News Category: Council Community

“The Future of Journalism, the Fate of Democracy” with Virginia Humanities

“In Virginia alone, we lost 39 weekly newspapers between 2004 and 2020 and three dailies, a 27% decrease in news publications statewide,” said Matthew Gibson, executive director of Virginia Humanities, as he introduced the first of a two-part series of conversations on June 8 titled “The Future of Journalism, the Fate of Democracy.” A Virginia Humanities program, the series drew registrations from 45 different US states and territories and is part of the “Democracy and the Informed Citizen” initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils and funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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Rural Goings-on in Kentucky

The idea of rural America is always shifting, but it’s seen a dramatic change during the pandemic. In Kentucky, two Smithsonian Museum on Main Street traveling exhibits, “Voices and Votes: Democracy in America” and “Crossroads: Change in Rural America,” are currently touring, centering rural communities’ past, present, and future. Read more here in “Rural Goings-on in Kentucky.”

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Rural Rewards: An Economic Executive Director on the Strength of Small Towns

The idea of living in a rural town has changed during the pandemic, Long said, so that there’s a lot of competition for talent across urban and rural communities. “People have figured out that they can work from anywhere, and people can retire and move to just about anywhere they want to live,” Long said. “And so you really gotta be a community that people want to move to.” Read more here in Rural Rewards

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For Pride Month: Humanities Council Programs

For Pride Month, humanities councils join parades across the country with histories of change, LGBTQ ancestors, jazz, politics, literature, film, and stories past, present, and future. And people have noticed: among many, read stories about Vermont Humanities Council and Rhode Island Council for the Humanities programs that celebrate the contributions of trans and LGBTQ+ individuals and check out the list inside for additional programs.

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Caring Labor Sustains Life: Women’s Labor Activism in the Appalachian South

“These are men who worked for wages, and we associate them with the building of modern America. The coal miner in particular is an icon of the American working class. But what about domestic workers, farm laborers, or workers in the service industry? What about non-wage work?” said Dr. Jessica Wilkerson in a virtual West Virginia Humanities Council “Little Lecture” on May 30.

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Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with the State and Jurisdictional Humanities Councils

What is decolonization? “Decolonization is not a metaphor…It’s more than a word. It’s a process, it’s a material shift,” explained Aiko Yamashiro, executive director of Hawai’i Council for the Humanities, in a Federation Wednesday Webinar on May 19—just one of many discussions focused on Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage that happened across humanities councils and their communities this year. Click here to access a webinar on decolonization featuring several of our council leaders, a sample of programs occurring in Hawai’i, Guahan, and the Northern Marianas, and an interview with Dr. Bill Tsutsui on the “monstrous imagination” of the Japanese as he discusses Godzilla and other Japanese monsters.

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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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