Community Partnership Grants

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The Society for the Humanities and Humanities New York announce the call for applicants for a 2019 Community Partnership Grant of $3,000 working with The History Center in Tompkins County.

The History Center is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to preserve and encourage access to its unique collections, while designing learning experiences and services that create opportunities for people to learn about themselves and their place in the world. The History Center organizes exhibitions, educational programs, and partners with a diverse range of non-profit organizations throughout Tompkins County to bring original, research-based educational services to the public.

The History Center in Tompkins County is seeking the support of an experienced graduate student to work with it in developing programing for place-based educational initiatives. The newly re-located and re-designed History Center in the heart to the Commons aspires to engage people around the theme of “place-making” and “connecting-with-place.” To this end, it seeks to develop projects and programs that encourage people to get to know Tompkins County, from its rural and suburban components to its urban core, and the rich, dynamic pasts, presents, and futures. Moreover, it seeks to instill a sense of “place” as something that one enters into, inhabits, and effects as well as brings wherever one goes. The Community Partnership graduate student would be invited to work with the History Center in participating in and shaping projects related to oral history project (e.g., “Sharing our Stories”), sustainability (past, present and future), people and populations in late 19th/early 20th centuries (e.g., “HistoryForge”), youth education, heritage tourism and heritage ambassadors, and key social movements.  For more information, please visit:  and

Building on last year’s “Forum on Making Our Histories Visible,” this year’s Community Partnership grant recipient will continue the work of helping to establish The History Center in Tompkins County as an important community networking site for research and teaching opportunities and cultural heritage focusing on the histories in our region, modeled on Ithaca's highly successful Sciencenter. One goal is to render the histories of our local and regional landscapes visible and more readily accessible for research, teaching, and heritage tourism. We aim to develop ever more ways to collectively plan, create, and disseminate pedagogical resources and innovations.

For example, through augmented reality simulation—the ability to map physical location to historical events in real time and vice versa—we wish students, instructors, and community partners to have an active role in building local histories from the ground up and in engaging with some of the ethical issues that any map-building project might involve. While we expect that our projects will offer abundant opportunities to understand stories of the past with a deepened comprehension, we also anticipate student, researcher, and visitor engagement experiencing hands-on engagement with how field and archival work with primary sources inform disciplines such as history, ethnography, geography, cultural anthropology, gender and race studies, to name a few.

One of the History Center’s goals is to create more seamless and mutually beneficial networks among Cornell University and Ithaca College campuses, local schools (grades 6-12), and the local community by bringing together academics, university staff, teachers, student, community-based organizations and learners in order to produce experiential educational approaches that would render the notion of “Place-Making” more tangible and accessible. We are interested in having students, researchers, and visitors benefit from research and curricular activities based in local histories that bridge local and global issues.

Proposed long-term collaborations will also provide important interactions between Cornell University, Ithaca College, Ithaca schools, and local civic, religious, and non-secular institutions. We have a rich and vibrant history in this community that mirrors state and national themes, and we envisage a wonderful opportunity to integrate local history (oral history, map-building activities, local history research) into curricular and research initiatives and activities from middle and high school to undergraduate courses.

Application Timeline:

July – September, 2019, with follow up to December 2019: Working with Cornell German and Comparative Literature Professor Paul Fleming, Romance and Africana Professor Gerard Aching, and The History Center staff and trustees on “Place-making.”


  • Availability for concentrated periods of assistance in July, August, and September with follow-up from October to December (dates flexible). 
  • The grant recipient will present the outcomes of her/his research and public work to the university community in coordination with the Society for the Humanities and submit a final report to Humanities New York.

Duration & Stipend

Duration of the Fellowship is July 1, 2019 to September 30, 2019 (and then through December with great flexibility).  The Fellowship stipend is $3,000. The stipend is supported by Humanities New York.

Application Guidelines

Interested applicants should submit the following to Kina Viola,, by midnight on June 17, 2019:

  • a letter of interest, including background in the public humanities and/or community education outreach
  • a resume/CV
  • a brief faculty reference (approving participation in fellowship)

Questions? Contact Paul Fleming, Society for the Humanities,

Community Partnership Grants

Community Partnership Grants pair Cornell graduate students with a regional organization having received competitive funding from the New York State Council for the Humanities, such as a library, community center or a museum, to support a campus-community collaborative public humanities project. For the humanities centers and participating graduate students, these grants help them build new relationships outside of the university, strengthen their focus on public programming and develop new audiences for the humanities scholarship happening at their universities. For the Council partner, the grant builds capacity, deepens the scholarly underpinnings of their programming, and helps them finds new audiences within the university community.