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Exciting News About Our Recent Grants

THE EMILY DICKINSON MUSEUM RECEIVES OVER $100,000 IN GRANTS FOR INTERPRETIVE PLANNING, OPERATING SUPPORT, AND RESTORATION

The grants will be used to improve and increase access to Emily Dickinson’s poetic and personal legacy in the place she called home.

cupola(AMHERST, Mass., August 28, 2019) – Today the Emily Dickinson Museum announced that it will receive over $100,000 in grants for interpretive planning, operational support, and restoration. The largest of the grants is a Public Humanities Planning grant of $63,025 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The NEH award will support a year of interpretive planning to unite the Museum’s historic spaces and collections to better serve its growing contemporary audience. Public Humanities Planning grants from the NEH are typically awarded for up to $40,000 per grantee, but larger sums are granted to exceptionally ambitious and complex proposals like the Museum’s.

Program Director Brooke Steinhauser says the grants will allow the Museum to “incorporate current scholarship and more inclusive methodologies of interpretation” into its already vibrant programming. As the site of the largest and most varied collection of non-manuscript objects associated with Emily Dickinson and her family, and as the site where Dickinson penned nearly all of her 1,789 poems, the grants will help the Museum to consider how to provide interpretation of and access to its resources, resulting in the best possible visitor experience.

The Emily Dickinson Museum is one of 16 humanities projects this cycle to receive a grant from the NEH for planning or implementation, all of which will support vital research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. The National Endowment for the Humanities preserves America’s rich history and cultural heritage, by encouraging and supporting scholarship and innovation in history, archaeology, philosophy, literature, and other humanities disciplines. In addition to the work at the Emily Dickinson Museum, this round of grants will enable continued work on the papers of presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln, as well as publication of the complete speeches, correspondence, and writings of Martin Luther King Jr. and Eleanor Roosevelt, and a new scholarly edition and translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

In addition to the NEH grant, the Museum will receive $30,000 from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund and $12,200 from the Massachusetts Culture Council’s Cultural Investment Portfolio. The planning grant from the Facilities Fund will be used to plan the restoration of the hallways, parlors, and bedrooms in the Museum, tripling the amount of restored interpretive space in the Homestead. The grant from the Cultural Investment Portfolio will support operations at the Museum. Executive Director Jane Wald says the grants will help to transform the Museum’s interpretation by “preparing to restore this private poet’s public spaces to their appearance during her most important writing years.”

Since its inception, the Emily Dickinson Museum has welcomed more than 150,000 visitors from 50 countries and serves as the premier center for study, interpretation, and celebration of Emily Dickinson’s place in literature, history, and culture. These awards will support the Museum’s mission to spark the imagination by amplifying Dickinson’s revolutionary poetic voice from the place she called home. The Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Learn more at www.EmilyDickinsonMuseum.org.

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. 

Managed in collaboration with MassDevelopment, the Cultural Facilities Fund provides major improvement grants to nonprofit cultural organizations, in recognition of their profound economic impact on communities across Massachusetts. Since 2006, the Fund has encouraged sound growth, supported important development projects, played a crucial role in the growth of local tourism, created thousands of jobs, and driven millions of dollars in private investment.

The Cultural Investment Portfolio provides both general operation and project-based grants to nonprofit organizations that enrich Massachusetts’ cultural life. The Portfolio works to strengthen a cultural sector that generates $1.2 billion in economic activity, creates thousands of jobs, and delivers programs to more than 20 million people a year. Not just a funder, the Portfolio is a source of invaluable expertise, advocacy, and peer dialogue.

Poetry in the parlor

Amherst Arts Night Plus – May 2, 2019

Amherst Arts Night PlusMay Featured Readers

Hampshire College students of Professor Thuy Le Diem share their original compositions from the course, ‘Emily Dickinson’s Radical Poetics’.

Winners of the Five College Poetry Fest:

Olivia Caldwell is a Division II student at Hampshire College studying Poetry, Photography, and Sociocultural Anthropology. She is a pun enthusiast and cat mom who spends much of her time watching mid-2000s dramatic television and considering the fate of humanity. Her work can be found in Forest For The Trees Literary Journal and Enigma Literary Magazine.

Mars Early-Hubelbank is a soon-to-be graduate of Mount Holyoke College. Their identity lies at an intersection of Blackness and transness, to name a few things.

Lucy Liu studies studio art and poetry at Smith College. She grew up in Beijing, speaking and writing in English and Chinese.


Poetry in the parlor

First Thursday poetry readings at the Homestead

The Emily Dickinson Museum participates in Amherst Arts Night Plus on first Thursdays each month. Free and open to all! Each month enjoy the following:

  • 5PM-8PM View the pop-up exhibition of contemporary art in the Homestead
  • 5 to 6 pm: Open mic signups for poets, writers, performers of any kind. Share your work in a safe, welcoming, and inspiring place!
  • 6 pm: Open mic begins
  • Featured readers follow the open mic

Please note that the works of guest artists may contain sensitive or mature material and do not necessarily represent the views of the Emily Dickinson Museum.

fascicle of some of Emily's poems bound with string

Writer’s Workshop: “First — Poets — Then the Sun —”

Tuesday, April 30 from 5-7 PM or Sunday, May 5 from 4-6 PM

Emily Dickinson—when she counted at all—counted poets first. In this intimate poetry workshop held during private hours at the Emily Dickinson Museum, be inspired by the space and place that informed Dickinson’s own revolutionary poetic voice. Adult writers of any level and degree of experience are welcome to participate in this workshop facilitated by poet and writing coach Burleigh Muten. A private tour and prompts based on Dickinson’s life and work will guide the workshop. Participants will spend time writing poetry in the historic rooms of the Dickinson Homestead, including the poet’s bedroom. Snacks will be provided.

