Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Celebrate DC's Philanthropic Traditions By Participating in #GivingTuesday

Little Gifts Make a Huge Difference on #GivingTuesday

Next Tuesday, December 3rd, the Humanities Council will join with thousands of other organizations and businesses across the country to launch #GivingTuesday – a national day of giving that kicks off the holiday season. #GivingTuesday follows on the heels of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday as an official day dedicated to philanthropy, volunteerism, and giving back to our communities.

For #GivingTuesday, the Humanities Council will launch a social media fundraising campaign, so that we can raise funds to support our mission to connect every DC resident to the city’s past, present, and future. Support the Humanities Council on #GivingTuesday so that we can continue to provide essential funding to nonprofits across the city, convene civic discussion programs like our Humantinis, and encourage residents to research and document pieces of DC’s historical narrative through our DC Community Heritage Project. Start the holiday season off with a gift to your entire city by donating to the Council on Tuesday, December 3rd!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

7th Annual DC Community Heritage Project Showcase

DC's Largest Exhibition of Community History and Historic Preservation Projects

Join us for a celebration of Washington, DC history, preservation, and local culture! The 7th Annual DC Community Heritage Project Showcase at the brand new Dunbar High School (note the venue change; updated 11/22/13) will introduce you to some of the most creative and innovative local historians in the city. Recipients of the 2013 DC Community Heritage Project Grant will demonstrate 18 exciting new projects and all participants will enjoy FREE food and drink while talking about local history! You are guaranteed to learn something new about Washington, DC!

Visit to register for this program.

This year's showcase will feature the following grantee organizations and their projects:

Logan Circle Community Association, “Logan Circle Heritage Trail Education Curriculum”

The Logan Circle Community Association (LCCA) proposes to collaborate with Garrison Elementary School, Cultural Tourism DC (CTDC), and instructional specialist Chris Magnuson to develop a curriculum outline for fourth- and fifth-graders that will accompany the forthcoming Logan Circle Heritage Trail. The Heritage Trail, which will be dedicated on July 13, 2013, highlights the civic and cultural history of the Logan Circle neighborhood via beautifully crafted signs that will be mounted on public property along 15 stops throughout the Logan Circle neighborhood (the trail map and examples of three signs are attached as appendices).

Chowan Discovery Group, "The Gold Coast"

The project is to produce a 15-25 minute documentary video about Washington, D.C's upper 16th St Northwest neighborhoods of Crestwood, Shepherd Park, Colonial Village and North Portal Estates during the period of the 1950's to the 1990's, when most of the population was made up of African-American leaders in the areas of law, education, healthcare, government administration, military and business. Included in the interviews are residents of multiple generations. The final product is a DVD video.

Crestwood Citizens Association, "Crestwood History Project"

The Crestwood History Project will publish a book tracing the little-known history of an area that has been united within nearly consistent boundaries ever since its first survey in 1720. 
It is a narrative of Native American quarries...larger-than-life individuals such as Alexander de Bodisco and Thomas Blagden...mills, farms and historic country roads in "Washington County"...and a geography that restrained development in the past even as it enhances the neighborhood today. 

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School Convocation and Alumni Federation, "Dunbar High School Student Project on Dunbar Alumni Legends and Pioneers"

The Dunbar High School Student Project (Project) on Dunbar Alumni Legends and Pioneers will involve and engage students at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in a range of educational, research and training experiences that will provide skill sets that will be beneficial in college and in any work environment. The purpose of the Project is to work with students at Dunbar to accomplish the following: (1) begin research and identification of renowned Dunbar alumni and faculty that have made historically significant and vital contributions to the District and nation; (2) begin to catalog the amazing life stories of prominent Dunbar graduates and faculty and the role the school had in their growth and development; (3) understand and implement ways to leverage the prestige of Dunbar and its distinguished graduates in order to enhance the education of Dunbar students; and (4) participate in work groups to identify notable alumni, principals and faculty to be enshrined in wall and floor plaques throughout the new school building, to serve as models of inspiration.

Anacostia Community Outreach Center, "The Langston Terrace Dwelling Oral/Video History Project"

The Langston Terrace Dwelling Oral/Video History Project will give the Langston Dwelling Summer campers an opportunity to learn, witness and embrace the importance of the history of their community. The young people will research the history of Langston and interview, photograph and video artifacts of several residents and other stakeholders of the community to be included in the final presentation. The final presentation will include a program open to the community that will feature a showing of the finished product at the Anacostia Community Outreach Center office.

Female Union Band Society, "Mt. Zion/Female Union Band Historic Memorial Park Foundation Website Development Project"

The Foundation seeks funding to hire a web designer to design and launch a website for the Foundation. The Scholar will compile content for the website including a bibliography of historical information pertaining to the Cemeteries. The Foundation does not currently have a website, nor has it ever had one. A website will be a valuable tool for the Foundation to use to increase visibility of the cemeteries and to raise funds so that we can hire a consultant to develop a long-term plan for the future of the cemeteries.

