News Category: Council Community

Water Storytelling with Utah Humanities

“We have stories about water babies that are in the water, born in the water…but it would hypnotize you and coax you into that water and take you, so when you hear babies down by the river you don’t want to go down there” Cesspooch said. “I think that thing is somewhat also a reason why we didn’t make boats or make water a leisure type of recreation. I think it’s more along the lines of ‘respect water,’ it’s not there to play in, it’s life—it’s just another way of looking at it.” Read on to learn more about Utah Humanities’ “Think Water Utah” conversations.

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HNY’s Amended Podcast and the Nuances of History-telling

The idea for a podcast about the diversity of the women’s suffrage movement took root after HNY’s 2017 centennial commemoration of women’s right to vote in New York state. Rebman said that as they were looking to 2020, the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment (which states that a citizen’s right to vote cannot be denied on the basis of sex), they noticed an appetite to learn and to grapple with what the suffrage movement did—and did not—achieve. Read more about Humanities New York’s Amended podcast here.

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Celebrate Black History Month Throughout the Year with a Council Near You

Our country celebrates Black history this month, but Black history is an ever-present bedrock of who we are as a country. Where is that history? Everywhere! But I only had to look to any of the many humanities councils to learn what it is, how it is recorded, and whose stories it tells. With so many virtual programs going on this year, that meant with a good internet connection I had access to a treasure trove…

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NHC 21: Call for Session Proposals

As we begin 2021, we are very much looking forward to this year’s National Humanities Conference, which will be held November 11-14, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. Of course, we are paying close attention to the CDC and WHO recommendations regarding COVID-19 and will adjust as necessary to ensure the health and well-being of attendees. In addition to the in-person event, we are currently planning a small number of virtual sessions in conjunction with the conference and opportunities to connect from afar. Read the official 2021 NHC Call for Proposals here. DL to submit proposals has been extended to April 19, 2021.

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Building Community Relationships During a Pandemic: PHC’s Teen Reading Lounge

The core of Pennsylvania Humanities Council’s (PHC) award-winning, nontraditional book club, the Teen Reading Lounge (TRL), has always been relationships—between young adults, librarians, and communities who ask questions, share ideas, and develop together. So when schools and libraries closed earlier this year after the pandemic hit, relationships were still going to be at the heart of whatever way the program adapted. Read more.

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Democracy as a Way of Living: Jamelle Bouie with Oregon Humanities

“I think the reason people are motivated [to vote]…is less because they think their individual vote is going to be decisive and more because voting, casting a ballot, is sort of part of a set of things you do as part of a community,” Bouie told Davis. “This is civic participation, it is a collective endeavor that we all do to sort of signal to each other our investment in this idea of self-government and this idea of choosing our leaders.” Read more here.

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Nevada Humanities: Making Voices Heard

When you walk into an art gallery, do you move clockwise or counterclockwise? Are your eyes drawn to the color, the medium, the framing, or the other people milling around? These are just a few questions Nevada Humanities asked themselves when they were adapting their latest exhibition, “Resiliency: A Blooming Diaspora,” online. A lot about the way we move in the world has changed this year because of the pandemic, and walking through a gallery is no exception, but Nevada Humanities knows that doesn’t mean the experience is any less powerful. Read on.

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A Soundtrack for 21st-Century Rural Kansas

Ever hear a song on the radio and feel transported to a place in your mind? John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” or Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” tell the story of America like only music can. Humanities Kansas wanted to capture that feeling as a state-specific part of the “Crossroads: Change in Rural America” tour, a nationwide travelling exhibition focused on rural communities. So they came up with a program called “The Soundtrack of Rural America,” a curated playlist made for and by Kansans. Read more here.

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Mellon Foundation Awards $1.96 Million to FSHC to Support Nationwide Public Humanities Programs on Civic and Electoral Participation

“The state humanities councils have a long record of creating and conducting programs that respond to the unique issues and concerns facing their communities and exploring where community priorities diverge and overlap. This initiative will offer spaces to learn about the electoral process, the role and impact of civic participation, and why it matters,” said Phoebe Stein, president of the Federation of State Humanities Councils. Read more.

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02 Oct 2020
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Interview with Executive Director Brenda Thomson, Arizona Humanities

Our role in moving humanities forward has not changed. It is our mission… to build a just and civil society by creating opportunities to explore our shared human experiences through discussion, learning, and reflection. It has been central to our work and all that we do. Like many councils, we are facing current challenges head on, listening to the needs of communities, and making sure that we help people see the world around them with new eyes. That is the beauty of learning. Sometimes what we see is painful, but the lessons we learn can help us grow. Read more from AZ Humanities Executive Director Brenda Thomson.

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Meet the 2021 NHC Planning Committee

“Michigan Humanities is thrilled to be hosting the 2021 National Humanities Conference in Detroit, MI. Detroit is an amazing city, full of rich history and bursting with vigor and vitality due to its transformation. This will be a once in a lifetime experience, full of Motown, rich experiences with the Arab Chaldean community, automotive history, the grandeur of the Detroit Institute of Art, and the depth of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. We plan to make this an enriching and memorable experience for every conference attendee,” said Shelly Hendrick Kasprzycki, president and CEO of Michigan Humanities Council.

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September Council Program Snapshot

In September, the state and jurisdictional humanities councils are hosting nearly 200 programs that address histories of racism, social injustice, racial biases, women’s suffrage and the right to vote, civic engagement, democracy and journalism, history, and more. Each council created or adapted their programming into virtual experiences due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The programs range from lectures to workshops and online exhibits to virtual book clubs.

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