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Sample Projects funded through our Grant Program

The inspiring projects below exceeded the funding criteria. They featured insightful content with appeal and relevance to a diversified audience, and often set the stage for the continued engagement of Tennesseans in the humanities.

General Grants and Small Project Grants

And Cain Rose up … A Study of Modern Genocides, B'Nai Israel Center for Jewish Studies, Lambuth University, Jackson
The project consisted of a series of public lecture/discussions on ethnic cleansing, Armenian oral histories of genocide, literature about genocides, and a keynote "Human Rights and Globalization in the Age of Genocide," delivered by Samantha Power. Other activities were a teacher in service dealing with the Holocaust, and musical presentation based on songs of the Jewish ghettos; a book discussion of The Devil Came on Horseback; a panel discussion on the topics of Fascism, international law, environmental factors, ethical theories, and the psychology of genocide; a film discussion of The Lost Boys of Sudan; a panel discussion of Darfur. Project events occurred at a variety of locations around Jackson, mostly public libraries and churches. The goal of the project was to raise global awareness, and to use discussions of the past to inform our understanding of current events.

Religious Heritage Trail Interpretive Plan, Southeast Tennessee Development District, Chattanooga
The Southeast Tennessee Development District (SETNDD) involved a folklorist, a historian, and two cultural tourism consultants in the development of a plan for an interpretive religion trail in the region. In addition to the plan, the project yielded two interpretive guides. The first is multi-denominational, and addresses history, music, oratory, gravesites, and roadside religion, i.e. signs, and other public items bearing religious messages or motifs. The second guide focuses on the history of Pentecostalism in the region. The plan called for the development of a trail web site and for on-site interpretation of the trail components. The SETNDD received funding for the next stages of the plan from the Economic Development Administration and the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Bilingual Exhibition Audio Tours, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
The Brooks Museum developed audio tours of its permanent collection and special exhibitions to increase accessibility for adults, children, and Spanish-speaking visitors. These multi- disciplinary tours use art history and criticism, literature, music, world history, and local history to place the artworks on display in a larger context and create a stimulating interpretive experience for all visitors.

An Untold Story: Celebrating African Americans in East Tennessee, Community Economic Development Network/African American Heritage Alliance
The two-day conference was held in Knoxville at the East Tennessee History Center and featured public presentations related to the history and culture of African Americans in Appalachia, including the origins and practice of the 8th of August holiday, the image of African Americans in the region, the historical impact of educational institutions, and the economic roots of brick masonry with masons from around the region. All events were free, open to the public, and partially held in conjunction with a monthly, downtown arts evening.

Emissaries of Peace: Timberlake in the Overhills, 1762-2012, Fort Loudoun Association, Vonore
The two-day event occurred at Fort Loudoun State Park, and included tours of significant Cherokee sites in the area, living history demonstrations, and a lecture discussion series. The grant funded four scholars to travel and present their research about Henry Timberlake, who lived among the Cherokee in 1761-62, and left invaluable memoirs describing Cherokee life and material culture. The discussions dealt with the memoirs, the archaeology of the period, and Cherokee perspectives of Timberlake.

Prelude to a Civil War: The U.S.-Mexican War, James K. Polk Home, Memorial Association, Columbia
Grant funds supported an original, temporary exhibit that interpreted the U.S.-Mexican War in relation to the subsequent Civil War. The 2000 square foot exhibit told the story and analyzed the legacy of this controversial endeavor of Polk’s presidency; how it aggravated North/ South sectionalism, proved a training ground for later Civil War commanders, and resulted in innovative battlefield reporting. The exhibit team used artifacts loaned from multiple venues and a series of public programs to complete the project. The exhibit received an Award of Commendation from the Tennessee Association of Museums.

Tims Ford: a Lake, a Park, a People, Tims Ford State Park, Winchester
The project explored the history and significance of Tims Ford Lake, formed by a TVA dam in 1970. Oral history and research culminated in an exhibition at the Tims Ford State Park Visitor Center and the first annual Tims Ford Heritage Day. The content covers the controversy and the struggle of local communities in the process of land seizures and subsequent shoreline commercial development, focusing on several former communities lost to the lake. The exhibition also includes historic photos and specially designed aerial maps of the region. Many additional oral histories were collected and personal photos scanned during the first festival. The exhibition was permanently installed in the new visitor center in 2011, and the festival continues to be held annually each autumn.