California Humanities Award for Public Art as Resistance

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(San Jose, California) — California Humanities has announced the recent round of Humanities For All Quick Grant awards. The College of Humanities & the Arts (via H&A in Action) has been awarded $5,000 for its project entitled “Public Art as Resistance in San José.” 

The Humanities For All Quick Grant is a competitive grant program of California Humanities that supports locally-initiated public humanities projects that respond to the needs and interests of Californians, encourage greater public participation in humanities programming, particularly by new and/or underserved audiences, and promotes understanding and empathy among all our state’s peoples in order to cultivate a thriving democracy.

“Public Art as Resistance in San José,” adds to The Geography of the Arts programming by engaging community members in the history of resistance and public art in downtown San José: three 2-hour walking tours of eight works of public art; a self-guided tour (using QR codes and an artistically-designed map that will be available in both print at community organizations and online that provides commentary on the relationship between each artwork and the history of social justice and resistance tied to its location); a culminating panel discussion about the art of resistance and resistant public art, monuments, and memorials; and an exhibit at the downtown San José Hammer Theatre curated from a social media hashtag campaign that invites participants to define resistance in public art for themselves. Katherine D. Harris, co-director, especially notes that "we welcome this opportunity to collaborate with MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana and other important San José art organizations to explore the public art spaces and their rich history tied to the diverse neighborhoods around downtown San José." Co-director Alena Sauzuade adds: "This is a unique opportunity for our students and faculty to work with the community and to engage together in a conversation about the ever evolving geography of public art in San José."

“These projects will bring the complexity and diversity of California to light in new ways that will engage Californians from every part of our state, and, will help us all understand each other better,” said Julie Fry, President & CEO of California Humanities. “We congratulate the grantees whose projects will promote understanding and provide insight into a wide range of topics, issues, and experiences.”A complete list of all Humanities For All Quick Grants can be found on the website here

California Humanities, a nonprofit partner of the National Endowment of the Humanities, promotes the humanities – focused on ideas, conversation and learning – as relevant, meaningful ways to understand the human condition and connect us to each other in order to help strengthen California. California Humanities has provided grants and programs across the state since 1975. To learn more visit, or follow California Humanities on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Watch the Geography of the Arts space for Spring 2022 April tour and panel dates and join us with your own ideas about public art as resistance.

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-Author: Katherine D. Harris (Feb. 8, 2022)