LATROBE, PA – Humanities Programs of Saint Vincent College, part of the school of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, has received a $15,987 grant from PA Humanities as part of its $1.4 million recovery and growth program.
The initiative, called PA SHARP (Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan), provides flexible funding to strengthen and grow the humanities across the state. Grantees join the new PA SHARP Learning Network, a special statewide learning group that fosters resource sharing, networking, professional development and mutual support.
“The humanities are on the ground putting people first by making spaces for new voices, supporting meaningful learning experiences, and fostering healing and resiliency in communities of all sizes,” said Laurie Zierer, executive director of PA Humanities. “PA SHARP further strengthens this essential work through network building, financial support and reimagining the possibilities of the humanities across the state.”
The 92 recipients represent museums, historical societies, libraries, and other vital cultural institutions across Pennsylvania. Recipients were selected with an emphasis on equity and geographic diversity. Funds from PA SHARP aim to help address the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on the cultural sector by supporting creative programming, capacity building and general operations. In addition to funding, the PA SHARP Learning Network will build a statewide community of people passionate about creating inclusive, engaged communities that are ready to lead the statewide recovery alongside PA Humanities.
“We are thrilled to be able to partner with the PA SHARP Learning Network to strengthen and build our humanities programming and outreach at the College. In the past, students, especially those in the Public History program, have been able to use the McCarl Gallery to practice skills in exhibition planning, collections management, interpretation and writing for the public history sector. The pandemic severely limited that ability,” said Lauren Churilla, Curator of the McCarl Gallery and Director of Digital Humanities.
Churilla further explained the benefits of the grant to Saint Vincent students. “The PA SHARP project will allow students and others to explore new skills in digital presentation and oral history far beyond the hypothetical situations used in the past. They will be able to experience the power of public history and the McCarl Gallery to build bridges between the college and the community.”
The Saint Vincent College project will include the development of a podcast series, an oral history project, and both digital and physical exhibitions that engage artists, makers and external community members. Information on the upcoming project including a call for artists can be found at https://saintvincentarts.org/.
Funding for PA SHARP comes from PA Humanities’ federal partner, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Recognizing the financial realities of the pandemic and the vital importance of the humanities to economic and civic life, this legislation allocated to the NEH funds to “prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from the coronavirus.” Additional funding comes from Spring Point Partners to support 16 organizations that serve Philadelphia’s BIPOC and new immigrant communities. The full list of PA SHARP grantees is available at https://pahumanities.org/initiative/pa-sharp-recovery-and-growth-grants/.
PHOTO: Lauren Churilla