Maryland Humanities Awards $50,800 in Major Grants

June 8, 2016

Nonprofit and Educational Organizations Funded
to Host Public Humanities Programs Statewide

(Baltimore) –   Maryland Humanities has awarded major grants to six area nonprofit and educational organizations in its recent grant cycle for public humanities programming. Organizations that received support are the Accokeek Foundation; B&O Railroad Museum; Maryland Institute College of Art; Tilghman Watermen’s Museum; Towson University, Department of Theatre Arts; and the University of Maryland, Department of English.

Projects range from a series of events and workshops to exhibitions and public discussions covering unique topics such as the intersection of race and agriculture, the B&O Railroad Strike of 1877, the history of the Tilghman Packing Company, the works of renowned artist William A. Christenberry, an exploration of Malcom X and Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, and student participation in the democratic process.

Maryland Humanities provides grants to nonprofit organizations that use the humanities (literature, philosophy, art history, anthropology, history, etc.) to engage Marylanders in lifelong learning. Grant criteria encourage free public programming in many forms, using the humanities as the central tools to explore and understand the complexity of issues affecting their communities. Grant awards aim to engage diverse audiences and serve Maryland communities that are not currently served by other Maryland Humanities programs. Maryland Humanities grants have two funding levels: up to $10,000 for Major Grants and up to $1,200 for Mini Grants. To learn more about our Grants Program and eligibility and deadlines, visit


Spring 2016 Major Grant Awards

Accokeek Foundation

Dialogues on Race, Agriculture, and Historical Legacy


The Accokeek Foundation will present a living history performance and a forum on Race, Agriculture, and Living History, to examine contemporary and historical perspectives on the relationship between race and agriculture. It will further explore how current approaches to historical interpretation shape people’s understanding of their personal connection to the land. Discussion will focus on how the interpretation of Maryland’s colonial history and legacy of slavery impact the experience of contemporary visitors to historic sites.

B&O Railroad Museum

The B&O Railroad and the Strike of 1877


The B&O Railroad Museum will develop an exhibit focused on the Strike of 1877 and how the B&O Railroad and its workers were involved in beginning the strike. The events of the strike will be interpreted through the exhibit, a traveling exhibit, and related educational materials. They will explain the state of railroading in 1877 and labor conditions leading up to the strike, and the impact of the strike on railroading and the American labor movement.

Maryland Institute College of Art

Laying-by Time: Revisiting the Works of William A. Christenberry


The Maryland Institute College of Art will present the public exhibition “Laying-by Time: Revisiting the Works of William A. Christenberry” from December 2016 – March 2017. Christenberry, a celebrated photographer and mixed media artist, is nationally acclaimed for his photographs of the South and related sculptural pieces. The exhibition will feature a cross-section of the artist’s work, from early paintings to recent sculptures. Public programs, including films, curatorial talks, workshops, and panel discussions, will augment the gallery installation and will consider the artist’s work in light of contemporary social, cultural, and political concerns associated with inequity and injustice.

Tilghman Watermen’s Museum

The Tilghman Packing Company: A Documentary


The Tilghman Watermen’s Museum will produce a twenty-minute documentary film on the Tilghman Packing Company (TPC). At its peak in the 1930s and 40s TPC employed over 600 workers packing and shipping seafood and farm produce throughout the country and was the centerpiece of life on Tilghman Island. The video will use vintage historical footage of the island and the people who ran and worked at TPC, contemporary interviews with former workers at the plant, the museum’s collection of TPC artifacts, and historical photography primarily from the collections of the Talbot Historical Society and Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.

Towson University, Department of Theatre Arts

Maryland Consortium Residency Project


The Maryland Consortium Residency Project is a unique regional collaboration that is rooted in The Acting Company’s 2016-17 repertory of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and a new commissioned play by playwright Marcus Gardley titled X, which explores the life and assassination of Malcolm X. From the fall of 2016 through spring of 2017, four Maryland universities/colleges will participate in the project through classes, workshops, staged readings, and other public events that relate to the themes of X/Julius Caesar. Between February 26 and March 11, 2017, The Acting Company will tour X and Julius Caesar in the Greater Baltimore area, presenting at least 10 performances to more than 6,000 student and community audiences. Planned public events include panel discussions, workshops, and post-performance discussions.

University of Maryland, Department of English

Democracy Then and Now: Citizenship and Public Education


Democracy Then and Now: Citizenship and Public Educations is a campus-wide initiative to be held in September–October 2016, in advance of the national elections, which will initiate a long-term engagement with the practice of public education broadly conceived by the founders as an instrument for shaping the political citizen.  The purpose of the initiative is to inspire students and faculty to reflect upon the role of education in political inclusion and the benefit of education in terms of political representation and participation.


Maryland Humanities is a statewide, educational 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, please visit Maryland Humanities is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the State of Maryland, and the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, creator of the Baker Artist Awards.


Press Release