PLEASE NOTE: SUNDAY, MAY 5 WORKSHOP IS FULL. ROOM REMAINS FOR THE TUESDAY WORKSHOP. (4/17)
  • The participation fee is $40 per person.
  • Workshop is offered twice, participants choose one date
  • Advance reservation is required and space is limited
  • To register please e-mail EDMPrograms@EmilyDickinsonMuseum.org and indicate your workshop date preference.

This program is offered as part of ArtWeek, presented by the Highland Street Foundation and produced by the Boch Center.

Burleigh Muten reads

Burleigh Muten reads

About the Facilitator: Burleigh Muten is a tour guide at the Emily Dickinson Museum and the author of Miss Emily a verse novel for young readers that celebrates the poet’s playful relationships with the children in her life. Muten is also a poet, a writing coach, and has led writing workshops and retreats for adults throughout New England. Visit Burleigh’s website: https://www.burleighmuten.com

 

 

Lettering on a sidewalk washed by rain

The Art of Rain Poetry

Proud Event Host of ArtWeek

In celebration of ArtWeek and National Poetry Month, the Emily Dickinson Museum will make poetry come to life when it rains in Amherst. See if you can spot all six selected poems around town from our Art of Rain Poetry competition. We promise these compositions will make even a soggy stroll delightful. As you discover the rain poems, be sure to snap a photo and tag it on social media with #ArtofRainPoetry !

Poems were selected after a call for submissions. Our thanks to the nearly 80 poets who sent in poems!

ANNOUNCING THE ART OF RAIN POETS:

Jill Hughes is a reader, seeker, observer of the humanities. She is a career student and apprentice, as well as a current co-owner at Collective Copies and Levellers Press. In 2017, she received her MA in Poetry and Poetics from the University of Maine, where she also co-founded a multidisciplinary performance series called The Happenings Series.

Loy Kong, a five-year-old student at Crocker Farm Elementary, has been in Amherst since last August. This is the first time that she has been in another country. She played alone for the first few months because of the language barrier, but she has always stayed positive and said, “Mommy, don’t worry. It is going to be ok.” Now she has good friends and she is so happy about that. She loves learning new things and writing poems.

Manuel Becerra is a Mexican poet who is working on a poetry book about Emily Dickinson. He is the author of five books and has won numerous national and international literature awards. His work has been translated into English, French and Italian. Becerra held a fellowship at Art Omi in New York, 2018. Find more of his poems here.

Margaret Winikates is a poet, author, and museum educator from Boston, MA.  She majored in English Literature and Language at Harvard University.  She currently works for the New England Museum Association, is a board member for the Museum Education Roundtable, and is a member of the Leadership Council for MassCreative.  Her poems, essays, and short fiction can be found at MassPoetry’s U35 archive, all the sins, the Center for the Future of Museums,  Window Cat Press, Connected at the Peabody Essex Museum, and Zetetic: A Record of Unusual Inquiry, as well as at https://mwinikates.com/

 Howie Faerstein is a poet whose second full-length poetry collection, Googootz and Other Poems, published by Press 53 came out in September, 2018. His work can be found in numerous journals, including Great River ReviewNimrod, CutthroatUpstreetOff the CoastCape Cod Poetry Review, Mudfish, and on-line in Gris-Gris, and Connotation Press. He lives in Florence, Massachusetts. 

HOW TO FIND RAIN POEMS:
Use the map below to find the poems on a rainy day!

 Our Partners:

About Art Week: Presented by the Highland Street Foundation and produced by the Boch Center, ArtWeek is an annual award-winning innovative festival featuring more than 500 unique and creative experiences that are hands-on, interactive or offer behind-the-scenes access to artists or the creative process. ArtWeek was born in Boston in 2013 and now serves over 100 towns across Massachusetts as the signature nonprofit community program of the Boch Center.           

About Mass Poetry: Mass Poetry believes that words matter. They support poets and poetry in Massachusetts, help to broaden the audience of poetry readers, bring poetry to readers of all ages, and transform people’s lives through inspiring verse. They are a 501(c)(3) organization.

Three smiling volunteers at the Amherst poetry fest, 2009

Amherst Art Walk with Jan Freeman and Ellen Hart

Date: Thursday, August 6, 2018
Time: 5-8 p.m.
Location:
Homestead Parlor

Join us for our monthly Amherst Art Walk program.

This month, poet and Paris Press Executive Director Jan Freeman and Ellen Hart, co-editor (along with Emily Dickinson International Society President Martha Nell Smith) of the Paris Press publication Open Me Carefully, will be the featured readers starting at 7 pm in the Homestead parlor. Freeman and Hart’s presentation will address women’s voices, past and present, in publication. Paris Press, founded in 1995 as a platform for overlooked women’s literature, published Open Me Carefully in 1998, which features Emily Dickinson’s 40-year correspondence with her sister-in-law and neighbor Susan Huntington Dickinson. Freeman and Hart’s readings will explore the arc of a relationship through these letters and through Freeman’s own contemporary poetry.

Tours of The Evergreens will also be offered for $5 from 5pm to 7 pm.