Humanities in the Community Program

The Interdisciplinary Humanities Center and the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts offers a funding opportunity to support publicly-engaged scholarship and arts. The grant is open to HFA M.F.A. students and Ph.D. students who have advanced to candidacy. The program gives up to five awards of $5,000 each, and limited additional funding is available to defray materials costs. The Humanities in the Community grant is used to support projects undertaken in partnership with a community organization during the summer quarter. Supported projects engage with community partners in collaborative problem solving or work in community settings to stimulate public creation and discovery.

The IHC is excited to announce the winners of the 2018 Humanities in the Community grants:

Jimmy Miracle, Art
INSIDE is a community based, site-specific, installation/performance involving local Santa Barbara individuals and artists diagnosed with mental illness. This project is an imaginative, multi-sensory performance work on the theme inside/outside: the insider vs the outsider; inner thoughts vs. external presentation; intimate spaces vs. outside vulnerable spaces. It will be produced over the course of a ten-week intensive creation process with the members of the Mental Wellness Center located in downtown Santa Barbara, which is a day-use, psychosocial rehabilitation program for adults over the age of eighteen who are living with serious mental illness. The project will include portrait drawing and dance workshops in the facility’s community arts room. People living with mental health challenges, especially when more severe, tend to isolate. Stigma underscores their disconnection. This project will use creative practices with participants to address the subject of inclusion and safe spaces. INSIDE will create a drawing exhibition and a new dance framed within a dollhouse structure with members of the center, with final exhibition and performances to take place at the Community Arts Workshop (located next to the Mental Wellness Center) and on the UC Santa Barbara campus.

Shawn Warner-Garcia, Linguistics
“Just Sex: Promoting Progressive Sexual Ethics among Baptist Communities” will create an online curriculum website that presents engaging scholarly work on the intersections of faith and sexuality for use by religious communities and individuals. The scope of the curriculum is driven by the results from a national needs-assessment survey begun in summer 2016 with the support of the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center.

Anna Bax, Linguistics
This project is a large-scale language survey of 1,000 members of the indigenous immigrant community in Ventura County. This survey has been developed in close consultation with MICOP (Mixteco/Indígena Community Organizing Project) leaders, and will be administered by indigenous high school and college students from the organization’s youth leadership program during summer 2018.

Application Instructions

Applications should be submitted by Monday, January 7, 2019 to

A complete application should include:

  • a project description (5 double-spaced pages, see instructions below)
  • a preliminary budget for any supplies that your project requires (briefly explain any budget items that are not self-explanatory)
  • curriculum vitae (2 pages maximum)
  • a letter of support from the student’s faculty advisor.  This letter may be emailed directly to the IHC at

Project Description Guidelines

The project description should:

  • state the objectives, ideas, and methodology of the project, specifying how you understand this work as transforming your own humanities scholarship
  • discuss the project’s significance with reference to its shared, community-centered collaborative production of knowledge and culture
  • explain the nature of the community collaboration. Indicate the contact that you have had with your proposed community partner and how this relationship has been established.
  • state the particular expertise and preparation you bring to the project
  • discuss the form(s) in which the project will be disseminated, at each of its stages, from planning to the achievement of its goal
  • include a timetable and work plan, specifying project activities

For projects involving human subjects, such as oral histories, please visit Proposals that involve human subjects must participate in human subjects review before the project commences.

List of 2016 Humanities in the Community projects

2016 Humanities in the Community Projects:

Elizabeth Allen, English
“Personal Narratives for Higher Education” is a collaboration between the UCSB English department and two local college access programs to create a workshop curriculum for crafting the college application personal statement.  The program seeks to better integrate the humanities into STEM-oriented college access programs by using the personal statement as a platform for exposing students to the value and significance of humanistic thought.

Carlos Jimenez, Film and Media Studies
The project establishes a bilingual (Spanish and Mixteco) journalism program working with adults and youth to create a news hour at a community radio station in Oxnard, California. The news hour will cover local politics, educational resources, health awareness, and local issues.

Emma Levine, Music
Zachary Rentz, Philosophy

In “Harmony and Wisdom: Conversations about Music and Philosophy, “ two scholars will be collaborating with a diverse group of seniors at two local retirement communities with the goal of creating a dynamic and rich dialogue that explores the areas and themes most important to the seniors of our Santa Barbara community. Drawing from their musical and philosophical backgrounds, they will contribute their interdisciplinary perspective and engage with the seniors in a meaningful exchange of ideas.

Audrey Lopez, Linguistics
All over the globe, young people work as community interpreters and translators, yet the impact of their work is often rendered invisible through processes of erasure. Understanding interpretation and translation as interactive practices of “communicative care” (Arnold 2016) as well as sites of postcolonial resistance and transformation, this collaborative ethnographic project uses student-produced film and radio to amplify the voices, visibility, and experiences of bilingual Latino youth language brokers who live and work in Santa Barbara County.

Megan Lukaniec, Linguistics
This community-centered project aims to provide online language resources for the First Nations language Wendat (also known as Huron or Huron-Wendat). These multimedia language lessons will be developed primarily for K-12 children and teens, yet as the language is currently being reawakened from over 150 years of dormancy, these resources will be valuable for learners of all ages.

Shawn Warner-Garcia, Linguistics

For the project “Promoting Progressive Sexual Ethics Among Christian Youth and Young Adults,”  Warner-Garcia will be designing a web-based multimedia curriculum module that produces innovative content on sexuality and faith. This project aims to achieve two interconnected goals: to dispel common misconceptions of Baptist communities as inherently conservative and sexually repressive, and to produce educational materials on progressive sexual ethics for Baptists in the southeastern U.S., where conservative religious ideologies are deeply enmeshed with cultural discourses of gender and sexuality.

For details about this program, visit this page.