The DC Community Heritage Project

The DC Community Heritage Project (DCCHP)* Grant supports residents at the grassroots level who are working to preserve their own communities and community stories. This opportunity is part of the Humanities Grant Program supported with funding from the District of Columbia Government through the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

Started in 2005 by HumanitiesDC and the DC Historic Preservation Office, DCCHP provides an alternative to the “top-down” approach to community history that is often defined by developers and non-residents.  DCCHP has funded more than 200 diverse, local heritage projects, preserving the memories of long-time Washingtonians and capturing the unfolding stories of new residents for future generations.  These small projects are showcased annually and archived in the HumanitiesDC DC Digital Museum.

DCCHP provides capacity-building and financial resources to community storytellers.  Potential projects must incorporate relevant humanities scholarship into the stories that they tell.  Prospective projects will:

  • be a written publication, documentary film, website, lesson plan, tour or other appropriate project
  • focus on physical spaces in Washington, DC
  • have an advisor or partner who is knowledgeable about the relevant field or subject matter
  • be an educational product with lasting value
  • be innovative, unique and of strong educational interest to a wide public audience
  • be focused on one or more central humanities disciplines.

To Apply

Applications are accepted annually in April/May and awardees are announced in late May.  Applicants may request up to $5,000 and must complete their project by October of the following year. Applications must identify a scholar and how s/he will advise the project through the grant cycle. Each funded project will result in a lasting digital final product that will be added to HumanitiesDC Digital Museum.

Sample of Past Grant Activities

The Ivy City Neighborhood and Oral History Project began in 2004 when local nonprofit Empower DC began working with the community to collect oral histories, photos, and other memorabilia. One of the project’s primary goals was to preserve the historic Alexander Crummell Elementary School located in the area, and the project ended with the completion of a 32 page booklet containing brief histories of the community and its residents.

 

Fairlawn is one of the many close-knit communities East of the Anacostia River with a strong sense of history and heritage. Fairlawn: From the Flats to the Heights uses archival and oral history sources to provide a brief sketch of the neighborhood’s history and culture. A portion of the book highlights community landmarks and can serve as a walking tour.

 

Contact

For questions, contact La’Tasha Banks at lbanks@wdchumanities.org.

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