Dear Friends,

Welcome to the 11th edition of #HumanitiesInContext with news of the Council’s grants, initiatives, and events as well as curated humanities content that is a springboard for reflection, learning, and action. As this edition falls on Election Day, we hope the resources below offer some perspective, context, and inspiration. Read on for stories of impact, humanities in action, and humanities happenings in Rhode Island. 

We will also be sharing some of our favorite stories and resources on the Council’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @rihumanities. 
All my best,
Elizabeth Francis
Executive Director
and the Humanities Council Team
Your support helps ensure that all Rhode Islanders have access to and engage with the humanities, now, and in the future. Visit or if you’d like to learn more contact Rachael Jeffers at
Stories of Impact:
Democracy Demands Wisdom and Vision...

These words come directly from the founding legislation of the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities that were championed by Rhode Island’s own late Senator Claiborne Pell. The full text of this 1965 legislation is well worth reading, and its spirit animates the Humanities Council’s work today. 
October 31 was the close of Arts and Humanities Month as well as our fiscal year. Thank you for everything you have done to ensure public engagement with the humanities and for your support of the Humanities Council.To learn more about this year’s grants, read through our digital Celebration program book.  
Humanities in Action: a curated list of humanities resources for reflection, learning, and action.
To Read:
New Approaches to Commemoration:

This piece by Shannon Eblen is part of the Times’ Fine Arts & Exhibits special report. Eblen writes: “Statues are a signal of who is valued in a society, and judging by the numbers, that would be men. A 2017 CNN analysis found that only 10 percent of public outdoor sculptures in the United States were of women. But public monuments are coming under increased scrutiny, the values they represent often proving less resilient than their bronze and marble forms. At the same time, grass-roots support for new statues is growing more diverse.” Read more about how the conversation about new statues is playing out in communities from Kentucky to New York to Indiana. 
Local connection: For more about how the City of Providence is addressing this issue, take a look at this information about the City’s new Special Committee for Commemorative Works and how it will review proposals based on “social and cultural merit.”
To Watch:

The Dorr Rebellion of 1841-42 was at its core a dispute over suffrage — who had a right to vote and what impact that would have on the smallest state in the nation. This website includes videos, lesson plans, and other resources researched and developed over many years by Providence College professors with grant support from the Humanities Council. New additions to the website include archival letters highlighting the role of women in this moment in Rhode Island’s history. You can also explore more about the Dorr Rebellion using the free Rhode Tour app and website. 
To Listen:

Listen to this six-minute piece from NPR's Morning Edition with Throughline podcast hosts Rund Abdelfatah and Ramtin Arrablouei which “offers insight into the ongoing battle for the right to vote.” Interviews with leading historians and archival recordings put access to the vote into context for today. Listen to this interview here. And catch the full podcast episode: The Most Sacred Right here.
#HumanitiesHappenings: Upcoming Events & Opportunities
There are a lot of humanities going on! We encourage you to check out the Council’s calendar for more details. The events we’ve highlighted below are just a few of the many offerings by Council grantees and partners.

Join Teatro ECAS on Facebook Live at 7:00pm November 5 for a conversation with actress, director, and producer Clara Luz Lozano. This dialogue is part of Ecas en Casa, a series which is supported by a Humanities Council grant. 

Francis Parra, Artistic and Executive Director & 2018 recipient of the Tom Roberts Prize for Creative Achievement in the Humanities, says of the series: 
"ECAS en Casa started in May 2020 during the pandemic and is continuing throughout the summer and fall. People are looking forward to these dialogues with great enthusiasm and we are reaching patrons from all over the world!”

“The intention is to try to raise pride in our Latin theater here in the United States. This dialogue serves to transform the Latino population in the hopes that they find in the theater a useful tool, of great power to transform each human being at a professional level and above all sharing compassion, since we are part of a constantly changing society.”

Join the URI Center for the Humanities with guest lecturers Kathleen McIntyre (11/12) and Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea (11/18) as they reflect on the lessons of the 19th Amendment. This series is sponsored by the Center for the Humanities, the Gender and Women’s Studies Program, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Honors Program, Women’s Leadership Council, and the Suffrage Centennial Committee.
Find details and register at:

Join Stages of Freedom for this virtual talk with Dr. John Rise, great-grandson of Newport’s Isaac Rice, who was a close friend and ally of Frederick Douglass, as he explores the important connections Douglass maintained in Newport. This program is supported by a Council grant. Click here to register.
XIX: Shall Not Be Denied is a partnership initiative of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities and the Rhode Island Department of State. Due to the pandemic, Shall Not Be Denied will continue amplifying Rhode Island centennial events through March 2021 via the website and on Instagram @xixshallnotbedenied.
This list will be added to as the Humanities Council is made aware of resources available to the sector as we weather this storm together. Check back often.