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Recently Awarded Projects


Grant-funded projects for fiscal year 2018 (Nov 1, 2017 - Oct 31, 2018) include:

2017 Carroll College Undergraduate Literary Festival, Carroll College, Helena, $500: Support for Carroll's literary festival that features creative work and literary criticism by students from Carroll, other Montana colleges, and community members. The festival includes a keynote by a nationally acclaimed author. All events are free and open to the public.

Salish-Pend d'Oreille Culture Committee Attendance at Western History Conference, Selis-Qlispe Culture Committee, Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes, St. Ignatius, $1,000: Support for Salish-Pend d'Oreille Culture Committee attendance at 2017 Western History Association Conference, which includes numerous sessions relevant to SPCC projects in ethnography and history.

Native Montana — A Pop-Up Museum, Helena College University of Montana, Helena, $1,000: Support for Native Montana — A Pop-Up Museum, a photo exhibit showcasing Native Americans in Montana, both in the past and present. The project is a collaboration between Helena College, the Helena College Native American Studies faculty/historian Laura Ferguson, and the Montana Historical Society.

Winter 2017 - 2018 Book Discussions, Friends of the Glendive Public Library, Glendive, $1,000: A monthly scholar-led book discussion at the Glendive Public Library.

The Open Book Project, Choteau-Teton Public Library, $1,000. Support for a discussion group that will provide community members with an activity designed to enrich their quality of life through experiencing literature and sharing that experience with others.

En-th-a-eye "Place of the Little Bull Trout" Indigenous Film Festival, Missoula Urban Indian Health Center, $1,000. This event will offer a variety of shorts and feature films that highlight Indigenous resiliency told from an Indigenous perspective followed by a discussion forum led by American Indian leaders within the film industry, local activists, educators, and storytellers.

"A Shot Above the Rest" Exhibit Opening and Book Signing, Yellowstone County Museum, $800. Funding for for new exhibit featuring photos, shootouts and memorabilia of sharpshooter Tom Frye. Tim Price, author of "Shooting for the Record," will speak about Frye's accomplishments and sign books on Friday, Februray 2, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. at Yellowstone County Museum.

El Rio Film & Discussion, MSU Billings Dept. of English, Philosophy, and Modern Languages, $1,000. Support for Juan Carlos Galeano to introduce and show his film El Rio, concerning how peoples of Amazonia adapt traditional belief to contemporary life. The screening and discussion will take place on Feb. 13th, 2018, at 6:30pm - 9:00pm at Art House Cinema in Billings.

Metis Music, Art and Culture Festival, Michif Heritage Keepers, $1,500. Support for the second annual festival that will include language preservation activities, handouts of Michif language materials, and interactions with participants in speaking Michif words and phrases. The festival will take place in Choteau, Montana, June 8-10, 2018.

Making History Relevant Workshop Series, The Extreme History Project, $1,150. Funding for workshops encouraging Bozeman residents to engage with their history. Workshops include: The House History Workshop, May, 2018; Historic Recipes in the Archives Workshop, September, 2018; Genealogy Workshop, October, 2018.

Mary Kassmeier, Midwife on the Upper Missouri, Women’s Reproductive History Alliance, $4,622. Support for a digitized collection of photographs and documentation by Mary Kassmeier, an early 1900's Fort Benton midwife. Mary Kassmeier helped pregnant women in communities along the Upper Missouri and collected over one hundred labeled images ranging from formal photographs of infants to intimate pictures that are a testament to a life dedicated to Montana women and children. The collection will be available online by late fall of 2018.

I Am Montana, Free Verse Writing Project, $8,000. Support for a creative project designed to allow young people to discuss their identities and reflect on their experiences and understandings of Montana. Free Verse will partner with Second Season and Arts Without Boundaries, in Billings, to bring writers to schools and juvenile detention centers across Montana.

2018 Honors Symposium: "Technology and Humankind," Flathead Valley Community College, $3,000. Funding for a lecture series that will examine the human and social impact of technological advancement, including the implications of technology on nature, the environment, the self, family, and society. The symposium is free and will take place in February and March, 2018.

National Buffalo Foundation/Kauffman Museum touring exhibit, The American Bison: Masters of the Plains, Western Heritage Center, $1,000. The exhibit explores the significance of bison in the cultures of Plains Indian peoples—particularly as a resource for food, clothing, shelter and tools, as well as how bison are being managed in contemporary times. The exhibit will be displayed at the Western Heritage Center in Billings February 19 – April 7, 2018. It will also be displayed at the Carbon County Historical Society in Red Lodge April 12 – May 28, 2018.

