Our Stories, Our Lives

Third Coast Conversations: Dialogues about Water in Michigan

The Michigan Humanities is pleased to announce that it is now accepting applications for the Third Coast Conversations: Dialogues about Water in Michigan program, an initiative made possible by funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  The state of Michigan is often referred to as the nation’s “third coast” because it boasts the most miles of shoreline in the contiguous United States, bordering four of the five Great Lakes.  This abundance of water has allowed Michigan to be a lucrative place to do business and develop industry, including a booming tourism economy.  At the same time, access to safe, clean water has also been a scarcity.  By providing support for community conversations around topics connected to water, the goal of the project is to help more people across the state learn about issues related to water that affect their communities in the 21st century.

Purpose

Third Coast Conversation grants will support a series of statewide public conversations taking place in 20 communities over two years that focus on the cultural, social, historical, and environmental factors that connect Michigan’s people to their water.  The project will be led by the Michigan Humanities in collaboration with their strong network of partner organizations across the state.  Grant awards may range up to $5,000 and no cost share is required.

Potential projects should focus on one of the following humanities themes:

  • Indigenous communities and water
  • Access and rights to water
  • Infrastructure, industry, and the challenges of urban water systems
  • Recovery and resilience of waterways
  • The role of water in shaping Michigan’s human history
  • Tourism and a sense of place

Eligible Applicants

Individuals are not eligible.  Sponsoring organizations are strongly encouraged to collaborate with other organizations on their proposed project.

Award Amounts

Grant awards may range up to $5,000.  There is no requirement for the applicant to provide matching monies or cost share for Third Coast Conversation Grants.

Applications will be evaluated by a panel of scholars and experts in the field.  Projects should engage community members as an authentic voice and involve professionals that can help guide conversations.  Applications should clearly state which of the six humanities themes listed above are addressed and how these community conversations will be a catalyst for change, or will make an impact in their community.

Timeframe and Deadline Dates

  • Final application deadline: March 16, 2018
  • Award notification: April 2018
  • Grantee Convening and Community Conversation facilitator training: May 21-22, 2018

General Guidelines

  • Must host a minimum of two conversations
  • Clear project goals, objectives, and activities
  • Target audience identified (Michigan)
  • Target audience serves as authentic voice of the project
  • Historical perspective/relevance to at least one of the outlined humanities themes
  • Balanced viewpoints; cannot advocate for a single position or support advocacy
  • Collaboration/community dialogue
  • Expected impact or catalyst for change identified
  • No cost to attend or participate

Administrative requirements:

  • Project management in place
  • Fiscal oversight provided
  • Advisor (could be scholar or other expert in the field)
  • Participation in convening to participate in community conversation facilitation training

Applications will be evaluated by a panel of scholars and experts in the field.  Projects should engage community members as an authentic voice and involve professionals that can help guide conversations.  Applications should clearly state which of the six humanities themes outline are addressed and how these community conversations will be a catalyst for change, or will make an impact in their community.

Organizations are encouraged to contact program officer, Jennifer Rupp by email (jrupp@mihumanities.org) or phone (517-372-7770).  Organizations may submit proposals through the Michigan Humanities’ online grant portal.  The final grant application deadline is March 16, 2018.

Project Directors for projects chosen to participate in Third Coast Conversations will be invited to attend a two-day facilitator training on May 21 and 22, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center.  The training will be led by Adam Davis, Executive Director of the Oregon Humanities, who is known across the country for his work in community conversations.   All expenses will be paid for Project Director to attend. 

By law and on principle, the Michigan Humanities Council prohibits discrimination in its funded projects whether on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or physical challenges.

Resources

Organizations are encouraged to review the following resources while developing grant applications:

Project Director Guide
Scoring Rubric
Planning Worksheet for Humanities Programs
Six Humanities Themes – Detail
Financial Procedures Handbook
Grantees Duties
Grantee Final Report Form
Grantee Final Budget Form (Required)

 

Address

119 Pere Marquette Drive, Suite 3B,
Lansing, MI 48912
p: 517-372-7770
f: 517-372-0027