Our democracy demands action, reaction, vision, and revision as we continue to question how to form “a more perfect union.”
How do we participate in government and make our voices heard? From the revolution and suffrage, to civil rights and casting ballots, everyone in every community is part of this ever-evolving story—the story of democracy in America.
Voices and Votes Electoral Engagement Project (VVEEP) is supported by a $50,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation administered through the Federation of State Humanities Councils for its new initiative entitled “Why It Matters: Civic and Electoral Participation.” This initiative explores civic participation as it relates to electoral engagement in a multivocal democracy: Maryland Humanities is one of 43 state and jurisdictional humanities councils to receive this funding. Programming consists of three components: outgoing grants, an oral history collection, and an author event.
This project is funded in part by the “Why It Matters: Civic and Electoral Participation” initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils and funded by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
- Voices and Votes Electoral Engagement Support Grants
Organizations may seek a one-time grant award of up to $2,000 for programs with topics relevant to the current state of our democracy. Such topics may include: voting during a pandemic, suffrage, the power of protest, voting rights, voter suppression, contested elections, and ideological polarization, social media and democracy, rural/urban divide in voting, the electoral college, and voter apathy, to name just a few possibilities.
Voices and Votes Electoral Engagement Support Grants are open to nonprofits or public entities to support projects engaging and benefitting Marylanders. Preference will be given to proposals with event(s) occurring before January 20, 2021. Projects must be completed on or before March 31, 2021. Support may be requested for events already planned, but taking place after November 20, 2020.
Individuals, partisan political groups, and partisan programming is not eligible for this funding.
Maryland Humanities is a statewide serving organization and will aim to support projects so the awards have the greatest geographic diversity and that programming is digitally available.
- Maryland Voices Story Collection Project
Maryland Humanities’ Museum on Main Street and Maryland Voices programs and The Peale will collaborate on a story collection project in conjunction with the upcoming statewide tour of the Smithsonian traveling exhibition, Voices and Votes: Democracy in America. The exhibition will tour five Maryland regions, and each host venue will record interviews with newly minted voters (ages 18–24) in each community creating a total of 30–40 high-quality shareable digital videos. These stories will be shared through the Peale’s “Be Here Stories” app, at a listening station that will become part of the Voices and Votes exhibition, and elsewhere.
- Maryland Center for the Book Author Event
Maryland Center for the Book (MCFB) will host a prominent author whose work will engage Marylanders and open up conversation about civic participation. Look for the announcement of the author and date, with instructions for free registration, in an upcoming eNews.