Monday, February 27, 2012

From the DC Digital Museum Archives... The City Museum Talks Archaeology

What Secrets do the Streets Beneath Downtown Hold?

In 2003, the staff of the short-lived Washington, DC City Museum, won a grant from the Humanities Council to produce a short film on the archaeological history of the 7th Street Downtown neighborhood the new institution would occupy when it opened at the Carnegie Library on Mt. Vernon Square. The film, narrated by Okolo Thomas-Toure, introduced its audience to the ordinary people who lived in downtown Washington from the city's founding to the early 20th century when the area became known as a red light and nightlife destination.

A series of vignettes introduce the neighborhood's immigration history, medical history, architectural history, and entertainment history. Check out the film and tell us what's missing! How would you alter or add to the historical narrative of bustling Downtown Washington?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Have You Met TEDxWDC?

Join us for This Exciting New TED Conference Celebrating Creativity in Washington, DC!

On Saturday, March 24, THEARC in Ward 8 will be awash in exciting new ideas thanks to a local TED event entitled The Creative City: Entrepreneurship, Creativity, and Innovation. TEDxWDC is dedicated to promoting communication between the creative economic clusters in the city of Washington, DC!

Tickets for the event can be purchased at

THEARC DC is located at 1901 Mississippi Ave, SE, Washington, DC 20020

The ticket price includes:

A full day of incredible speakers from the DC creative community
Lunch provided by Busboys & Poets
Cocktail Reception and live entertainment after the event
Coffee and pastries throughout the day
Shuttle to and from the Congress Heights Metro Station

For information on discounted block ticket purchases please email

Friday, February 3, 2012

Looking for the Grant Application?

Apply Online for an HCWDC grant Today!

The Humanities Council has gone green, streamlined, digital, and efficient! Our current grant cycle will be the first ever here at the HCWDC to use our new online grants system. The online application will make things easier for us at the office, our reviewers, and also for prospective grantees. Gone are the days of assembling large quantities of paper, multiplying them, and then toting them to the HCWDC office by 5pm on the day of the deadline, now all materials can be written, saved, returned to, attached, uploaded, sent, and verified online!

To begin an application visit our home page at

Click on "Grants" in the main navigation menu

Click "Apply for a Grant Online"

And then click "Create a New Account" to start the registration process

The deadlines and important dates for Cycle I 2012 are:

Feb 10th - All prospective applicants for a Major Grant ($1500 to $5000) must submit a preliminary application which will be reviewed by our Director of Grants. The Director will suggest improvement or updates, and decide which prospective grantees will be invited to apply.

March 9th - All applications for small grants (up to $1500) due. Grantees invited to apply for the Major Grant must submit their final proposals.

April 7th - Grant review panel meets to make final funding decisions.

April 25th - Cycle I grants awards ceremony.

For more information email grants[at]wdchumanities[dot]org.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Today in the Humanities... Wikification; Neighborhood Names; and "The Father of Black History"

Kick off Black History Month With a Healthy Dose of Humanities From Around DC and Beyond!

Like most scholars, I was skeptical about Wikipedia when Jimmy Wales first launched the site back in 2001. The notion that unvetted volunteers cooperatively contributing to an online encyclopedia might produce a reference work of any real value seemed at best dubious—and, more likely, laughably absurd. Surely it would be riddled with errors. Surely its coverage would be ridiculously patchy. Surely it would lack the breadth, depth, and nuance of more traditional reference works like the venerable Encyclopedia Britannica.

To some, Anacostia can also include a cluster of surrounding neighborhoods, including Fairlawn to the northeast and Barry Farm -- sometimes called Barry Farms -- to the southwest. To others, Anacostia is just, well, Anacostia, the neighborhood with the big chair.

Known as the “Father of Black History,” Woodson (1875-1950) was the son of former slaves, and understood how important gaining a proper education is when striving to secure and make the most out of one’s divine right of freedom. Although he did not begin his formal education until he was 20 years old, his dedication to study enabled him to earn a high school diploma in West Virginia and bachelor and master’s degrees from th University of Chicago in just a few years. In 1912, Woodson became the second African American to earn a PhD at Harvard University.

To start the workshop off with a shared understanding of the DPLA[Digital Public Library of America] initiative, Maura Marx, Director of the DPLA Secretariat, gave a brief presentation covering the events and ideas informing the development of the DPLA. The project was born from a relatively straightfoward need: to digitize materials, both historical and current, and make them widely available to the public. In 2010, The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation promised to offer funding to any group that could work toward that goal, and the DPLA arose shortly thereafter as a sort of "network operation center" to articulate and plan such a project.

On the second night of the Slam!, the poets of Beers Elementary School put on an impassioned performance with lines such as "We'll eliminate all distractions and change our ashes"; "Go to school, you can still be cool"; and "We can all make change for the better."

Dr. Ira Berlin, author and professor of history at the University of Maryland, will discuss the connections between slavery and the building of the university.

Col. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.
In reality, the Tuskegee Airmen placed a premium on discipline, precision, order and military bearing. After all, they were under the command of Benjamin O. Davis Jr., a black man from the District, whose rank as an Air Force general and whose education — 35th out of 276 at West Point, class of 1936 — was awe inspiring.

As a middle or high school student you have had plenty of experiences to shape your ideas and perspectives about cultural and global issues in our city, from your travels, or where you come from.  Wouldn’t it be great if other students could learn what you know? With One World Education’s Culture & Global Issues Writing Program you have a chance to become a published writer – whose writing will be read by thousands of other students.