Dear Friends,

Welcome to the 15th edition of #HumanitiesInContext. This special issue is a bit of a departure from our regular format as we reflect on 2020 and wish you all a safe and healthy start to the New Year. 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:
This year has demonstrated that the value of history and culture lies not just in reflection and understanding but also in action. Thank you for joining with us over the past year – as a reader of Humanities in Context, as grantees, as partners, and as supporters. Click here to take a look at our Top 10 from 2020. We’re grateful and looking forward to the New Year!

Five mini grants were awarded in the November 2020 grant cycle to support public projects and research on topics ranging from oral histories, educational multimedia performances, a virtual civic education program, and more. Click here to learn more about each of the grant recipients.
Humanities in Action: a curated list of humanities resources for reflection, learning, and action.
In this issue of Humanities In Context we decided to share a curated list of what the staff and board members have been reading lately. We hope you’re able to enjoy these and wish you a restful start to the New Year! Click here for the full list.
A title that showed up on multiple board members’ reading lists was Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi. This is the 2021 Reading Across Rhode Island selection and the Humanities Council is a proud sponsor of this statewide intergenerational reading program. We hope you’ll join our colleagues at the RI Center for the Book as they kick off the 2021 RARI season on January 26. Click here for registration information
#HumanitiesHappenings: Upcoming Events & Opportunities
Please 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.

Make your end-of-year gift to support the Humanities Council’s ongoing efforts to seed, support, and strengthen Rhode Island’s cultural sector. As our thanks for your generous support this year, donors who make a gift of $50 or more (or sustaining monthly gifts of $5 or more per month) will receive a limited edition Council face mask. Make your gift online or mail a check to the Humanities Council office.

Join acclaimed storyteller Bill Harley for a series of live-streamed performances the second Friday of the month January – April, 2021. Bill Harley is a two-time Grammy winner and recipient of the Humanities Council’s 2010 Lifetime Achievement in the Humanities Award. Click here for details and to purchase tickets.

Applications due for Why It Matters a new, short-term grant opportunity from the Humanities Council for projects focused on voting, elections, and democratic participation. Why It Matters will support seven grants of $5,000 each. We recognize how challenging this moment is for organizations so this funding opportunity is designed to help support organizations in addition to addressing urgent issues for democracy. Click here for more information and eligibility requirements.

Why It Matters is part of the ongoing XIX: Shall Not Be Denied Initiative and funded 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. 
January 19: Job Opportunity

Applications due for new part-time, temporary Grantmaking Program Coordinator position.

This 20/hr per week role will run from February - July 2021. Click here for details.
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.