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Rancho Los Alamitos Receives $5,000 Grant from California Humanities

June 8, 2021

Long Beach, California — California Humanities has announced the recent round of Humanities for All Quick Grant awards. Rancho Los Alamitos Foundation has been awarded $5,000 for its project entitled Women’s Stories from the Gathering Place.

 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. 

 Women’s Stories from the Gathering Place is a three-part, virtual public program series developed by Rancho Los Alamitos (RLA). It was inspired by the Long Beach 2020 Women’s Suffrage Centennial celebration, which shed light on the historical work of women in the area. This prompted RLA staff to learn more about the contributions of women at our site. With the help of California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) students, we delved into our archives and discovered various ways in which the voices and actions of women at RLA influenced and shaped our community. The series title is a reference to our site’s original Tongva name, Povuu’ngna, which means “the gathering place.” Each program centers on a different female figure with ties to RLA. 

 The first program, Cooking for a Crowd, designed for families with children, highlights Lydia Shinkle, the RLA’s cook from 1920 to 1943, who led the complex daily operation of preparing meals on a wood-burning stove for the Bixby family and ranch hands. A virtual tour will feature her private quarters, the ranch hands’ dining room, and the kitchen. Then, participants follow a period-appropriate cookie-making activity from home. Baking kits with aprons and educational information are available for purchase at RLA. The program takes place on Saturday, June 26, 2021, at 10:00 AM. Participation is free, but registration is required. Register at https://bit.ly/RLAcook


Subsequent programs will occur on Sundays, August 8 and October 10, 2021. In August, Cindi Alvitre will read her illustrated children’s book, Waa’aka’: The Bird Who Fell in Love with the Sun (2020) in the Jacaranda Walk – the site of an ancient Tongva kitchen midden. Families will learn about the Tongva tradition of storytelling to preserve and pass on cultural traditions and values. The program in October, geared toward young adults, will be A Seat at the Table, a virtual symposium on women’s roles in civic engagement presented in partnership with CSULB students, the Historical Society of Long Beach, and other community partners. Student researchers will share their findings on local women’s historical civic action and community partners will help facilitate lively conversations that tie history to relevant contemporary conversations. The event aims to encourage young people to be civically engaged as well as vote. Registration will be available on the Rancho’s website prior to the events. 


“These projects will bring the complexity and diversity of California to light in new ways that will engage Californians from every part of our state and will help us all understand each other better,” said Julie Fry, President & CEO of California Humanities. “We congratulate the grantees whose projects will promote understanding and provide insight into a wide range of topics, issues, and experiences.” A complete list of all Humanities For All Quick Grants can be found on the calhum.org website here.  

California Humanities, a nonprofit partner of the National Endowment of the Humanities, promotes the humanities – focused on ideas, conversation, and learning – as relevant, meaningful ways to understand the human condition and connect us to each other in order to help strengthen California. California Humanities has provided grants and programs across the state since 1975. To learn more visit calhum.org, or follow California Humanities on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram