2021 Major Grant awards

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$58,000 to 10 projects across five counties.

MHC Major Grants support a variety of larger humanities projects
such as exhibits, conferences, films, and other initiatives.

 

$6,000 for “Untitled Margaret Moxa ProjectCenter for Independent Documentary

Funding will support writing and early stage production of the play, Moxa, written by Penobscot Nation diplomat and playwright, Maulian Dana. The play will shine a spotlight on the inspiring story of Margaret Moxa, a Penobscot peacemaker murdered by a settler. Margaret Moxa’s story exposes the systematic practice of government-sanctioned bounty hunting of Wabanaki and other Eastern Woodlands Indigenous people that was critical to settlers’ seizure of the land. The play will focus on the lasting impact and relevance of her life today. The staging of the play will be the foundation for a non-fiction film to be co-produced by Ambassador Dana to be shared as learning resource.

 

$6,000 for “Ashley Bryan’s Beautiful Blackbird Exhibit Project– Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine, Portland

Following the leadership of Indigo Arts Alliance, the Children’s Museum & Theater of Maine’s new exhibit, “Ashley Bryan’s Beautiful Blackbird” focuses on Maine artist Ashley Bryan’s book celebrating Black heritage. The grant will support two aspects of the exhibit–the development of a reflective Call and Response Art Activity to be designed by Indigo Arts Alliance and a kiosk where children and families can share their stories.

 

$4,100 for “Sentencing: Reading and Writing Across BarriersFreedom and Captivity Coalition, Portland

The grant will fund an author series with residents of the Southern Maine Women’s Reentry Center and the Women’s Center, who have been living in even more isolated circumstances than normal due to COVID-related lockdowns. This grant will support six events to bring incarcerated people together with Maine and national authors for a series of discussions about reading and writing. The goal is community-building through facilitated conversations about literature.

 

$6,000 for “Beautiful Blackbird (Virtual) Children’s Book Festival”– Indigo Arts Alliance, Portland

The Beautiful Blackbird (Virtual) Children’s Book (BBCBF) Festival is a six-week, web-based book festival (with in-person opportunities) designed to showcase authors and illustrators from across the African Diaspora, entertain, engage, educate and empower children through relatable art and literature, and distribute 1500+ free books to children in underrepresented communities. The festival will engage Maine educators and librarians, cross-cultural communities of adults and children, a statewide network of organizational partners and local artist networks to develop a course of action for building a more diverse literary landscape for children throughout the state.

 

$6,000 for “Begin Again: Reckoning with Intolerance in Maine – Maine Historical Society, Portland

Begin Again: Reckoning with Intolerance in Maine is a new initiative designed to stimulate and support civic dialog around race and social justice issues in Maine today. The initiative will provide information, historical context, and forums for discussion that help Mainers understand, connect, and meaningfully respond to national conversations about white privilege, systemic racism, and other forms of inequality. This will include an invitation to community members to help reinterpret artifacts and documents in our collection and engage in dialogue through connected programming.

 

$5,900 for “Summers of Science and Wonder– Mount Desert Island Historical Society, Mt. Desert

The Mount Desert Island Historical Society is developing a new exhibit exploring the role of citizen and professional scientists on Mount Desert Island. Focused on comparing historic documents to modern observations of bird and pollinator species, water temperature, and weather records, the exhibit and associated programs will show the impacts of climate change over the past century. Project partners include the Schoodic Institute, A Climate to Thrive, the MDI Biological Laboratory, College of the Atlantic, and Acadia National Park.

 

$6,000 for “Public Mural Park and Historic Walking Tour”– Old Town, Maine, Downtown Revitalization Committee, Old Town

A team of students and educators will work with historians from the Penobscot Nation, the Old Town Museum and with other community members to create a public mural park and accompanying historic walking tour at Peace Pole Park, in the heart of the Downtown District in Old Town. The mural and walking tour will incorporate symbols and images relevant to this community’s unique cultural, economic, and social heritage.

 

$6,000 for “Le Carrefour (The Intersection) – Speaking Place, Rockland

Funding will support creation of Le Carrefour, a 40-minute documentary film, and subsequent screenings and community events. Le Carrefour tells the story of the intersection of two immigrant communities, the Franco-American and Franco-African, both descendants of French and Belgian colonial expansion. On the surface they seem nothing alike, but their paths unexpectedly intersect in the former mill town of Lewiston, Maine. The documentary sheds light on repressive and discriminatory practices which led to the loss of language and culture for the majority of Franco-Americans. In confronting this past, the two communities discover a shared dream and the choices necessary to foster an environment where the French language and Francophone cultures can survive and thrive.

 

$6,000 for “Making the Last Girl First-Survivor Speak USA, Portland

Funding supports the program “Making the Last Girl First” centered around The Last Girl, an autobiographical two-act play written by Dee Clarke. SSUSA will produce and perform the play as a vehicle for community dialogues and actions that center The Last Girls of Maine. The script and supplemental curriculum will be utilized as training and facilitation tools by graduates of The Survivor Advocacy Leadership Training (SALT) and other survivors, as they become rooted in their own stories and skilled in public speaking, performance, and educating the public through pre- and post-performance dialogues and workshops. This vital program mentors participants to grow from victimhood into empowerment and leadership. Survivor leaders become advocates and mentors for future Survivors here in Maine.

 

$6,000 for “History in Stones: Mapping Cemeteries to Teach the History of Central Aroostook CountyUniversity of Maine at Presque Isle

Funding will supporting the mapping of cemeteries in Central Aroostook County using ArcGIS Online and the writing of an interactive history of Central Aroostook County to be used by 8th grade social studies teachers who teach Maine History. To make history more relevant and tangible to 8th graders, the project will focus on the lives of certain individuals in area cemeteries to tell the story of Central Aroostook County by explaining how world, national and state events affected those people. The History of Central Aroostook County and its people will be told using interactive web-based ArcGIS Online Story Map Journals.