We fund humanities-based activities and conversations that address what matters in our communities. We support projects across the state and yours could be next!
Mini Grants Awarded in 2021
Her League: Women in Professional Baseball
WH funds will be used to produce an exhibit about the history of women in professional baseball, including Joyce Hill Westerman. Westerman was a Pleasant Prairie local who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League from 1945 to 1952. It will also highlight the stories of women of color, including Toni Stone, Connie Morgan, and Mamie Johnson, who were barred from the AAGPBL, but made their mark in the professional baseball world by playing in the men's Negro Leagues.
Woodland Indian Art Show and Market
$2,000 to WOODLAND INDIAN ART, INC.
WH funds will support bringing in a Native American keynote speaker, artist, and storyteller to the Brown County festival of Woodland Indian art and culture on the theme of “Giving Thanks.” This project meets our focus on race and ethnicity.
Learning Native American Lifeways in Northern Wisconsin, Past and Present
WH funds will support a youth camp and Native American Heritage days with cultural activities and demonstrations from members of the St. Croix and Lac Courte Oreilles bands of the Lake Superior Ojibwe. This project meets our focus on race and ethnicity.
Northeast Wisconsin Coasts Indigenous Dugout Canoe Preservation
This project is a collaboration with the Wisconsin Maritime Museum and Manitowoc County Historical Society. WH funds will help the museums build connections to specific Tribal nations from the region and bring in expertise to learn about and properly preserve four canoes in their collection.
Interpreting Teejopeja: A Planning Grant for the Capital Springs Recreation Area
The Capital Springs Recreation Area is using WH money to support the initial planning for an updated interpretive plan that contextualizes the unique cultural landscape of Teejopeja (the Ho-Chunk word for Madison's "Four Lakes" Region). The Ho-Chunk Nation will be part of the planning and execution. This project meets our focus on race and ethnicity.
Contested Cannabis: A History of Marijuana in Wisconsin and the Wider World
WH funds will support an online digital exhibit and discussion program that investigates the local history and public policy surrounding marijuana and cannabis in the state during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The project aims to explore and contextualize medical marijuana, recreational marijuana, and the regulation of drugs and medicines.
Cultural Exchange Performances at Big Top Chautauqua
WH funds will enable a cultural exchange and artistic collaboration with the Trinity Irish Dancers and Native Expressions Drum and Dance troupe. It will result in public performances highlighting the culture and dance of each company. This project meets our focus on race and ethnicity.
She Fights for the Motherland: Rewriting the History of Soviet Women Soldiers in World War II – Dane County
$1,950 to FERMAT'S LAST THEATER COMPANY
Fermat’s Last Theater Company is producing “She Fights for the Motherland: Rewriting the History of Soviet Women Soldiers in World War II.” This documentary theater piece features characters and situations from history. The website will including supplementary materials and interviews with arts and humanities experts, reading lists, and web links to expand exploration of the work.
Central Wisconsin Book Festival
$1,925 to MARATHON COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY
The fifth annual festival in September will include about 20 events over 10 days in a variety of locales both in-person and virtual. WH funds support Wisconsin Poet Laureate Dasha Kelly Hamilton’s appearance at the festival.
From Cheeseville to the Cheese Capital of the World
$1,500 to PLYMOUTH ART FOUNDATION
To help celebrate a new archway proclaiming Plymouth the Cheese Capital of the World, Plymouth Art Foundation, Inc. is offering a public program about the economic impact cheese had locally, regionally and nationally. Supported with a WH mini grant, the program will include interactive opportunities to see historic cheese processing tools at the Plymouth Historical Society.
Changes in Social Life After Prohibition - Schlack's Ice Cream Parlor
$1,997 to EAGLE RIVER HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Eagle River Historical Society will re-create a prohibition-era ice cream parlor as an interactive exhibit at the Depot Museum, across the street from the original 1918 parlor site. Original fixtures and objects will be supplemented with information from oral histories and family recollections for a unique immersive experience.
Strengthening Our Social Fabric: Using a Community-Wide Read to Discuss Home and Belonging
$2,000 to FRIENDS OF THE LODI PUBLIC LIBRARY
The Lodi Public Library’s community-wide read will highlight themes of home and belonging in literature. A WH mini grants will support public programs, as well as microfilm equipment that makes it possible to read archived newspapers going back to the 1870s. The speakers and events will make connections with the ways local newspapers connect communities and build a sense of home and belonging.
Unraveling the Mysteries of Indian Park and Developing a Vision for the Future
The City of Platteville Parks and Recreation Department, in partnership with the Friends of Indian Park, are working to document the factual and speculative history of Indian Park. This WH grant will help them investigate options for non-invasive archaeological research on the site and engage the community in a dialogue about the future of the park.
Major Grants Awarded in 2021
Ancestors Buried Beneath Us
$9,996 to UW-STEVENS POINT
WH funds support a collaboration that includes Forest County Potawatomi Community, Menominee Nation, the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin, and others. Together they will conduct research and provide context for a new museum exhibit and a memorial to a mid-1800s multi-tribal community and its associated burial site, located on the current UWSP campus. The exhibit will provide the wider historical context of native people who continue to make homes in central Wisconsin despite government and settler hostility. This project meets our focus on race and ethnicity.
A Landscape of Families
WH funds will be used to create an outdoor exhibit at the site of an 1832 census conducted shortly before forced removal of Ho-Chunk residents from their homes. The exhibit will be created in collaboration with Ho-Chunk Nation and provide a self-reflective, educational response to a significant historic. Visitors will be challenged to explore the people, places, and nuance of Wisconsin’s 1830s cultural landscape as a means to construct modern-day insights. This project meets our focus on race and ethnicity.
