Phoebe Stein joined Maryland Humanities as Executive Director in July 2008 and directs its programming, grant making, marketing, fundraising, and governance efforts. Maryland Humanities brings nearly 1,400 free public humanities events to communities across the state annually through partnerships with over five hundred educational, cultural, civic, business, and government organizations. Nearly 800,000 Marylanders experience Maryland Humanities programs each year.
In her role at Maryland Humanities, Stein has overseen the development of several key initiatives, including an ambitious strategic plan and the award-winning Practicing Democracy program, which brought together people with opposing points of view to discuss contentious community issues. This initiative was honored with a Schwartz Prize for “Standout in Risk-Taking and Most Demonstrable Community-Changing Outcomes” in November 2011. In 2015, Stein helped guide Maryland Humanities’ Museum on Main Street program in the small community of Galesville, Maryland, which garnered a Schwartz Prize for outstanding public humanities programming.
Prior to joining Maryland Humanities, Stein spent eight years with the Illinois Humanities Council where she helped create and promote a series of year-long public programs that stimulated and promoted informed dialogue and civic engagement in Illinois. She also taught Writing, American Literature, and Women’s Literature at Loyola University of Chicago and DePaul University from 1991-2000.
Stein earned her BA in English from the University of Michigan and her MA and PhD in English from Loyola University of Chicago. She is the host of Humanities Connection, a weekly program on WYPR-NPR. In addition to a number of articles about modern American literature, Stein most recently authored “Gertrude Stein’s Wars I Have Seen,” a chapter in the book Primary Stein (Rowman and Littlefield 2014). She lives in Baltimore with her husband Rafael Alvarez, an author and journalist.