Native Filmmaker Initiative 2018-2019, Big Sky Film Institute, Missoula, $4,000. Support for a program created by the Big Sky Film Institute; the Initiative provides career-building opportunities for underrepresented artists pursuing filmmaking as a vocation, providing a platform for Indigenous stories in theaters and schools.

One Robe - Little Shell Tribe History Children's Book, Kimberly McKeehan, Great Falls, $3,897. Funding for the creation and publication of One Robe, a Little Shell Tribe children’s history book. This illustrated children's book will be published in English/Michif and English/Ojibwe language editions and will detail where the Little Shell Tribe came from, who they have been geographically, culturally, and historically, and who they are today. One Robe will be created for elementary readers and will be available for free or at very low cost to encourage access for tribal members.

The Wheatley Lecture Event, Bishop Melvin E. Wheatley, Jr. Endowed Lectureship Series Committee at Rocky Mountain College, Billings, $500. Support for "Creating Community in Fracturing Times: Returning Civility to Civil Dialogue" that will be held at Rocky Mountain College March 8-9, 2018. The event will feature the Rev. Dr. Gary Mason, the Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto, and Rabbi Uri Barnea.

2018 Museums Association of Montana Annual Conference, Museums Association of Montana, Helena, $1,000. Support for a conference that will provide the professional and volunteer staff of Montana's museums and cultural organizations the tools necessary to interpret and promote the understanding and appreciation of Montana's history and culture. The Museums Association of Montana's Annual Conference will take place at the Radisson Hotel in Helena, from March 8-10, 2018.

2018 Big Read, Missoula Public Library, Missoula, $1,000. Funding for Missoula Public Library's biennial Big Read program that includes four weeks of activities that will engage readers' imaginations through art, music, costuming, crafts-making, and storytelling. The 2018 Big Read selection is Ursula K. Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea. Events will kick off on September 29, 2018 and conclude October 28, 2018. Related programming will take place daily through Missoula, Lolo, Frenchtown, Potomac, Seeley Lake, Condon, Drummond and Polson.

Montana Preservation Road Show Conference: Literary Landscapes and Discussion, Montana Preservation Alliance, Helena, $1,000. Support for "Literary Landscapes," a panel that will gather scholars and the public to discuss how Flathead/Glacier writers have reflected and impacted the regional landscape and how their legacies can live on, June 15, location TBD.

Refugees and Displacement: A Panel Discussion, Montana State University, Dept. of History and Philosophy, Bozeman, $1,000. Funding for a panel discussion focusing on the experiences of refugees and displaced people. The panel will be part of a series of spring events in the Bozeman area designed to promote critical and empathic conversations and reflection about refugees and forced displacement. This event will take place on March 19 and coincide with opening week of REFUGEE, an interpretive exhibition at the Exit Gallery in Bozeman.

Signatures from Big Sky 2018, Montana AGATE, Dillon, $1,000. Support for Signatures from Big Sky 2018, the only publication dedicated to the work of Montana's K-12 writers and artists. It has been published every year since 1990 and has included work from Montana students from all over the state and in every grade level. Submissions are due March 30 and publications will be available May 15.

2018 Celebrate Islam Week, SALAM Missoula, Missoula, $900: Funding for a week of community events that highlight the cultural depth and breadth of Islam as a faith and way of life. 2018 Celebrate Islam Week will take place April 9 - April 13, 2018 in Missoula at the First Presbyterian Church, University of Montana, and Har Shalom Congregation.

One Robe Mentor, The Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana, Great Falls, $1,000: Stipend for Dr. Nicholas Vrooman to assist Kimberly McKeehan with a children's picture book about the history of the Little Shell Tribe.

The Ivan Doig Archive Curriculum Project, Montana State University Libraries, Bozeman, $917: Funding to support curriculum development using the physical and digital Ivan Doig Archives at MSU Bozeman. The project will promote place-based learning by giving students open access to primary materials that reflects the unique history, economic issues, working life, and folkways of Montana.

Scatter Their Own Workshop, Montana State University Billings, Billings, $1,000: Support for Scatter Their Own, A Native American (Lakota) rock band, to provide a workshop at the MSUB powwow. The workshop and concert will demonstrate the importance of indigenous people protecting the environment.

