Page 1

A publication of Mass Humanities

Spring 2014

The Plastic Documentarian: Our Work with Laurie Kahn Laurie Kahn is an adept storyteller whose extensive research and creative skills have enlivened many historical events through film. Her documentaries have reached millions worldwide and her most notable works were funded in part by Mass Humanities. Program Officer Hayley Wood captured some of Laurie’s thoughts about those films, which touch on such varied topics as plastic kitchenware and romance novels, and the films are as scholarly and mesmerizing as they are diverse. The inside page of a Tupperware brochure in the 1950s. Courtesy of the Smithsonian Archives Center, National Museum of American History On location in New Brunswick, Canada, filming A Midwife’s Tale

In This Issue Ghana: Journey to the Center of the World page 2

2013 Annual Report page 3

Recent Grants page 7

Mass History Conference page 7

Javier Corrales, Humanist page 8

An extended version of this interview can be read on our website:

Love Between the Covers and the Popular Romance Project Hayley Wood: The Popular Romance Project is a multi-platform media project that delves into the culture of the best-selling novels, largely written by and for women, that receive little scholarly attention despite their enormous popularity. Did you enter the project wanting it to be big and multifaceted, or is this level of multi-platform engagement now the price of doing business if one is seeking major funding?

Laurie Kahn: Filmmakers are expected to do much more now than they were in the past. Funders evaluate a project not only by the quality of the proposed film, and also by its potential reach. They want to see websites, Facebook pages, blogs, and Twitter numbers. A filmmaker is expected to begin building an audience while making his/her film. Not all, but many media projects also include other components: exhibits, speaking tours, library programs, etc. When I dreamt up the Popular Romance Project, I knew that the NEH was looking for multiplatform media projects, so I proposed a project that includes all that you described. I wanted the project to appeal to the huge community of romance readers and authors, and also to the growing community of scholars studying popular romance.

HW: When will Love Between the Covers be released? Do you have a broadcast agreement in place? LK: Love Between the Covers will premiere February 10, 2015, with a gala on the opening night of the Popular Romance Project conference at the Library of Congress. I’ve also been talking with various broadcasters, at PBS and overseas. There’s a lot of interest in the film.

A Midwife’s Tale HW: Can you tell me something about what inspired you to create a film based on Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s scholarly annotated version of Martha Ballard’s diary and how you reached out to Ulrich and gained her essential support? LK: When I read the book, I was blown away by the power of the writing and the painstaking work Laurel had done to piece together the life and world of Martha Ballard. Each chapter begins with a segment of the diary that is both intriguing and opaque. Laurel then invites us into her process, investigating hundreds of sources, slowly showing us how to read between the lines of the diary and imagine what was happening in Martha’s life and town. I wanted to capture that process and allow my audience to see how the past is pieced together from the fragments that are left behind. I imagined a documentary that would gradually turn into a drama as Laurel made discoveries and educated guesses about the past. When Laurel and I first met, she was intrigued by the idea (initially, however, she was sure her research Continued on page 2

Ghana: Journey to the Center of the World Ghana has a stable democracy, booming economy, and a dynamic culture, all set in a gorgeous coastal geography. Our Traveling Humanities Seminar departs for Ghana this October with Program Officer Rose Sackey-Milligan at the helm.

The center of the world is in West Africa. Actually, it is a few hundred miles offshore in the Gulf of Guinea, but Ghana boasts the closest proximity to the notional center, where the equator and the prime meridian intersect. Travelers will leave for Ghana prepared for rich cultural exchanges. Our program will include a pre-departure meeting with a humanities scholar with expertise in Ghanaian history. Ghanaians mark their heritage and history every six weeks with the Akwasidae Festival. The spectacular rites are performed in traditional regalia to honor Akan ancestors and the Asantehene (King of the Asante Kingdom). The festival

takes place in Kumasi and will be a major highlight of the trip, which includes two other destinations, Cape Coast and the capital city of Accra.

Ghanaians honor their heritage with the Akwasidae Festival, a highlight of our upcoming Traveling Humanities Seminar this October.

Join us and experience in-depth intellectual immersion in Ghana’s politics, history, and culture. Through people-to-people cultural exchanges with your hosts—including historians, artists, musicians, university faculty, religious leaders, and non-governmental organizations—you will have a full-access pass and experience Ghana like no other trip can offer.

