2017 Major Grant Awards

Back to Grants Program

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


$5,000 for “Compassion, Connection and Community– Maine Wabanaki-REACH, Stillwater

  • This grant will support Maine Wabanaki-REACH promote Wabanaki self-determination through reconnection with the land and each other through activities that educate, engage and help mobilize intrinsic Wabanaki value systems based on compassion and connection. This project will also examine white-privilege, colonial institutions and find ways to dismantle these systems that deny all Mainers their humanity.


$4,000 for “Creative Maine: Trade Banners and the Crafts that Built Maine– Maine Historical Society, Portland

  • Creativity is a focus for economic development and a significant point of pride for many Mainers. Using 17 remarkable linen banners made by the Maine Charitable Mechanic Association in 1841 as a focal point, this exhibition and education project will consider stories of creativity from Maine history, and explore how Mainers today are carrying that heritage forward. In so doing, it will help today’s Mainers recognize their own creativity and to connect their personal interests and experiences to Maine’s long creative heritage.


$5,000 for “Dawnland– The Upstander Project

  • Dawnland is an independent feature documentary tracing the complex journey of the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth & Reconciliation Commission, the first such body to ever investigate mistreatment of Native American children. This grant supports the editing phase of Dawnland.


$3,000 for “Exploring Human Origins Smithsonian ExhibitBangor Public Library, Bangor

  • Exploring Human Origins is a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Museum that is being displayed at only 19 libraries across the US. The exhibit is meant to make viewers re-evaluate what it means to be human. The exhibit will also host programming to encourage viewer discussion.


$7,430 for “The Five Freedoms of the First Amendment: A Traveling Exhibit– The Gannett House Project, Augusta

  • The Gannett House Project will develop a travel ready exhibit that will introduce visitors to the origins, evolution and contemporary issues around the five freedoms of the First Amendment. The exhibit will bring together stories that highlight the complicated and often controversial subjects fostered by the First Amendment in order to expand public discourse around what this amendment means to us as participants in our democracy. The development of the exhibit will help the new museum build its capacity to be a trusted source of stimulating resources around the First Amendment.


$5,000 for “The Ivory Mirror: The Art of Mortality in Renaissance EuropeBowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick

  • This grant support of public humanities programming to accompany the upcoming exhibition The Ivory Mirror: The Art of Mortality in Renaissance Europe. This highly significant exhibition will incorporate prayer beads, manuscripts and paintings from major American and European museums in coordination with works from BCMA collections. A related catalogue, to be co-published by Bowdoin and Yale University Press (and designed by Marquand/Lucia Books) will accompany the show


$7,000 for “Stories from the Forgotten Frontier: A Workshop and Lecture Series– Old Berwick Historical Society, South Berwick

  • The Old Berwick Historical Society will conduct a summer workshop for history teachers, grades 6-12 to provide them with a new cultural framework for understanding the founding history of the Piscataqua region and advanced methods for using primary documents and artifacts as research tools. The Forgotten Frontier workshop will engage a wide audience of teachers and students with collections of archeological artifacts and manuscript materials that have been discovered in this region over the past 30 years. A website of teacher generated lesson plans and transcribed documents, as well as artifact kits for classroom use, will be developed in collaboration with workshop participants.


$5,000 for “Threads of History: Exploring Maine’s Textile Past– Maine Fiberarts, Topsham

  • This project, in collaboration w/ Brunswick & Topsham libraries, exhibit venues and nonprofits will encourage and coordinate programming on the theme of Maine textile history and its influence on contemporary fiber art today. An exhibition at Maine Fiberarts will be complemented by a show of historical tools and samplers, a textile history walk through Brunswick, a tour of Cabot Mill, hands on workshops and several speakers addressing our theme.   


$1,550 for “Voice from Maine’s Historical Quarries: Digitize, Preserve, Exhibit– Maine Granite Industry Historical Society, Mount Desert

  • Digitize and preserve interviews with quarry workers (currently on analog tapes) about what life was like working in Maine’s historical quarries. Purchase computer and software to edit the digitized files so that they are incorporated in museum exhibits and available to our visitors.