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DC Oral History Collaborative (DCOHC) Partnership Grant

Grants to Washington, DC Nonprofits, For-Profits,
and Individuals for Oral History Projects

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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HumanitiesDC, The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., and DC Public Library

Deadline Date:

01/24/18 11:59 PM Receipt


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Grants of up to $6,000 to Washington, DC nonprofits, for-profits, and individuals to implement oral history projects highlighting the unique stories of District residents. The program offers both financial and capacity building resources to applicants seeking to conduct local oral history projects.

Potential projects may focus on: neighborhoods, social organizations, political history, labor, faith-based groups, cultural trends, historic events, or other themes that lend themselves to oral history as a tool for research and preservation.

Selected partners will be required to attend a three-session Oral History training workshop, and will work in conjunction with staff and consultants from the DC Oral History Collaborative throughout the course of their projects.

What this program is looking for:

Successful applications will propose projects that explore Washington, DC’s life, history and culture through interviews with the people who have lived it. Projects should have a theme, focus, or research question they aim to illuminate, and should commit to interviewing at least five people. The final product for each project will be a set of well documented recordings accompanied by transcripts and any legal forms necessary for inclusion in the DC Oral History Collaborative repository.

About the DC Oral History Collaborative:

The DC Oral History Collaborative is an ambitious city-wide initiative to document and preserve the history of Washington’s residents and communities through the collection of oral histories. The project will survey and publicize existing oral history collections, provide grants and training for scholars and amateur historians to launch new oral history projects, and establish an interactive, accessible platform where the city’s memories can benefit residents and scholars for generations to come. The Collaborative is a partnership of HumanitiesDC, The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., and the DC Public Library.

What is Oral History:

“[Oral history is] distinguished from other forms of interviews by its content and extent. Oral history interviews seek an in-depth account of personal experience and reflections, with sufficient time allowed for the narrators give their story the fullness they desire. The content of oral history interviews is grounded in reflections on the past as opposed to commentary on purely contemporary events.”

Qualifying Questions:
1. Does the proposed project have Washington, DC or one of its communities or neighborhoods as its primary geographic focus?
2. Will the proposed project occur within the grant period?
3. Can the project director commit to attending a three-session workshop on oral history during the month of March 2018 (specific dates TBD)?
4. Will the project interview at least five people?
5. Will the project be able to provide a set of unrestricted interviews with transcripts, to a repository associated with the DC Oral History Collaborative by the end of the grant period?

Additional Requirements:
1. All partnership projects will be supported by a professional oral historian contracted by the DC Oral History Collaborative. This consultant will be responsible for providing support and advice to project directors as well as ensuring that all project work is progressing smoothly.
2. The oral history consultant will schedule several required check-in sessions with partnership project directors over the course of the project period.
3. All partnership projects must participate in joint marketing and communications campaigns in support of the DC Oral History Collaborative during the grant period.

The DCOHC funding opportunity supports a partnership between the Collaborative and the funded entity. The DCOHC will work with all funded projects, throughout the grant period, to ensure their use of best practices and to facilitate public communications efforts.

The DCOHC funding opportunity does not require a “Humanities Scholar” as a separate role. Applications may be strengthened if they show engagement by a humanities professional, but scholars working with the DCOHC will provide advice and support to every project.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182572

Estimated Size of Grant:

Applicants may request up to $6,000 depending on the scope of their projects.

Term of Contract:

Projects must be conducted between March 12, 2018 and September 30, 2018.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants do not have to represent 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations. Projects conducted by individuals or for-profit entities must select a responsible party to sign, and be liable for upholding, the grant conditions.

Organizations with open HumanitiesDC grants may still apply for a DCOHC partnership grant. Any oral history project supported through the DCOHC must be clearly distinct from a project already supported by an open HumanitiesDC grant.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Every Friday between 11/17/17 and 1/5/18 (with the exceptions of 11/24 and 12/22), Humanities DC will offer a live webinar from 12:00 to 1:00 PM to go over the grant requirements and demonstrate how to apply. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss potential projects with staff.

Pre-Application Information:

All proposals must be received by Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at 11:59 PM.

Partnership proposals will be reviewed in February, and selected projects will be announced in March.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Click here to access the webinar:

Webinar Access Code: 847-605-341

Apply Online:

Jasper Collier

Humanities DC
925 U Street NW
Washington, DC 20001

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Washington, DC