Neighborhood Farm Initiative, "DC Garden Oral History Project"

The goal of the project is to gather oral histories from older Washingtonians who have spent significant portions of their lives growing their own food and have participated in Washington's local food economy and culture. By conducting interviews with a diverse group of individuals across the District, we will attempt to document not only each gardener's individual story but also the culture, traditions, and practices of food-growers in this city. Interview questions will be geared towards capturing the ways that food has connected people in their neighborhoods and communities at different points in history. We will rely on NFI's connections to a broad urban agriculture network to reach a diverse group of Washingtonians who represent the broad range of food growers in our community.

Deanwood Heights Main Streets, "Master Builders of Deanwood"

DHMS proposes to host a Saturday seminar and screening of Michelle Jones' latest film about African-American architects and their work in DC. DHMS wants to spotlight the architects who lived and worked in Deanwood. We will include a subject matter speaker about the history of African Americans and Architecture.

African American Holiday Association, "African American Pioneer Muslimahs in Washington, DC (Part Two)"

This project is Part Two of the first documentary completed in 2011 through a grant from the Humanities Council, WDC. We will conduct another set of interviews with four or five African American elderly Muslim women (Muslimahs) who we were unable to capture with the first film. Our focus, again, is to give exposure to the untold history of these "sisters" who are in the 80's and 90's. We will discuss the challenges they received from their families, their community and other unfortunate, negative elements as they converted to a religion and way of life that seemed "foreign" to many. Some of these Muslimahs were married and they worked alongside their Muslim husbands to establish this new way of life for themselves and their children. Additionally, they helped to build the only "temple" now that masjid from the ground up in Washington, DC by African Americans. Also, it's the only street named Islamic Way in Washington, DC.

Black Student Fund, "Remembering the Dream Makers of Black Student Fund"

With the support of staff and interns at the Black Student Fund (BSF), BSF Scholars will archive, research, and document the history of BSF. The research will focus on BSF's leadership and BSF's impact on the DC independent school community. The project will include the production of a video by BSF Scholars so that they can learn how to archive, research and document history. In addition BSF wants current students attending one of our 44 Member Schools to contribute to the legacy of the organization by serving as BSF's historians. BSF Scholars will work with a Social Sciences scholar and a professional videographer.

Henson Arts in Learning, "Citizens We"

The Citizens We Project is a photographic portrait of the people in the neighborhoods of Adams Morgan, Mt. Pleasant, and Columbia Heights in Washington, DC. The project consists of an exhibition of thirty 17 x 25 inch Black & White prints of clients from the Shrine of the Sacred Heart Dinner Program and an online publication using HP MagCloud, about the Dinner Program and the challenges of immigration in contemporary American society. The publication can be viewed online for free and sold as a soft cover book.

ANC7B, "We are Fairfax Village"

“We are Fairfax Village” is a newly formed organization created to document the extensive history of the Fairfax Village neighborhood. The mission is to: 1) pursue and value the oral histories of past and current residents of Fairfax Village, 2) perform historical research of various resources related to Fairfax Village, 3) work collaboratively to author, illustrate, and share documents in accessible and user-friendly ways. 
The organization is the idea of Libya Doman in 2013 who has been a home owner in Fairfax Village for nearly 8 years. Over these years she has heard stories of the predominately African-American neighborhood being used in the past as housing for Congress members as it was just a short distance from the Capitol Building. Ms. Doman met an older, Caucasian woman who shared that she grew up in Fairfax Village when it was military quarters. Many of the community’s elders have lamented the changes in the community from tree-lined streets with quality neighborhood dining for homeowners to nearly 60% tenant occupied units where neighborhood organizations struggle to curtail drug deals hidden in alleys.

WSC Avant Bard, "Kendall Green and the National College for the Deaf"

WSC Avant Bard seeks support to develop a play that explores the history of deaf culture and the history of Kendall Green. Funds will be used to support the work of researchers, the writer/humanities scholar, the director and theatre artists in exploring this fascinating corner of DC.

All African People's Development and Empowerment Project, "Marcus Garvey Enrichment School Documentary Project"

The Marcus Garvey Enrichment Documentary Project will work with African American youth living in the Barry Farms community of Washington D.C. Youth from the ages of 13-18 will produce a documentary about the historical Barry Farms community, its current social history, and the thriving culture that highlights the positive culture of Barry Farms, but also the historiography of South East, Washington D.C. The initial phase of this project seeks funding for research and development of a proposed documentary that audio-visually depict the rich, but under-represented African American youth’s perspective on the current issues of Barry Farms and the broader African American Washington, D.C. community. 

