Virginia Foundation for the Humanities
VFH Announces 17 Grants to Humanities Organizations

July, 20, 2015

Contact: Maggie Guggenheimer, Communications Officer
(434) 924-3296 or (434) 882-5040,
Charlottesville, VA—Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH) announces $60,350 in grants to 17 nonprofit organizations in support of public humanities programs for audiences throughout the Commonwealth and beyond.
The VFH Grant Program responds directly to the interests and concerns of local communities in Virginia, as well as to the needs of the educational organizations that serve them. Since 1974, VFH has awarded more than 3,000 grants, bringing scholars and citizens together to promote a greater understanding of the humanities.
Rob Vaughan, founding president of VFH, comments: “The Foundation’s work touches every city, county, and district across the state and beyond. In 2014, VFH grant projects reached an estimated audience of 3 million. Our grants are often the initial source of funding, helping ambitious projects find a foothold and supporting small organizations that encourage connections and discoveries at the most local level.”
As a result of VFH grant funding, exhibits, public forums and discussions, media programs (film, video, radio, and digital media), publications, research, teachers’ institutes and seminars, oral history projects, lectures and conferences, and other kinds of programs have harnessed the power of the humanities to address important issues and enrich the cultural life of the state. The following organizations received recent grants from VFH:
Ash Lawn-Highland (Charlottesville): Sharing the Stories: Visitor Brochures and Interpretation — $3,000
Publication of an interpretive brochure presenting information on members of the enslaved community at James Monroe’s “Highland” plantation and on the spaces where they lived and worked.
Chestnut Creek School of the Arts (Galax): Music-Making Heritage Events — $3,500
A series of lecture-performance events, focusing on the music and culture of southwest Virginia, presented in workshop format in conjunction with the 2015 Galax Old Fiddlers Convention.
Christopher Newport University (Newport News): Hispanic Film Festival — $1,250
A five-part series of film screening-discussion programs, featuring films that focus on five Latin-American countries: Cuba, Mexico, Bolivia, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic. 
Eastern Shore of Virginia Historical Society (Onancock): Stronger Than Steel: Women on the Eastern Shore During the Civil War — $3,000
A one-day symposium including film screenings, book discussions, historical dramatizations, and a panel exhibit, all focusing on the experience of women on the Eastern Shore of Virginia during the Civil War.
FrancisEmma, Inc. (Powhatan): Belmead New Museum Exhibits Plan — $5,000
An interpretive exhibit on the history of Belmead, a national historic landmark in Powhatan County that was one of the largest slave-holding plantations in Virginia, and later, the site of two schools for African Americans.
Friends of Chevra T’helim, Inc. (Portsmouth): Tidewater Jewish Immigration — $4,000
Production of an interpretive exhibit on the history of European Jewish immigration to the United States, the communities of Virginia, and the Tidewater region in particular.
Friends of the Pittsylvania County Public Library (Chatham): “Our Civil Rights: A Local and National Story” 2015 Summer Discussion Series in Pittsylvania County — $1,500
A five-part community discussion series focusing on the theme of civil rights and exploring the history of the civil rights movement in Danville and the surrounding area.
James Madison University (Harrisonburg): Spatial History in the Public Square: Maps, Image, and Archives in the Community — $4,000
A community mapping project designed to make the history of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County accessible using the tools of digital history.
Jefferson School Foundation (Charlottesville): “When Her Thousand Chimneys Smoked:” Virginia’s Enslaved Cooks and Their Kitchens  — $1,500
Planning, research, and script development for a documentary film exploring the world of the plantation kitchen and the lives of Virginia’s enslaved cooks.
Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library Foundation, Inc. (Christiansburg): Nannie Berger Hairston Oral History Project — $3,500
An oral history project focusing on the life of Ms. Nannie Berger Hairston, a well-known civil rights leader and advocate of opportunity and equality in Montgomery County and southwestern Virginia.
Norman Lane Jr. Memorial Project (Winston-Salem, NC): Anatomy of a War Experience — $5,500
A multi-faceted project including a conference, publication, and documentary film exploring the nature of military service with a focus on the experience of Marine Corps officers and enlisted men who served in Vietnam during pivotal years 1967-69.
Philippine Cultural Center (Virginia Beach): Honoring Our Bayanis (Heroes): Filipino-American Military Service — $5,600
A panel discussion, photographic exhibit, and educational brochure exploring the role that U.S. military service plays in Virginia’s Filipino community; the history of Filipino service in the U.S. military; and the connection between military service, patriotism, and citizenship among Filipino immigrants to the U.S.
Piedmont Council for the Arts (Charlottesville): A Repository of Once Living Places  — $5,000
Publication of a book exploring the effects of urban growth in Charlottesville, focusing on homes, family businesses, and neighborhoods within the city’s urban core. The book includes paintings by Charlottesville artist Richard Crozier and five accompanying essays writteng by well-known scholars and authors in Virginia.
Reynolds Homestead (Critz): Legacy of Kitty Reynolds — $2,000
A public forum examining the “extraordinary life” of Kitty Reynolds who was enslaved on the former Rock Spring Plantation, a.k.a. Reynolds Homestead, in Critz, Virginia. Mrs. Reynolds was the mother of two sons who were involved in a legal case that led to the landmark Supreme Court ruling, Ex Parte Virginia.
The National Hand Dance Association (Washington, D.C.): Hand Dance: The Social Dance Culture of African Americans In Northern Virginia — $2,500
A panel discussion exploring the impact of Hand Dance (also known as Swing Dance) on the social and cultural life of African American communities in northern Virginia; and on the importance of this dance form as a cultural expression in these communities.
University of Richmond (Richmond): Commemorating Virginia’s WWI Dead — $7,000
A statewide survey of World War I memorabilia, enhancement of an existing website exploring Virginia’s role in World War I, and development of a lesson plan on the same subject for use by Virginia teachers.
Virginia Wesleyan College (Norfolk): Entangled Identities: Legacies of 1619 — $2,500
A series of twelve programs exploring the legacies of 1619 in terms of the intersection of cultures and the formation of unique—and complex—American identities.
About VFH Grants:
The Open Grant Program welcomes proposals on a wide range of subjects, for projects in any format. Deadlines are April 15th and October 15th. Draft proposals are strongly encouraged. The Discretionary Grant Program provides smaller grants of up to $3,000. There is no deadline for this program, but applicants should contact VFH staff in advance before submitting a proposal. For more information, visit
About VFH:
The mission of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities is to connect people and ideas to explore the human experience and inspire cultural engagement. Our work reaches an estimated annual audience of 23 million through Community Programs, Scholarship, and Digital Initiatives. For more information, visit