Dear Friends,

Welcome to the ninth 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:

Join us for the first ever virtual Celebration of the Humanities on Thursday, October 15th from 6:00 - 7:00pm (EST) from the comfort of your home. The program will include an in-depth look into the work of this year’s honorees, the award presentation, and many special guests!

Tickets start at $20 and funds raised go directly to support Rhode Island’s humanities community. Register by 10/11.

Thanks to our generous sponsors, a limited number of free tickets are available. Please contact by 10/11 to claim a free ticket if the cost is prohibitive to your participation. 

November 2nd marks the start of the Humanities Council’s new cycle of grant funding for 2020-2021. For an overview of the Council’s grantmaking program, including information about the annual Major Grant and quarterly Mini Grant cycles, please consult our Grant Guidelines. You can also watch videos of the recent Grant Information Workshop and Evaluation Workshop, now available on the Council’s website
  • Major Grant: If you plan to apply for a Major Grant, the required Letter of Intent form must be submitted by November 2nd at 5:00 pm via the Council grant application portal
  • Mini Grant: If you plan to apply for a November mini grant, applications are due November 2nd at 5:00 pm via the Council grant application portal

Questions about the application process? Contact Julia Renaud, Grantmaking Program Coordinator, at 
Humanities in Action: a curated list of humanities resources for reflection, learning, and action.
To Read:

What relevance does a New Deal mural in South County Rhode Island have for today’s world? That’s the question at hand as the South County History Center embarks on a project supported by a major grant from the Humanities Council to tell the deeper stories embedded in the mural from the 1930s for audiences today. Read more about their process on their blog and stay tuned for updates.
To Watch:

David W. Blight, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom and director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale, will discuss Douglass’ connections to Rhode Island, his vision for freedom, and his relationships with fellow Rhode Island abolitionists.
The talk will be accompanied by African American spirituals by the Schiller Boston Community Chorus. Presented by Stages of Freedom, in partnership with the Providence Athenaeum, as part of their series “Frederick Douglass in Rhode Island.”

Funded by the RI Council for the Humanities, Providence Tourism, and the Herman H. Rose Civic, Cultural and Media Access Fund. This virtual lecture is free and open to the public; however, registration is required. Use promo code: STAGESOFFREEDOM for free registration.
To Listen:

This online dialogue with Carol Anderson is offered for free by Facing History and Ourselves. The conversation will focus on free and fair elections as the foundation of democracy, taking a deep look at the history of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the 2013 Shelby County v Holder Supreme Court decision that dismantled key elements of the Voting Rights Act. Register for the event here
Carol Anderson is the Charles Howard Candler Professor and Chair of African American Studies at Emory University. She is the author of Eyes Off the Prize: The United Nations and the African-American Struggle for Human Rights, 1944-1955, White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of our Racial Divide, and One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression is Destroying our Democracy among others.
#HumanitiesHappenings: Upcoming Events & Opportunities
This three-part series from the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society, in partnership with Providence Community Library, explores the history and struggle for African Americans to achieve Civil Rights in Providence over a 300-year period. Keith Stokes, Advisor to the RI Black Heritage Society, will presents the talks. 

The final of a series of three talks takes place October 7, and will be prefaced by a short story told by Valerie Tutson of RI Black Storytellers and recipient of the Council's 2017 Public Humanities Scholar Award.

GET FREE TICKETS for each of the three parts through Eventbrite and you will receive a Zoom link with instructions on how to join:


Wednesday, October 7, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

This program series is supported by a Humanities Council mini grant.
October 7, 8, & 9: 8mm Film Festival Screening
These are the stories of the artists of RI in the time of quarantine. 18 artists were given 8mm cameras and film on which to document their lives in 2020. This screening event will allow you to see all 18 of their short films.

The screening will be held outside at the Retina Creative Lab in Riverside, RI from 6:30 - 8:00 PM each evening. Special health and safety measures are being taken in compliance with CDC and local guidelines. Click here for more information and to register.

This project was supported by the Humanities Council through a Humanities In The Age Of Social Distancing Project Grant.
October 8: ECAS en Casa
ECAS en Casa begins a series of theatrical dialogues on October 8th at 7:00 pm on Facebook live, with a panel discussion with Dominican director and writer Haffe Serulle, in a gathering on the art of acting, creative energy and imagination. This series 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 continuing thought 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 first ever virtual Celebration of the Humanities starting from 6:00 - 7:00pm as honoring Dr. Joyce L. Stevos, Mary Beth Meehan, the Providence Clemente Veterans’ Initiative, and Janaya Kizzie.

Tickets available from $20 - 100. Click here to register
The rescheduled Bristol BookFest, supported by a Humanities Council grant, is set to offer a close look at Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men.
It is now a free, online three-day public humanities program October 16-18 from 4 to 6 pm each day via Zoom. If you registered before, you are still registered, and 100 new spaces are now available.Go to for more information.
Speakers include the legendary Texas political consultant George C. Shipley and the country’s two leading Robert Penn Warren scholars: Ernest Suarez of The Catholic University of America and John Burt of Brandeis University. Joining them are film historian Alexandra Keller of Smith College and Bristol-based historian Charles Calhoun.
Join Council grantee UNLADYLIKE2020 and the Providence Public Library for a virtual viewing of the incredible stories of Sissieretta Jones, Annie Smith Peck, and Charllotta Spears Bass. Following the viewing, there will be a discussion with the project’s Series Creator, Executive Producer, Director & Writer Charlotte Mangin; Executive Producer, Director & Writer Sandra Rattley; Artist & Artistic Director Amelie Chabannes; and Motion Graphics Animator & Artistic Director Joel Orloff about how they worked together to research, recover, and then make visible the lives and dynamism of women who, although famous in their own time, had for the most part disappeared from living memory, and whose images and effects had been scattered across decades and distances.

This virtual event is free and open to the public; however registration is required.

Work by UNLADYLIKE2020 to tell the stories of Sisseretta Jones and Annie Smith Peck was supported by Humanities Council grants and done in collaboration with local organizations: Stages of Freedom, Rhode Island Historical Society, and the Providence Public Library. UNLADYLIKE2020 is part of XIX: Shall Not Be Denied.

Register here for a free Archiving 101 Workshop held via Zoom from 12:00 - 1:30 pm hosted by the Rhode Island State Archives in partnership with the Humanities Council. This is the first of two workshops on documenting the work of the past year and that could also help expand your organization’s capacity for documenting and telling your story as well as for future partnerships.
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.