| December 20, 2017 | 0 Comments



Maryland Humanities is proud to award grants to twelve organizations across the state for its most recent grant cycle for public humanities programming. The major grant program awards up to $10,000 and the mini grant program awards up to $1,200.


Recipients of major grant awards this cycle are Baltimore Center Stage (Center Stage Associates); Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center; Historic Sotterley; James Agee Film Project; Live Garra Theatre; Queen Anne’s County Arts Council; University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art.  Mini grant recipients are Artpartheid; Catoctin Furnace Historical Society; Crisfield Heritage Foundation; and University of Baltimore.


Maryland Humanities provides grants to nonprofit organizations that use the humanities (literature, philosophy, history, etc.) to inspire Marylanders to embrace lifelong learning, exchange ideas openly, and enrich their communities. Grant criteria encourage free, public programming in many forms.


Projects funded in this most recent round of awards include a documentary film exploring identity through Southern food, an exhibit about the watermen on the Chesapeake Bay, a multi-event series on the Catonsville Nine, and a living history portrayal of and author presentation on Harriet Tubman.
To learn more about our Grants Program, eligibility, and deadlines, visit


Fall 2017 Major Grant Awards

Center Stage Associates

Baltimore Center Stage Mobile Unit

Baltimore City

Award Amount: $8,900

The Center Stage Mobile Unit will feature a professional, high-quality, touring production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night that will travel in spring 2018 to prisons, juvenile detention facilities, homeless shelters, and assisted living facilities free of charge for the partner organizations and their populations. Before each performance, audience members will have access to a dramaturgy packet, which offers background information, context, historical settings and other relevant details to provide a better understanding of the play. Each stop consists of a performance of the play, along with the opportunity for pre- and post-show dialogue with the artists, staff, and audience members about the themes and issues relevant to their lives.



Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center

Black Theatre Symposium

Prince George’s County

Award Amount: $2,500

On April 14, 2018, the University of Maryland School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center will host the third Black Theatre Symposium to include panel discussions, workshops, and performances. Theatre professionals, scholars, and students will convene to discuss and take action around the topics of inclusion and diversity in American theatre, dance, and performance and engage in a spirited dialogue about the past, present, and future of Black theatre.



Historic Sotterley, Inc.   

Common Ground, Connected Heritage

St. Mary’s County

Award Amount:  $10,000

Following the April public commemoration ceremony to dedicate the 1830s Slave Cabin to descendants in 2017, Sotterley initiated a Descendants Project to gather information on the lives of those who lived and worked at Sotterley: black, white, free, or enslaved. In spring of 2018, Sotterley will host a two-day event connecting both existing documented stories and emerging stories with audiences interested in discovering more about the history of Southern Maryland. Programming will include film screenings, interactive educational programs, panel-led discussions, and filming of adults and youth participating in oral history workshops. In the fall of 2018, Sotterley will host Joe McGill of The Slave Dwelling Project for the kickoff of their Speaker Series.



James Agee Film Project

At The Common Table: People, Place and Food in the American South

Prince George’s County

Award Amount:  $5,720

At The Common Table: People, Place, and Food in the American South is a feature-length documentary on the multiethnic roots of Southern food that traces the story of southern foods across the miles and centuries, from the fields of Africa and Europe to the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, and explores the dramatic connections of food, identity, and history in Maryland and the American South. The film will explore the rich agricultural and culinary traditions of Native and African Americans in Maryland.



Live Garra Theatre, Inc.

America’s Talking: A Community Mosaic   

Montgomery County

Award Amount: $8,500

Live Garra Theatre will host programming where participants will talk about their experiences and aspirations through poetry and storytelling, bringing residents of diverse ethnic backgrounds together to share personal stories. The interactive discussions are scheduled to run over a two-week period in June 2018, incorporating a montage of cultures representing many ethnic communities, such as those from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Central & West Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Asia, and South America. A series of workshops will be conducted to develop the context of each story. Live Garra Theatre will partner with the Gandhi Brigade Youth Media organization to film the project; the workshop series and interviews of the participants’ backstory (i.e., family life, social activities, etc.).



