Grants for public humanities programs announced

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Virginia Humanities has announced almost $80,000 in grants for 15 nonprofits to support public humanities programs.

According to a release, the program responds directly to the interests and concerns of local communities across the Commonwealth.

“From Pulaski County in Southwest Virginia to Warsaw in the Northern Neck, these grants reach across the Commonwealth to support organizations that are doing important work,” said Matthew Gibson, executive director of Virginia Humanities. “Fostering a shared understanding of Virginia's history and culture is central to our mission, and the projects included in this grant cycle will do just that.”

The American Civil War Museum in Richmond received a $9,000 grant for an exhibit and public programs exploring the role of Jefferson Davis, his family and the Confederate Museum played in developing the “Lost Cause” narrative about the Civil War.

In Bedford County, the Bower Center for the Arts got $7,000 for an exhibit and programs honoring the story of the 22 “Bedford Boys” who were killed as part of the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944, which will be held in June of this year.

The Catticus Corporation received $9,000 for a Farmville-focused project, researching and early-stage script development for a documentary film on the response of white Southerners to the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court desegregation mandate.

In Danville, the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History will use a $3,000 grant to plan for an exhibit and series of programs on the life and achievements of Camilla Williams, a native of the city who was the first African-American soprano to appear with a major American opera company and who earned international recognition as a singer and civil rights pioneer.

Another organization in Richmond to get a grant is Gallery 5, which will use the $3,000 for a series of facilitated public conversations on a range of social issues central to the city's past and present.

George Mason University in Fairfax got $9,000 to develop a website telling the story of the “lost segment” of the Appalachian Trail through Southern Virginia and the social and economic impact rerouting the trail had on area communities.

Longwood University in Farmville will use a $2,200 for the publication and distribution of original writings by American military veterans and their families that will explore the effects of combat and the general experience of military service.

In Warsaw, the Menokin Foundation will use a $5,000 to research the lives of people who were enslaved at the Menokin Plantation in Richmond County.

In Alexandria, New York Women in Film and Television will use $7,500 for a half-hour documentary film exploring the history and stories of African-American life in the city seen through the eyes of two local artists who build miniature dioramas of scenes of daily life in city neighborhoods.

The Northampton Historic Preservation Society in Eastville got $3,000 to produce a documentary video on the social history of the 1914 Jail in Northampton County.

In Prince William County, the Prince William Public Library System received $1,000 for the publication of a study/discussion guide to be used with public screenings of the documentary “An Outrage,” which looks at the history and legacy of lynching in the American South.

Prio Bangla, Inc. in Arlington will use $3,000 for an interpretive publication to complement it annual Prio Bangla Festival, which showcases cultural diversity in Northern Virginia.

The Virginia Chamber Orchestra in Alexandria received $5,000 for a print publication, interpretive performance, video, classroom resources, and series of public screenings and discussion programs to explore music in the life of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

In Suffolk, Western Tidewater Virginia Heritage got $3,000 for an hour-long documentary on the history of peanut cultivation in the region and the role peanuts have played in the history, culture, economy and daily life of the area.

Finally, the YMCA of Pulaski County received $10,000 for a research and oral history project on the history of the Calfee Training School there, which is one of many such schools that provided education for African-American children during segregation, and the sire of the landmark legal challenge to the doctrine of “separate but equal.”

Since 1974, Virginia Humanities has given out more than 4,000 grants.

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