Federation Receives $210,000 from IMLS to Co-Plan Community Conversations on the 250th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence with Five Humanities Councils

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In The News
The Federation of State Humanities Councils

Read Time 2 minutes
October 17, 2023

This announcement was originally published by the Federation of State Humanities Councils.

ARLINGTON, VA–The Federation of State Humanities Councils will receive a planning grant of $210,000 to partner with Arizona Humanities, Illinois Humanities, Indiana Humanities, Oregon Humanities, and PA Humanities to help communities observe with their library partners the 250thanniversary of the Declaration of Independence in ways most meaningful to their own experiences. The funding to plan the project, Sharing Stories and Listening to One Another: The Declaration of Independence, has been made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services [grant LG-255044-OLS-23].

Each of the five councils partnering with the Federation will receive $30,000 for core planning activities and training discussion leaders nationwide. The balance of the $210,000 will allow the Federation to convene these councils and their partners for a Working Group at the National Humanities Conference on October 25 and a March 2024 National Forum in Washington, DC. These events will lay the groundwork for long-term partnerships and 2025–2026 programming, engaging 20+ additional councils to support communities sharing stories and listening to one another...

“As pillars of our communities, libraries and museums bring people together by providing important programs, services, and collections. These institutions are trusted spaces where people can learn, explore and grow,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “IMLS is proud to support their initiatives through our grants as they educate and enhance their communities.”

The planning grant will focus on building capacity to both hold meaningful, reflective conversations and train a corps of skilled leaders to guide those discussions. Arizona Humanities, Illinois Humanities, Indiana Humanities, Oregon Humanities, and PA Humanities will partner with public libraries in their communities to engage in difficult—but very necessary—discussions related to U.S. history, the founding, divides, land, and the future. These text-based conversations would include a diverse mix of perspectives on each topic, considering the unique needs of each community. Councils will seek out discussion leaders that represent a diverse range of backgrounds that build trust when listening and talking to other across differences...

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