Broadway Flags Community Conversation, Red Lodge Area Community Foundation, Red Lodge, $1,000: Funding to support a two-hour event with panelists to discuss the history of the annual flag display in Red Lodge and how decisions have been made regarding which flags to include and when they are flown. This event is a response to concerns about flags that incorporate the Confederate flag into their designs. This community conversation is free and open to the public and will take place from 5-7pm on May 2 at the Pizza Company in Red Lodge.

Mark Matthews Teaches the Teachers, Sidney Middle School, Sidney, $750: Funding to support a two-day dance workshop with historian and dance instructor Mark Matthews. Mark will teach Sidney Middle School fitness teachers about the history, interpretation, and technique behind American dance traditions. This workshop will take place in early summer at Sidney Middle School.

MAM CARES Stipends, Missoula Art Museum, Missoula, $1,000: Support for MAM CARES Stipends which will provide $100 stipends for 10 staff from rural museums, libraries, and archives to attend an archive workshop and community design charrette at the Missoula Art Museum on May 11, 2018, as part of MAM's Collection Access, Research, and Education Solutions (CARES) program.

Diversity Issues Forum, The Montana Racial Equity Project, Bozeman, $1,000: Support for an event that will address current hot-button issues in Montana including race, culture, and resilience in schools; societal challenges for LGBTQIA+; and minorities in prisons. The forum will take place on September 27, 2018, from 9:30 am to 8:00 pm at the Bozeman Public Library.

The New Wild West, MonDak Heritage Center, Sidney, $1,000: Support for a public program in which journalist and author Blaire Briody discusses her book, The New Wild West: Black Gold, Fracking, and Life in a North Dakota Boomtown, as well as her experiences exploring the oil landscapes of western North Dakota and eastern Montana. The program will be on Tuesday, July 17 at 7:00 pm at the MonDak Heritage Center in Sidney.

"Nimi'ipuu Flight through Musselshell Country," Upper Musselshell Historical Society, Harlowton, $1,000: Support for the blessing and drum honoring ceremony by the Bear Canyon Drumming group for the opening of the Nez Perce exhibit, "Nimi'ipuu Flight through Musselshell Country," at the Upper Musselshell Museum in Harlowton. The exhibit details the historic fight of the Nez Perce in 1877 and the many continuing traditional arts that bind them as a people today. The grand opening will be June 15.

Wild Words Summer Slide Program, HAB Education and Wellness Corporation, Billings, $1,000: Funding for Wild Words Summer Slide Program, a literacy program for students living in public housing. This program brings in local professionals to lead workshops that include poetry, Montana history, and science. Wild Words will take place June through August 2018 at the Family Investment Center in Billings.

Native American Perspective "Through European Eyes" Exhibit, Montana Museum of Art & Culture, Missoula, $1,000: Support for an exhibit that will address cultural perception, the influence of media, the mixing of nationalism and culture, art as a record of the human experience, the influence and attraction of Native culture to distant peoples with various languages, religious practices and their sympathies and predispositions toward Native culture. "Through European Eyes: Prints of the North American West, 1849-1908" will be on exhibit August - December, 2020, at the University of Montana in the Paxson and Meloy Galleries, PARTV Center, Missoula.

Worlds Apart but Not Strangers: Holocaust Education and Indian Education for All, Elk River Writing Project, Billings, $2,500: Funding for an experiential-learning, inquiry-based seminar for educators of all subject areas, "grades four through college" faculty. The June seminar took place at Montana State University Billings and focused on the policies and practices of Nazi Germany and the impact of federal policies on Native peoples in the United States.

The Environment, Ethics & Stewardship: 2018-2019 Philosophy Symposium & Walk Series, Merlin CCC, Helena, $5,000: Funding for a three-part philosophy symposium series on the environment, ethics, and conservation stewardship to be held at Carroll College in Helena. Series agendas include: Symposium 1 (September 20, 2018): public vs. private land (including individual rights, collective rights, indigenous rights, other); Symposium 2 (December 20, 2018): landowner/steward-wildlife and habitat relationships (including agricultural and ranching relationships); Symposium 3 (March 14, 2019): current and future environmental/conservation challenges. Visit www.merlinccc.org for the full schedule of events.

Children's Festival of the Book 2018, Bozeman Public Library Foundation, Bozeman, $4,000: Support for The Children's Festival of the Book 2018, an annual festival dedicated to children's literature. This year's festival will feature the 2018 Caldecott winner for best picture book, author/illustrator Matt Cordell, and Trinidadian folk-tale author Tracey Baptiste. This daylong festival will take place on Saturday, November 10, 2018, at the Bozeman Public Library and encourages a love of reading for all ages through engaging presentations, workshops and hands-on activities.

