Michigan Humanities Council announces grant

MARQUETTE — The Cedar Tree Institute is pleased to announce an award from the Michigan Humanities in support of Water Rising, a public humanities project planned for this fall. Humanities Grants support projects exploring history, theatre, reading, education and community identity.

The Cedar Tree Institute is a nonprofit organization, based in Northern Michigan, that initiates projects and provides services in the areas of mental health, religion, and the environment. Water Rising is part of the Cedar Tree Institute’s Interfaith’s Water Steward Initiative, a 4- year collaborative effort to preserve, celebrate, protect, and sanctify the waters and streams of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

“We are absolutely delighted to be able to work with community partners to unfold the Water Rising project this coming October,” said Jon Magnuson, CTI executive director

Water Rising is a collaboration between husband and wife artists — British sculptor, Garth Evans and wife, American writer, Leila Philip. Evans and Philip hope to help communities discover their own unique connection to place, deepening the personal sense of responsibility to stewardship of their particular cultural heritage(s) and environment.

Superior Watershed Partnership, one of the project collaborators, will provide community members access to volunteer opportunities in environmental projects throughout the Marquette area. Other collaborators include Northern Michigan University’s College of Art & Design, the City of Marquette’s Arts Culture department, and the Fresh Coast Film Festival.

According to Shelly Kasprzycki, president of MH, “Humanities Grant projects are an invaluable way for sharing humanities-rich, cultural programming throughout Michigan. These projects not only educate, inform, and enhance local audiences in these communities, but also attract visitors, support community development, and build capacity in organizations around the state.”

Cedar Tree agrees, “We believe that artists, poets, filmmakers, and spiritual leaders will be the guides for this awakening. We look forward to welcoming Leila and Garth as gifted and prophetic artists to help us learn to see and understand in new and magical ways.

Artist, Leila Philip says, “We are looking forward to visiting the gorgeous UP. We hope we can contribute to awareness about the environmental challenges now facing the Great Lakes.”