Maryland Humanities Awards $61,000 in Grants

December 14, 2016

Nonprofit and Educational Organizations Funded
to Host Public Humanities Programs Statewide

(Baltimore) –   Maryland Humanities has awarded grants to eleven area nonprofit and educational organizations in its recent grant cycle for public humanities programming and its special grant program, Humanities and the Legacy of Race and Ethnicity in the United States.

Organizations that received support through the fall 2016 Major Grant round include Center Stage, Friends of Greenbelt Theatre, From the Heart Productions, Jewish Museum of Maryland, and Wide Angle Youth Media.

Organizations that received support through the Humanities and the Legacy of Race and Ethnicity in the United States grant program include Dew More Baltimore, Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center, Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area, and Stone Soup Productions.

Phoebe Stein, executive director of Maryland Humanities, said: “We can’t wait to see the dynamic and inspiring work that will be created through these grants. The common thread through all of the diverse programming is an engagement with the humanities and its unique ability to bring people together in and across communities to explore both our differences and our commonalities.”

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 communities. 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

Our one-time special grant program, Humanities and the Legacy of Race and Ethnicity in the United States, supports nonprofit organizations across Maryland to create public programs that use the humanities to bring people together to publicly discuss racial issues that divide communities. Funded programs will educate Marylanders of all ages about the history of structural racism throughout the state and the historic policies that frame the current conditions.

The Humanities and the Legacy of Race and Ethnicity in the United States initiative has been made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Fall 2016 Major Grant Awards

Center Stage

Center Stage Mobile Unit

Baltimore City

The Center Stage Mobile Unit will feature professional, high-quality, touring productions which will travel to institutions like prisons, juvenile detention facilities, and homeless shelters. Each tour stop will consist of a performance of a classic text, along with the opportunity afterwards to share dialogue with the artists about the themes and issues relevant to the lives of the audience members. Each project partner/tour location will be given a Study Guide to share with audience members, providing more insight into the world of the play.


Friends of Greenbelt Theatre

We the People: Celebrating Maryland’s Diversity

Prince George’s County

Beginning in February, Friends of Greenbelt Theatre will show monthly free films reflecting Maryland’s diversity. Serving as a microcosm of the nation as a whole, this diversity illustrates that Maryland does indeed live up to its lesser-known nickname “America in Miniature.” Each film will be accompanied by at least one expert guest speaker to introduce the film and lead a post-screening Question & Answer session. Themes to be explored include Black and Women’s History; Jewish, Native American and Hispanic Heritage; and human rights.

From the Heart Productions

Lights of Baltimore

Across Maryland

Lights of Baltimore is a documentary feature film offering a portrait of the city after Freddie Gray’s death. The film will have its initial screenings at international film festivals in the US and in Europe. Local screenings and Q&A sessions will be organized at grassroots community centers and educational screenings will be held in schools. Screenings with panels will be held at local universities and museums.

Jewish Museum of Maryland

Remembering Auschwitz

Baltimore City

The Jewish Museum of Maryland will present Remembering Auschwitz, four unique exhibits and a companion public program series that will shed new light on Holocaust history. A Town Known as Auschwitz: The Life and Death of a Jewish Community – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, tells the story of how a town where Jews had resided for centuries came to be a symbol of the Holocaust. Architecture of Murder: The Auschwitz Birkenau Blueprints offers visual evidence of the camps themselves. Loss and Beauty: Photographs by Keron Psillas provides a contemporary perspective on visiting and documenting Auschwitz today. Memory Reconstruction: A Sacred Culture Rebuilt, brings together art and family history – Holocaust survivors and their families create collages reflecting their individual experiences.


Wide Angle Youth Media

The Baltimore Speaks Out Program

Baltimore City

The Baltimore Speaks Out Program (BSOP) is a creative development program for Baltimore youth, produced in partnership with the Enoch Pratt Free Library. Six free workshops are conducted annually, providing students ages 10-15 with critical thinking, public speaking, community engagement, and media arts skills. BSOP gives youth a hands-on experience in the arts and humanities, learning about the importance of preserving culture through oral history. Through the course of each semester, youth work together to identify a community issue/tradition as a topic and the most effective way to tell their story – whether it is documentary, narrative, or radio – and research and implement a production plan. They then critique their content, assemble elements into a final project, and present their work publicly.

Humanities and the Legacy of Race and Ethnicity in the United States

Dew More Baltimore

Confessions of a City

Baltimore City

Confessions of a City is an interpretive multimedia exhibit and discussion series promoting a dialogue on race. Sessions will engage and expose Maryland residents to illuminated triumphs, uncomfortable truths, contemporary complex challenges, alternate perspectives on common topics and surprising facts about Baltimore City. A four-location tour includes two Baltimore City public high schools, Maryland Institute College of Art, and The Living Well or Impact Hub.

Druid Heights Community Development Corporation (DHCDC)

Bridging the Gap

Baltimore City

DHCDC will host an event called “Bridging the Gap,” a community engagement project that explores the past, present and future with an intergenerational approach. A day-long program will bring together young people, adults, and seniors to share ideas, enjoy poetry and literature, and a skit around contemporary topics, followed by a discussion that includes a diverse intergenerational panel. The program will provide an opportunity for residents of multiple generations to participate in conversations about race, policies and injustices. Participants will create a plan of action for civic responsibility and community engagement that will encourage future participation in civic events to benefit the neighborhood.

Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center

Urban Express II: Then and Now

Baltimore City

Urban Express II: Then and Now will kick off with an exhibit “Baltimore Unrest: 1968×2015.” The front gallery will feature photos from the 1968 Baltimore Riots; the back gallery will feature photos that have been submitted by community members from the Baltimore Uprising of 2015, providing a juxtaposition between two moments of great racial tension in Baltimore City. In conjunction with the exhibit, public programming will include a panel discussion followed by Q&A and a community conversation. Facilitators will discuss their experiences of the Baltimore riots, followed by a community discussion where the following topics will be addressed: comparisons between the ‘68 riots and 2015 Uprising, personal experiences audience members had with the Uprising, the state of racial tensions in Baltimore today, and next steps our community should take.

Heart of the Chesapeake Country Heritage Areas

Reflections on Pine – 50 Years after the Fire

Dorchester County

The Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area (HCCHA) is working in partnership with the Eastern Shore Network for Change (ESNC) to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 race riots that occurred in Cambridge, MD and the subsequent burning of the elementary school and other dwellings on Pine Street. There are multiple components planned for the 4-day commemoration including the collection of oral histories which will serve as the foundation for many other activities including a panel and round table discussion and the creation of a documentary film and printed walking tour brochure.  Both the film and the brochure will explore the history of Cambridge leading up to the 1967 civil unrest with an emphasis on the oral histories and first person sources.

Stone Soup Productions

Establishment of the Vivien T. Thomas Archive and Annual Celebration of Excellence

Baltimore City

Vivien T. Thomas was an African-American surgical technician who developed the procedures used to treat blue baby syndrome in the 1940s at Johns Hopkins University. The Annual Celebration of Excellence will include a screening of Partners of the Heart followed by a post-screening lecture and Q&A to discuss the history of segregation and the Civil Rights Movement in Baltimore. In coordination with the Celebration of Excellence, there will be the creation of a library archive at the Vivien T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy in Baltimore with curated source material from Partners of the Heart (including original interviews and extensive archival footage from 1950s Baltimore). Prior to the event, academy students will be provided with Thomas’s autobiography as a learning tool to help stimulate dialogue and questions for the discussion.


 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