Dear Friends,

Welcome to the 17th 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. 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:

Last week’s historic swearing in of Kamala Harris as the nation’s first woman Vice President was an important milestone in the long struggle to recognize and to represent the achievements of American women. Unladylike2020, which received a 2019 major grant from the Humanities Council to support their animated documentary series on women who crossed barriers, is marking this milestone with a national conversation about the underrepresentation of women in K-12 history and social studies curricula. The two hour virtual “Where Are the Women? Summit” is free and will stream live on the American Masters YouTube channel Saturday, February 13, 2021 from 1:00 - 3:00pm EST. Teachers that participate will earn a professional development credit, and all participants will receive a free women’s history resource guide. Visit the Unladylike2020 website at: to learn more, and RSVP for the event here:
Humanities in Action: a curated list of humanities resources for reflection, learning, and action.
To Read:

Have you heard about the “Archives Hashtag Party”? This monthly digital confluence of archival institutions across the country releasing images and trivia from their collections is designed for followers to enjoy and highlights the importance of preserving experiences. As the New York Times noted in its feature on the National Archives project, “In a bleak period, the work of the archivist assumes exceptional poignancy. Chaos takes on the shape of order as it is cataloged for posterity. There is optimism inherent in record-keeping of any kind: the work of the archivist, while rooted in past and present, is performed for an imagined future.” Read more here
Local connections: 
  • Be sure to check out the Rhode Island Covid-19 Archive, a partnership between the Rhode Island Historical Society and the Providence Public Library that is supported by a Humanities Council grant. The digital archive now has over 1280 items contributed by Rhode Islanders documenting their experiences during the pandemic. 
  • February 3: Archiving 102 Workshop: Join the Rhode Island State Archives for a second workshop focused on documenting the work of the past year. This session could also help expand your organization’s capacity for documenting and telling your story as well as for future partnerships. All organizations that have participated in XIX: Shall Not Be Denied are welcome and encouraged to take advantage of this free opportunity. Click here for more information and to register.
To Watch:

Rhode Island’s deputy youth poetry ambassador was inspired and touched by Amanda Gorman, national Youth Poet Laureate, and her performance of “The Hill We Climb” at last week’s Inauguration. Watch Eugenie Rose Belony perform her own poem “I am Black” and reflect on the significance of Amanda Gorman’s work here.  

More local connections: Save the date of April 23rd when the Providence Athenaeum will host former Poet Laureate and Pulitzer-Prize-winner Rita Dove on their virtual Ex-Libris series. Dove will discuss her upcoming collection, Playlist for the Apocalypse. Click here for more details and registration information.
To Listen:

The 23rd annual FundaFest is underway, but you can still register for passes to this virtual celebration of black storytelling which runs January 23 - 31, 2021. Each January during the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday week, Rhode Island Black Storytellers brings local artists and invited national and international guests together for this signature storytelling event in Rhode Island and Southern New England. Click here for more details and to register.

RIBS is led by internationally known Valerie Tutson, recipient of the Humanities Council’s 2018 Public Humanities Scholar Award.  
#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.

Reading Across Rhode Island, the One Book, One State community read program, kicks off its 19th year with a virtual event 6:30-7:30pm EST. The 2021 selection is Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X Kendi and Jason Reynolds. The Kick Off event will include Honorary Chair Val Tutson, multiple award-winning storyteller and executive director of Rhode Island Black Storytellers, along with Providence Mayor Jorge O. Elorza and RARI Education chair Maureen Nagle on an engaging panel moderated by Jim Ludes, executive director of the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina University. Reading Across Rhode Island is a program of the Rhode Island Center for the Book, made possible through a vibrant collaboration of librarians, teachers, book group leaders, and readers from across the state. Click here to register for the virtual Kick Off event.

The Humanities Council is a proud sponsor of the 2021 Reading Across Rhode Island season.
January 28: RI Historical Society launches EnCompass!

Join the Rhode Island Historical Society at 4:00 PM to celebrate the release of seven new topical modules for RIHS’ free online textbook of Rhode Island history, EnCompass! Geralyn Ducady, the director of Education and Public Programs at the RIHS’ Newell D. Goff Center, will showcase these new modules and be available for questions on Zoom. Click here to register for this free, public event.

This project was supported by a major grant from the Humanities Council.

Do you have a great idea for a public humanities project and need support? The Humanities Council’s Mini Grant Program for requests up to $2,000 invites individual researchers, nonprofit organizations, and schools to apply for funding in support of public humanities projects, documentary film, and individual research. Click here for more information
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.