Dear Friends,

Welcome to the first edition of #HumanitiesInContext with news of the Council’s grants, initiatives, and events as well as curated humanities content that is a springboard for reflection, learning, and action. Read on for stories of impact, humanities in action, and humanities happenings in Rhode Island. 

We will also be sharing some of our favorite stories and resources on the Council’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @rihumanities. 
Let us know what you think!
Elizabeth Francis
Executive Director
and the Humanities Council Team
Your support helps ensure that all Rhode Islanders have access to and engage with the humanities, now, and in the future. Visit or if you’d like to learn more contact Rachael Jeffers at .
Stories of Impact:

After application deadlines in May, the Council has awarded $345,646 in operating support grants to 49 organizations across the state. An additional $8,000 has been awarded in project grants thus far to four projects that show how to connect the humanities to the experience of the pandemic and innovate new methods and approaches for the future.

Stay tuned for details about a second round of project grants.
As the independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Humanities Council is dispersing these funds to provide support to humanities organizations during the pandemic. Funds for these grants come from the NEH though the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, established in part to preserve jobs and help support organizations forced to restrict operations in order to contain the coronavirus. 

This month marks the launch of video shorts featuring mountaineer Annie Smith Peck and opera singer Sisseretta Jones, both trailblazing women with connections to the Ocean State. UNLADYLIKE2020 is a project of “26 short films and a broadcast hour on PBS American Masters profiling diverse and little-known American women from the turn of the 20th century, and contemporary women who follow in their footsteps.” Annie Smith Peck’s story is now available to watch online at and on the American Masters website . Digital resources from PBS Learning Media enhance the viewing experience for students and adults alike offering resources that put her story into context. Stay tuned on June 24th for Sissieretta Jones’ story. Research and production of both of these shorts were supported by grants from the Humanities Council. 

Nationwide, this project was supported by 11 state humanities councils as well as by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The Council’s Mini Grant Program funds individual researchers, nonprofit organizations, and schools with grants of up to $2,000 to support public humanities projects, documentary film, civic education initiatives, and individual research. Recent grants were awarded to the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium for Maribelle Cormack: Connecting the Museum’s Past to the Present and to Carol Green for Branches of History: Native Plants as Teaching Tools for Civic Engagement . Learn more about both these projects here.
Humanities in Action: a curated list of resources to help us reflect, learn, and take action.
To Read:
“A Juneteenth of Joy and Resistance” Black chefs on how the holiday can help Americans cope in The New York Times

As we enter the summer months, still facing the challenges of a global pandemic and confronting systems of oppression that have been built over centuries, celebrations seem far away. This week, however, marks “Juneteenth, the holiday that remembers the day — June 19, 1865 — when enslaved Africans in Galveston, Texas, learned from Union soldiers that they were free, two years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.” In this article , Nicole Taylor interviews leading black chefs about how they are approaching this holiday and how food and gatherings are inherently intertwined with history and culture.  
Local perspective: Check out this article from Providence Monthly for recommendations of over 40 Black-owned restaurants in Rhode Island to enjoy and support. 
To Watch:

“Sweet Honey In The Rock® is a performance ensemble rooted in African American history and culture. The ensemble educates, entertains and empowers its audience and community through the dynamic vehicles of a cappella singing and American Sign Language interpretation for the Deaf and hard of hearing.”

Join this internationally renowned Grammy Award nominated female acapella collaborative for a virtual concert and conversation on Juneteenth, Friday, June 19 at 8:00 pm EST . The performance will stream live from the historic stage at The Lincoln Theater in Washington, DC. Special guests include Bryan Stevenson, Danny Glover, Gina Belafonte, Sonia Sanchez, Aloe Blacc, William Barber III, Kiki Shepard, Jenifer Lewis, Jordan Waré, and Sophia Dawson.

For more details about how to participate visit: . Options include purchasing a $19 ticket to sit in the front row of the interactive audience experience with net proceeds going to support the work of the Equal Justice Initiative . Or watch the live stream for free on Facebook , YouTube , or online at: .
To Listen:
“We're on the precipice:” an artist and activist reflects on the moment 

Protesting police violence and systems of oppression sparked by the killing of George Floyd, on June 5 over 7,000 people marched from Kennedy Plaza to the State House in Providence to demonstrate and call for change. 

Listen to this interview with actress, scholar, and activist Rose Weaver from our colleagues at The Public’s Radio. “I’m 71 and I know what it means to protest, to rally together to try and make change. I never thought I would see this again in my lifetime.” 

Rose Weaver’s work and contributions to art and culture in Rhode Island were largely underrepresented on Wikipedia until recently. Thanks to the work of Janaya Kizzie as the RI Arts & Culture Research Fellow (2019-2020), Weaver’s entry traces her life and work and links to the wider cultural landscape. 
#HumanitiesHappenings: Upcoming Events & Opportunities

Registration opens at 12:00pm EST for newportFILM’s Drive-In, the first in the summer series supported by a Council grant. Reservations are limited to 100 cars. The Drive-In will be held on June 25th at Glen Park in Portsmouth for a screening of the new Patagonia environmental documentary Public Trust. Click here to visit the newportFILM website for more details and registration (starting Friday). 
August 1: Mini Grant application deadline

Don’t forget that there’s a mini grant application deadline approaching on August 1st. The Mini Grant Program for requests up to $2,000 invites individual researchers, nonprofit organizations, and schools to apply for funding in support of public humanities projects, documentary film, civic education initiatives, and individual research.

For more information about application requirements, visit the Council’s website:
Questions? Contact Logan Hinderliter at
This list will be added to as the Humanities Council is made aware of resources available to the sector as we weather this storm together. Check back often.

General Civic Engagement: Fill Out Your Census Form!