Seed Savers Exchange was recently awarded a $20,000 Humanities Project Grant from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs for the project “Seed Savers Exchange Conference and Campout: Connecting through Seed and Stories.”
The statewide grant program supports public humanities projects and educational programs that encourage contemplation, spark conversation, and invite communities to explore the human experience.
“We are thrilled to have been awarded this grant—the Seed Savers Exchange Conference and Campout is one of the highlights of our year. It brings together the magic and stories of seeds, and allows us to connect with passionate collaborators from all over the world,” said Cindy Goodner, development officer for Seed Savers Exchange, who authored the grant. “Since the founding of Seed Savers Exchange, community has been at the heart of our nonprofit work. A strong and connected community means more hearts and hands working to keep heirloom varieties where they belong, in our garden and on our tables.”
Funding for the new program comes from the National Endowment for the Humanities, a federal agency that last year recognized the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs as its interim state humanities council partner in Iowa. “The humanities help us understand human and cultural experiences and how we connect with one another in meaningful ways,” Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Chris Kramer said. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to award these funds for innovative programs that strengthen communities and deepen interdisciplinary learning for students across the state.” Grants were awarded to historic sites, museums, community groups, colleges and universities, libraries, and organizations that focus on culture and art. The grants also coincide with two of the department’s other major initiatives: a yearlong commemoration of Iowa’s 175th statehood anniversary and a promotional campaign to encourage Iowans to “Re-imagine, Re-engage and Reconnect” with local history, arts, and culture.