Newport Beach Library Gets Grant for ‘Stories from the Sea: An Oral History Project’

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Fishing on the Newport Pier, 1939

California Humanities has announced the recent round of Humanities For All Quick Grant awards, and the Newport Beach Public Library Foundation is one of the recipients. The Foundation has been awarded $5,000 for its project entitled “Stories from the Sea: An Oral History Project.”

The Humanities For All Quick Grant is a competitive grant program of California Humanities that supports locally-initiated public humanities projects that respond to the needs and interests of Californians, encourage greater public participation in humanities programming, particularly by new and/or underserved audiences, and promotes understanding and empathy among all our state’s peoples in order to cultivate a thriving democracy.

“Stories from the Sea: An Oral History Project” is a collaboration between NBPLF and the UCI Humanities Center. NBPLF is teaming up with a small group of literary journalism, history, and humanities students and professors to create a multi-generational, multi-media oral history project/presentation documenting our community members’ stories.

Fishing from the wharf at Newport Landing, 1889. Courtesy of Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries

The focus area is the Newport Beach bay and coastline. The project seeks to uncover stories about living, working, and enjoying the sea and its nearby environs, development and conservancy of the shoreline and coastal ways, untold stories of indigenous and people of color histories, and other interests the students will be bringing to the table.

NBPLF is looking for community elders with compelling, focused tales and the willingness to share any documentation they might have in the form of photos, ephemera, film, or objects that the students can scan or reproduce. They want the personal side of history and are looking for enthusiastic individuals who can commit a little time to spend with a young person via the phone, Zoom, or other virtual platforms.

If you are interested or know of someone who might be interested, visit or contact NBPLF Director of Programs Kunga Wangmo-Upshaw at [email protected] or (949) 717-3818.

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