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Our Staff

Ken Egan • Executive Director

Ken Egan has served as the executive director of Humanities Montana since 2009. Born in Polson, graduating high school in Great Falls, and receiving his B.A. in English from the University of Montana, he has deep roots in the state. After completing his Ph.D. in American literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ken taught college literature and writing at Middlebury College, Rocky Mountain College, and Drury University. He also received Fulbright grants to teach American literature in Greece and Slovakia. He served on the board of the (then) Montana Committee for the Humanities from 1989-1992, and he currently serves on the board of the Federation of State Humanities Councils. He and his wife, Terry, have two sons, Devin and Brian, living in Las Vegas and Berlin respectively. His books include Montana 1889, Montana 1864, Hope and Dread in Montana Literature, and Writers Under the Rims: A Yellowstone County Anthology.


Kim Anderson • Director of Programs and Grants

Kim returned to her hometown of Missoula in 1989 and spent the next eleven years caring for her two children and working out of a home office as both a free-lance writer and editor and the executive director of several nonprofit arts organizations. Before returning to Missoula, she worked in New York City as the editor for an international business newspaper, The Journal of Commerce, an associate editor for a national magazine, Quest, an associate editor at Arbor House Publishing, a division of the Hearst Corporation, and as subsidiary rights agent for the literary agency Lescher & Lescher, Ltd. As a free-lance writer articles, essays, fiction and poetry have appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Journal of Commerce, Redbook, Ladies Home Journal, Horizon, The Financial Times, Quest, and others.


Brooke Beighle • Executive Assistant and Communications Director

Brooke received her B.A. (Hons) in Communication Studies from the University of Montana and an A.A. in Music (Vocal Performance) from Musician’s Institute in Los Angeles, CA. During her time as an Arts and Culture Reporter for the Montana Kaimin at UM and student ambassador for the Kakehashi Project in Japan, she explored the intersect of cultural values, artistic expression and the human experience, and how those important stories are communicated to the public. Brooke manages the internal and external communications for Humanities Montana’s various programs, initiatives, events and grant opportunities and is always looking for fresh ways to connect Montanans to the humanities.


Samantha Dwyer • Program Officer

Born and raised in Montana, Sam earned her Master of Arts in literature, with a minor in art and an emphasis in science from the University of Montana. She loves finding the humanities connections in a broad array of topics and fields. Sam originally worked at Humanities Montana from 2011-2016 before taking two years to teach ceramic arts at The American International School of Muscat in Oman, returning to Missoula in 2018. In her role as program officer, Sam plans a variety of programming, including Montana Conversations and Montana Center for the Book programs. She is always looking for new partnerships that will help bring the humanities to more Montanans.


Sara Stout • Development Director

Sara was raised on the east coast and earned her B.A.Sc. with a concentration in History from the Wilkes Honors College in Florida. She has lived in many states due to her father's career in the U.S. military but has called Montana home since 2010 when she moved here as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer. Sara fell in love with all Montana has to offer and was committed to continuing her work with nonprofit organizations after completing her national year of service. She has worked with local, state, and national nonprofits across the state and enjoys connecting individuals and communities with causes they are passionate about. Outside of the office, Sara loves exploring Montana and looks forward to sharing this great state with her new son.


Valerie Manne • Digital Communications Specialist (Contract)

Valerie moved from the Adirondacks in northern New York to Butte, Montana just last summer in 2018. She has experience working with agencies, small businesses, and nonprofits and loves the one-on-one interactions with her clients. When not at work you can find her hiking, woodworking, or focusing on personal projects.