the Ho-Chunk Nation, both locally and otherwise. Research completed by upper-level graduate students will be combined with replica artifacts, narrative text, and visual storytelling. It will first be on display at the Waunakee Public Library, with accompanying discussion programs, and then will travel to other libraries in the South Central system. The Ho-Chunk Nation Museum and Cultural Center will have eventual control over the exhibit.
The Waukesha Historical Society and Museum was awarded $10,000 for their exhibit “The Stories of Waukesha County - Our Agricultural Legacies.” The exhibit will present the diverse stories of farmers past and present while also exploring the evolution of farming practices, the key crops and livestock that were grown and raised, the family members who farmed, those who worked on the farms and the industries and associations that supported the growth of agriculture in the county. There will be two interactive touchscreens for visitors to listen to oral histories, select and view photos, and watch archival and newly created videos that enhance the stories.
My Way Out, Inc. was awarded $10,000 for a project called “Mistakes Do Not Define Who You Are.” They will produce a short documentary film to be used by justice-impacted individuals, second-chance employers, and others in order to counter the social biases and barriers that people face in reentering society and the workforce. Community stakeholders, business leaders, human resource executives, and civic organizations will gather for film viewings and discussions facilitated by justice-impacted individuals. My Way Out and its partners have found that hearing the stories and seeing the faces of those who have been impacted by the correctional system is a powerful and effective way to begin discussions about how to create more opportunities and a positive new path for each individual.
The Racine County Historical Society and Museum was awarded $10,000 to produce a free, web-based mobile tour of twenty-seven locations that share the history of the Underground Railroad and abolitionist activity in Racine County. The journey and story of one individual had a significant effect and ultimately led to Wisconsin ruling the Fugitive Slave Act unconstitutional. The web app tour will explore how residents of Racine - black and white, poor and wealthy, rural and urban - assisted fugitive enslaved persons to escape to safety and worked towards ending slavery despite personal risk. The mobile tour will establish each trail site as both a “classroom annex” for schoolchildren and a destination for families and growing numbers of Underground Railroad enthusiasts from across the nation.
Paine Art Center & Gardens was awarded $10,000 for “Mao Lor Hmong Textiles Exhibition,” a presentation of traditional paj ntaub and story cloths by the textile artist Mao Lor, co-curated by historian Chong Moua and artist Ger Xiong. Also on display will be works co-created by Lor and Xiong that demonstrate the innovative and intergenerational aspects of the paj ntaub artform. The interpretive and educational text for the exhibit will be derived from oral histories and programs for school groups and the public will offer insight into the artists’ lives and creative interpretations of personal stories in relation to Hmong history.
The Village of Ridgeland was awarded $10,000 to develop exhibits for the “Ridgeland Area Library Historical Park.” This outdoor gathering space will connect local, community history to larger historical narratives, like the women’s suffrage movement. Making use of QR codes, the exhibit will share links to interviews with community members. They will also partner with a tribal artist through the St. Croix Tribal Council. The rotating displays will be designed to engage a younger generation in local histories and draw people inside the library to their Historical Room.