MASS HUMANITIES 66 Bridge Street Northampton, MA 01060 tel (413) 584-8440 fax (413) 584-8454 STAFF


Register online at Pleun Bouricius ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Carolyn Cushing

Continued from page 1

process would be boring to watch!). I think my interest in her process and my dedication to getting it right won her over, and Laurel became an essential collaborator at every stage in the making of the film. HW: You yourself are an expeLaurel Thatcher Ulrich rienced researcher; does your will present the keynote address at the June 2nd methodology as a researcher Mass History Conference. for films differ greatly from the See p. 7 for details. work of academic historians? LK: Many of the questions I’m asking are different. My end product is not a book, but a film made up of images and sounds. So I need to know all kinds of details that historians don’t need to know. For example: What did Martha’s accent sound like? Would she ask the ill minister to unbutton his shirt when she’s called to his house? Was the Ballard house messy or neat? I spent a lot of time researching visual images, music, material culture, and the details of daily life.

Tupperware! HW: What inspired you to create a film on the history of Tupperware? LK: Being on the set of A Midwife’s Tale made me realize how much stuff we have. A middle income family with seven kids in 18th century Maine might live in a three room house with one table, six chairs and some bedding. Walking into my own house, I felt overwhelmed. And I realized that the overabundance of stuff in our lives has a lot to do with plastics that are in our belongings. So I decided to make a series 2


of films about the 20th century by looking at the history of plastic, its creators, and the social and cultural impact of plastic. I got a fellowship at the Lemelson Center at the Smithsonian and dove into their many remarkable plastics collections. That’s where I discovered the story of Earl Tupper and Brownie Wise. Deepika Fernandes FISCAL OFFICER David Morgan COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER EDITOR OF MASS HUMANITIES Anne Rogers

HW: How has the work of independent documentary filmmakers evolved in the last twenty years? Is the support of state humanities councils perceived as essential to the filmmaking community?


LK: Technology has changed the film business profoundly. Everything is digital now. New cameras and software come out at a pace that’s dizzying. So you’ve got to be learning new things constantly. In addition, the internet has fundamentally changed the business. Everyone can make moving images now. And everyone can upload their work onto the internet. So it’s harder to stand out in such a crowded field. More people are applying for grants. And everyone is expected to do more work; you’ve got to keep your social network buzzing while you are making your film. But a few things haven’t changed. Good storytelling matters. And getting seed money at the beginning of a project can launch a film that might otherwise have died. The support of state humanities councils is essential and very much appreciated by the entire film community.

AND COMMUNICATIONS Jeannemarie Tobin DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANT Melissa Wheaton ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT AND GRANTS ADMINISTRATOR Hayley Wood SENIOR PROGRAM OFFICER Mass Humanities promotes the use of history, literature, philosophy, and the other humanities disciplines to deepen our understanding of the issues of the day, strengthen our sense of common purpose, and enrich individual and community life. We take the humanities out of the classroom and into the community. Mass Humanities, a private, nonprofit, educational organization, receives funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities; the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency; and private sources.

Annual Report

2013 Program Updates FROM THE DIRECTOR

The Clemente Course

Jack Cheng, Academic Director of the Dorchester Clemente Course in the Humanities, recently contacted graduates of the program to announce an upcoming College Fair organized by the Codman Square Health Center, the host agency for Clemente in Dorchester. He forwarded to me this reply: When I graduated from the Clemente Course in the Humanities in 2004, I went on to finish my associate’s degree at Quincy College. After that, I went to UMass Boston for a few semesters and then transferred to Boston University where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in May of 2013. The road was very bumpy, but with perseverance, anything is possible. Where there is a will, there is definitely a way. It was the Clemente Course that showed me that anything is possible. I learned a lot of useful things that definitely came in handy later in my schooling. I went into the course thinking that I couldn’t finish the program, but I stuck to it even when I got discouraged. I could remember the team of teachers at the Clemente Course was great and very supportive. They are the reason I stuck it out. —Martha P. Stories like Martha’s are common among the more than 450 low-income adults who have completed the Clemente Course and this is the reason I am so pleased with the progress the Clemente Course has made over the past year—opening a new site in Brockton last fall and putting the pieces in place to re-launch the program in Worcester this fall (where it was offered for three years back in the early 2000s). Neither program would be possible without the enthusiasm and commitment of a city-wide coalition of individual and institutional partners—led in Brockton by Stonehill College and Community Connections/United Way of Brockton and in Worcester by Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Worcester Interfaith—who see the value in offering this unique educational opportunity to their least advantaged neighbors. Underlying the Clemente Course is the conviction that the knowledge and skills that come from the study of the humanities are essential for taking full control of our lives and becoming more enlightened and engaged members of our communities. Thus both philosophically and practically, the Clemente Course in the Humanities is a tangible expression of Mass Humanities’ soon to be announced thematic initiative for 2014 and beyond, Negotiating the Social Contract. Our new theme, which will be formally announced in the spring of 2014, will ask us to consider what we owe each other as members of a common enterprise—this fragile and unique experiment we call our democracy—and why. By bringing the resources of the humanities to bear and engaging the public in open dialogue on these vital questions, we hope to promote a clearer understanding of and commitment to our common weal. I hope you will take advantage of the opportunities provided to participate in this important conversation.  

