Press Releases

CAL HUMANITIES AWARDS NEARLY $180,000 TO CALIFORNIA-BASED STORYTELLING PROJECTS

July 15, 2015

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Jody Sahota
415.391.1474

(San Francisco, CA) Cal Humanities, the statewide humanities grantmaker, recently awarded 18 projects totaling nearly $180,000 in the latest round of the Community Stories Grants program. This competitive grant program supports community-centered, story-based public humanities projects about the California experience.

These projects – ranging from the experiences of Iraqi refugees rebuilding their lives in San Diego, to migrant female farm laborers in the Central Coast, to Tulare County residents facing the effects of California’s record-breaking drought – represent voices that are seldom heard and raise public awareness and understanding of the issues facing California and its people. 

“Cal Humanities is proud to support these projects, so deeply rooted in California communities,” said Julie Fry, President and CEO of Cal Humanities. “Made accessible to the public in a variety of ways, they will elevate stories that many of us have never heard, giving us a new understanding of our state.”   

The Community Stories Grants program supports a diversity of histories and experiences of the people of California.  Since its inception in 2003, the Community Stories Grants program has funded over 450 projects totaling $3.7 million to community-based nonprofit and educational organizations across the state.

Community Stories Grant Project Summer 2015 Grant Recipients:

THE 1947 PARTITION ARCHIVE: CALIFORNIA STORY SCHOLARS PROGRAM
SPONSORING ORGANIZATION: THE 1947 PARTITION ARCHIVE, BERKELEY
Oral histories from Central Valley residents who witnessed the 1947 Partition of the Indian subcontinent – which produced the largest movement of people in the 20th century -- will bring to light untold stories of survival, displacement, resettlement, and cultural integration within the contemporary California landscape. 

AMERICAN BABYLON
SPONSORING ORGANIZATION: MEDIA ARTS CENTER, SAN DIEGO
Through in-depth interviews with the Chaldean residents of San Diego County, (the highest concentration of Iraqi refugees in America), this project will explore and document the challenges and opportunities these refugees face as they seek to make a home in California.

BEYOND THE FIELDS: UNTOLD STORIES OF CIVIL RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE IN CALIFORNIA'S CENTRAL VALLEY
SPONSORING ORGANIZATION: KERN COMMUNITY COLLEGE, BAKERSFIELD
This oral history project will shed new light on the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Delano Grape Strike (1965-1970), specifically on how the farm labor organization movement gave rise to the civil rights and social justice activism beyond the fields of Kern County. 

BOARDING SCHOOL STORIES
SPONSORING ORGANIZATION: CANTE SICA FOUNDATION, LOS ANGELES
By collecting and sharing stories of Native elders who attended Indian Boarding Schools, this project will provide opportunities for Native and non-Native audience alike to understand the complex history and legacy of these institutions. 

DEMOCRACY IN THE FIELDS
SPONSORING ORGANIZATION: CENTER FOR COMMUNITY ADVOCACY, SALINAS
A recently discovered trove of photographs will be the focus of a new, interactive, bilingual, multi-media website that will share stories about the farm workers who joined Cesar Chavez's movement forty years ago in the Salinas Valley.

DOCKS TO DELTA: LISTENING TO THE LANDSCAPE ALONG THE CAPITOL CORRIDOR TRAIN LINE
SPONSORING ORGANIZATION: CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE FOR RURAL STUDIES, DAVIS
Part live performance and part permanent, easily-accessible, free audio tour, this project will explore the history of the landscape between San Jose and Auburn travelled by thousands of commuters each day, inviting listeners to expand their understanding of this region and explore topics that are the subject of contemporary policy debates.

MEMORIES TO LIGHT: ASIAN AMERICAN HOME MOVIES FROM THE CENTRAL VALLEY
SPONSORING ORGANIZATION: CENTER FOR ASIAN AMERICAN MEDIA, SAN FRANCISCO
By collecting, preserving and sharing home movies created by Asian American residents of the Central Valley, this project will share authentic stories and images documenting  everyday life that will counterbalance stereotypic (or absent) representations of Asian Americans often seen in conventional media. 

