Capital Community College has been approved for a $300,000 challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to sustain its Hartford Heritage Program, an initiative linking courses with the city’s cultural and historic institutions.
“The Heritage program takes advantage of our immediate surroundings and Hartford’s cultural diversity,” said Capital President Wilfredo Nieves. “We believe it represents a model of place-based learning for many communities.”
The NEH endowment grant supports new Learning Communities (LCs) – – two courses linked by a common theme and taught by two professors to the same students – – that will bring humanistic modes of inquiry to courses in the social sciences and other disciplines, as well as a digital component to showcase the work of students and faculty. The College will also hold a Hartford Bridging Cultures Symposium on an annual basis using funds from the Heritage program, and support other humanities events central to the aims of the program.
To attain the $300,000 NEH award, Capital and its nonprofit Foundation will conduct a four-year community campaign to raise $600,000 in private matching funds to support Hartford Heritage activities and establish an endowment fund.
Capital faculty members and representatives of Hartford’s historic and cultural institutions launched the Heritage Program in 2010 using a $98,645 “We the People” grant from NEH to develop LCs incorporating the city’s history, literature and culture into the new courses. The initiative led to the formation of a Hartford Heritage Advisory Council with representatives from institutions including the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Mark Twain House and Museum, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford History Center, Hartford Stage Company, Hartford Public Library, Old State House, Center for Urban Research, Education & Training, Connecticut Historical Society, Amistad Center for Art and Culture, Holyoke Community College Learning Communities Program, Trinity College and Central Connecticut State University.
“By teaching themes that explore Hartford, the city becomes an extended classroom for our courses, and Capital’s diverse, urban student population gains a deeper understanding of, appreciation for, and attachment to their community,” said Humanities Chair Jeffrey Partridge, director of the Heritage program and the Chairman of the Humanities Department.
“In just two years this project has given the humanities and other disciplines new content and made the city’s history and culture come alive for students, “ said Dean of Academic Affairs Mary Ann Affleck. “Meeting the endowment grant challenge will enable us to build on these accomplishments every year.”
The NEH offers Challenge Grants for Two-Year Colleges to “strengthen their long-term humanities programs and resources,” encouraging developed programs to be shared with other institutions while looking for new sources of humanities funding.
Capital Community College is one of six two-year colleges in the nation to receive an NEH challenge grant offer in 2012. The others are: Montgomery College (Rockville, MD), Ivy Tech Community College (IN), Crafton Hill College (Yucapia, CA), Green River Community College (Auburn, WA) and Westchester Community College Foundation (Valhalla, NY).
Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this release do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities
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