The Clemente Course offers students from disadvantaged backgrounds tuition-free college level instruction. The students study art history, literature, moral philosophy, writing, and more. Thirty graduates earned transferable college credits through their participation in the Course in 2013.

Family Adventures in Reading (FAIR) FAIR puts outstanding children’s literature on character-building themes into public 10 libraries across the Commonwealth. During FAIR sessions, professional storytellers read aloud to kids and their caretakers. The program introduces kids to the library system, promotes literacy, and doubles participants’ library use.

Literature & Medicine Literature & Medicine: Humanities at the Heart of Health Care™ allows medical professionals to reflect on their work through the power of literature. Lit & Med reached 146 doctors, nurses, and hospital staffers across seven locations in 2013.

The Public Humanist Our collaborative website with the Valley Advocate, the Public Humanist, continues to be a strong means of inviting a deeper level of participation and communication. The dozens of writers—grantees, board members, Mass Humanities staff, scholars and other guests—draw thousands of readers each month to rich discussions of public policy.

Massachusetts History Throngs turned out to our annual public readings of Frederick Douglass’s speech, “The Meaning of the Fourth of July for the Negro,” and hundreds attended our Mass History Conference on our state mythology. Our ever-popular almanac of state milestones and curiosities, Mass Moments, thundered forward with 4,422 daily subscribers.


2013 Grantees

This year, Mass Humanities engaged new audiences through such diverse organizations as massmouth to empower and high school students through public speaking (left), and through theme-driven projects like the professional development sessions for teachers hosted by the Center for Nonviolent Solutions (far left).

The Mass Humanities board approved a total of $292,595 for 49 different grants for 2013. These grants will reach 35 communities in the Commonwealth.


Connecticut Valley

$9,980 to WAM Theatre in Lee to involve local young women in the production of a play about the life of Émilie de Breteuil, a French enlightenment scientist/philosopher ENA

$8,000 to The Literacy Project in Greenfield for Poetry Lifts Literacy at the Greenfield Annual Word Festival ENA

$5,000 to the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers in Great Barrington

Cape & Islands

$5,000 to the Nantucket Historical Association for New Voices: Nantucket’s Diverse Immigrant Population ENA $1,500 to the Aquinnah Cultural Center for the Helen V. Manning Archive Inventory Project RIG $5,000 to the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown to provide honoraria for visiting authors and transportation $500 to Sturgis Library in Barnstable for the Odd Couples: Literary Feuds, Friendships and Falling-outs reading group $500 to Sturgis Library in Barnstable for the Point A to Point B: The Literature of Traveling and Transformation reading group


$10,000 to Fitchburg State University for Farenheit 451: “If I had to Choose...” and “Who Gets to Choose...” CCCC $1,500 to the Hassanamisco Indian Museum in Grafton to digitize and exhibit the collection’s photos RIG $5,000 to New England Archivists in Worcester for an oral history project about local immigration

$10,000 to the Veterans Education Project in Deerfield for Unlearning the Language of Violence

$2,000 to the Northampton Academy of Music to support The Mildred Files $5,000 to Country Dance and Song Society in Easthampton for A Legacy of Rural Music, People and Place $2,000 for the Amherst Survival Center for Music for the Soul: Building Community Through Musical Diversity $9,566 to the Sojourner Truth Memorial Statue Committee in Florence for the Sojourner Truth and 19th Century Florence student walking tour ENA $5,000 to Paris Press in Ashfield for Writing and Reading Through Illness $5,000 to the Library of American Landscape History in Amherst for “Community by Design: The Olmsted Firm and the Development of Brookline” $5,000 to Historic Northampton for three historic markers about local history of slavery and abolition $5,000 to the Amherst Cinema Arts Center, Inc. for a film program for third graders

