Art professor’s project ‘The Land of Milk and Honey’ nets $20,000 California Humanities grant

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Photo CSUSB: “The Land of Milk and Honey,” a series of multidisciplinary and multilingual arts and culture programs examining the history and legacy of migrant workers.
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A visual arts program created by Cal State San Bernardino art associate professor Edward “Ed” Gomez was one of 10 recently selected for funding by California Humanities, a nonprofit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The organization recently announced grants totaling $175,000 in support of large-scale humanities programming statewide.

“The Land of Milk and Honey,” a series of multidisciplinary and multilingual arts and culture programs examining the history and legacy of migrant workers, received $20,000 through the new Humanities for All grant initiative. The programs are part of the MexiCali Biennial, a nonprofit visual arts organization created in 2006 by Gomez and fellow artist Luis G. Hernandez.

Drawing inspiration from the writing of John Steinbeck, “The Land of Milk and Honey” offers a comprehensive look at California agriculture past and present. Through exhibitions, panel discussions, film screenings, music programs and community-based interactive projects, “artists, academic experts, writers and culture bearers will explore foodways, ecology and food security,” according to the grant announcement.

The traveling programs will be presented in conjunction with partner organizations in the Inland Empire, Monterey Bay, the Imperial Valley and along the California-Mexico border. They will examine the bracero labor program and its legacy, the global impact of migrant workers, the symbiotic relationship between the U.S. and Mexico, the rise and legacy of the United Farm Workers, the importance of land in the Mexican Revolution, and the history and legacy of immigration in California.

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Humanities for All is a new grant program for California projects that encourage greater public participation in humanities programming, particularly by new and underserved audiences. Grants are intended to promote “understanding and empathy among all our state’s peoples in order to cultivate a thriving democracy.”

“Despite pandemic challenges, we continue to see an increase in applicants,” said Julie Fry, president and CEO of California Humanities. “This shows us that Californians continue to value the integral role the humanities play in strengthening and supporting community.”

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