$82,000 Awarded for Dialogue-Based Projects

The New York Council for the Humanities has awarded $82,000 in its first round of Directors’ Project Grants for exemplary dialogue-based humanities programs to nine organizations ranging from a theater company in New York City to an African-American cultural center in Rochester.

These grants support programs that use dialogue as an integral way to engage the public, furthering the Council’s mission to help all New Yorkers become thoughtful participants in their communities. The nine awarded projects are:

Abolition&#8211Two Worlds on Staten Island, a community dialogue and exhibition exploring the contested history of the Underground Railroad on Staten Island.

The Baobab Film and Dialogue Series 2012-13 a year-long series of community dialogues in Rochester, many of them using films as a catalyst for discussion.

The Battle of Queenstown Heights Commemoration in Lewiston, which includes 18 dialogue stations to help mark the first major battle of the War of 1812.

Epic Theatre Ensemble’s Spotlight on Human Rights Festival at the John Jay College for Criminal Justice in New York City.

Frederick Douglass in Ireland: The Irish Influence on America’s Greatest Abolitionist, a day-long program of public discussions at St. John Fisher College in Rochester.

RACE: Are We So Different? A series of radio programs and a public forum in Rochester in conjunction with an exhibition about the historical, cultural, and scientific understandings of race.

The Counterculturalists: Towards a New Canon, a series of online interviews, discussions and a culminating symposium exploring new understandings cultural identity offered by the Asian-American Writers Workshop.

The D.R.E.A.M. Freedom Revival, four events in Syracuse that use performance and dialogue to engage participants about a range of issues from participatory democracy to aging.

The Guantanamo Public Memory Project, which will use discussions and mobile phone engagement to help New Yorkers understand the role and legacy of Guantanamo.

“These innovative projects show how the humanities can be central to promoting community engagement and civil discourse across our state,” says Council Executive Director Sara Ogger. Directors’ Project Grants are available to any tax-exempt organization in New York State.

Applicants should be prepared to demonstrate the exemplary nature of their project, and explain how it uses dialogue to spark public engagement. The next deadline for application is December 15, 2012 with notification 12 weeks later. More information about the grant guidelines and application forms can be found online at www.nyhumanities.org/grants.

In 2011, the Council awarded almost half a million dollars to public humanities projects, mostly in the form of small grants of up to $3000. To learn about the Council’s other grant opportunities, including its Special Initiative War of 1812 Project Grants, visit www.nyhumanities.org/grants.

The Council’s grant program is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Legislature of New York State. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in the funded programs do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Founded in 1975 and supported by Federal, State, and private sources, the New York Council for the Humanities helps all New Yorkers become thoughtful participants in our communities by promoting critical inquiry, cultural understanding, and civic engagement.

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