News Category: Council Community

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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FSHC Announces New Racial Equity Working Group

We are pleased to announce the formation of the Federation’s Racial Equity Working Group. Federation Board Member Gloria White Gardner (Maryland) and Maine Humanities Council Executive Director Hayden Anderson will serve as co-chairs. The group’s goals are to examine the Federation’s practices, policies, and programming, with the intention of coordinating institutional resources to help enact and support a race equity culture among our organization’s staff, board, and member councils nationwide.

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August Council Program Snapshot

Throughout this month, the state and jurisdictional humanities councils are collectively running more than 140 programs across the country that touch on important themes affecting communities across the country, including programs on racial equity, suffrage, Indigenous and Native American women, civic engagement, democracy and journalism, and local histories. The programs range from lectures to workshops and from virtual happy hours to book clubs.

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31 Jul 2020
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Interview with endawnis Spears on Land Acknowledgment, Native Communities and the Role of the Humanities Today

Humanities organizations have extraordinary power in the way that they frame not only our shared and distinct histories in the United States, but also imagining and shaping our collective future, and this includes Indigenous futures. Those of us engaged in humanities work have an opportunity to model what institutional equity looks like by creating long term initiatives that quantify and measure equitable representation within our institutions while also investing in programs that foster career pathways for young Native people, making it explicitly clear that humanities work can be a place of empowerment where they can shape the narratives about their own cultures and communities. Read more from endawnis here.

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