Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Workshop Spotlights Curtis H. Sykes Grants

Funded in part by the Curtis H. Sykes
Memorial Grant Program.

The Black History Commission of Arkansas is accepting applications for Curtis H. Sykes grants and will make a presentation about the grant  upon request.

“The Curtis H. Sykes Memorial Grant Program has helped fund more than 100 projects that have saved or highlighted African American history in Arkansas,” said Tatyana Oyinloye, African American History coordinator for the Arkansas State Archives. “It’s important that we continue to preserve our history because it is part of our collective history and identity. Without this grant, important aspects of Arkansas’s African American history would have been lost or forgotten.”

Oyinloye presented information about the grant program and application process during a workshop this past Tuesday at the Elaine Legacy Center at 313 College Ave. in Elaine, Arkansas. Information at the workshop included an overview of the Black History Commission of Arkansas, which funds the program; criteria for applying for a grant; activities not funded for grants; and how to develop a project budget and budget justification.  The workshop was free and was sponsored by the Phillips County African American Cemetery Association.

More workshops may be presented upon request, Oyinloye said.

Funded in part by the Curtis H. Sykes Memorial
Grant Program.
The Curtis H. Sykes Memorial Grant Program offers grants that provide support for African American historical preservation and public programming projects in Arkansas. The grants are open year-round to individuals and groups.

The most recent grants were approved in November and included three book projects and a play. The grant will help pay for a theater performance of  "Death by Design," which will be at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center on Feb. 28 and 29. The play is about events leading up to a fire in 1959 that burned down a dormitory and killed 21 boys at the Negro Boys Industrial School in Wrightsville, Arkansas.

The grant also has helped fund major events, such as “A Centennial Commemoration: Historical Contributions of African AmericanPsychologists from Arkansas,” which is planned as part of the 2020 Black History Month Celebration at Philander Smith College on Feb. 28.

The Sykes grant programs has funded more than 100 projects statewide since it started in 1997. Past projects have included historical research, exhibitions, workshops, publications, oral history interviews, documentary films, cemetery preservation and documentation. The maximum amount for the grant is $3,500 per project.

For more information or to set up a workshop, contact Tatyana Oyinloye at 501-682-6892 or at tatyana.oyinloye@arkansas.gov. For information on the workshop in Elaine, Arkansas, contact James White at 870-714-0307.

About 20 people attended a workshop Feb. 4 for the Curtis H. Sykes Memorial Grant
Program. The event was presented by Tatyana Oyinloye, our African American
History coordinator, at the Elaine Legacy Center in Elaine, Arkansas.