Greenwich Historical Society receives grant from Connecticut Humanities

Connecticut Humanities has announced that 10 nonprofit organizations will share more than $175,500 in grant money to support humanities-based programming across the state.

Connecticut Humanities distributes money, allocated by the Connecticut General Assembly, through a competitive, merit-based application process. In Fairfield County, Major Grants will support the planning phase of a Greenwich Historical Society exhibition featuring town residents Jane and Jim Henson, who created The Muppets, and a community engagement effort by the Westport Country Playhouse to provide audiences with a deeper understanding of a live theater production.

The Greenwich Historical Society will use a $7,007 grant from Connecticut Humanities to plan a 2017 exhibition that highlights the lives, relationship, and work of Greenwich residents Jane and Jim Henson. The Henson’s are most famous for creating The Muppets and the iconic television series Sesame Street. The exhibit sets out to explore how the Hensons used puppetry to stretch the boundaries of television as an educational medium and the impact that effort had on national education policy. The Historical Society is planning to have the exhibit on view from March 29 through October 8, 2017.

This month, the Westport Country Playhouse will use a $20,000 grant to fund an ambitious community engagement initiative around a production of Pulitzer Prize winner Ayad Akhtar’s timely and riveting play The Invisible Hand. The play juxtaposes the potent lures of both religion and money, and examines how power and greed can corrupt even those with the best of intentions. “Money, Power and Belief: Reflections on The Invisible Hand” will feature lectures, films, discussions and exhibits to encourage audience-goers to explore the work on stage, its relationship to their own lives, and its impact on the larger world.

The Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven and Shoreline Arts Alliance in Guilford also received grants in this round of funding aimed at helping audiences become more engaged with live theater.

The statewide dance organization, Connecticut Dance Alliance, in partnership with the Connecticut Historical Society, will use a $15,000 grant to develop the “CDA History Project: Dance in Connecticut.” The project aims to capture and share, through the art of photography and scholarly writing, a cultural and historical documentation of the rich and vibrant dance heritage in Connecticut. A portable touring exhibition, “Connecticut Dances: A Moving Journey,” is intended to reach new audiences while highlighting the significant impact dance has had on Connecticut’s cultural and artistic identity.

A $30,000 grant will be used to transform the visitor experience beyond the guided tour, from observation to self-discovery, at three Connecticut Landmarks (CTL) properties: the Joshua and Nathaniel Hempsted Houses in New London, the Butler-McCook House & Garden in Hartford, and the Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry. The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience will lead CTL staff in “Dialogue Training to Increase Visitor Engagement.” The training prepares and encourages staff to use dialogue rather than the guided tour as the primary means to interact with visitors.

Connecticut Humanities also awarded Major Grants to the Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Greater New Haven, Mystic Seaport, Goodwin College in East Hartford, and Klingberg Family Centers in New Britain. For more information, visit http://www.cthumanities.org.

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 http://www.cthumanities.org.

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