Military Road School Preservation Trust, "Oral History of the Military Road School Alumni before 1954"

As part of the Sesquicentennial observance of the Military Road School, a video of oral histories provided by alumni who lived in the Brightwood community as well as nearby Maryland and attended the School from the 1930's to 1954 will be developed for the purpose of corroborating the educational legacy for which it was well known until closing as a D.C. public school in 1954. This project will document the experiences of some of those African-American students who, despite a lack of materials and amenities that were available to their white counterparts, were able to thrive and excel in a segregated environment. 

Community Resources Incorporated, "A Loud Silence: A Visual Code on the Underground Railroad"

The proposed project will research sites of the Underground Railroad in WDC, obtain maps of the topography and terrain at the time of the UG, create mixed media work that would depict markers, codes, symbols and signs, and tell the story of their composition, creation, use and meaning. The work created will be documented and presented as if they were actually in use during the time of the Underground Railroad.

Rehoboth Baptist Church Historical Committee, "Documenting History of Rehoboth Baptist Church (150 Years)"

The committee will be gathering, organizing, cataloging and archiving materials to prepare a comprehensive and complete History Book on the life of the Rehoboth Baptist Church (1864-2014). A catalogue of these materials will be compiled for our usage and for the Historic Preservation Office. The Rehoboth Baptist Church was founded by former slaves and is one of the oldest Black Baptist Churches in the city.

Seeking Qualified Educator to Serve on the Advisory Board for the Schimel Award for Teaching Leadership Through the Humanities

A Great Opportunity to Recognize Washington, DC's most Innovative Teachers

The Humanities Council of Washington, DC seeks a current or retired educator to serve pro bono on the Advisory Board for the Abraham Lincoln Schimel and Beatrice Schimel Award (ALSBS Awards) for Teaching Leadership to High School Students through the Humanities, sponsored by The Schimel Lode. 

This original commendation will be awarded to up to 10 Washington, DC high school teachers who want to experiment with, or who have successfully developed innovative, new ways to encourage leadership capacities.

These new approaches will integrate the study of history, literature, language, theory of the visual and performing arts or other major humanities disciplines.

This pro bono work will involve participating in about 4-5 weekday evening meetings with engaging collaborators over a six-eight month period.


Participate in the ALSBS Awards Advisory Board and contribute to the development of award criteria for the teacher nomination application.
Help promote the opportunity throughout the Washington, DC education community.
Review nominations and select up to 10 awardees as a member of the Advisory Board 
Skills and Experience Required:

Articulate, straightforward, critical thinker  
Experience creating lesson plans and/or educational materials
Knowledge of current best practices in education, particularly in humanities subjects and leadership training
Experience with leadership development and teaching methods 

B.A. or above in Education and/or B.A. or above in a humanities discipline; relevant experience teaching at the high school level, especially in the DC area.  
Interested educators should submit a one page letter of interest by November 29, 2013 , please contact Ruth Schimel at, 202.659.1772, or Mark Smith at, 202.387.8391, to inquire further. Interviews will be held in early December.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Grant Writing Lesson from Your Local Humanities Council

Go Beyond the Basics of Grant Writing and Get Personalized Feedback on a Proposal

The Humanities Council of Washington, DC has distributed grants to non-profits across the city to stimulate humanities learning opportunities for over 30 years. On November 19th, the Council will offer its first Grant Writing Clinic to help nonprofits improve their ability to fundraising for cultural initiatives in the city, using the Council’s extensive grant-making experience to offer unique insights to Clinic participants.

The Grant Writing Clinic will go beyond the basics of proposal writing, and help you strengthen your personal grant writing skills. Open to grant writers at all experience levels, this clinic will give individualized feedback to each participant on one of their own grant proposals, while providing them with the fundamental knowledge to strengthen their fundraising efforts.

Using group exercises and feedback, participants will gain a better understanding of:
•    the grant-seeking process,
•    the components of a competitive grant proposal,
•    tips from the grant-maker’s perspective,
•    and how to build a relationship with a funder.
As a participant, you will receive peer and instructor critiques on your proposal, review peer proposals as a “grant-maker,” and identify ways that you can strengthen your grant writing.

Class preparation: All participants will be able to submit one current or previous grant proposal that they have worked on. Individual feedback with suggestions will be returned to the participant at the clinic. Applications cannot be proposals intended for submission to the Humanities Council (we provide grant application feedback during the grant-making process). Proposals must be submitted to the instructor by e-mail ( as a Word document by November 14th, or the participant will not receive individualized feedback.

When: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 6pm - 8pm 
Cost: $50.00
Where: The Council’s Offices, 925 U Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 (across from the 10th Street Exit of U Street Station)

Register Here: