Dear Friends,

Welcome to the seventh 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:

Support the humanities and join the Council for a virtual Celebration of the Humanities that will recognize outstanding community leadership through the humanities, explore fascinating public work, and start compelling conversations. The Council’s awardees are Dr. Joyce Stevos, Mary Beth Meehan, the Providence Clemente Veterans’ Initiative, and Janaya Kizzie. The 2020 Celebration will showcase the power of the humanities to meet this moment of change and the challenges ahead. Ticket information at:

The Humanities Council has been delighted to begin convening the Advisory Committee for the initiative Culture is Key: Strengthening Rhode Island’s Civic Health Through Cultural Participation. Culture is Key seeks to explore and document the role of cultural participation in rebuilding civic life, encouraging communities to come together to learn about our shared histories and diverse experiences, and to envision a better future. The Committee is working closely with Fellow Julia Lazarus and informing the design of the project with their expertise and cross-sector perspectives. Learn more about the committee members

Culture is Key is supported by the Rhode Island Foundation, the Federation of State Humanities Councils, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in partnership with the Pulitzer Prizes.

Have a great idea for a project related to cultural, historical, and/or civic engagement? This month, join Humanities Council staff members to learn all about the grant application process and ask any questions you might have. Workshops will be held via Zoom at the dates/times listed below.

September 16, 12:30 - 1:30 pm - register at:
September 19, 10:30 - 11:30 am - register at:
September 22, 4:30 - 5:30 pm - register at:

Registration is required, and space is limited--sign up today!
Humanities in Action: a curated list of humanities resources for reflection, learning, and action.
To Read:

The Providence Clemente Veterans' Initiative (PCVI), recipient of the Council’s Innovation in the Humanities award for 2020 and recently featured in a Providence Journal story is now accepting applications for its 3rd year, which will begin September 21st.

The PCVI is a free humanities program that is open to all Rhode Island veterans, regardless of deployment, disability, education and discharge status; the goal is to provide meaningful intellectual community to veterans who are grappling with the readjustment to civilian life, as well as a bridge to college without using VA benefits. It's funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Those who participate are eligible to earn 6 college credits. The course enrolls 12-15 veteran-scholars, and is taught by faculty from UMass-Dartmouth, URI, and the Rhode Island School of Design. Books and school supplies are free, and childcare and transportation assistance are also available for free for those who need it. The classes are normally held at Trinity Repertory Company in downtown Providence on Monday and Thursday evenings from 6pm to 8pm, but because of the pandemic, they'll meet online initially, and return to in-person classes as soon as they can safely do so. To apply online visit:
To Watch:

Check out this video from 2016 that the RISD Museum created about Mary Beth Meehan’s Seen/Unseen project. Meehan is being honored this year with the Humanities Council’s Tom Roberts Prize for Creative Achievement in the Humanities. At the annual Celebration of the Humanities on October 15th, you’ll get to experience an even deeper dive into what inspires Meehan and the other honorees this year and why their unique ways of mobilizing the humanities are so vital. Register for the 2020 Celebration of the Humanities here

Seen/Unseen was supported by a Humanities Council grant in 2015. 
To Listen:

At the end of August, the Center for Reconciliation in Providence, RI, hosted a virtual panel discussion examining monuments including perspectives from government officials, scholars, community leaders, and artists. Watch the panel here and consider the questions: How can communities publicly acknowledge histories of violence and oppression without celebrating them? Can new meaning be brought to existing monuments through interventions and actions? And, what might monuments of the future look like, and who might create them?
This panel was moderated by Julia Renaud, Exhibition Manager & Curator at the Center 
for Reconciliation who also serves as the Grantmaking Coordinator at the Humanities Council. 
#HumanitiesHappenings: Upcoming Events & Opportunities
Hosted by the Rhode Island Historical Society, researcher Faith Gregor will discuss her new book Courage Says “Keep On". The book illuminates a fascinating period of American history through the eyes of her grandmother, Rachel Whitcomb, who worked at three different New England settlement houses from 1913 to 1922, including Providence’s Federal Hill House. Registration required. Click here for more details. This event is part of XIX: Shall Not Be Denied.
September 16, 19, 22: Virtual Grant Information Workshops
Join Humanities Council staff members to learn all about the grant application process and ask any questions you might have. Workshops will be held via Zoom. Registration is required, and space is limited--sign up today!
Join in this virtual screening and discussion of Slatersville-In-Progress Screening #5 at 7:00 pm via Zoom with filmmaker Christian de Rezendes. Click here for more details. Registration is required, email This talk and the making of these segments are made possible in part by the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, Blackstone Heritage Corridor and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, with additional support from SENE Film Music and Arts Festival, Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, Rhode Island PBS, and of course, the Museum of Work & Culture.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of women suffragists winning the national fight for the vote; the movement for universal adult suffrage continues today. Speakers include: Kat Kerwin – Providence City Councilor and community organizer, Wendy Schiller – Chair of Political Science, Brown University, Angel Taveras – Former Providence Mayor.
This event will take place virtually on Zoom. Registration required. Click here for details. The event is a partnership between Lippitt House Museum the Providence League of Women Voters and is part of XIX: Shall Not Be Denied.
The Little Compton Historical Society hosts a virtual event with Kerri Helme, Indigenous Cultural Programs Manager, Plimoth Plantation (Plimoth Patuxet). Helme is an enrolled member of the Mashpee Wampanaog Tribal Nation and an artisan, practicing and preserving traditional skills including weaving, pottery, and porcupine quillwork embroidery. She will describe the daily lives of historic Wampanoag women and will explain how the practices of earlier centuries are honored and lived in today’s world. Registration required. Click here for details. This event is part of XIX: Shall Not Be Denied.
The Rhode Island Historical Society hosts this virtual event with Margaret Manchester, Associate Professor of History at Providence College, who will discuss the historic Verin case, a situation of domestic violence and liberty of conscience. Registration required. Click here for details. This event is part of XIX: Shall Not Be Denied.
XIX: Shall Not Be Denied is a partnership initiative of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities and the Rhode Island Department of State. Due to the pandemic, Shall Not Be Denied will continue amplifying Rhode Island centennial events through March 2021 via the website and on Instagram @xixshallnotbedenied.
September 30: Deadline to fill out your Census form. Rhode Island currently only has about 40% participation. Census reporting has a direct result on federal funds available to states.

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.