The Yellow Wallpaper: A New Musical
$2,200 to MUSIC THEATRE OF MADISON
The production will use WH funds to provide context and discussion surrounding the one-woman musical performance based on Charlotte Perkins Gilman's seminal short story “The Yellow Wallpaper.”
The People’s Recorder: Revisiting the Federal Arts Projects Today
$9,608 to ARTS WISCONSIN ON BEHALF OF SPARK MEDIA
This podcast series shares stories first recorded in the 1930s by Works Progress Administration writers and artists. WH funds will support the exploration of Wisconsin-based projects from the time for a modern understanding of their influence and importance.
Weyauwega Train Derailment Film Project
$9,120 to WEYAUWEGA ARTS ORGANIZATION
In 1996 a freight train carrying hazardous material caught fire in Weyauwega. The emergency lasted more than two weeks and led to the evacuation of 2,300 people. WH funds will be used to work with youth interviewers to collect stories and archival footage for a film about this piece of Wisconsin history.
Mirrors and Windows
$10,000 to AMERICAN PLAYERS THEATER
WH funds will be used to bring American Players Theater teaching artists into rural classrooms to provide engaging workshops centered on literature by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). The students in grades 9-12 will be guided through theater-based exercises that highlight and create personal connections between the students and the characters in the literature, while also encouraging an understanding of the differences between their experiences and the ones in the book. This is a pilot project in Sauk County schools. This project meets our focus on race and ethnicity.
Land Cast: Stories from Wisconsin's Frontlines of Environmental Action
WH Funds will support a podcast series that will be produced and published by the Center for Culture, History, and Education’s digital magazine and podcast, “Edge Effects.” The series will focus on environmental issues that are not just scientific problems to be solved but are rooted in histories of environmental injustices.
Scrap Yard: Innovators of Recycling
$2,000 to JEWISH MUSEUM MILWAUKEE
Jewish Museum Milwaukee is using WH grant funds to develop an exhibit and programs about the history and impact of the recycling industry - globally, nationally, and in Wisconsin in particular. Once the stigmatized work of immigrant peddlers and now an innovative, lucrative industry, the museum will use recycling as a lens for considering contemporary issues such as immigration, prejudice, technological innovation, environmental justice, and environmental consciousness.
"Artists Without Borders: Reflections on Art and Place" Exhibitions and Public Engagement
$9,750 to MUSEUM OF WISCONSIN ART
The Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend will host an exhibition with works by nine Wisconsin artists whose artwork explores the allure and challenges of immigration. WH funds help to support programs that invite viewers to deepen their engagement with the exhibition and its themes, including the history of immigration in Wisconsin.
Native American Lithics at The Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums: Identification and Interpretation
The Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums/City of Platteville Museum Department will develop new exhibits about the history of Native Americans in the southwestern Wisconsin “Driftless Area,” from the last Ice Age until European contact. The project will bring deeper understanding to the lifeways and traditions of Wisconsin’s first inhabitants and shed new light on stone tool artifacts and their manufacture, and ancient flora and fauna over the last 13,000 years.
Mexican Modernism Initiative
$10,000 to MADISON MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is presenting an exhibition of the museum’s significant collection of Mexican Modern artworks. WH grant funds help to support the initiative, which will explore both the history and conditions in which these works were created and their relevance to contemporary issues of Mexican-Americans today. The museum will be working in partnership with the Mexican-American and broader Latinx community to develop relevant public programs, including street art activities, community reflections, gallery talks, a panel discussion, a poetry event, workshops, and more.
Hmong Cultural Exploration through Dance, Theatre and Literature
$5,970 to YOUNG AUDITORIUM AT UW-WHITEWATER
Wisconsin is home to the third largest Hmong community in the nation. This program aims to address cultural misunderstanding and to highlight under-represented art and culture. The Young Auditorium at UW-Whitewater will use WH funds to integrate dance and theatre in an exploration of Hmong culture. The performances are intended to provide unique cultural experiences to supplement the programming associated with the April Big Read selection: The “Latehomecomer” by Kao Kalia Yang.
Nature of Culture: Global Guardians
$10,000 to NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSE OF MILWAUKEE
Neighborhood House of Milwaukee, Inc. received WH funding for cultural, artistic and educational activities for low-income Milwaukee children ages 3-18 years. The program, called Global Guardians, presents many different ways people use dance, music and visual art to represent forests, rivers, marshes, lakes, meadows and prairies around the world. Learning about these ecosystems, present in Wisconsin and globally, through creative experiences helps children learn to be environmental and cultural stewards.
Interfaith Dialogue and Community Engagement Amidst the Pandemic
$8,811 to MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY
Marquette University will convene humanities experts, religious leaders, and community members for a conversation about the history and potential of interfaith engagement to promote justice and peace in Milwaukee. The concept is inspired by the original Muslim-Christian dialogue group that first met in Milwaukee over four decades ago. By exploring lessons drawn from the group’s historical role, this WH-funded program will allow for reflection on how the challenges of the pandemic have been addressed by interfaith partners and how communities can promote nonviolence, peacemaking, forgiveness, and justice.
$10,000 to STILLWATERS COLLECTIVE
A WH grant to Stillwaters Collective will help to fund a documentary filming of the stage production, Makin’ Cake, which illustrates our nation’s history of racism and wealth disparity. Poet Laureate Dasha Kelly Hamilton performs with multimedia projections and two live bakers on stage. In fifty minutes, she explores consumerism, race-based policies, the shifting roles of women, the institutional design for income inequality, and white male supremacist theory. And cake. Its histories and basic ingredients tell us a lot about access and privilege.