Heritage Harbor Foundation: Grants for Rhode Island History Projects
The Heritage Harbor Foundation believes that an understanding of history and heritage enhances personal self-esteem, instills in individuals and communities a sense of place, and leads to greater civic engagement.
To this end, The Heritage Harbor Foundation will provide grants to augment the audience, impact, or sustainability of existing programs, projects or initiatives aimed at increasing familiarity with Rhode Island history. Thus, the Foundation seeks to fund the vital, ‘essential extra’ that will:
- Ensure the permanent record of a program, project, or initiative survives (such as a publication, film, script or recording), making it possible for future researchers and project directors to have documentation to build on, rather than to start from scratch.
- Uncover neglected aspects of Rhode Island’s history, particularly the stories of industrialization and immigration, and those which are most relevant to the state’s present-day population.
- Improve access to educational resources, such as developing curricular materials or by making existing scholarly information more accessible to teachers and students.
- Increase collaboration between the state’s history and heritage organizations. The Heritage Harbor Foundation particularly favors applications from organizations proposing joint initiatives.
The Heritage Harbor Foundation is the successor body to the Heritage Harbor Corporation, which was organized in 1996 to develop a Rhode Island state history museum based on Six Big Ideas or themes:
- Turning Points (Events and Personalities)
- Narragansett Bay (RI’s greatest asset — besides its people — influenced many elements of its past.)
- Transportation (As a key intersection between major metropolitan areas, RI’s history hinged frequently on transportation modes.)
- Invention, Ingenuity, Enterprise and Design (Imagination and drive placed RI ahead of other states in many fields.)
- Immigration (For decades, being America’s most intensively diverse state paid many dividends as a ‘Cultural Crossroad.’)
- Family Album (Neighborhood identity/sense of place foiled the broadly-held national notion that RI was America’s only City State.)
Our mission now is to award grants that will carry out the wishes of the donors and supporters of the original museum project that fell victim to the economic downturn of 2008.
Instead of programs taking place at the intended site in a retrofitted power plant, programs of the same nature will appear at other museums scattered around the state or be implemented by publications on Rhode Island’s history and heritage.
With that in mind we have posted the Six Big Ideas or themes on this website, broken down into dozens of smaller topics to be the subject of programs in public spaces. We have also posted guidelines for grant applicants seeking funds to accomplish these projects.