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SCHS SPECIAL PROJECTS GRANTS

   Anyone involved in the operation of a local history museum or historic site knows first- hand about the frustration associated with finding funding for a project that although limited in size, subject, or audience, still could have significant impact on our knowledge of local history. 

   After years of providing piece-meal support for a cross-section of history projects including some of the Society's own efforts, in 2013 the board of directors voted to develop a formal method of dealing with requests for money from groups and individuals, especially after it raised $9,000 in Founders Fund donations in 2011 in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Society. At the time, the Society considered using the donations to pay for permanent plaques in area schools providing information on the history of each building, but the scope and cost was unworkable. Instead , board voted to create the Special Grants Program and limit the amount of monies that could be dispensed each year to $3,000. The first grant were awarded in 2013.

   Since then, the grant program has been tweaked, from semi-annual to annual, and refined to be more reflective of what types of projects the Society will fund, how much it will allot, and what our expectations will be of those organizations and individuals who receive our awards. It continues to be a work in progress.


WHAT WE GIVE

   The Society usually sets aside a total of $3,000 a year for the Special Projects Grant program whose winners are determined by a committee. If less than $3,000 is awarded in any given year, the additional funds can be applied to the overall total the following year or kept in reserve. 

   Today's Special Grants Project funds come from proceeds from the Society's annual Trivia Night held each spring. Grants usually range from $500 to $1,000 but are not limited to those designations.

TIMELINE

   The annual competition is normally announced in January or early February. 

   To apply, you would go to this page and download the SPECIAL PROJECTS APPLICATION FORM to start the process. the form will ask you in detail to describe the proposed project, costs, purpose, prospective audience and more. Since the forms are revised each year, the latest form will not be posted here until the competition is announced. 

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS 

   There are limitations on the types of projects the Society will consider funding. They will be specified in the application document. All projects must be completed within a year and if applicable, grant winners may be asked to be part of or give an individual program about their project for the Society if appropriate. The Society must be publicly acknowledged for its support. 

   The winners are announced at the Society' s Annual Dinner held in June. Winners will be invited to attend as guests of the Society and will be expected to provide a brief description of their project.


SPECIAL PROJECT GRANT WINNERS
BY YEAR

2019

Central 3 Community First Project Inc., $1,000.
Project: Signage for first black firehouse in Springfield describing its history and role in the 1908 race riot. An architectual drawing of the new façade will be added following completion of restoration.

Springfield & Central Illinois African American History Museum,: $1,000.
Project: Exhibit on the national Negro League players from Springfield and Central Illinois and their impact on area baseball.

Pleasant Plains Historical Society, $500.
Project: Refine and rebuild wheel chair ramps to three historic buildings at its Clayville Historic Site,

Oak Ridge National Cemetery, $500
Project: Create an interpretive marker with historical information about the former third street enrance sign (circa 1900), now restored and ready for display at the cemetery bell tower.

Springfield Art Association/Historic Edwards Place, $500.
Project: Traveling history trunk program to bring history into the classroom.


2018
Sarah Jones, $1,000
Project: Digitize and thus preserve blueprints of the Sacred Heart Chapel (1895) and the Ursula Hall Music Conservatory (1895) designed by William Conway, Springfield’s first architect.

Rochester Historic Preservation Society,$500
Project: Signage at the Rochester Historic Park,

Oak Hill Cemetery, Clear Lake, $500
Project: Creation of a Donner Party memorial plaque and landscaping

Rochester Sesquicentennial Committee, $500
Project: Plaque marking the grave of Rochester’s first settler, James McCoy who is buried in the 1800s pioneer section of the Rochester Township Cemetery. 

2017
Pleasant Plains Historical Society, $1,000.
Project: Outfitting a newly built log cabin school at its Clayville Historic site. The funds will be used to acquire materials necessary to provide insight into what a school looked like in the early 1800s, when Illinois was a young state. 

Springfield and Central Illinois African American History Museum.$1,000
Project: Research and develop data, pictures and information pertaining to early African American pioneers who settled in Sangamon County and surrounding Central Illinois areas, which will be used to create new exhibits and displays. 

Springfield Art Association/Historic Edwards Place, $500 
Project: Install an exhibit of archeological artifacts dating to circa 1835 -1850 to provide a glimpse into an early 19th century kitchen.

Oak Ridge Cemetery Foundation. $500.
Project: Creation of a donor plaque which will display the names and donors contributing to the restoration of Oak Ridge Cemetery’s handwritten internment Books 1 (includes Abraham Lincoln) and Book 2 (includes Mary Lincoln). 

 

2016
Oak Ridge Cemetery Foundation, $1,000.
Project: Restoration of a  weathered tablet behind which Abraham Lincoln’s remains were placed in the receiving tomb of the cemetery. 

Williamsville Public Library and Museum, $1,000
Project: Historical marker for the Price-Prather House,  built in 1868 by cattle breeder James Price and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“An Historic Christmas," $1,000.
Project: A musical program that tells the story of Christmas as it was celebrated here in the 1800s, at various area historic sites. The grant  covered fees for musicians, singers and performers.

2015
Tara McClellan McAndrew, $900.
Project: Write and produce stories about Springfield and Sangamon County history on Springfield’s National Public Radio station, WUIS-FM. 

Oak Ridge Cemetery Foundation, $1,000.
Project: Replace the broken automatic controller in the bell tower at Oak Ridge Cemetery so that it can resume tolling on the hour and half hour as well as for special events. 

Illinois State Museum Society, $1,000.
Project: Help establish a tree ring analysis laboratory at the Museum’s Research and Collection Center,,to accurately determining date and establish settlement chronology and settlement patterns. .

2014
Pleasant Plains Historical Society, $750.
Project: Permanent signage for a new three-quarter mile loop Nature Trail at its Clayville Historic Site.

Tara McClellan McAndrew, $500. 
Project: Underwrite a program of short stories about the history of Sangamon County that will be aired on WUIS-FM.

Village of Williamsville, $500
Project: Phase two of a signage program that details its Williamsville's involvement in the Interurban, an early mass transportation system.  

2013
Abraham Lincoln Association, $750.
Project: To help purchase T-shirts and caps for youths participating in a  reenactment of the life of Civil War soldiers marking 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Springfield Art Association: $500.
Project: printing and promotional costs in conjunction with four other Springfield historic groups that jointly present “The Fiery Trial: Civil War Stories by Candlelight" as part of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Village of Williamsville, $500.
Project: For graphic design fees for a historic site marker detailing Williamsville’s early transportation system including the Inter Urban rail that provided a direct link into downtown Springfield and points east and west from the late 1800s through the mid 1900s.