SHARP Grantee Spotlight
Can you give a brief history of your organization?
The Big Sandy Cultural Fund began developing the Big Sandy Cultural Center in 2015 as a multi-purpose community enrichment venue with start-up grants from the Washington Foundation, Burlington Northern, and others. We have an eclectic library, including vintage books, magazines, recordings, sheet music, and over 600 videos we can show in our screening room, thanks to Epson and Silver Ticket. Recently, with involvement from Montana Piano of Billings, we have installed a beautiful Yamaha C3 grand piano for student and community use. We hope the piano will attract professional musicians to give workshops and concerts. Pianist visitors are welcome. In addition, we are honoring B. M. Bower and Dan Cushman, two Montana authors who began their careers in Big Sandy. To date, we have given away about 6,000 books by these two authors to schools, home schools, and young and adult readers.
Do you have an example of a program that exemplifies your organization’s mission or work?
We are honored to have received the papers, manuscripts, and photographs of Montana author Dan Cushman.
How do you intend to use the SHARP Grant?
We’re using Montana Humanities funding to copy the Cushman files, to eventually produce a publication of some Cushman material, to give presentations about Cushman and Bower, and to present a discussion of Big Sandy during World War Two. Some funds will go to help pay for general operating costs. We are very grateful for help from Humanities Montana.
How did you learn about Humanities Montana, and why did you choose to apply for a grant with us?
We have known about the valuable work of Humanities Montana for many years. The SHARP grant program seemed to fit our needs.