The Rosendale Theatre Collective announces the awarding of a grant through the National Writing Project’s Building a More Perfect Union, a grant program for humanities organizations across the US to assist in recovering from interruptions to operations due to the coronavirus pandemic. As part of the American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grantmaking for Organizations at the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Building a More Perfect Union program funds organizations to develop programming in anticipation of the upcoming 250th anniversary of the founding of the US.
The Rosendale Theatre’s Project, titled “The Eagle’s Nesters: Beyond the Myths,” focuses on the mixed-race and poor white neighbors living on the mountain above the Town of Hurley between 1840 and 1950. Lead historian Dr. Lorna Smedman will work with local history buffs, informants and students to create a comprehensive study of the area. Actor, playwright and musician David Gonzalez will use this research to create a performance piece to be presented at the Rosendale Theatre in March of 2023. Donna Dabney-Jeffress, a retired teacher and descendant of Eagle’s Nesters, will lead the education team. Historical information will be organized on a website by New Paltz historian Susan Stessin-Cohn.
“These pandemic relief funds are saving the arts and humanities.” said Wendy Saul, a Rosendale Theatre Board member and author of the grant. “It is support like this that enables the Rosendale Theatre not only to survive, but also to grow in scope and ambition.”
The awarded projects, selected through a competitive, peer-reviewed application process, are located at local, regional or cross-regional organizations such as not-for-profits, museums, libraries and archives, historic sites and public-facing humanities centers at colleges and universities across the country. This funding will help such entities restore programming post-pandemic and to engage or deepen collaborations with stakeholders and communities that will expand their reach.
To learn more about “The Eagle’s Nesters: Beyond the Myths” and the Rosendale Theatre’s contribution to this Building a More Perfect Union grant, visit nwp.org or contact Wendy Saul at firstname.lastname@example.org.