The Commonwealth History Fund is handing out its first grants to history organizations + projects across the Commonwealth. The Virginia Museum of History & Culture teamed up with the VA Dept. of Historic Resources to administer grants to 12 groups, including the Richmond Public Library and Richmond Hill.
For this round, 60 groups applied. A total of $402,500 will be awarded to the dozen selected organizations. VMHC says it wants to give out $2 million within the next five years, which would make the fund one of the largest initiatives of its kind.
The fund was established to distribute grants on an annual basis with an emphasis on groups working on historically underrepresented topics with an urgent need for resources.
Local fund recipients have different plans for the money.
RPL will establish a new position within the library called the Community Memory Fellow. The fellow will collect oral histories around the city with the goal of creating a community resource for public history.
If this sounds like a job for you, good news — RPL is planning on posting the position this fall.
Richmond Hill, a Christian fellowship and residential community, will use the funding on a restoration project. The money will help restore the Enslaved House, located on its property, with engagement from students, descendants + the public.
Other recipients of the inaugural round of funding include an oral history project in Louisa County, preservation of a historically African American cemetery in Prince William, and an Algonquin language revitalization program by the Chickahominy Tribe in Providence Forge.
Know a history-focused group that could use some funds? Applications for the second annual grant cycle will be open Oct. 1-31, with awards announced in early 2023.