DC Oral History Collaborative Partnership Grants

DCOHC_LogoHelp us preserve the unique stories of Washington, DC residents! This opportunity provides financial and capacity building resources to community organizations and individuals (“partners”) interested in conducting oral history projects. Potential projects may focus on: neighborhoods, social organizations, political history, labor, faith-based groups, cultural trends, historic events, or other themes that lend themselves to oral history as a tool for research and preservation. Partnership proposals will be reviewed in May, and selected projects will be announced in June.

Selected partners will be required to attend a three-session Oral History training workshop, and will work in conjunction with staff and consultants from the DC Oral History Collaborative throughout the course of their projects.

Award Amount:
Applicants may request between $2,000 and $8,000 depending on the scope of their projects.

Project Period:
This opportunity is for oral history projects conducted between June 15, 2017 and November 15, 2017.

What we are looking for:
Successful applications will propose projects that explore Washington, DC’s life, history and culture through interviews with the people who have lived it. Projects should have a theme, focus, or research question they aim to illuminate, and should commit to interviewing at least five people. The final product for each project will be a set of well documented recordings accompanied by transcripts and any legal forms necessary for inclusion in the DC Oral History Collaborative repository.

All proposals must be received by Friday, May 5, 2017 at 11:59pm.

Live Webinars:
Every Friday between 3/9 and 4/28 (with the exception of 3/17) we will offer a live webinar from 12-1pm to go over the grant requirements and demonstrate how to apply. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss potential projects with staff.
Click here to access the webinar.
Access Code: 847-605-341

About the DC Oral History Collaborative:

The DC Oral History Collaborative is an ambitious city-wide initiative to document and preserve the history of Washington’s residents and communities through the collection of oral histories. The project will survey and publicize existing oral history collections, provide grants and training for scholars and amateur historians to launch new oral history projects, and establish an interactive, accessible platform where the city’s memories can benefit residents and scholars for generations to come. The Collaborative is a partnership of HumanitiesDC, The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., and the DC Public Library.

What is Oral History:
“[Oral history is] distinguished from other forms of interviews by its content and extent. Oral history interviews seek an in-depth account of personal experience and reflections, with sufficient time allowed for the narrators give their story the fullness they desire. The content of oral history interviews is grounded in reflections on the past as opposed to commentary on purely contemporary events.”

Qualifying Questions:
1. Does the proposed project have Washington, DC or one of its communities or neighborhoods as its primary geographic focus?
2. Will the proposed project occur within the grant period (June 15, 2017 – November 15, 2017)?
3. Can the project director commit to attending a three-session workshop on oral history during the month of June 2017 (specific dates TBD)?
4. Will the project interview at least five people?
5. Will the project be able to provide a set of unrestricted interviews with transcripts, to a repository associated with the DC Oral History Collaborative by the end of the grant period?

Additional Requirements:
1. All partnership projects will be supported by a professional oral historian contracted by the DC Oral History Collaborative. This consultant will be responsible for providing support and advice to project directors as well as ensuring that all project work is progressing smoothly.
2. The oral history consultant will schedule several required check-in sessions with partnership project directors over the course of the project period.
3. All partnership projects must participate in joint marketing and communications campaigns in support of the DC Oral History Collaborative during the grant period.

1. No member of, nor delegate to Congress, Mayor, or City Council member, nor officer nor employee of the District, nor officer nor employee of the DC Public Library may benefit financially from a partnership grant.
2. Awardees agree to document all grant expenditures and provide a final report at the end of the project period using forms provided by HumanitiesDC.
3. Awarded applicants will receive one payment for the full amount of the grant upon their signature of the partnership agreement document. This payment must be expended before September 30, 2017.
4. Any changes to the scope or budget of a partnership project must be communicated to HumanitiesDC in writing.
5. Awarded applicants will sign grant conditions that constitute a legally binding contract between HumanitiesDC and the applicant’s sponsoring organization or a designated responsible party. The organization or responsible party will be legally obligated to complete the project under the terms of the grant conditions.

How is this opportunity different from a standard HumanitiesDC grant?
1. Applicants do not have to represent 501(c)3 non-profit organizations. Projects conducted by individuals or for-profit entities must select a responsible party to sign, and be liable for upholding, the grant conditions document.
2. Organizations with open HumanitiesDC grants may still apply for a DCOHC partnership grant. Any oral history project supported through the DCOHC must be clearly distinct from a project already supported by an open HumanitiesDC grant.
3. The DCOHC funding opportunity supports a partnership between the Collaborative and the funded entity. The DCOHC will work with all funded projects, throughout the grant period, to ensure their use of best practices and to facilitate public communications efforts.
4. The DCOHC funding opportunity does not require a “Humanities Scholar” as a separate role. Applications may be strengthened if they show engagement by a humanities professional, but scholars working with the DCOHC will provide advice and support to every project.

How to Apply:
Click here to access HumanitiesDC’s online grants portal.
If you or your organization have applied for funding from HumanitiesDC in the past, please DO NOT create a new applicant profile. Use your organization’s existing login credentials. If you are not sure if you organization has an existing profile, please contact Jasper Collier at jcollier@wdchumanities.org or 202-387-8391.

Note that applicants to this opportunity are not required to represent a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. If you have an EIN number, please enter it in the appropriate field in the registration form. If you do not have an EIN number input 11-11111 as a placeholder.

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