Dear Friends,

Welcome to the fifth 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. 
All my best,
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:

If you or someone you know is ready to make an impact on Rhode Island’s cultural sector, this job could be a great fit. The role will oversee the grantmaking program and the advancement of the Council via strategic initiatives, resource-building, and data management. Read on for more details and information about submitting an application. Deadline to apply is August 14th. No phone calls, please.

Recently profiled in the Providence Journal, this tour from Stages of Freedom’s co-founder Robb Dimmick compiles three years of research to offer a virtual Rhode trip through Black experience in the Ocean State. “For three years, I researched and documented Rhode Island buildings, plaques, statues and headstones where Black lives mattered....My tour lays out a town-by-town open-air museum of over 400 places associated with slavery, abolition, reconstruction, the Gilded Age, civil rights, civic life, religion and economics that tells a story unlike any other in the country.” Take the tour here. The Humanities Council is proud to have supported this project. 
Humanities in Action: a curated list of humanities resources for reflection, learning, and action.
To Read:

Journalist and producer A’Lelia Bundles writes in this guest column for Variety about the experience of turning her 2001 biography of her great-great-grandmother, Madam C.J. Walker into one of the most successful Netflix series of 2020. As the pipeline of stories that center Black experience blossoms, Bundles argues for the inclusion of historians and scholars in the writers rooms.
Image credit: Anya Chibis/Netflix
“Facts should not be seen as inconvenient intrusions and irritants. Scholars bring deep knowledge and a sustained investment in the subject matter. In contrast, a writers’ room is temporary, assembled then dismantled when the writers and showrunners move onto their next projects. And yet the films and series they create will be seen by generations of viewers.” Read the full article here.
To Watch:
Video credit: Kyle Sidlik, Ian Travis Barnard, and the Avenue Concept

This brief video profiles Rhode Island-based artist AGonza (Angela Gonzalez) who is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and is using her art to transform the plywood boarding up shop windows after downtown windows were damaged during protests earlier this summer into works of art that help community members confront social justice issues and also see themselves as part of a solution. “In my art, I’ve always focused on what connects us. I’m doing what we should be doing: uniting and supporting each other.” Read more about AGonza’s work here.
To Listen:

When the Kingston Chamber Music Festival had to pivot to virtual programming for the summer 2020 season, they applied to the Humanities Council for support through the Humanities in the Age of Social Distancing project grants opportunity made possible by supplemental funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities thanks to the CARES Act.
With this project grant, the KCMF was able to provide robust program notes distributed as part of their summer festival. Celebrating the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, the festival and program notes have allowed thousands of Rhode Islanders and folks from across the country and world to connect with world-class performance from the safety of their home. Click here to enjoy the recordings of these concerts and dive into the program notes for more context. Videos are only available until September 1st.
#HumanitiesHappenings: Upcoming Events & Opportunities

The Council is now accepting applications for a full time position of Assistant / Associate Director of Grants and Strategic Initiatives to oversee the administration of the grants program (including policy, outreach, and compliance) and the advancement of the Council via strategic initiatives, resource-building, and data management. Click here for more details and information about submitting an application.

A children’s virtual education series from the Museum of Work and Culture with support from a Humanities Council grant. Children will learn about the fascinating and diverse world of vaudeville and variety shows. Museum educators will guide students through the history of vaudeville in Rhode Island, including its biggest acts and performers. In the second half of the program, the children will put on their own variety show, in which each child can perform and showcase their own unique talent! Families can register for programs by emailing
Extra Connections: If you’re a vaudeville fan, you can also check out the research of Amy Barlow, done with support from a 2018 Humanities Council mini grant, to tell the stories of Edna Howland and Jack Cameron, leading performers of their era who happen to be Barlow’s ancestors. 
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.

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