$10,000 to the Center for Nonviolent Solutions in Worcester for its professional development course for teachers CCCC

$7,500 to the Museum of Contemporary Art at UMass Amherst for Springfield-based programs featuring artists whose new work about the vision of W.E.B. Du Bois will be exhibited at the museum ENA

$5,000 to the Worcester Center for Craft to mount an exhibit and programs exploring the history and culture of Carnival in eight communities in Europe and the Americas

$1,000 to Forbes Library in Northampton for the Time Enough reading group

$10,000 media pre-production grant to ValleyCAST in Whitinsville for a script and trailer for a documentary about the Whitin family’s mills in Whitinsville, MA and the employees in this company town

Greater Boston

$10,000 to The Tracing Center on Histories and Legacies of Slavery in Watertown “I Have a Dream”: Public Dialogues on the Unfinished Business of Emancipation & Civil Rights CCCC

$5,000 to Friends of the Public Garden (FPG) in Boston for Making History on the Commons $25,000 to Central Square Theater in Cambridge for Roots of Liberty: The Haitian Revolution and the American Civil War P2 $10,000 to massmouth in Boston for StoriesLive III ENA $5,000 to the Boston Book Festival to bring authors of national repute to the Copley Fair festival for three days of varied programs with multiple literary collaborators $3,849 to the USS Constitution Museum in Boston to develop a video installation about how Old Ironsides was built by skilled boatwrights, focusing on the all important axe $5,000 to the Bostonian Society in support of French-Canadian historical re-enactors taking part in a public commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the treaty that ended the French and Indian Wars $5,000 to the Paul Revere Memorial Association in Boston for the design and fabrication of a display about the varied career and entrepreneurship of Paul Revere $10,000 media pre-production grant to The Mirror of Race Project in Auburndale to support a script and trailer for a documentary film about meaning of race in America $10,000 to the Trotter Institute in Boston for a series of six staged readings of plays from August Wilson’s ten-play cycle about the lives of African Americans in the decades of the twentieth century CCCC $5,000 to the Drinking Gourd Project in Concord to plan the core exhibit for the Robbins House, a home built by the son of slavery survivor and Revolutionary War veteran Caesar Robbins in the early 1800s $5,000 to the Filmmakers Collaborative in Waltham for an on-line exhibit and archive of images, film clips and sound files related to the early years of WBCN FM in Boston and protest movements on Boston Common

Metrowest Boston

$5,000 to the Framingham History Center for a Civil War Teacher Training Workshop $5,000 to The Lexington Historical Society to fund the Buckman Tavern Self-Guided Audio Tour $5,000 to the Royall House and Slave Quarters in Medford for youth programs tied to the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks $1,200 to Filmmakers Collaborative in Waltham for a conference panel of documentary filmmakers


$3,000 to the Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust, Inc. to research and document the land use history of Hawk Valley Farm $5,000 to Merrimack College in Lawrence for Harvest of Voices Cuentos de Lawrence $10,000 to the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester for CAM Connections ENA $1,500 to the Lowell History Society to archive the city’s Division of Planning and Development Collection, including photographs and handwritten field-notes from the 1970s onward RIG $1,000 to the University of Massachusetts Lowell for the Jack Kerouac Reading and Discussion Series


$3,000 to the Westport Historical Society to research the life of Elizabeth Cadman White SIR $10,000 to the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts in New Bedford for “Art in Words” ENA

Out of State

$10,000 to WAMC Northeast Public Radio in Albany, NY, to produce three one-hour radio segments taking a look at civility (and the lack thereof) in public discourse CCCC   Several of the grants fall under special categories:  CCC: Crisis, Community, and Civic Culture C ENA: Engaging New Audiences RIG: Research Inventory grant SIR: Scholarship-in-Residence grant P2: Public Squared grant

2013 Financials




Current Assets

Current Liabilities

Cash Grants receivable Other accounts receivable Prepaid expenses Pledges receivable - within one year

1,243,270 33,700 1,000 24,325 8,754

Total Current Assets



Nancy Netzer

Regrants payable Accounts payable Deferred revenue Accrued expenses

99,474 18,200 64,100 51,574

Total Current Liabilities and Total Liabilities


Net Assets

Capital Assets–At Cost

Leasehold improvements Equipment Computer software Vehicle Less - accumulated depreciation

32,032 11,430 7,910 12,498 63,870 (44,341)

Total Capital Assets


Unrestricted Unrestricted–board designated Temporarily restricted Permanently restricted Total Net Assets

