The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) has awarded two $25,000 humanities grants to the University of the Virgin Islands and St. JanCo. The grants, entitled “A More Perfect Union: Understanding the Importance of Culture and Community in the U.S. Virgin Islands,” are funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
CFVI applied for and was awarded the grant to support the NEH mission to advance civic education and to prepare to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. CFVI was one of 56 recipients – states and other jurisdictions — of a grant for the special initiative: “A More Perfect Union: Exploring America’s Story and Commemorating its 250th Anniversary.”
CFVI invited proposals from humanities scholars and/or organizations to explore the contributions which individuals from the U.S. Virgin Islands have made to the nation and the world. Specifically, the projects will explore and address the questions:
What is it about the mosaic of life in the U.S. Virgin Islands which has produced a contemporary (1917-current day) diaspora with an extraordinary number of successful individuals representing diverse spheres of interest?
What can be done to protect, preserve and enhance this mosaic, and sustain a thriving culture and community in the USVI?
The University of the Virgin Islands was awarded a $25,000 grant for its “Mosaic Population of the U.S. Virgin Islands” project, which will research, analyze and collect the history of U.S.V.I. arts, music and sports that has led to the current-day cultural melting pot to sustain and preserve a thriving culture and community in the territory for future generations.
St. JanCo, based on St. John, was awarded a $25,000 grant for its “Public Libraries: A VI Historical Study” project. The project will study the public libraries and the women after whom they are named: Enid M. Baa, Elaine Ione Sprauve and Florence A. Williams, to deepen the understanding of gender and its relationship to USVI heritage, culture, society, families, social mores, traditions, norms, behaviors, natural environment and regional influences.
“We were honored to receive this special funding to shine a light on the contributions that Virgin Islanders have made, not only in our community but in the nation and the world,” said CFVI President Dee Baecher-Brown. “Through this funding CFVI hopes to expand the conversation about our U.S. Virgin Islands experience – in all its complexities – and enhance the knowledge, skills and capacities needed to sustain our thriving culture and community.”