Bruce Museum among CT Humanities grant recipients

Funds support organizations in six communities, including Greenwich

Connecticut Humanities has announced that organizations in six communities will share more than $8,200 in grant money to support humanities-based programming. The money will help fund events ranging from a lecture series on American presidential elections to a discussion about a Connecticut man who was a little-known early father of baseball.

A $1,500 grant will support a free, three-part lecture and discussion series at Greenwich’s Bruce Museum. The series complements the museum’s exhibition, “And Still We Rise: Race, Culture and Visual Conversations,” exploring the intersection of art, culture, history and social justice. The first lecture, on February 29, will be given by a member of the Women of Color Quilter’s Network; the second, on March 7, will focus on the presence of African Symbols in Modern Art; and the third, on March 21, will explore the ways textile production allowed African American and white women to renegotiate their places in the social fabric of the United States during the Civil War.

The Litchfield Historical Society will use a $1,500 grant to host John Thorne, the official historian of Major League Baseball, on April 24. During a free event at 3 p.m., Thorne will discuss his recent book, “Baseball Garden of the Eden,” and specifically Louis Fenn Wadsworth, a Litchfield resident who was an early baseball pioneer. The lecture coincides with the opening of the historical society’s 2016 exhibition, “America’s Pastimes: Sports and Recreation in Litchfield.”

The Southington Library and Museum has received a $1,000 grant to fund a four-part, scholar-led book discussion series entitled, “The Path to the Presidency.” Participants in the program will read highly-acclaimed books about presidential elections to prepare for facilitated discussions led by Dr. Paul Petterson, chair of political science at Central Connecticut State University. Edward Larson’s “A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800” will be the subject of the first discussion, to be held March 14. Other books to be discussed include “1920: The Year of the Six Presidents” by David Pietrusza, on April 11; “The Making of the President 1960” by Theodore H. White on May 9; and “Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin and the Race of a Lifetime” by John Heileman and Mark Halperin, on May 23.

Other grants will support “Adams in Newtown: Presidential Memoralbilia,” a free exhibit from the Newtown Historical Society of items once belonging to John Adams and John Quincy Adams and their families, on display at the C.H. Booth Library from January 11 to 31;  “A Taste of Honey: A Night of Community Learning” featuring up to 20 speakers on Jewish issues on January 30 at the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven in Woodbridge; and a Black History Month panel discussion on literacy at the New Britain Museum of American Art on February 28. (See additional details on these three programs below.)

About Connecticut Humanities

Connecticut Humanities, a nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, funds, creates and collaborates on hundreds of cultural programs across Connecticut each year. It administers a competitive grant pool made possible by the Connecticut General Assembly. Visit


  • The Newtown Historical Society has received a $1,452 grant to present “Adams in Newtown: Presidential Memorabilia.” The exhibit will feature a recent acquisition of 52 objects that once belonged to John Adams and John Quincy Adams. The free exhibit at the library will run fromJanuary 11-31.
  • The Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven in Woodbridge received a $1,500 grant to support “A Taste of Honey: A Night of Community Learning” on January 30. The program will bring together speakers from throughout the Northeast to discuss Jewish-related issues around politics, health, science, spirituality, arts, culture, history, literature and more. There will be two featured speakers: Dr. Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman, from New York’s Hebrew Union College, who will present “Limits, Truth and Meaning: The Anxious Search for Meaning in our Time;” and Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer, who will lead a discussion entitled “On Jewish Leadership in a Time of Crisis.” Tickets are $12 for seniors and students; $18 for others.
  • The New Britain Museum of American Art will use a $1,250 grant to host its annual Black History Month Panel Discussion on February 28. Literacy is the theme of this year’s program, which will feature Darwin Shaw, New Britain High School teacher and author; Michael Peterson, New Britain’s first poet laureate; filmmaker Akintunde Sogunro; author Rory Edwards; and Lorna Little, executive director of the St. Agnes Home in West Hartford. Paulette Fox, executive director of the Opportunities Industrialization Center in New Britain will moderate.

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