Middletown Art Center receives first grant award from California Humanities

Lake County’s Clovice Lewis. Photo by Nathan DeHart.

MIDDLETOWN, Calif. — California Humanities has announced the recent round of Humanities For All Quick Grant awards.

The Middletown Art Center, or MAC, a project of EcoArts of Lake County, has been awarded $5,000 for its project, “Sounds of Liberation: Race and Music in Lake County.”

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.

Sounds of Liberation is a series of intimate conversations and performances with Black musicians living in rural Northern California about their responses to sweeping social events throughout their careers.

Sounds of Liberation uplifts a hopeful vision of racial harmony and social change. Host and co-organizer Clovice Lewis, an African-American composer living in Upper Lake, said, “We invite all our neighbors to join us on a journey to raise awareness and understanding.”

Lewis connected with MAC’s director, Lisa Kaplan, at a gathering of the “Community Call to Action: A loving response to systemic racism in America,” a self-organized local action group formed by the Unitarian Universalist Community of Lake County, and Sounds of Liberation was conceived a few weeks later. It is now set to launch in mid-June.

“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 and 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.”

Learn about Sounds of Liberation at www.middletownartcenter.org/sounds-of-liberation.html.

For a complete list of all Humanities For All Quick Grants, check out the www.calhum.org.