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CFVI Awards $407,500 in Humanities Grants

Funding provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

U.S. Virgin Islands, July 11, 2023  The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) has awarded $407,500 in humanities grants, with funding provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

"The impressive body of humanities work that has been funded in 2023 is so very timely, given it is the year of our 175th Emancipation Commemoration," said CFVI President Dee Baecher-Brown. "We are grateful to NEH for providing this critical support to organizations and individuals who are doing the important work of highlighting the culture and history of our Virgin Islands. And we are proud to say that since the beginning of CFVI’s partnership with NEH in 2020, we have provided more than $1.2 million in support for humanities projects throughout the territory."

This funding's primary goal is to enrich the lives of people throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands through projects focused on humanities education, lifelong learning, and public humanities programming. The grants support humanities programming that reflects the unique needs of the U.S. Virgin Islands' diverse communities, advances the public’s knowledge and understanding of the humanities, culture, heritage, and preservation, and makes humanities programs accessible to all people throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands.   

The following organizations received grant support:

All Saints Cathedral School | $16,000 | A Cultural Exhibition of the Virgin Islands - Exploring our History and Culture through Humanities

Funding is being used to educate, engage, and expose students to the dynamics of Virgin Islands culture and history by incorporating Virgin Islands history, culture, arts, exhibits, laws and proclamations into the curriculum. | $25,000 | Through Their Eyes: A Youth-Centered Look at Virgin Islands History

The grant award is being used to produce a film that showcases the rich history of the Virgin Islands and explores the impact of colonialism, slavery, and other historical events. By highlighting the unique challenges faced by the Virgin Islands and its people, the film illuminates larger issues related to the legacies of imperialism, cultural preservation, and the ongoing struggle for self-determination.

Caribbean Genealogy Library | $10,000 | Caribbean Genealogy Library Speaker Series on VI History, Culture and Research

The grant award is being used to deliver a speaker series to foster community

engagement with U.S. Virgin Islands history, culture, and research. The program aims to provide a variety of speakers to assist the community in learning new research skills and about record groups that have recently been digitized. The Library also plans to offer new topics, live lectures, and workshops.

Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts | $6,050 | St. Croix Windmills Website Expansion

Funding is being used to expand the St. Croix Windmills website by adding blogs to further educate about St. Croix’s history and realities of life during the plantation economy, including additional geography in relation to historic sugar production, and the addition of new pages focused on the use of animal mills in place of windmills. The website aims to create a portal through which the community can learn about the history of St. Croix and enhance cultural tourism.

Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts | $14,595 | Archives and Collection Website Development for Public Access, Research and Education

The grant award is being used to provide a publicly accessible website to share the museum's 20 years of archives, growing art collection, and exhibition content with the greater USVI region and global community focusing on art and cultural objects, archives and other cultural content originating in the USVI.

Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts | $25,000 | Art & Culture Exhibition Showcase Program 2023

Funding is being used to support and showcase art exhibitions in St. Croix. The

showcase provides specific dialogue surrounding the celebration of accomplished artists and their contribution to the community and current time. The program includes artists from the Caribbean diaspora that showcase, promote and preserve the voice of the U.S. Virgin Islands' art, culture, and philosophy.

Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park | $25,000 | If Walls Could Talk – Ancestral Stories and Photographs of the Virgin Islands

The grant award is being used to chronicle the stories of the U.S. Virgin Islands history. The acquisition of land for the National Park and the transfer from Danish to American rule is being researched and recorded through interviews and photography. The testimonies will be available to tourists, students, and residents during cultural events.

Gifft Hill School | $25,000 | Teach the Teacher: Empowering every Teacher to be an Ambassador for Virgin Islands History and Heritage

Funding is being used to provide professional development workshops to teachers to enrich their knowledge of Virgin Islands history and culture, providing new ways to inspire their students to reflect on their diverse heritage, traditions, and histories.

Sessions will include historical hiking tours, a celebration of Caribbean cuisine and culinary traditions, storytelling through music and dance, and more.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church | $25,000 | The United States Virgin Islands: A Diversified Callalou

Funding is being used to produce a film about several unsung heroes doing what they have been doing to create the cultural heartbeat of the islands through business, arts, sports, or entertainment. A cultural showcase of the islands, the film production will focus on the islanders, where they are from originally, how they got involved in what they are doing, with a focus on their significance to island development and sustainability.

Ten Sleepless Knights, Inc. | $25,000 | USVI Folklife Festival 2023

The grant award is being used to host and showcase U.S. Virgin Islands culture,

folklore, history, and traditions. The initiative includes a Folklife Festival hosted in St. Thomas and St. John, providing a variety of traditional food, dancing, and cultural workshops.