Investments Cash – endowment – donor designated – board designated Pledges receivable – within one year – after one year

559,091 104,189 567,128 1,044,180



Other Assets


9,753 788,890 104,189 100,113 174,413

Total Other Assets




Ben Birnbaum


James Burke CLERK

G. Perry Wu jessie little doe baird Ellen Berkman Kathryn Bloom Javier Corrales Elliot Bostwick Davis Alfred Griggs Ronald Hertel Leila Kinney Lucia Knoles James Lopes Jeffrey Musman Sonia Nieto Robert Pura Thomas Putnam Lisa Simmons John Stauffer Kathleen Stone Kenneth Vacovec Suzanne Frazier Wilkins


Foundations 3%

Federal 54%

Corporations 2%

Individuals 9%

State 31%

Revenue: $1,383,635

Other organizations 1%

Interest <1%

Grants and Programs 65%

Fundraising 18%

Expenses: $1,487,751

Administration 17%

Johanna Branson David Bryant Bruce Bullen John Burgess John Dacey Ellen Dunlap David Harris Susan Leff Ingrid MacGillis Cullen Murphy Martin Newhouse Michael Pappone John Regan Laura Roberts Susan Roberts Ingrid Stadler Robert Strassler Cynthia Terwilliger Thomas Trimarco

The Inspire Campaign to establish the

Fund for New Communities and meet the NEH Challenge by July 2016 Pledges and payments as of March 2014 $250,000+ National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant: up to $425,000 To be matched by $1,275,000 from other sources $100,000+ John Burgess and Nancy Adams Commonwealth of Massachusetts The Patterson Historical Fund

$25,000+ Jean Beard James and Laura Burke Ronald and Colleen Hertel $10,000+ Anonymous Lisa Baskin Ellen Berkman and David Bryant Dianne F. and Paul Doherty Alfred and Sally Griggs Susan and Drew Leff Jeffrey Musman and Lynne Spencer John and Joan Regan Laura Roberts William Schawbel

John Stauffer Kenneth and Linda Vacovec Perry Wu Up to $9,999 Sanford and Elizabeth Belden Ben and Diane Birnbaum Kathryn Bloom Pleun Bouricius Bruce Bullen and Maria Krokidas John Carroll Richard and Wendy Cohen Javier Corrales John and Marie Dacey Elliot Bostwick Davis Leila Kinney Lucia and Thomas Knoles

Susan Mikula and Rachel Maddow Cullen and Anna Marie Murphy Sonia and Angel Nieto Michael Pappone and Diane Savitzky Kathleen Stone and Andrew Grainger Lisbeth Tarlow David Tebaldi Cynthia Terwilliger


2013 Contributors Public Sources

National Endowment for the Humanities: $743,350 Massachusetts Cultural Council: $407,740 University of Massachusetts Dartmouth: $17,500

Private Sources

$10,000+ The George I. Alden Trust Clipper Ship Foundation Richard K. Donahue, in honor of Kenneth R. Feinberg Paul & Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation, in honor of Kenneth R. Feinberg $5,000+ Elizabeth Bacon Trust The Beveridge Family Foundation John Burgess and Nancy Adams Jill K. Conway, in honor of Kenneth R. Feinberg Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation Kenneth R. Feinberg Goodwin Procter LLP Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP Edward J. Hoff, in honor of Kenneth R. Feinberg John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance, in honor of Kenneth R. Feinberg John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, in honor of Kenneth R. Feinberg Mauna Kea Fund of Fidelity Charitable Raytheon Company, in honor of Kenneth R. Feinberg Vacovec, Mayotte & Singer, LLP Vila B. Webber 1985 Charitable Trust Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP $2,500+ Anonymous Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Boston Private Bank & Trust Company James R. Burke Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts John and Marie Dacey

