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Center for Independent Documentary, Inc. (Boston, MA 02135-1032)
Tracie Holder (Project Director: January 2020 to present)
The People's Will

Production of a sixty-minute documentary using the 1849 Astor Place Riot to explore the history of theater, American politics, and social class in burgeoning urban centers.

The People’s Will, a 56-minute documentary, is the story of the Astor Place Riot which was sparked by two rival productions of Macbeth and marked the first time American troops would fire on American citizens. The event led to the death of 23 people in New York City in 1849. The People’s Will will explore this neglected episode of antebellum history which scholars now recognize as not only emblematic but pivotal. The film will address major humanities themes—social mobility vs. economic stratification, public order vs. free speech, political participation, and national identity—with a goal of providing a deeper understanding of history and of still-contested American issues.

Project fields:
Cultural History; U.S. History

Media Projects Production

Public Programs

Totals (outright + matching):
$485,000 (approved)
$485,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2021 – 5/31/2024