Ten Sleepless Knights, Inc. | $25,000 | Stanley & The Ten Sleepless Knights - Enriching Culture & Preserving Legacies

Stanley & The Ten Sleepless Knights has inspired a generation to be involved in partaking of and extending cultural experiences through dance troupes, tramps, and events across the globe. Funding will be used to document the history of the Ten Sleepless Knights band and Quelbe music, including where the band began, their origins, the importance of storytelling, and the history and roots of Quelbe music. The documentary will include interviews and archival footage to celebrate Quelbe music, the band’s evolution, and impact.

The University of the Virgin Islands | $25,000 | Connect to the Real Reel

Funding is being used to host a seminar and lecture series to address enduring and emerging questions central to the arts and humanities. The program aims to demonstrate media arts as an effective communication vehicle to engage students and showcase U.S. Virgin Islands culture. The project will work with UVI students and high-schoolers to promote interest in humanizing aspects of Caribbean culture and give voice to marginalized members of diverse USVI communities. Students will work to synthesize their worldview and become visual storytellers.


The University of the Virgin Islands | $25,000 | Encouraging Community Conversations: Enhancing and Expanding the University of the Virgin Islands Oral History and Digital Humanities Reach to Community Members and Virgin Islands Classrooms

The grant award is being used to establish an oral history training program at the

University of the Virgin Islands. The purpose of the program is to empower and engage Virgin Islands youth in the study of humanities through active collection and preservation of community history.

The University of the Virgin Islands | $25,000 | UVI Newspaper Digitization Initiative

Funding is being used to digitize local U.S. Virgin Islands’ newspapers currently inaccessible to library patrons and the UVI community. The UVI Libraries house an irreplaceable collection of newspapers specific to the U.S. Virgin Islands. Digitizing these newspapers and making them available on the UVI Libraries Digital Repository will preserve irreplaceable historical records, make them easily accessible, and allow for updated searchability and discoverability options.

Virgin Islands Architecture Center for Built Heritage and Crafts | $25,000 | VIAC Old Barracks Neighborhood Storytelling Initiative

The VIAC Old Barracks Neighborhood Storytelling Initiative aims to research and develop the narrative of 21-22-23 Hospital Street, Christiansted, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. This historic property was built in the Danish colonial era and has been a part of St. Croix’s cultural history for over 300 years. It has served as a hospital, private residence, police station, public high school, and administrative offices for the Departments of Public Safety, Education, and Labor just to name a few. As it develops into an urban campus and education center, VIAC will create a multimedia lecture series project that depicts the story of the neighborhood to share with the community and the wider world.

VI Crawl | $22,400 | The St. Thomas Historic District Tour Project

The grant award is being used to to develop the initial design and successfully launch The St. Thomas Historic District Virtual Tour through an app with game-like experiences that will have short quizzes and prizes embedded and will focus on the Downtown Charlotte Amalie Historic District, which was listed as part of the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. The VI Crawl App places centuries of VI history and culture in the palm of your hands and aims to turn historical districts, buildings, and environmental landmarks into virtual tours/field trips to educate adults and school children alike.

VI Trail Alliance | $14,875 | North Star Historical Nature Trail

Funding is being used to to assist with making the North Star property trails and ruins on St. Croix publicly accessible by working with historians to research and document the history throughout the area and developing educational signage for the public.

World Ocean School | $24,030 |CHANT History and Humanities Educational Sail Series

World Ocean School will partner with Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism (CHANT) to provide a series of three educational sails aboard a historic tall ship. On two-hour sunset sails based out of Christiansted Harbor, passengers will enjoy presentations on themes related to Crucian history and culture free of charge.

81c Arts Foundation | $25,000 | 81C Culture in Context Event Series/81C Studio Artist Support Program

The grant award is being used to educate audiences through analysis, discussion, and theory. The program will feature humanities events centered around a full-scale exhibition of primary source works by an author, scholar, artist, chef, or content creator. Surrounding each exhibit are cultural learning opportunities in the form of gallery hours, pop-ups, field trips, architectural and historical walking tours, and lectures and speaking events.



The term 'humanities' includes, but is not limited to, the study and interpretation of the following: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism and theory of the arts; those aspects of the social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life. (Source:

About the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands

Since 1990, CFVI has been a catalyst for positive change in the territory through initiatives committed to youth, learning, family support and the environment. With a professional staff and a volunteer Board of Directors composed of community leaders, CFVI is a trusted advocate and supporter of programs that ensure opportunity and sustainability for current and future generations. CFVI is a registered non-profit organization entirely supported by individual donors, grants, trusts, corporate donations and estate planning. For more information, visit

About the National Endowment for the Humanities
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at:
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