Educational Travel Alliance, Inc. Robert Epstein, in honor of Kenneth R. Feinberg Alfred and Sally Griggs Ronald and Colleen Hertel Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, in honor of Kenneth R. Feinberg Lindsey C. Kiang and Anne-Marie Souilliere Jeffrey Musman and Lynne Spencer P.V. Securities Corp. Robert E. Riley, in honor of Kenneth R. Feinberg Gerald and Elaine Schuster Charitable Foundation, in honor of Kenneth R. Feinberg SER Family Charitable, in honor of Kenneth R. Feinberg Seyfarth Shaw LLP Cynthia Terwilliger David Weinstein, in honor of Kenneth R. Feinberg $1,000+ Anonymous Elizabeth and John Armstrong The Susan A. and Donald P. Babson Charitable Foundation The Barrington Foundation, Inc. Susan J. Bennett The Marshall and Deborah Berkman Family Charitable Trust The Berkman-Bryant Family Fund Ben and Diane Birnbaum Linda Cabot Black Foundation Linda C. Black Kathryn R. Bloom Charitable Trust, in memory of Frances S. Bloom Johanna Branson and Jonathan Gill John J. Carroll and Fran Lipson Margaret H. Child, in honor of Kenneth R. Feinberg and Thomas Putnam Wendy and Richard Cohen Andrew Helene Hertel Family Fund Polly and Charles Longsworth Frank and Julie Mairano The Martin Agency

Unrestricted and temporarily restricted donations

Thomas P. and Michelle A. McCarthy Susan Mikula and Rachel Maddow Cullen and Anna Marie Murphy Irwin Oppenheim and Bernice Buresh Jerrold N. Oppenheim and Theo E. MacGregor Michael Pappone and Diane Savitsky Daphne Petri and Paul Schwartz William and Laura Shea John Stauffer and Deborah Cunningham Kathleen C. Stone and Andrew Grainger Kate and Phillipe Villers WB Mason Co. G. Perry Wu and Grace Kao $250+ Charles and Rita Alesi Anonymous (2) Joyce and Steve Antler Elizabeth and Ned Bacon Bank of America Charitable Foundation Ellen Berkman and David Bryant Kathryn R. Bloom Pleun Bouricius Anne Bowie Margaret Burchenal Ruth Butler Rhonda CobhamSander Lauren E. and Ian Cohen Andrew Cohn and Marcia Leavitt Javier Corrales Vishakha N. Desai Dianne F. and Paul S. Doherty Robert S. Donaldson and Judy G. Ober Ms. Ellen Dunlap and Mr. Frank Armstrong Barbara Filo Jayne Gordon Gary and Kathleen Krueger Goshgarian John E. Hill Kim Ho Carolee N. Howell Paul F. Kelly and Kathleen M. Bodie Leila W. Kinney and Paul Summit Lucia and Thomas Knoles Lyda Kuth James J. Lopes Catherine Lugar Michael and Judy Manzo

Madelaine and Roberto Marquez Martha Mayo Robert Meagher and Elizabeth Neave Anne R. Meyers John T. and Kristin L. Montgomery Onawumi J. Moss Sally Murphy The Niedowski Family Charitable Gift Fund Sonia and Angel Nieto Bill Nigreen/Kathleen McDermott Fund Stephen Nissenbaum Murray and Grace Nissman Foundation Steven and Lee Paul Phyllis Perkins Phelps Industries Charitable Foundation Piedmont Foundation Gail T. Randall Regan Family Fund Susan M. Roberts Roberts-Belove Fund Dolores Root Grannum Sant The Paul Schwartz and Daphne Petri Charitable Fund James Shorris and Cindy Hyatt John Sieracki Lisa Simmons David E. Stein and Elizabeth March, in honor of Leila Kinney Deborah L. Visser Suzanne F. and Richard M. Wilkins Margaret A. Wiseman $100+ Michele Aldrich Lawrence Ambs Anonymous (5) Ellen Anstey Christian and Katherine Appy Mr. and Ms. James Barnhill Richard J. and Mary A. Barry Arthur Berger and Roseanne MacDonald Leonard and Jane Bernstein Anne Borg Jane Bowers Christine and David Burbank, in honor of Ingrid MacGillis Carl Carlsen Citizens Bank Foundation Nancy Cook Nancy F. Cott Ron and Sandy Couture Wendy Covell and Benjamin Jaramillo Margaret Dale Carolyn Davies Robin and Jan Dizard

