A New Grant Program from the National Trust for Historic Preservation Highlights Where Women Made History in the Studio, Focus on Programming for Young Students

Just in time for Women History Month, the National Trust for Historic Preservation is pleased to announce the establishment of a new grant program that will celebrate the roles of significant women in art history, by funding the creation of new educational programming for young students (K-5) at historic sites and museums across the country. 

The newly-created Dorothy C. Radgowski Learning Through Women’s Achievement in the Arts Grant is a joint effort of Where Women Made History (WWMH), and Historic Artists’ Homes & Studios (HAHS), both programs of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This new financial support will enable sites to put women at the center of their interpretive story, highlighting their accomplishments, histories, and integral roles in the worlds of art, history, and historic preservation.

The initial cohort of grants will support four creative projects presenting the fuller personal and artistic journeys of women whose lives all intersected at one artist’s home and studio, and whose complex narratives and involvement in successful studio practice have been largely unrecognized. 

The grants include SaltLife: Students Create Kinetic Sculptures and Soundwalk Inspired by Art and Home of Helen Torr at the Helen Torr/Arthur Dove Cottage (Heckscher Museum of Art) in Centerport, NY. Students will visit the Dove/Torr Cottage, learn how the natural world and local ecology affected the life and art of Helen Torr, and create kinetic sculptures and a soundwalk for a public art installation. ($18,000 grant)

The Renee Gross in Mid 20th-Century Greenwich Village at the Renee and Chaim Gross Foundation (RCGF), New York, NY. Drawing on Renee Gross’ life story and experiences as an immigrant, a pandemic survivor, an activist and organizer, and a philanthropist, and the lives of the many women artists in her orbit, RCGF will develop educational resources for K-5 students to provide them access to a small site and histories that would otherwise not be accessible. ($18,000 grant)

Centering Women in STEAM through Classroom, Field Trip, and Digital Learning for 4th Graders at the Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park/Saint-Gaudens Memorial, Cornish, NH. This place and collections-based project shines a light on the many women involved in the creative process associated with sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens through the development of science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) focused lesson plans for 4th grade students and education professionals. ($14,500 grant)

Looking Closer with O’Keeffe: STEAM Learning Experiences at Georgia O’Keeffe’s Home & Studio, Abiquiu, NM. At the artist’s former home, now owned at operated by the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, underserved and predominantly Spanish-speaking students from the local elementary school system will be inspired through immersive educational field trips and family tours rooted in sensory experiences that address accessibility. New STEAM learning opportunities will celebrate this icon of modernism, and acknowledge her own sensory challenges, while building stronger relationships with the local community. ($18,000 grant)

Educational programs developed at each site through the grant program will subsequently be published on the National Trust and the HAHS websites as models to inspire other historic sites to make stories of women’s achievement an integral part of their storytelling and interpretation. 

Looking beyond this initial cohort of grants, the program has already identified several additional projects for potential funding during the summer of 2023, with the goal of awarding and administering at least $100,000 in grants in its first year. 

About WWMH

Where Women Made History is a multi-year campaign of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, dedicated to uncovering and amplifying the powerful, but often overlooked, role of women and their impact on our nation’s history. The WWMH campaign’s objective is to bring new resources and attention to women’s history sites—galvanizing support for the preservation of these places and inspiring a new generation of women leaders. 

About HAHS

The Historic Artists’ Homes & Studios program was first established more than twenty years ago with support from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, to bring together historical sites associated with American artists and to share solutions for common issues. The ever-growing HAHS coalition now includes a total of 61 historic sites across 25 states, each preserving the home and working studio of a significant American artist. More than half of all HAHS sites are associated with women artists.

Top Photo: “The studio at Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park, Cornish, New Hampshire.  Featuring Diana by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Courtesy National Park Service, Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park”

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