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31 Humanities Grants Awarded Across NYS for Public Programs on Women’s Suffrage, African-American History, Indigenous Issues, and More

January 16, 2020 8:44 AM | MANY Staff (Administrator)

31 Humanities Grants Awarded Across NYS for Public Programs on Women’s Suffrage, African-American History, Indigenous Issues, and More

NEW YORK CITY, NY (January 16th, 2020) – Humanities New York (HNY) today has announced $150,000 in awards to 31 grantees for innovative public humanities offerings. Awards were made in every region of the state, from the North Country to Long Island. 

“To know the humanities one has to experience them personally,” said Executive Director Sara Ogger. “The awarded programs directly engage participants in compelling topics, and ultimately, with each other. In-person opportunities seem rare in today’s climate, but look at what local libraries and museums and service providers are doing every day–HNY strives to give them the investment they need to really go.”

These grants are made possible entirely through the National Endowment for the Humanities, a Federal agency funded through legislation by the United States Congress. Previous years have included New York State funding.

Action Grants to community presenters enable New Yorkers to reflect on their values and engage with others in their communities. Grant recipients creatively use history, philosophy, literature, and other tools of the humanities to respond to issues and ideas that capture the imagination and passion of New Yorkers today. Focusing on relevant and timely topics, these grant projects give New Yorkers the opportunity to discuss what matters.  

Over ten of the grants will provide funding for the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment in 2020. In Western New York, Lockport Public Arts Council will consider the struggles, sacrifices, and strategies that went into the Amendment’s passage. In the Mid-Hudson region, Putnam History Museum will explore the local history of women’s suffrage, tracing its links to the national movement. On Staten Island, Friends of Alice Austen House will present an exhibition on the 1983 landmark press photo series of Audre Lorde by Robert Alexander, exploring the implications of the series for both the women’s movement and Lorde’s legacy.

Several grants went to organizations offering programs on African-American and African Diaspora history.In the Finger Lakes region, The History Center in Tompkins County will explore the legacy of civil rights icon Dorothy Cotton and the movement’s other, less heralded women of color. In New York City, Haiti Cultural Exchange will host a conversation series on socio-political issues facing Haiti today and what these issues mean for the Haitian Diaspora. 

Two grants promote the understanding of indigenous history and contemporary indigenous culture in New York State. In the Mohawk Valley, the Iroquois Indian Museum will examine issues relating to Haudenosaunee/Iroquois identity, including tribal enrollment, blood quantum, and residency. On Long Island, The Whaling Museum and Education Center in Cold Spring Harbor will explore the cultural significance of whales for the Shinnecock people, past and present.


Complete list of 2020 Grantees, sortable by region.


About Humanities New York:

The mission of Humanities New York is to strengthen civil society and the bonds of community, using the humanities to foster engaged inquiry and dialogue around social and cultural concerns. Established in 1975 as the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Humanities New York is a private 501(c)3 that receives Federal, State, regional, and private funding. 


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The Museum Association of New York strengthens the capacity of New York State’s cultural community by supporting professional standards and organizational development. We provide advocacy, training, and networking opportunities so that museums and museum professionals may better serve their missions and communities.

Museum Association of New York is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization. 

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