Activate History Microgrants Award $11,200 to 13 Local History and Archival Projects

People and Place Knox College grant

By Illinois Humanities

Read Time 2 minutes
October 17, 2023

Thirteen organizations and individuals across six counties in Illinois received Activate History Microgrants this fall. These grants support groups and individuals who host creative events and projects for their communities to engage with important and diverse local archives, artifacts, and collections. Designed with a quick turnaround and immediate action in mind, Activate History Microgrants make financial support more accessible to stewards of history.

This group of grantee partners includes libraries, sound studios, publishers, museums, and more. Their projects preserve and archive materials and histories that range from audio recordings, migration mapping, and historic communication records. Our grantee partners are doing the vital work of excavating parts of history that have been largely ignored, overlooked, or even intentionally and systemically silenced. Each project received a minimum of $750 in funding to support this urgent–and lasting–work. 

Of thirteen Activate History projects, seven are based in Cook County, five are elsewhere in the state, and one is based in Alabama with programs serving Illinoisans.  

The grantees 

  • Chicago Collections Consortium / Making History Come Alive Through Words (Cook County) - $750 
  • Experimental Sound Studio / Archive Alive: The Fred Anderson Collection (Cook County) - $1,000 
  • Mary Frances (individual) / Dreamland Park and Amos Duncan (Sangamon County) - $1,000 
  • Pepper Holder (individual) / Reclaiming the African-American Heritage of Southern Illinois Project (Jackson County) - $750  
  • North Alabama School for Organizers / South to North Migration: 1920 to 1980 (Alabama) - $750 
  • Jamie Lynn Poorman (individual) / Once Upon A Place: Forgotten Settlements of Clark County, Ill. (Clark County) - $1,000 
  • Sivan Spector & Annie Share (individuals) / Switchboard: Missed Connections from the SS Eastland (Cook County) - $750 
  • Steven Williams (individual) / Reconsidering Jack “The Blackman” McCord (Cook County) - $950 
  • What Time Is It? A Cultural and Civic Archive / What Time Is It? (Cook County) - $1,000 
  • YWCA Pekin / Coloring Pekin History (Tazewell County) - $750 
  • Magnolia Township Preservation Association / Hidden Headstone History (Putnam County) - $750 
  • Shorefront Legacy Center / Colorful Legacies: Evanston’s Local Black Historical Figures (Cook County) - $750 
  • Flor Esquivel (individual) / Una Pagina de Mexico (A Page of Mexico) – (Cook County) - $750 

Illinois Humanities is proud to support this latest group of grantee partners. Activate History Microgrants are offered twice a year, and applications reopen immediately after the close of each cycle. The next deadline is March 1, 2024. Learn more about eligibility, guidelines, and how to submit your work for consideration here