(Baltimore) – Maryland Humanities launches the Voices and Votes Electoral Engagement Project (VVEEP) this month. This project is supported by a recently awarded $50,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation administered through the Federation for State Humanities Councils for its new initiative entitled “Why It Matters: Civic and Electoral Participation.” This initiative explores civic participation as it relates to electoral engagement in a multivocal democracy: Maryland Humanities is one of 43 state and jurisdictional humanities councils to receive this funding. Programming consists of three components: outgoing grants, an oral history collection, and an author event.

VVEEP kicks off with Voices and Votes Electoral Engagement Support Grants. Maryland Humanities is accepting proposals from organizations to support programming related to civic and electoral engagement. Proposals are due November 15 at 11:59 p.m. and all events must occur by March 31, 2021.

Maryland Humanities’ Museum on Main Street and Maryland Voices programs and The Peale Center for Baltimore History and Architecture will collaborate on a story collection project in conjunction with the upcoming statewide tour of the Smithsonian traveling exhibition, Voices and Votes: Democracy in America. The exhibition will tour five Maryland regions, and each host venue will record interviews with newly minted voters (ages 18–24) in each community creating a total of 30–40 high-quality shareable digital videos.  These stories will be shared through Peale’s “Be Here Stories” app, at a listening station that will become part of the Voices and Votes exhibition, and elsewhere. The last facet of the initiative will be led by Maryland Center for the Book (MCFB) at Maryland Humanities. MCFB will host a prominent author whose work will engage Marylanders and open up a conversation about civic participation.

Lindsey Baker, Executive Director of Maryland Humanities, says: “This subject matter is critical any year, but especially this one. We appreciate being able to provide this timely programming in a such a unique moment for our state and country.” She continues, “We look forward to this exploration of civic engagement with Marylanders.”

Information about VVEEP will be available at www.mdhumanities.org.

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