David L. and Marian C. Entin Allen W. Fletcher and Dolly Vasquez Florentine Films/Hott Productions, Inc. Karen Gavel John Gawoski Stephen and Linda Greyser Fund Susan Haff Charlie Harak and Eliza Mallouk David J. Harris and Janet Walton Sally Haslanger Lucile P. and William Hicks Dianne and David Hoaglin Rob and Mary Kahn Robert Karam Alexa and Ranch Kimball Fund Gail L. Kitch Barbara C. and Roger Kohin Wendy Lement G Ramsay and Joan Liem Yu-Lan Lin Ann Lisi and Joel Greene Janice Litwin and Alan Wichlei Bradshaw and Paula Lupton Ingrid S. and Donald MacGillis Albert Malo and Jeanne Butler Barbara Mathews William S. and Mary D. McFeely Roger C. and Carol B. McNeill Ellen Messer James D. Moran Cecily O. and Alan Morse James Nasman Jim O’Brien Peter S. and Trudy O’Connell Livingston Parsons and Mandeliene Smith Stuart Peterfreund Dale and Lorna Peterson, in honor of Sonia Nieto Thomas Putnam and Phyllis Wentworth Quinn & Morris, PC Alan and Charlotte Raymond Gail T. and Joseph Reimer Larry Rosenberg William Schawbel Senior Family Fund Darryl Settles Joe N. Short Ellen M. Smith Carl Soderland Peggy and David Starr Susan Steele Patricia Suhrcke Allen Swartz William and Caroline Toner

Alden T. and Virginia Vaughan Rosamond Vaule William D. Wallace Faith D. and Robert C. White Pamela Yameen Up to $99 Barbara Allen Judy Anderson Russell Annis Anonymous (3) Nancy Atwood Maud and Adrian Ayson Reginald Bacon William Bailey Hosea Baskin Jeannette Bastian David Berkowitz Susan Bernardy, in honor of Nancy Burstein Winfred Bernhard Janet Beyer David Blackburn Michelle Blees Lucy R. Boyle Robert Briere Sarah Burks Katherine Campbell Justyna M. Carlson Nicole B. Casper Eunice Charles Edie Cheng Liz Clayton Gilmore Cooke Pat Costello Carolyn Cushing Annie Davis Robert T. Derry Melanie Deware John Drabinski Abaigeal Duda Sally Ebeling Kendra Edmonds Judy Farrar Libby Feil Brian Flaherty Frank Flowers Anne Forbes Pamela Fox Bonnie French, in honor of Ron Hertel Mary Fuhrer Roger Fuller David Glassberg Elizabeth Goodman Eric Granowitz Carol H. Green Jonathan Green Steven Greenberg Russell Greve Marjorie Gustafson Marie E. Hall Elizabeth Harlow Rita Hashem Elna Headberg Karen Herbaugh Barbara Hill Ann H. Himmelberger Holbrook Historical Society James Hollister Wilfred Holton Robert Honig Cynthia Hope Juliet Jacobson Alice L. Johnson Jessica Johnson

Mary Ann Johnson Laurie Kahn R. Marc Kantrowitz Marianne Kantrowitz Gary Katzmann Margen Kelsey Marie King Sheila Kirschbaum Barbara Kleeman Brian J. Konish, in honor of Ron Hertel Kenneth Kudisch Deirdre Kutt Bruce Laurie Leslie Lawrence Brian C. LeMay Ken Liss Priscilla Little Charles Lotspeich Larry Lowenthal Joanne M. Lukitsh Karen Lynch Douglas Maitland Donna McDaniel Heli Meltsner Marla Miller Linda Morse Eva S. Moseley Larissa Murray Stephen Nathanson Paul Nevins Grace G. Newcomer Marion Niedowski, in honor of Ron Hertel Gale Nigrosh Walter O’Connor James M. O’Hare John O’Reilly Nancy Orlando Brooke Orr Alyssa Pacy Joyce S. Pendery James Perry Dorothy Piranian Florence Preisler Colleen Previte Jennifer Pustz Christine Reynolds Anne Rogers Janice Rogovin Alexandra Rollins Gloria D. Rosal John T. Ryan Neal Salisbury Eric Sawyer John W. Sears Meaghan Siekman Gracelaw Simmons Alison Sneider Darwin Stapleton Donna Stapleton Donald Stern Ellen Story Alyson Therrien Jennifer Thorn Nancy Tobin Polly Traina Luis Trevino Jane Trigere Laura Walters Ron Welburn Leslie M. Welch Melissa Westlake Hayley Wood Conrad E. Wright Arthur and Ann Young Karen Yourell Susan Zeiger Ellen Zellner  


Recent Grants

Ben Birnbaum VICE CHAIR

Nancy Netzer TREASURER

James Burke CLERK

G. Perry Wu jessie little doe baird Ellen Berkman Kathryn Bloom Lauren Cohen Javier Corrales Elliot Bostwick Davis Alfred Griggs Andrew Helene Ronald Hertel



$9,707 to the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library to develop and implement a multi-lingual exhibit of census-based maps of Boston telling the story of recent immigration in the city ENA

