August 3, 2009 — The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities has recently awarded 19 grants totaling $79,000 to assist Virginia organizations in their efforts to research and interpret Virginia's rich history. The funds will be used to support public forums, exhibits and catalogues, interpretative brochures, research and oral history projects.
The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, based in Charlottesville, is a statewide non-profit organization affiliated with the University of Virginia and dedicated to promoting the humanities, and to using the humanities to address issues of broad public concern.
In all of its programs, the foundation works to make scholarship accessible; to promote understanding and discussion of enduring and contemporary issues; and to broaden the range of educational opportunities available to all Virginians.
Grants were awarded to the following organizations and projects:
• Albemarle-Charlottesville Historical Society, Charlottesville: "Frances Brand Oral History Project." $1,000 to support completion, which complements restoration of an unusual series of folk-art portraits of "ordinary people who broke through gender and ethnic barriers to move into the mainstream" of the Charlottesville-Albemarle community.
• Appalachian Cultural Music Association, Bristol: "Mountain Music in the Southern Appalachians, 1600 to Present." $5,500 to support research and development of an interpretive exhibit on the history of mountain music in the southern Appalachians.
• Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, Richmond: "Ornament and Simplicity: Historic Costume at Patrick Henry's Scotchtown." $1,500 to support a public lecture and printed catalog in conjunction with an interpretive exhibit explaining the relationship between clothing and identity for Patrick Henry, his family and later residents of his home, Scotchtown, including enslaved African Americans.
• Baldwin Center for Preservation Development, North Garden: "Residential Development and the Working Landscape." $4,000 to support a symposium on rural land use issues, specifically on alternatives and strategies for preserving working agricultural land alongside residential development.
• Blue Ridge Traditional Arts, Galax: "Blue Grass and Tidewater Gospel." $2,000 to support an interpretive performance and workshop exploring the Tidewater and bluegrass (Appalachian) gospel traditions through the music of the Paschall Brothers and Doyle Lawson.
• Greene County Historical Society, Stanardsville: "Catalogue of Artifacts." $2,000 to support the creation of an online database of artifacts and other materials in the collections of the Greene County Historical Society, laying the foundation for future exhibits and educational programs.
• Gunston Hall Plantation, Mason Neck: "The Hands that Built Gunston Hall." $1,250 to support a lecture, demonstration and performance program exploring and acknowledging the contributions of enslaved men and women to the building of George Mason's Gunston Hall.
• Handley Regional Library, Winchester: "See You in a Hundred Years." $1,250 to support a lecture and book discussion program featuring Logan Ward, the author of the book "See You in a Hundred Years," which describes his family's experiment with living on their Shenandoah Valley farm as if it were a century ago.
• James Agee Film Project , Charlottesville: "An American Pilgrimage: The History of Religion in America." $9,000 to support research and script development for a six-part documentary film series on the history of religion in America, spanning the period from the mid-15th century to the present.
• Manassas Museum Associates, Manassas: "From Cows to Condos." $1,500 to support design and printing of an interpretive brochure, designed to complement and help launch an exhibit and series of related programs on the transformation of Prince William County from an agricultural to a suburban region.
• Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Winchester: "Come in and Have a Seat: Vernacular Chairs of the Shenandoah Valley." $4,500 to support design and fabrication of an interpretive exhibit on vernacular chairs produced in the Shenandoah Valley from the 18th to the 20th centuries, emphasizing German, Swiss and Scots-Irish cultural influences.
• Network of South Asian Professionals, Washington, D.C.: "South Asian Literary and Theater Arts Festival." $4,000 to support the eighth annual South Asian Literary and Theater Arts Festival
• Scrabble School Preservation Foundation, Castleton: "Scrabble School Heritage Center." $6,000 to support the development of an online exhibit and planning for a physical exhibit on the history of Scrabble School, a former Rosenwald School in Rapphannock County.
• Society of Former Special Agents of Federal Bureau of Investigation, Quantico: "The FBI Oral History Heritage Project." $6,000 to support portions of a long-term oral history project to record the memories of former FBI agents, in particular the experiences of women and minority agents as well as agents involved in investigating terrorism and organized crime.
• Telamon Corporation, Richmond: "We Have to Dream While Awake – Eastern Shore." $2,150 to support the costs of bringing the VFH-funded exhibit "We Have to Dream While Awake: Courage and Change in El Salvador" to the Eastern Shore, and to support two related public programs.
• Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation, Falls Church: "Whites, Blacks and Blues: The Past, Present and Politics of Blues Music." $3,000 to support a panel discussion – to be presented during the annual Tinner Hill Blues Festival – on the history, present status, and future of the blues, as well as on the cultural environments in which the blues have flourished.
• Virginia Historical Society, Richmond: "The Portent: John Brown's Raid in American Memory." $9,000 to support production of a DVD to be included as part of a major exhibit on the history of John Brown's Raid, how it was seen and understood at the time, and its meaning in the present day.
• Virginia Tech, Blacksburg: "Choices and Challenges: The Inner Life of Animals." $8,000 to support a one-day public forum on scientific controversies surrounding animal cognition, presented as part of the on-going "Choices and Challenges" series of Virginia Tech and in conjunction with the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth.
• Watermen's Museum, Yorktown: "Feeling Like a Part of the Story …" $7,000 to support a series of humanities-based experiential learning programs designed for young adults with mental disabilities, and evaluation of this initial program series as a potential model for other similar museum-based education programs statewide.
• World Affairs Council of Greater Hampton Roads, Virginia Beach: "Great Decisions 2010." $2,500 to support the 2010 "Great Decisions" series of eight weekly lecture discussion programs addressing issues in American foreign policy and international relations.