AHF Awards $84,000 in Grants in Spring 2013

This round of grant-giving saw more grant requests than ever before — $207,400. And AHF was able to fill $84,600 of those needs. See below for a list of AHF-awarded grants to see just how far-reaching and diverse humanities projects are throughout Alabama and how these grants have the ability to enhance learning, strengthen critical thinking and enable a better understanding of the world around us. Grants are an integral part of our role at AHF, and this is your opportunity to benefit from the dollars we offer to bring your humanities projects to fruition.

W.I.L.D. – Alabama Association of Foreign Language Teachers – Huntsville

Award: $1600

The 10th annual weekend of language immersion is a 2 ½-day residential program held at the YMCA Hargis Retreat. Activities will include daily living experiences, physical activities, as well as cultural and academic learning experiences. The purpose of the project is to put high school students in a setting where they will use the target language (French, German or Spanish) in a relaxed atmosphere with high school teachers and university scholars. The students will be selected based on their level of study, grades, recommendations and an essay.


Project C: Lessons from the Civil Rights Movement – Alabama Public Television – Birmingham

Award: 15,000

Imagine a field trip to the places that defined the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama without ever leaving your classroom — Selma, Birmingham, cities and towns across the state where pivotal moments changed life in Alabama forever.

Through a three-year Alabama Public Television project, Lessons From the Civil Rights Movement, middle and high school students across Alabama will take web-based electronic field trips to travel back to tumultuous times and historic places to gain greater insights.


Literature Changes Lives – Auburn University – Alabama Prison Arts + Education Initiative, Auburn University – Auburn

Award: $7000

A series of literature classes to be offered by the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project will introduce students at four correctional facilities in Alabama to three specific literature classes: The Improbable Made Possible: Reading Science Fiction, What is (Good) Literature? A Look at Modern American Creative Non-Fiction, and Reading Alabama: Exploring 20th Century Alabama through Literature, Memory, and History. One of the courses will be taught two times.  Each class has a syllabus that is approved through the Auburn University Continuing Education Office as meeting the guidelines for Continuing Education Units. The primary objective is to teach students to understand rich historical and cultural legacies through the academic study of literature and history.


Art Speaks: 50 Years Forward: Etched in Collective History – Birmingham Museum of Art – Birmingham

Award: $5,500

The flagship exhibition in the BMA’s 2013 series of events commemorating the Civil Rights Movement. Etched in Collective History presents artists who interrogate, depict, and memorialize the Civil Rights Movement. Taking into consideration the events that occurred before and after the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing, the exhibition will be situated in relation to the 1950s and 1960s. This framework presents a number of voices: multiple viewpoints are needed to understand the impact of racial intolerance and racism during this period. These various voices will include male and female contemporary artists, both local and national. The exhibition features 58 works of art. The exhibit will allow BMA to provide a unique insight into the city’s history and the Civil Rights Movement.


Documenting Runaway Slaves, 1800-1861 – U.A. Frances S. Summersell Center for the Study of the South – Tuscaloosa

Award: $4000

For development of a large and collaborative multimedia project that will gather and make available to scholars, K-12 educators, genealogists, and the general public every runaway slave advertisements from Alabama from the turn of the nineteenth century to the outbreak of the Civil War. The first comprehensive, statewide electronic archive of these materials for Alabama will have significant interpretive potential, including opening new windows onto the forced migrations of the interstate slave trade, the social upheavals that remade black communities and families, the cultural geographies of American slavery, the transformation of the Deep South into the heart of the nation’s cotton plantations, and the determination of the enslaved to secure a measure of freedom despite a daunting array of state and private power. Will be launched with a one-day symposium for teachers at the University of Alabama entitled “Teaching Alabama History through Runaway Slave Advertisements,” and promotion of the resource to educators statewide.


Happy Birthday John Cage – Mobile Museum of Art – Mobile

Award: $3000

A three-day, city-wide, multi-site event commemorating the 101st year since John Cage’s birth and recognizing the impact Cage orchestrated on the world. Programming will center on the ties that exist among literature, music, philosophy and visual arts and how they coalesced to inform Cage’s life and work. The project will reflect Cage’s commitment to “chance operations,” as a means to removing personal ego, and lead to an inclusive and highly collaborative relationship with not only other artists, but also with the community as a whole in order to tear down barriers between art, music and life, and to expanded our idea of what it is to listen. The Cage project aims to bring Mobilians together to revel in the diversity of their voices.


The Teachers’ Oral History Project: The Way We Worked in Northwest Alabama – Red Bay Weatherford Library – Red Bay

Award: $5000

The MoMS exhibit, “The Way We Worked,” will be explored through the participation of history, English, and library science educators in workshops to mentor students in the gathering of oral histories about the history of work in NW Alabama. The finished products will be added to the collections of the Alabama Dept of Archives and local archives and libraries.


Who Speaks for Birmingham Now? A Companion Film – Samford University – Birmingham

Award: $16,000

Drawing on letters, newspaper accounts, archival photos, and footage of the documentary, along with newly conducted interviews, this film will to tell the story of the 1961 CBS Reports documentary “Who Speaks for Birmingham?” The film will explore the internal dynamics at CBS during the production of the report, including a consideration of the first amendment implications of efforts to restrain its editorial content. The film will also examine the larger context of the civil rights movement in Alabama and around the region but will focus in particular on efforts by student activists at Birmingham’s colleges to effect change in the racial situation in the city. Attention will also be paid to efforts to resist such change. Producers of the original documentary held forums at the three major colleges in the city at the time, and efforts are under way to locate and interview students who either spoke during or simply attended these meetings. Finally, the film will consider how race relations in Birmingham have changed since 1961.


Discovering Alabama: Marble City – The University of Alabama – Tuscaloosa

Award: $17,500

The film will highlight the history, geology, economic and cultural importance of the Sylacauga marble through the related aspects of Sylacauga’s local history, economy, and culture, including the impressive marble artistry recently placed at the Sylacauga City Hall and other works created in conjunction with the annual Sylacauga Magic of Marble Festival. The half-hour program will feature the beauty and appeal of the Sylacauga area, the significant marble quarries and industries in the area. Interviews will include experts and local residents discussing the many ways in which the human experience is influenced and processed through the local natural resource, marble.


The Desegregation of Macon County – Tuskegee Human and Civil Rights Multicultural Center – Tuskegee

Award: $2000

Scheduled for August 23-24, 2013, the free, public symposium will bring together the remaining living students who desegregated the schools, white students of the period who recall the events, and writers, scholars and others who can speak to the topic from their particular area of interest.  The symposium will allow history makers, eyewitnesses to history, published writers, and scholars to explore the topic and commemorate the era with the interested public. The goal for the symposium is to provide the public an opportunity to explore the painful events of 1963/64 from the perspective of fifty years and through the lenses of humanities scholarship.


The Way We Worked: Stories from the Box – University of Alabama Center for Public Television – Tuscaloosa

Award: $8000

Built to be reminiscent of the old fashioned take-your-own photo booth, “The Box” will be equipped with an HDV video camera and recording technology. “The Box” will travel to the six host sites of the “Way We Worked” exhibition, to videotape Alabamians from diverse backgrounds. Once taping is completed, the various stories and accounts will be edited into a video presentation for screening as part of the exhibition.   The Box will return to each of the sites during the local exhibition to collect oral histories facilitated by the site docents.  The material will then be compiled and made available to the participants themselves, local and state archives.


See the criteria and deadlines for AHF grants and apply during the next round of grants.