Getting Your Game On: How Video Games Are The New Frontier of Human Expression, Great Falls Young Actors Guild, Great Falls, $2,250: Support for a project that allows students across Montana to experience virtual reality technologies, game creation tools, and more. Getting Your Game On will enable students to see how emerging technologies like video games, virtual reality and more can be a vehicle for self-expression and cultural exploration. School assemblies will take place August through November, 2018.

Treaties that Live: Sesquicentennial of Crow Indian Treaties of 1868 at Fort Laramie and Fort Hawley, Little Big Horn College, Crow Agency, $5,169: Support for a symposium that includes lectures, interactive panel discussions, an exhibit of documents, and films that provide multidisciplinary accounts of the people and issues that were important at the time of the 1868 treaties and ramifications of the treaties historically and today. The symposium and exhibit will take place September 14-15, 2018, at Little Big Horn College.

Dia de los Muertos Exhibition and Community Project, Montana State University Billings, Billings, $1,000: Funding for Betty Avila, co-director of Los Angeles’ Self-Help Graphics, to provide a public presentation and teachers' workshop on October 17-19, 2018 in conjunction with MSU Billings’, "Dia de los Muertos: A Cultural Legacy, Past Present, Future" exhibition.

Perma Red Television Series, Perma Red LLC, Missoula, $8,000. Support for pre-production work including interviews, archival research, photograph interpretation, costume design research, language coaching as well as a retreat structured to orient production team and crew to the Salish and Pend d’Orielle cultures and protocols.

Unladylike Video Series, The Futuro Media Group, New York City, $7,940. Funding for research, script writing, and interviews on the life and times of pioneering Montana native Jeannette Pickering Rankin, in order to create one of a series of 31 animated documentary shorts for the 31 days of Women’s History Month.

Daughter of a Lost Bird, Big Sky Film Institute, Missoula, $8,000.< Continuing support for an hour-long documentary exploring the ethics surrounding transracial adoption.

When They Were Here, Ivan and Ivy MacDonald, Missoula, $8,000. Funding for a documentary focusing on the missing and murdered indigenous women crisis.

Strengthening the Ties that Bind: Public History/Public Engagement/Public Humanities in Montana, MSU Center for Western Lands and People, Bozeman, $5,000. A March 2019 conference bringing together public history/humanities practitioners with faculty, staff, and students in order to explore the possibilities and requirements for strengthening the training and practice of public history and public humanities in Montana.

2018 High Plains BookFest, Billings Cultural Partners, Billings, $2,500. Mid-October three-day festival celebrating the literature and writers of seven western states and three Canadian provinces.

Racebending: Adventures in a Bi-cultural World—A Lecture by Novelist Jamie Ford, Lewis and Clark Library Foundation, Helena, $3,000. Support for the 2018 Stephen Ambrose Memorial Lecture which will highlight the challenges and comforts of growing up bi-racial and writing multi-cultural fiction as part of the Speaking Volumes Transforming Hate programming co-sponsored by the Holter Museum and the Montana Human Rights Network.

Documenting and Sharing Montana’s Statewide African American Heritage, Montana Historical Society, Helena, $6,000. Continued documentation, oral history, and video including interviews with scholars and members of the state’s African American community; development of the first comprehensive statewide historic context about Montana’s African American heritage; documentation of places significant to that history; and production of a brief video introduction to the topic.

Big Sky Schoolhouse Survey, Montana Preservation Alliance, Helena, $3,000. Support for the culmination of a five-year statewide effort to locate and document all remaining historic one- and two-room schoolhouses in the state.

Indigenous Cinema Series, The Roxy Theater, Missoula, $1,000. A weekly November film series in partnership with the Indigenous Film Festival intended to highlight indigenous stories in honor of National Native American Heritage month.

The Armistice Day Centennial Commemoration, November 11, 2018, Western Heritage Center, Billings, $1,000. Programming, exhibits, and workshops offered at the Western Heritage Center during the fall of 2018 to commemorate the end of World War I.

Murder Mystery Weekend, Dillon Public Library, Dillon, $1,000. Daylong workshop featuring three regional mystery writers.

Place of the Little Bull Trout, 3rd Annual Indigenous Film Festival, Missoula Urban Indian Health Center, Missoula, $1,000. Two-day festival in April featuring Native American films, filmmakers, and scholars with discussion after each film.