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Program Of the People: Widening the Path

2022 CCDI Recipients

The Connecting Communities Digital Initiative encourages digital programs that add and amplify the stories of people whose voices have historically been minimized and that innovatively incorporate Library collections.

The Library of Congress is pleased to announce the inaugural awardees of the CCDI grants. Beginning in April, the library and higher education recipients will work on their projects over the next 12 months. The scholar recipient will spend the next two years working on their project.

2022 Higher Education Grant Recipient

Huston-Tillotson University

stylized image of Huston-Tillotson University

PROJECT: “Harlem Renaissance Meets Huston-Tillotson University”


This project explores the formation of Black aesthetics in the early 20th century and reflects on its meanings in our contemporary moment. Students at Huston-Tillotson University, a historically Black university, will work with Harlem Renaissance-era photograph collections in the university’s archive at the Library of Congress, and contemporary photographs taken by their peers. After careful study and research of selected photographs, students will produce new literature, art, dance and fashion that reimagines Austin and Harlem. Students will also build physical and virtual exhibitions based on their creative work. This multimodal approach allows students and Austin resident’s time and space to learn more about the Harlem Renaissance, to understand Austin in the 1920s and 1930s, and to discuss and compare Black cultural production across time. external link

“[S]taff at the Downs-Jones Library are ecstatic to have received this grant from the Library of Congress. We're invested in preserving Huston-Tillotson University's legacy and supporting its students with outstanding library and archives services. With the grant, we aim to continue our mission and values and uphold the institution's history and community excellence.”

~ Bree’ya Brown, project lead

2022 Libraries, Archives, and Museums Grant Recipient

Kenton County Public Library

stylized image of Kenton County Public Library

PROJECT: “Crafting Stories, Making History: The African American Experience in Covington, KY”

LOCATION: Covington, KY

The city of Covington, Kentucky, is an urban border city situated on the southern shore of the Ohio River directly across from downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. The historically Black Eastside neighborhood has long served as a cultural center for African-Americans across the Northern Kentucky region. This project seeks to illuminate and preserve the legacies, lives and experiences of African-Americans in the region. The Kenton County Public Library, in partnership with the Center for Greater Neighborhoods, and phrie worlds, an artist-in-residence, will collaborate with cross-generational residents of the Eastside and neighboring communities to use the Library of Congress’ digital collections about Kentucky as a catalyst for artistic and media production by and for residents of the past and present. The Library’s digital collections and materials will be paired with listening sessions between youth and elders and will form the basis for coding, quilting, traveling and digital exhibitions, design interventions, and other forms of storytelling. Community members will have the opportunity to collaborate with artists-in-residence that have ties to this community. external link

"Receiving this grant means that we can continue to connect generations in a creative and meaningful way so that these stories and knowledge will live on forever and help shape the community we live in."

~ Jameela Salaah, team member

2022 Scholar in Residence

Maya S. Cade

stylized image of Maya S Cade

PROJECT: “Black Film Archive: Tenderness in Black Film”

LOCATION: Brooklyn, NY

Maya S. Cade, creator and curator of Black Film Archive, a living register of Black films from 1915 to 1979, will explore the place of tenderness in American Black film during her two-year residency at the Library. Black Film Archive, an already impressive digital archive, will draw on the vast digital collections at the Library by working with librarians, archivists and preservationists in the Moving Image Research Center to make a much larger corpus of films more accessible to the public. Moreover, Cade’s tenderness prompt will create space for the public to think more deeply not only about Black film but also about the possibilities and necessities of tenderness (as critical metadata) in digital collections. Through social media engagement, a dynamic digital annotated bibliography, and a short film, Cade will guide us in the vital task of re-imagining what tenderness has and can look like in libraries, archives and cinema. external link

"The Library of Congress’ ongoing commitment to finding innovative pathways for the public to access a wealth of knowledge is a quest mirrored in my work with Black Film Archive. Becoming the inaugural Scholar-in-Residence for the CCDI grant ensures Black Film Archive continues to expand Black film scholarship for years to come. Building out the future of the Archive with the support and resources of the Library is a dream come true."

~ Maya S. Cade

Blog: Of the People

Latest news on the Library-wide initiative, Of the People: Widening the Path, that connects the national library more deeply with Black, Indigenous and communities of color historically underrepresented in Library’s collections.


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