Funded Grants

The Warp & The Weft

This grant supports discussion guides, lobby exhibit, and audience talk backs for the Asheville Creative Arts performance of The Warp & The Weft. From April 18-28, 2019, Asheville Creative Arts will present 16, 60-minute family-friendly performances of The Warp & The Weft, a world premiere, immersive documentary style theatrical experience that aims to offer a more nuanced view of child labor, and by extension, childhood, in the South.

This multi-media project features large scale projections of Lewis Hine's photos, and interjects into this visual narrative the stories from black and brown children from both historic (including during slavery) and contemporary times (including from contemporary migrant laborers working in agriculture in NC), the piece will also integrate the following in order to create a living portrait of child labor and childhood in the South, through present day oral histories, folktales, primary source materials, and personal narratives.

The Hero in our Cultures: A Journey to Discovery

This grant supports “The Hero in our Cultures: A Journey to Discovery” a program which examines D.S. Niane’s “Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali.” This epic poem is taken from West Africa’s medieval age with its griot, or storyteller, playing a musical instrument as they tell the history of the founder of the kingdom of Mali. This project allows the community to experience world literature and multicultural traditions through a community read, public forum, and discussion.

3rd Biennial Sandhills Children's Literature Symposium: "Cultural Identity in Children's Literature"

Sponsored by Campbell University

This grant supports the “Sandhills Children's Literature Symposium” which addresses the issue of literacy development in rural communities. The Symposium will host an award-winning children’s literature author and illustrator, to teach workshops addressing specific active-learning literacy skills as it relates to their work. This project provides students with access to quality literature and equips educators with effective strategies to teach literacy and improve the literacy skills, cognitive and social growth of children in the Sandhills region.

Princeville, NC: Heritage and a Sense of Place

This grant supports “Princeville, NC: Heritage and a Sense of Place” which addresses the need for heritage preservation and public education for the historic town of Princeville, North Carolina. Originally named Freedom Hill, the town was settled by formerly enslaved Africans freed after the Civil War seeking self-determination and empowerment. Incorporated in 1885 and renamed Princeville, the city remains the oldest incorporated African American town in the United States. The town’s vulnerable ecological location has led to its near destruction from the Tar River floods from Hurricanes Floyd (1999) and Matthew (2016).

ECU in collaboration with the grassroots organization Fighters for Freedom Hill and other community efforts, aim to recover, document, preserve and publicize the historical and present-day story of Princeville. Through oral histories, archeological research, and community workshops, this project creates a moving public exhibit of Princeville, local colleges, public schools, public libraries; and also creates digital a version of the Princeville story.

The Talk

Sponsored by StreetSigns

This grant supports dialogue around “The Talk,” a project that weaves together s scholarly work as a and draws on the voices of ancestors, elders, youths, and intellectuals to engage in the difficult conversations that we must have with children to prepare them to survive and thrive in a racialized America. This piece combines elements of poetry, theatrical dramatization, mediated images, and performance ethnography to analyze the current state of racial affairs in the U.S., and how these affairs collide, penetrate, intercept, and sometimes coalesce with the process of identity formation and transfer for black youth. 

The project seeks to humanize unique aspects of the American and black American experience while challenging audience members and performer to grapple with the tensions that perpetuate existing racial hierarchies and misunderstandings. Following each performance is a talkback featuring a panel of experts including scholars, local law enforcement, educators, and civic leaders. By engaging an audience in storytelling and conversation, "The Talk" aims to both educate and connect the community.

Diversity in Language and Culture Conference

Sponsored by UNC Greensboro

This grant supports a community conference and training examining diversity in language and culture. The Coalition for Diversity in Language and Culture (CDLC) at UNC Greensboro is a catalyst for promoting the educational and sociocultural well-being of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) individuals and groups through a comprehensive agenda that engages community voices and promotes dialogue and partnerships. With increased diversification of society comes a need to forge intercultural connections that promote and support effective educational practices and support for diverse communities.

On May 3-4, 2019,  educators and community members are able to engage in dialogue around issues of equity and diversity. Attendees from various contexts and backgrounds have an opportunity to learn from and with each other about being responsive to diverse student bodies; fostering the languages, literacies, and cultural practices of the communities they work in; and promoting the linguistic and cultural pluralism that leads to a more just society.

Beyond Despair: Next Steps for Environmental Humanities

This grant supports “Thinking Beyond Despair: Next Steps for Environmental Humanities” a multifaceted initiative intended to focus discussion and tangible impact on how environmental issues are being taught in the classroom, and the role of the humanities in those critical discussions.  The initiative launches with a visual arts exhibit, curated and juried by the Visual Art Exchange, the production/distribution of an 8-part podcast series, and creation of pedagogical tools and education resources for k-12 classrooms, as well as a public documentary screening. This work culminates in a two-day convening April 3-5, 2019 of experts from across the country at the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The summit features a dynamic blend of discussions, presentations, and exhibits along with site excursions to ground the conceptual in the practical and demonstrate how global issues find expression in local activities.

To learn more about this project and how to participate, click here.

A New Road Map: A mobile bus exhibition about North Carolina's incarceration history

Sponsored by GrowingChange

This grant supports “A New Road Map: A mobile bus exhibition about North Carolina's incarceration history” which transforms a bus donated by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety into a mobile museum exhibition entitled "A New Road Map: Incarceration in North Carolina from the Chain Gang Era to Today." Through a bus tour, the exhibition and oral histories will reach audiences across the state and introduce visitors to the history of the North Carolina prison system through the story of one prison while asking the question, "What does it mean to ‘flip’ a prison and why does it matter?"

Beyond Bricks & Mortar: Urban Renewal & the African American Community in Greenville, NC.

This grant supports "Beyond Bricks and Mortar" a multifaceted project which shares a missing piece in the history of African American communities in Greenville that were displaced in the 1960's and 1970's. Through oral history and photo documentation, online and traveling exhibitions, community training workshops, and accompanying community symposium this project places developments in Greenville within the context of race relations and urban renewal in North Carolina.

North Carolina Narrative Healthcare Symposium: Medicine Beyond Medication

This grant supports the "North Carolina Narrative Healthcare Symposium: Medicine Beyond Medication" a symposium and training for healthcare practitioners to address the role of stories-telling and listening in healthcare. Studies in National Institute of Health and Journal of American Medical Association have demonstrated the value of Narrative Medicine in increasing empathy, reducing ethical violations, preventing burn-out, and increasing diagnostic accuracy in clinical practice. The workshops and trainings this grant supports deepen the conversation between clinical treatment and human experience, both that of patient of practitioners. The project features the 2018 NEH Jefferson Lecturer, Dr. Rita Charon.