At the end of 2023 we awarded grants in support of three public humanities projects in Dane, Eau Claire, and Vilas counties! Read the project descriptions below. And you can always find full lists, organized by year, of the projects funded by Wisconsin Humanities on our "Grants Awarded" page. Reading through these exciting and diverse community-led endeavors around the state, we hope you get a sense of the breadth of the public humanities, as well as the impact made by these investments.
NOTE: The next Major Grant deadline is April 15th. We have made some changes to the Major Grant application and requirements, so be sure to read through the materials and follow instructions currently posted on our website. For example, applicants can now include staff salaries connected to project implementation in their application budgets as an eligible expense. We’ve also implemented a policy regarding the number of successive grant awards an organization can receive in an effort to encourage new organizations to apply. And, we've included more examples of different types of humanities knowledge and experience that we consider part of a strong public humanities project.
We are also making some changes to our Mini Grant program. To prepare for the new pilot program, we are currently offering only our Major Grants. We anticipate launching the new pilot grant program in the summer of 2024. Thanks for your patience.
Ho-Chunk Collaborative Storytelling Project
The Friends of McCarthy Park and the Teejop Hocira Community Center in Dane County were awarded $2,000 for the "Ho-Chunk Collaborative Storytelling Project", which engages Ho-Chunk youth and community members to explore creation and learning stories together. Through a series of meetings, they will collaboratively decide on a collection of narratives and images to be included on a series of trailside signs at McCarthy Youth and Conservation Park. The five signs and linked QR codes will be translated into Hmong and Spanish so that a broader community of park users can learn about Ho-Chunk experiences, values, worldviews, and continuing responsibilities at Teejop.
Wisconsin Shakespeare Festival’s Community Enrichment Program
Confluence Council in Eau Claire County will expand the community impact of the Wisconsin Shakespeare Festival with a $2,000 grant to bring the language and stories of Shakespeare to a wider audience. “Arts & Ideas” lectures and discussions will demystify Shakespeare for new audiences at local libraries, while a youth troupe will perform in more rural areas outside of Eau Claire and engage audiences with talkbacks. A companion guide designed for all ages helps to decode the show and will lend additional context to the history and setting of the plays.
Veterans and Families’ Expressions
Headwaters Council for the Performing Arts, in partnership with the Olson Memorial Library, in Vilas County was awarded $2,000 for a project called "Veterans and Families' Expressions." A musical and narrative performance piece called Kiss Me Once, Stories from the Homefront, and a discussion afterward, will be the incentive for a series of outreach events to local veterans of past and recent conflicts. The library will host letter and essay writing workshops for local veterans. These will be included in an exhibit that will travel from the library to The Warehouse For The Arts, the Eagle River Historical Society, and the Veterans Resource Center. Another presentation will take place at a Memorial Day ceremony. The goal of the performance and attached exhibits and presentations is to open these experiences to discussion and create a deeper understanding of the cost of military service.