In 2013, the UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere (CHPS) launched its new grants for Programs in the Public Humanities. The Public Humanities grant opportunity, supported by the CHPS Rothman Endowment, encourages and enhances collaboration between the University of Florida and individuals, groups, and organizations in the community by offering grants up to $3,000 to support public programs rooted in one or more of the humanities disciplines. By drawing on expertise from UF and community partners as co-applicants, these public humanities projects create new and exciting opportunities for collaboration between the university and multiple community organizations. Furthermore, these projects encourage community building, cultural understanding, and personal reflection on the values and experiences that connect us together as neighbors, colleagues, and community members to create a civil and morally responsible society. Through projects like these, the Center for Humanities and the Public Sphere seeks to promote broad civic engagement with the communities in which we live and teach.
Gainesville Underground Theatre Festival
Matthew Bratko (Acting), Natasha Home (GUTFest), Tyler Francischine (Health), and Dominic Henry (GUTFest)
The Gainesville Under Ground Theatre Festival is an exploration of identity, history, philosophy, and language via a plethora of live mediums such as dance, theatre, music, installations, film screenings, literary readings, panel discussions and workshops. The festival aims to spark dialogues about what it means to exist in this city, culture, society and time by bringing performers and audiences together into artistic hubs of expression.
Tide: Seahorse Key
Marine Laboratory Oral
Val Leitner (Oral History Consultant) and UF Collaborator
In partnership with the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, oral histories and archival documents associated the Seahorse Key Marine Lab will be conducted and preserved. The project seeks to integrate the history of Seahorse Key into the local history of Cedar Key. The public will be able to view materials at several open house events and through the project’s social media presence.
The Seed Cabinet
Katerie Gladdys (Art and Art History), Anna Prizzia (UF Food Systems Coordinator), and Peggy Macdonald (Matheson History Museum)
In partnership with the Matheson History Museum, the Seed Cabinet – a movable public exhibit – will be on display across the north central Florida region from September to May 2017. The Seed Cabinet is interactive exhibit combining history, photographs, video, and physical seeds which seeks to inspire a personal connection to local agriculture.
Who Started the Beef?
Gabrielle Bynam (Hippodrome Theatre), Jeffery Pufahl (Center for the Arts and Medicine), and David Ballard (Gainesville Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs Department)
In partnership with the Hippodrome Theatre and the Gainesville Parks, Recreation, and Culture Department, twenty-five students from underserved areas of Gainesville will participate in a two-week theatre intensive (June 25th - August 8th) based on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. Students will study and analyze the play, as well as perform a 30-minute version in several venues across Gainesville. The goal for the intensive is to train students in alternatives to violence through artistic mediation.
Refugees in Film
Esther Romeyn (Center for European Studies) and Richard Macmaster (Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice)
In collaboration with the Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice, Refugees in Film – a four part film series showcased in the Hippodrome Theatre – will examine the historical, representational, and political issues swirling around the current European refugee crisis. The series seeks to place the current crisis in a wider context and highlight the importance of interdisciplinary humanistic thinking on contemporary social problems.
River of Life, River of Dreams: Springs, Fish Camps, and Old Florida Environmentalism along the St. Johns River
Prof. Whitney Sanford (Religion) and Peggy Macdonald (Matheson History Museum)
In partnership with the Matheson History Museum, River of Life, River of Dreams – a public exhibit hosted by the Matheson – will explore the complex relationships between the St. Johns River and those who depend on it. The exhibit will initiate discussions about the health of the St. Johns by placing contemporary environmental challenges in historical and cultural context.
UF Department of English (Randi Gill-Sadler) and N'kwanda Jah (Cultural Arts Coalition)
In partnership with the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program and the Cone Park Library, a public exhibit took place celebrating and informing the Gainesville community about the history and cultural importance of the Juneteenth/Emancipation Day holidays. Both days commemorate the end of slavery after the Civil War in 1865 and with the assistance of a Public Humanities Grant the exhibit explored the history of these holidays in Florida and how they are remembered by local African-American communities in Gainesville. (Exhibition dates: June 1, 2015- June 2oth, 2015)
Creative Writing Across Cultures
Department of Urban/Regional Planning (Ferdinand Lewis) and Prayers by Faith Ministries (Pastor Gerard Duncan)
In partnership with the Gainesville Department of Parks and Recreation, a three-day workshop took place to train five teachers from the Gainesville and University of Florida communities in cultural competencies for teaching creative writing to teens in marginalized and underserved communities. With the assistance of a Public Humanities Grant, these workshops were organized to enrich the Mentor to Mentor after school program in East Gainesville by training culturally competent creative writing teachers and to strengthen the bond between the University of Florida and the East Gainesville community through common engagement in the humanities. (Workshop dates: June 11th, 2015 - June 13th, 2015).
"The Heart of a
Culture: the Santos of Xavier Colón"
UF University Galleries (Amy Vigilante) and City of Gainesville, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department (Russell Etling)
The University Galleries has partnered with the City of Gainesville, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department to create a major new exhibition on the Santos carvings of artist Xavier Colón. Santos are hand-carved religious artifacts that play an important role in the cultural identity of Puerto Rico. This CHPS public humanities grant will support the development of a full-color catalogue that will provide historical, religious and cultural context to the exhibition and be freely distributed to exhibition visitors. (Exhibition dates: Sept. 27, 2014 – Jan. 3, 2015 in the Thomas Center’s Main Gallery).
Modern Architectural Film Series
Gainesville Modern (David Forest) and the UF School of Architecture (Martin Gold)
In partnership with the UF School of Architecture, Gainesville Modern will produce a film series that both celebrates Gainesville’s cultural legacy of Modernist architecture and reflects how more modernist, sustainable urban design will benefit Gainesville in the future. With sponsorship from a CHPS public humanities grant, the series will include three film screenings (Citizen Architect, Coast Modern, People Who Live In Glass Houses) followed by moderated discussions. A panel of experts in the field will facilitate discussion via public forums. (Event dates TBA.).
Class, and Gender in the Panama Canal Zone: An
Original Play and Discussion
Deborah B. Dickey (Playwright and Director), the Panama Canal Museum Collection at UF Smathers Libraries (Rebecca Fitzsimmons)
The University of Florida Smathers Libraries, Alachua County School District, and playwright/director Deborah Dickey have collaborated to write and produce an original play that explores the lives of women in the Panama Canal Zone during its construction. Utilizing the resources in the UF Latin American Collection and the Panama Canal Museum Collection, the play will focus on the racial, gender and cultural segregation in Panama from 1900-1914. This CHPS public humanities grant will support a public staged reading at the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre, a post-show public discussion, an educational outreach event, and scenes performed for English classes in the Alachua County School District. (Performance dates TBA.)
Diversity and African Traditions: A
Community Storytelling Series
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program (Paul Ortiz) and Yopp! Inc. (Bethany Hunter)
In partnership with the UF Department of History, Yopp! Inc. and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program will host a ten-month storytelling series at the Union Academy/Rosa B. Williams Recreation Center. The series will celebrate diversity within Gainesville and promote our rich cultural heritage through sharing many African traditions and stories. With a CHPS public humanities grant, the series will foster dialogue in our local and global community by hosting professional storytelling sessions after school and on weekends for four hours a month. Community members will be actively invited to share their own stories alongside planned events. (Event dates TBA.)
Center for the Humanities
and the Public Sphere
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
200 Walker Hall
P.O. Box 118030
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611