This year we will be giving more money in grants than we ever have in our nearly 50-year history. Funding for the upcoming additional grants, called Wisconsin Humanities Recovery Grants, is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
In a typical year, we are proud to make grants totaling $200,000 to support humanities projects designed by and for communities. Below is a list of the 16 most recent grants awards, a total of $80,354!
Mini Grants Awarded in Barron, Bayfield, Brown, Dane, Door, Kenosha, and Marathon Counties
NOTE: The next Mini Grant deadline is August 1st
Pleasant Prairie Historical Society has been awarded $1,864 for Her League: Women in Professional Baseball, 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, Inc. has been awarded $2,000 for Woodland Indian Art Show and Market, which will bring 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.
Barron County Historical Society, on behalf of Pioneer Village, has received $2,000 for 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.
The Door County Maritime Museum and Lighthouse Preservation Society, Inc. has been awarded $2,000 for 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.
Marathon County Public Library has been awarded $1,925 for the Central Wisconsin Book Festival. 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.
The Friends of Capital Springs Recreation Area has been awarded $2,000 for Interpreting Teejopeja: A Planning Grant for the Capital Springs Recreation Area. WH funds will 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.
The American Institute of the History of Pharmacy has been awarded $1,950 for 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.
Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua has been awarded $2,000 for 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.
Major Grants Awarded in Columbia, Dane, Iowa, Milwaukee, Portage, and Waupaca Countie
NOTE: The next Major Grant deadline is August 15th
UW-Stevens Point has been awarded $9,996 to support a collaboration called Ancestors Buried Beneath Us 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.
The National Society Of The Colonial Dames Of America - State Of Wisconsin On Behalf Of The Historic Indian Agency House has been awarded $3,691 for A Landscape of Families, 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.
Music Theatre of Madison has been awarded $2,200 for The Yellow Wallpaper: A New Musical to provide context and discussion surrounding the one-woman musical performance based on Charlotte Perkins Gilman's seminal short story “The Yellow Wallpaper.”
Arts@Large has been awarded $10,000 for Milwaukee's Youth Civil Rights Community Map: Youth Activism from the 1960s to the Present to develop a map and digital tours of historic sites in Milwaukee. The storylines will explore Milwaukee’s civil rights history in the context of a modern racial justice narrative. The project will be publicly presented at a gallery exhibition featuring the collective work of the students and community partners.
Spark Media has been awarded $9,608 to produce The People’s Recorder: Revisiting the Federal Arts Projects Today, a podcast series featuring 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 Arts Organization has been awarded $9,120 in support of the Weyauwega Train Derailment Film Project. 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.
American Players Theater has been awarded $10,000 for Mirrors and Windows, a project to bring APT 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.
UW-Madison Center for Culture, History and Environment has been awarded $10,000 for Land Cast: Stories from Wisconsin's Frontlines of Environmental Action, a podcast series that will be produced and published by the CHE’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.
Wisconsin Humanities grants help support cultural and educational programs around the state. If you or your organization has never applied for a grant, or you just want some feedback on an idea you aren’t sure about, please contact us to discuss your idea. We may be able to help! It might be anything from helping to brainstorm an idea or connecting with a humanities expert.