AHF announces $65,000+ in grants awarded

Third Space exhibit at Birmingham Museum of Art

Third Space exhibit at Birmingham Museum of Art

Alabama Humanities Foundation awarded $65,463.71 in major and mini-grants across the state in its latest round of giving. From public discussions to exhibits to film projects and reading programs, 16 grants were awarded – four of which were first time applicants.

Grants are awarded three times per year. Read more about AHF’s grant program and how to apply.

Grant recipients and their projects are:

Major Grants

Alabama Public Television – Journey Proud IV, $5,000
Journey Proud IV is a 9-episode documentary series that travels Alabama’s highways and byways documenting the state’s diverse folk culture and practitioners. This series about Alabama’s folk traditions supports Alabama’s forthcoming bicentennial collection of digital, cultural artifacts while exploring the Humanities roots of each folk practice.

Tuskegee University – Without Regard to Sex, Race or Color, $2,500
Without Regard to Sex, Race, or Color is a photographic exhibition by renowned author and artist, Andrew Feiler that tells the painful story of the closing of Morris Brown College. The exhibition includes educational workshops, lectures, local school tours, and Live Video Streaming raising the question of whether other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) face similar futures.

Alabama Blues Project – Afterschool Camps, $4,500
The Alabama Blues Project’s After-School Camps pass Alabama’s rich Blues culture on to the next generation while teaching self-esteem, discipline, cross-cultural understanding and teamwork. Students learn hands-on and performance-based musical instruction and the history of the Blues. Programs target at-risk children and are designed to give all students an in-depth understanding and appreciation of the Blues while also learning about their cultural heritage.

Alabama Prison Arts and Education Project, Auburn University, $7,500
This series of classes offered by the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project will introduce students in four correctional facilities to literature, philosophy, anthropology, and film studies and will be taught by faculty from Auburn as well as graduate students from the University of Alabama. AHF humanities classes build spaces for positive community development inside prisons and bridges to stronger family bonds, and contribute to success post release through academic educational development.

Birmingham Museum of Art, $4,250
As an extension of the two-year exhibition “Third Space,” BMA will present Chapters, a series of public programs aiming to explain and explore contemporary art for a variety of audiences. Through artist talks and discussions with numerous artists featured in the exhibition, Chapters will demystify contemporary art, expand exhibition themes, and create thought-provoking opportunities for viewing and interacting with the Museum’s permanent collection.

Birmingham Public Library Southern History Department, $3,500
Sweet Home: Alabama’s History in Maps is an exciting new exhibit from the Birmingham Public Library. Timed to coincide with Alabama’s upcoming bicentennial and using maps from the Library’s world class collection, this exhibit will tell the history of the state by introducing patrons to maps that depict Alabama’s development from the earliest days of exploration through the present day.

Florence-Lauderdale Public Library, $7,000
Florence-Lauderdale Public Library plans a local history exhibit and series of interactive programming in preparation for the 2018-2019 Bicentennial Celebration of the City of Florence and Lauderdale County . The Florence Bicentennial Online Exhibit will include an interactive timeline, created by scholars, outlining Florence’s history and will allow community members to add their own family stories to the timeline.

Jule Collins Smith Museum Film Series, $2,450
FILM@JCSM stands for “Fostering Interdisciplinary Learning through Movies.” The museum screens classic and current movies that complement exhibitions, bringing in artists and scholars to explore the connection between multiple art forms and their commentary on the human experience.

Gulf Coast Exploreum Public Discussion, $2,000
How Rock & Roll Transformed American Culture is a Humanities presentation within a four month comprehensive project featuring two major exhibitions, hands-on learning spaces, education for school children, and guest presenters. The project narrates, through scholarship and photography, the transformational effect that Rock & Roll had on American culture. Rock & Roll originated in the South in the Jim Crow era and has played a significant role in Alabama’s musical and historical heritage.

Scottsboro Public Library Community Reading and Discussion, $5,350
The Scottsboro Public Library will provide a community read program to the residents of Jackson County.

This project is called Racing and Reading: Jackson County Community Read. It will consist of a storytelling program that invites local residents to share their own stories of growing up in Jackson County. The program will feature a community read program for children, adolescents and adults with Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain, visiting the community.

Troy University Library Wade Hall Traveling Postcards, $2,500
Two traveling exhibits of postcards will showcase cities and towns from around Alabama to coincide with “Discovering Our Places,” the 2017 theme of the Alabama Bicentennial Commission. The exhibits will be made up of historical postcards from the Wade Hall Collection at the Troy University Archives. The first exhibit will depict bustling city streets, such as 20th Street in Birmingham, historic streets, such as Dexter Avenue in Montgomery, and small town streets, such as Front Street in Carbon Hill. The second exhibit will showcase Alabama historical and governmental buildings in cities large and small. The buildings include courthouses, post offices, schools, and churches. These postcards range from the early 1900s to the 1960s.

Alabama World Languages Education Foundation, $6,500
WILD (Weekend Immersed in Language Development) is a statewide world language immersion experience for high school students of Spanish, French, German and Chinese led by fluent teachers and professors. The purpose of the experience is to enhance the opportunities for teachers and students to improve their spoken language skills, through the study of several humanities topics including art, literature, music, history, theater and film study.

Birmingham International Educational Film Festival, $8,700
Direct Action is a film about former segregationist Sid Smyer who along with other businessmen and a group of progressive lawyers challenge “Bull” Connor and other Birmingham, Alabama elected officials to reach accommodation with civil rights protestors before the city erupts into an all-out race war in 1962. Their efforts to help change the form of government and negotiate behind the scenes with black leaders resulted in Connor and the other commissioners being forced out of office.


In the Mini-Grants category, winners were:

Mobile Medical Museum Public Discussion, $1,050
The Mobile Medical Museum will host a free public lecture by Dr. Laurie Wilkie, Professor of Archeology at the University of California-Berkeley. The lecture will be on the topic of African-American midwifery in the 19th century, and will be presented as part of a lecture series accompanying the upcoming exhibition Healing Women: Medical History from a Female Perspective.

Black Belt Museum Public Discussion, $1,163
The Black Belt Museum (BBM) Interpretive Project of the University of West Alabama will bring history to life using a public historian/educator to portray historical characters and relate their experiences and adventures to students and the public across the state. With the upcoming Alabama 200 celebration, they position themselves to present the earlier and lesser known parts of Alabama’s past that many people are not familiar with but that help tell the story of the state throughout time.

The Ridge, a Macon County Archeology Project, $1,500
The Old Federal Road Storytelling Festival will celebrate south Macon County’s Federal Road history and Alabama Fever pioneers who traveled the road through Creek Indian territory in the 1800s. Dr. Lorenzo Pace, descendant of ancestors from The Ridge, is a children’s book author, sculptor, and performance artist, who, along with community storytellers will present an exhibition of local and regional multicultural history that is an important layer in the larger story of becoming Alabama.