We’re celebrating 50 years of Wisconsin Humanities!
Since our organization's founding as an independent nonprofit in 1972, Wisconsin Humanities has worked in every corner of the state to explore what it means to be human, to be part of a democracy, and to strengthen each of our communities.
Our grant program is a critical and unique source of funding for projects that engage Wisconsinites in conversations about contemporary public policy and social concerns. So we are especially excited to make these awards as part of our anniversary celebration!
Below is a list of the 11 most recent grants awards, a total of $92,476!
Major Grants Awarded in Dane, Door, Milwaukee, Outagamie, Vernon, Waushara, and Winnebago Counties:
Kickapoo Reserve Management Board has been awarded $10,000 for Our Story Continues: Help Write the Next Chapter for an Enhanced Discovery Center at the Kickapoo Valley Reserve. The Kickapoo Valley Reserve is a tract of public land with a unique history in southwestern Wisconsin. As part of a complete upgrade of exhibits in the Visitor Center, this grant will contribute to a new exploration of Ho Chunk culture and relationship with the landscape. Through interactive exhibits, visitors will also learn about the unique management relationship KVR has with the Ho-Chunk Nation and the designation of the property as the Upper Kickapoo Archeological District in the National Register of Historic Places. Funding for this grant comes from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ A More Perfect Union initiative. This project meets our focus on race and ethnicity.
Crossroads at Big Creek has been awarded $8,859 for Humanities Outreach at Crossroads’ Ida Bay Preserve. In 2022, Crossroads at Big Creek will use a Wisconsin Humanities grant to offer a variety of programs, including new printed maps, educational experiences for school groups, and an event celebrating the new trail on the property. Using the findings of several years of archaeological surveys and research, the new map and historical markers will share stories of the land and the people who have lived on it. Programs on site will feature opportunities to interact with professional archaeologists and historians. Funding for this grant comes from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ A More Perfect Union initiative.
Fox Cities Book Festival has been awarded $10,000 for Fox Cities Reads 2022: Indigenous Voices. Fox Cities Reads spring program will focus on two novels, “There There” by Tommy Orange and “Apple in the Middle” by Dawn Quigley. These stories were selected to provide the community an opportunity to explore American history and culture from different perspectives. This grant goes to support events with the authors as well as with local Indigenous storytellers, poets, musicians, and dancers. Funding for this grant comes from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ A More Perfect Union initiative. This project meets our focus on race and ethnicity.
Black Arts MKE, Inc. has been awarded $10,000 for 2022 Production of Voices of Gun Violence: Resolute, Resilient, Revolutionary. Milwaukee Voices of Gun Violence brings attention to the complex and often unheard narratives of the individuals, families, and communities impacted by gun violence. A grant from Wisconsin Humanities will support a public performance that uses narrative and visual arts to expand the public’s understanding of gun violence in cities like Milwaukee. Audience members will be invited to participate in a talkback immediately following the performance. The talkback panel will include a member of the cast, the stage director, and representatives from the collaborating partners, including Bronzeville Arts Ensemble, Mother's Against Gun Violence, and UWM Art, Dance, Film, and Theater Departments.
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh has been awarded $10,000 for Cia Siab (Hope) in Wisconsin: A HMoob (Hmong) Story. Cia Siab (Hope) in Wisconsin: A HMoob (Hmong) Story is a traveling exhibit that will launch in 2025 to celebrate the 50th year of Hmong resettlement in the U.S. This community-based project brings together Hmong community members, humanities scholars, and museum experts to create an immersive experience for viewers. A grant from Wisconsin Humanities will support work in five cities with large Hmong populations: Eau Claire, La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee, and Wausau. By featuring cultural artifacts and oral histories that illustrate the historical trauma and resilience of Wisconsin’s Hmong communities, particularly of Hmong women, youth, elders, and LGBTQ individuals, the project aims to foster intergenerational and cross-cultural connection, empathy, and dialogue. This project meets our focus on race and ethnicity.
Allen Centennial Garden at UW-Madison has been awarded $9,999 for Harvest Folk Festival. In October 2022, Allen Centennial Garden on the UW-Madison campus will come alive with a Harvest Festival celebration that showcases diverse cultural harvest traditions from around the world. This one-day event for the public will feature a main stage with music, dancing, and storytelling from American Indian, HMoob, African American, Jewish, and European cultures. This grant supports activities at the festival that highlight relationships -- with our heritage, our neighbors, and the natural work -- including hands-on gardening, opportunities for reflection, and presentations from students about harvest traditions of different cultures. This project meets our focus on race and ethnicity.
Summit Players Theatre has been awarded $10,000 for Shakespeare in the State Parks - Much Ado About Nothing. In the summer of 2022, Summit Players Theatre will perform ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ at 23 state parks across Wisconsin. The Shakespeare in the State Parks project uses theater as an accessible, family-friendly way for people of all ages to learn more about language, communication, and theater while providing a free open-air experience. A grant from Wisconsin Humanities supports the pre-performance workshop called "Inside Shakespeare's Story." The workshop uses interactive exercises and role-playing activities to help illuminate the story, the characters, and the motivations behind the actions of the play. Funding for this grant comes from the William A. Wenninger Endowment.
Waushara County Food Pantry, Inc. has been awarded $9,625 for Growing Older in Waushara County – A Study in Aging in Rural Wisconsin. “Growing Older in Waushara County” is a community awareness project to highlight the challenges and benefits of growing older in a rural area where a quarter of the population is over the age of 65. With support from Wisconsin Humanities, the project director will talk with older adults and community leaders throughout the spring of 2022. Community forums about the issues and how to respond will be based on this initial research phase.
Feast of Crispian, Inc. has been awarded $10,000 for Art Against the Odds: Wisconsin Prison Art Exhibition. Art Against the Odds is an exhibition of artwork from 30 currently incarcerated individuals in Wisconsin. These artists have found creative ways to express that they exist beyond the terms of their crime, their fingerprints, or their mug shots. From January through March 2023, the exhibit will be on view at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and then will then tour to other state venues. This grant supports this collaborative effort, which recognizes a need for incarcerated individuals to have access to a wide audience.
Mini Grants Awarded in Dane and Eau Claire Counties:
Confluence Council, Inc. has been awarded $2,000 for the Bias Inside Us Exhibit. "The Bias Inside Us” is an exhibition and community engagement project that explores the social science, psychology, and consequences of implicit bias and invites people to challenge bias in the world through self-awareness. A grant from Wisconsin Humanities supports the collaboration between Pablo Center at the Confluence, the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, and the Eau Claire Area School District to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Chippewa Valley. The traveling exhibit, produced by the Smithsonian Institution, focuses on civic learning and democratic engagement to affirm and elevate the experiences of people from all backgrounds and cultures. This project meets our focus on race and ethnicity.
The Wisconsin Nurses Association has been awarded $1,993 for A Day in the Life Photo Essay: Wisconsin School Nurses and the COVID-19 Pandemic. The goal of this project is to celebrate the history of school nursing and honor the role that school nurses have played to support the health and education of students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through images and words, this exhibit will provide the public with a better understanding of the physical and emotional toll the pandemic has had on medical professionals. This grant supports the collection of photos and interviews to create a rich portrait of the public health workers who keep our communities healthy and safe.