MIHISTORIA: SHARING STORIES OF LATINA FARMWORKERS
SPONSORING ORGANIZATION: CHICANA/LATINA FOUNDATION, BURLINGAME
Seeking to promote understanding of the experiences of women whose labor puts food on our tables, and broaden knowledge of the diversity of backgrounds and experiences of California farm workers today, this project will record and share stories from women farm workers in the Central Valley and the Central Coast.

NORTH BAY DREAMERS
SPONSORING ORGANIZATION: GRATON DAY LABOR CENTER, GRATON
This multimedia project will provide the means for some of the many thousands of undocumented young people in the North Bay Area who have obtained legal status under the DREAM Act/DACA law, known as DREAMers, to share their stories and aspirations with the broader community.

ON THE MAP: YOUTH TELL STORIES FROM A CHANGING CALIFORNIA
SPONSORING ORGANIZATION: NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR MEDIA ARTS + CULTURE, OAKLAND
A team of filmmakers and scholars will work with schools and youth development organizations, enabling young people in 20 underserved communities across the state to explore and document compelling contemporary stories that affect them, ranging from the tech industry's displacement of youth and their families from San Francisco's mission district to the effect of the drought on a community in the Inland empire.

AN ORAL HISTORY OF MEXICAN AMERICANS IN SOUTH COLTON 1890-1960
SPONSORING ORGANIZATION: CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, SAN BERNARDINO
This oral history project aims to produce a record of life in a segregated Mexican American community in the Inland Empire, from the 1890’s to 1960 when the civil rights era initiated a gradual process of its integration into the surrounding city of Colton.

RUN DRY
SPONSORING ORGANIZATION: MEDIA ARTS CENTER, SAN DIEGO
Hoping to raise awareness of the complexity and history of issues related to water use in California's Central Valley, the project will use video, photographic, and interviews to document the experience of those affected, and share their stories online through interactive digital technology, to be made available free for educational purposes by community members, students, scholars, policy makers, and the broader public.

SAIGU REMEMBERED
SPONSORING ORGANIZATION: SANTA MONICA COLLEGE, SANTA MONICA
This campus-based project will engage students, faculty, and community members in making a documentary about the Korean American community’s experience of the 1992 Los Angeles Riots.

SAWTELLE JAPANESE AMERICAN HISTORY: A MINECRAFT-MACHINIMA DOCUMENTARY
SPONSORING ORGANIZATION: GAMETRAIN LEARNING, INC., REDONDO BEACH
Using contemporary digital tools, middle and school students will work with academic scholars and community historians to create a 20-minute machinima (animated film) documentary about Sawtelle, a historic Japanese American neighborhood in Los Angeles. 

VETERANOS OF POMONA: LOCAL STORIES OF LATINOS IN THE MILITARY
SPONSORING ORGANIZATION: POMONA COLLEGE, CLAREMONT
This youth-centered community history project, a partnership between Pomona College (Claremont) and dA Center for the Arts (Pomona), will bring to light and share the stories of Pomona’s Latina/Latino military veterans and their families.

THE WOMEN OF EL TORO
SPONSORING ORGANIZATION: CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FULLERTON
A collaboration between Cal State Fullerton (CSUF), the Center for Oral Public History at CSUF, and the Orange County Great Park, this project will raise awareness of women's roles in the military and enrich visitor’s appreciation of the history and landscape of the park, site of the former El Toro Marine Corps Air station. 

YOUNG CITY AT WAR: STORIES FROM WEST HOLLYWOOD DURING THE AIDS EPIDEMIC
SPONSORING ORGANIZATION: LAVENDER EFFECT/COMMUNITY PARTNERS, LOS ANGELES
Aiming to launch on December 1, National AIDS Awareness Day, this new media oral history project will bring attention to the dramatic and poignant story of West Hollywood's response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in its early days.

ZEN HOSPICE PROJECT STORYTELLING INITIATIVE
SPONSORING ORGANIZATION: ZEN HOSPICE PROJECT, SAN FRANCISCO
This expansion of Zen Hospice Project’s ongoing Storytelling Initiative, this project will further promote healing and transformation among participants, strengthen care-giving, and educate families, caregivers, and broader professional and public audiences about the experiences of death, grieving, and loss.

ABOUT CAL HUMANITIES
Cal Humanities is an independent non-profit and state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. To find out more about Cal Humanities and the projects we support, visit www.calhum.org.


Donate Now