This artticle originally appeared in The Southern.
CARBONDALE – A college town like Carbondale has great advantages in getting funding from Illinois Humanities Council; for various community projects, proponents of the organization said Monday.
“It has resources and a critical mass here,” said Art Sussman, a council board member who was here Monday for an IHC Community Grant Application and Humanities Resource Workshop at Varsity Center for the Arts.
IHC administrators and board members do not overlook the more distant and isolated communities, however.
“We want to establish a mix and a balance. A lot of things are available. How do we help increase that while making funding avail-able to smaller towns?” Sussman asked during a workshop break.
Based on what’s happened in Southern Illinois and what IHC administrators spoke of, the mix and balance is fairly established here.
Union County Historical Society partnered with the Illinois Migrant Council getting community grants to publish a book and pre-sent a program.
Monroe County Museum recently got approval for a grant proposal that will be effective next fall.
And sitting at one of the tables for a session of exchanging ideas and peer exchange was Tibretta Reiman, general manager of the Foundation for the Future of Pinckneyville that has established a respectable track record with community projects and procuring IHC funding.
The foundation hosted “Between Fences,” a Smithsonian Institute exhibit at the Perry County Fairground two years earlier.
Reiman said she was attending the workshop to learn more about getting assistance for two major Pinckneyville community projects currently underway – an Illinois High School Basketball Hall of Fame and Museum and an Illinois Rural Heritage Museum.
“We’ve already got $750,000 from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity,” Reiman said.
Monday’s workshop included a morning presentation from Sussman and IHC Director Dimitra Tasiouras about applying for grants and what is important to highlight in that process.
“You want to convey passion. Don’t worry about making a convincing argument,” Sussman said about making inquiries to the IHC and following up on funding requests.