$10,000 to the Worcester Historical Museum to plan a county-wide reenactment of the events of September, 1774, when the local British government was overthrown by weaponless militiamen

$10,000 to Theatre Espresso to create multi-lingual playbills for the company’s Road to Tolerance cycle of five plays, to be presented to Boston Public School students ENA

Connecticut Valley

Lindsey Kiang Leila Kinney Lucia Knoles James Lopes Jeffrey Musman Robert Pura Thomas Putnam

$10,000 to the Museum of African American History to create, run, and evaluate two four-day summer institutes for 60 Boston-area teachers. The institutes are loosely organized around the theme of women in African American history. ENA

Bianca Sigh Lisa Simmons John Stauffer Kathleen Stone Kenneth Vacovec Suzanne Frazier Wilkins

$4,900 to the American Islamic Congress to supply the Boston Muslim Film Festival with speakers, scholars, and publicity materials for its seventh annual presentation

The Boston Muslim Film Festival screens Wadjda, the first film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia and the first feature made by a female Saudi director.

$5,000 to the Northampton Academy of Music for the production of a new, original play, The Mildred Files about a scandal involving the Academy’s past interim director. The performance is part of the Academy’s Women’s Work Initiative, a multiyear series of events and productions focused on women in the performing arts. ENA $10,000 to Straight Ahead Pictures for an online exhibit and curriculum unit to be developed within the existing Disability History Museum website using the story of Anne Sullivan (Helen Keller’s famous teacher and Agawam, MA, resident) to tell the story of disability rights and poverty advocacy CCCC

Piti Theatre Company’s Jon Mirin will join elementary school kids in jointly recreating the stories of child workers in the Griswoldville factories.

$10,000 to the Center for Independent Documentary to support the development of the film Seams, a poetic oral history of women’s experiences of the conflict between Britain and Ireland


Mass History Conference is Never Done! At the tenth annual Mass History Conference we will welcome the many small historical organizations that preserve, interpret, and deepen the exploration of Massachusetts history. This anniversary conference is titled Never Done: Interpreting the History of Women at Work in Massachusetts and noted Harvard scholar Laurel Thatcher Ulrich will give the keynote. The stories of lesser-known women change-makers get lost in the larger narrative of industry, politics, and conflict, but the timing is right for an examination of their tales of great and compelling variety, of lives lived with courage and determination. The conference is widely celebrated as the best networking and skill-sharing opportunity for historians of our state culture. We will convene on June 2nd, 2014, at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester. Registration is now open online at

$5,000 to the Tsongas Industrial History Center at UMass Lowell to produce a short film about historical discrimination against the Irish in Lowell. Lowell’s “Irish Problem”: The Town Vote to Fund a School for the Irish will be incorporated into fourth grade curricula.

Southeast $5,000 to the Hull Lifesaving Museum to produce and install outdoor signage to help visitors interpret the history of the precarious entrance to Boston Harbor as viewed from Stony Beach in Hull, including the stories of pilots, lifesavers, lighthouse keepers and more

Out of State $10,000 to the Community Media Productions Group for pre-production of a one hour television documentary on the untold story of women clerical workers organizing for pay equity, advancement, and recognition$4,150 to Fractured Atlas for a residency to produce the local history theatre piece Mill, Mountain, River: A Child’s Eye View of Olde Colraine alongside third and fourth graders in Colrain, MA. The play tells the story of child workers in the Griswoldville factories and will be produced over two weeks and presented publicly as well as to the school community.

Several of the grants fall under special categories:  CCC: Crisis, Community, and Civic Culture C ENA: Engaging New Audiences


Non-profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Permit #1528 Spfld, MA

66 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060

“The most exciting aspect of Mass Humanities to me is that we work with,


and bring together, people from all walks of life. From lawyers to nurses


to children, our constituents encompass the whole diversity of our


state. I started giving a gift each month because it was easy and felt right. I love supporting work that not only helps address financial need, which is great, but also intellectual need. This is what makes Mass Humanities doubly special.”

Become a monthly supporter of Mass Humanities and sustain our work all year long. A gift of $10, $25, or $40 given each month adds up to a significant support for bringing excellent public humanities programs to the people of Massachusetts. Learn more at or be in touch with Carolyn Cushing, Associate Director of Development, at 413-584-8440, ext 107 with your questions.

—Javier Corrales

Mass Humanities Spring 2014 edition  
Mass Humanities Spring 2014 edition