Queen Anne’s County Arts Council

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson Lecture: “Race, Racism & Race Relations in America”

Queen Anne’s County

Award Amount:  $10,000

On September 12, 2018, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson will present a free lecture at Chesapeake College’s Todd Performing Arts Center in Queen Anne’s County. Dr. Dyson, a Georgetown University sociology professor, is an American Book Award recipient who has authored or edited eighteen books. He is a two-time NAACP Image Award winner and is one of the nation’s most influential and renowned public intellectuals. Dr. Dyson’s pioneering scholarship has had a profound effect on discussions of racism, racial injustice, and African American history. The program is anticipated to draw audience members from the five-county region of Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Caroline, Kent, and Dorchester counties.



University of Maryland, Baltimore County

50th Anniversary of the Catonsville Nine: Commemorating History and Inspiring Action for Peace

Baltimore County

Award Amount:  $5,000

This project will include a series of events to be held in the spring of 2018 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the burning of draft files by nine Catholic activists to protest the Vietnam War. Programming includes a symposium, exhibit, historic marker unveiling, and film screenings and discussions.




Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Salisbury University

The Delmarvalous Festival

Wicomico County

Award Amount: $9,380

This project will showcase the heritage of the Eastern Shore of Maryland through the Delmarvalous Festival in June 2018. This day-long program is focused on presenting and interpreting the traditional foodways, crafts, work, and other practices of the people of the Delmarva Peninsula. Tradition bearers and scholars will engage in formal narrative stage presentations and public demonstrations for festival attendees. These same participants will also be engaged, where appropriate, to conduct the demonstrations so that audiences can get up close with the traditions about which they are learning. Topics to be highlighted include basketry, boat building, baking, crabbing, decoy carving, and Native American traditions.




Fall 2017 Mini Grant Awards


Re-Imagining Monuments

Baltimore City

Awarded Amount: $1,200

Artpartheid will coordinate a series of programs to discuss the history of monuments and diverse approaches to monument making and monuments of other cultures. There will be a session at the New Arts Foundry, a bronze casting foundry involved in monument making, and a workshop where participants discuss their ideas for monuments and make scale-model monuments.




Catoctin Furnace Historical Society

Leading to Freedom:  Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad in Maryland

Frederick County

Awarded Amount: $1,200

Leading to Freedom will be the cornerstone of the Catoctin Furnace Historical Society’s annual 2018 Spring in the Village festival.  The project will feature a living history portrayal of Harriet Tubman, followed by an author presentation and book signing by Dr. Carol Boston Weatherford who will read from and discuss her work, Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom.




Crisfield Heritage Foundation

Watermen’s Pavilion Exhibit

Somerset County

Awarded Amount: $1,000

The grant will support costs associated with an interpretive exhibit that explores tools, history, and culture of watermen on the Chesapeake Bay and Tangier Sound. It will serve as a companion exhibit to the working crab shanty exhibit. The exhibit space has a view of Somers Cove Marina on the Tangier Sound so visitors are able to observe working boats during their visit.




University of Baltimore

Commemorating the Poor People’s Campaign’s 50th Anniversary through Exhibit, Lecture, and Reflection

Baltimore City

Awarded Amount:  $998  

This project will include an exhibit of students’ archival research capturing themes of the Poor People’s Campaign, a lecture on the subject, and discussion with participants of the Poor People’s Campaign, Center for Emerging Media’s Marc Steiner and University of Baltimore’s Dr. Lenneal Henderson.



Maryland Humanities is a statewide nonprofit organization that creates and supports educational experiences in the humanities that inspire all Marylanders to embrace lifelong learning, exchange ideas openly, and enrich their communities. For more information, visit Maryland Humanities is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the State of Maryland, private foundations, corporations, small businesses, and individual donors.


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