Thank you to everyone who applied for one of our grant programs this year! We’re proud to announce the recipients of the Open Humanities Grants for 2018!


Open Humanities Grants are funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities


Greater Washington Urban League
Georgetown African American Historic Landmark Project

Along the cobblestone streets of what we recognize as Georgetown once tread the footsteps of enslaved and freed African Americans who lived in and helped build the now wealthy Northwest neighborhood. The Greater Washington Urban League seek to retrace these footsteps in the Georgetown African American Historic Landmark Project. The project includes the development of a comprehensive Georgetown African American walking tour consolidating the National Park Services tour, Georgetown University’s tour, the District of Columbia’s African American Heritage Trail and information Garnered from the book, Black Georgetown Remembered. The project sets out to correct Georgetown’s historical misinformation and memorialize the lives, stories and impact of the enslaved and freed African Americans who once called Georgetown home.

Amount Received: $10,000


The University of the District of Columbia
The University of the District of Columbia: A Visual History

The University of the District of Columbia has rich history dating back to 1851, when abolitionist Myrtilla Miner opened her School for Colored Girls in Washington. In the 160 years since the school’s foundation, UDC  and its predecessor institutions have served thousands Washingtonians. Yet, this history is relatively unknown – both by current students and by many local residents. Through A Visual History, the historic university seeks to share this history in two ways: through an exhibit installed at the heart of the campus and a digital archive. The archive will be a source of materials for scholars and members of the public interested in doing their own research into UDC’s history.

Amount Received: $8,250


Hola Cultura
Adams Morgan History through the Lens of the “Unity” Mural

From former slaves seeking a place to settle after the Civil War to incoming immigrants, Adams Morgan has always welcomed newcomers to Washington. For at least a century, Spanish have been present in Adams Morgan and today the descendants of those newcomers celebrate their Latino heritage with murals that blossom around the Northwest neighborhood like cherry blossoms in Spring. In their project Adams Morgan History through the Lens of the “Unity” Mural, Hola Cultura plan to continue their focus on DC’s Latino street murals, building on their 2012 web-doc “MuralismoDC” and the guided tour of the District’s Latino murals created in 2017. The project will add to what little has been documented in this pivotal but little examined moment in DC’s Latino history, empowering the DC Latino interns.

Amount Received: $10,000 


DC Legendary Musicians
Washington DC Jazz: The Music of the Metropolis and Beyond

In this year’s effort to preserve, protect, and promote the artistic legacy, contributions and well-being of Washington, DC’s musicians, DCLM will embark on a year-long series of music focused community programs beginning on May 1, 2018, the birthday of DC born jazz pianist Shirley Horn through April 30th 2019, International Jazz Day. Each program will be related to a 2017-2018 oral history project involving established and emerging artists, panel presentations, book talks, discussions and signings, a workshop, and traveling library exhibition.

Amount Received: $10,000

Mikva Challenge DC
Mikva Challenge: Issues to Action

Mivka Challenge DC is a local organization that is restoring agency to DC youth for the sake of our civic and political lives. This year, they seek to promote cross-cultural understanding as they share their experiences, ideas and perspectives on critical community issues. Through the Issues to Action project, Mikva Challenge will engage over 1,200 students attending 25 public schools across the District in issue-based community action projects. During the grant period, students will identify and research issues in their communities, critically analyze the root causes of each problem, and mobilize support for their cause among peers, school staff, and neighborhood leaders. The students will draw on the humanities to better understand their DC community, share their stories with community members, and create strategies for inspiring positive change.

Amount Received: $9000


Washington Architectural Foundation
Children’s Neighborhood Architectural Tours 

The Washington Architectural Foundation leads children’s architectural walking tours of nine neighborhoods in the District of Columbia, from residential to commercial to institutional and monumental. As Washingtonians, we rely on these tours to preserve the history of our neighborhoods’ diverse built landscapes. This year, WAF seeks to convert their tours through Shaw/Blagden Alley, Penn Quarter and Anacostia digital format that will be available on the organization’s website.

Amount Received: $10,000


National Building Museum
Investigating Where We Live

Designed to directly involve participants in learning about D.C., Investigating Where We Live invites young people to thoughtfully explore the people, places and history of the city. Using photography, writing, and oral history, participants examine, document, and interpret the impact of the built environment in D.C., critically considering how people live. With past focuses that have spanned from urban transformation in historically Black neighborhoods to memorialization as exemplified by New Monuments Revealed (July 25, 2015-June 6 2016) IWWL seeks to instill pride in our local geography. 

Amount Received: $10,000


The MusicianShip
Eastern Senior High School Choir Archives & Touring Exhibit

Founded by a passionate group of musicians who view music as a vehicle to change lives, The MusicianShip is focusing this year on sharing artifacts and history from Washington’s celebrated Eastern High School Choir of the 1970s through early 2000s. The Musicianship’s Eastern Senior High School Choir Archives & Touring Exhibit will preserve, interpret the lesser known stories from the students and faculty who were impacted in their work with the choir. Through publicly accessible archives, digital research collection, and touring media-rich exhibit, our project offers a window into our city’s cultural history, its public schools, and the choral music tradition.

Amount Received: $10,000


All Souls Housing Corporation
Mapping Segregation in Washington: Race and Housing 1950-1970

All Souls Housing Corporation, an organization committed to developing and maintaining affordable housing and services to residents is setting out to document and visualize the racial and economic transformation of DC over the course of two decades. This project will generate downloadable race and housing data, along with interactive maps for every square block in DC (ca. 4,000 blocks), for 1950, 1960 and 1970.

Amount Received: $10,000