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March 2018

MARCH 2018

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Here are just some of the National Endowment for the Humanities grants awarded to Montanans during 2017:

The Veterans’ Experience, University of Montana, $97,160: A three-year project to develop a veterans studies program.

Drill Rigs and Grain Silos: Harvesting Food History to Capture the Culture of a Community in Change, Montana Historical Society, $12,000: Two digitization days and a public lecture aiming to document local history and culture through foodways in Richland and Roosevelt counties in Montana.

Enhancing Curriculum with Blackfeet Language and Culture, Blackfeet Community College, $101,200: A two-year project to record Piikani-speaking elders and incorporate interviews into liberal arts courses at Blackfeet Community College.

C. M. Russell Museum House and Studio Interpretation Plan, Trigg–C. M. Russell Foundation, Inc., $40,000: Development of an interpretive plan for the historic house and studio of western artist Charles M. Russell (1864–1926).

Verdigris Project, Butte America Foundation, $30,000: The continued digitization of Butte oral histories and the subsequent creation of podcasts and radio shows showcasing the history of Butte mining and culture.

Jon Parrish Peede Nominated as NEH Chair

President Trump has nominated Jon Parrish Peede, a public humanities scholar with wide experience, as the next chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities. You can read much more about the nomination here. Congratulations!

Jon Parrish Peede

Grant Deadlines

Humanities Montana's next grant application deadline is April 20, 2018 for regular grants (over $1,000).

Opportunity grants are available for up to $1,000. These quick-action grants are especially helpful for new or emerging humanities projects in smaller communities.

Event Calendar

Visit our online calendar to find out about upcoming Humanities Montana-sponsored events.


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Humanities Montana strives to enrich the lives of all Montanans by fostering inquiry and stimulating civil and informed conversations about the human experience.

Much more information on Humanities Montana and its many programs and services is available on our website.

Write us at:

Humanities Montana
311 Brantly
Missoula, MT, 59812-7848

or contact us via email, or call us at 406-243-6022.

Apply to Host Hometown Humanities 2018-19

Hometown Humanities is a program of Humanities Montana that brings a year’s worth of free humanities programming and support for humanities projects to one Montana town. In the past year, Humanities Montana has provided over 35 programs and supported multiple projects in Sidney, including a discussion series on diversity in Montana, readings and workshops with the Montana Poet Laureate, a community conversation on the importance of journalism amid charges of "fake news," and a variety of programs designed for area schools.

Do you want your town to be the next Hometown site? Tell us why through our online application. Any town with a population under 20,000 is eligible and the application deadline is May 15th. We look forward to discovering our next Hometown!

Visit our Hometown Humanities page for more information and a calendar of events, and contact Brooke with questions or requests.

Democracy and the Informed Citizen Programs Available for Your Community

What is the future of journalism? How can local journalism, so long a mainstay of community life, be revitalized? What can be done to increase news literacy and combat "fake news"? How has American journalism historically responded to periods of political upheaval and change?

Humanities Montana now offers a new catalog of programs focusing on these questions and others in order to encourage all Montanans to explore the role of journalism in a democratic society. Join the discussion in several ways:

  • Book one of more than a dozen programs from our special Informed Citizen catalog (see directions below).
  • Work with Humanities Montana staff to put together a community conversation featuring local journalists and journalism scholars—send us an email or call Kim Anderson at 406-243-6022.
  • Watch for news about presentations by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists coming to Montana later this year.

You can apply for a program funded by Humanities Montana using our easy online application (identical to our Montana Conversations and Speakers in the Schools applications). All Informed Citizen discussion leaders are selected through a careful application and review process in order to assure the highest quality. Thank you to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Federation of State Humanities Councils for your generous support of this initiative, and the Pulitzer Prizes for your partnership.

Nominate a Montanan for Governor’s Humanities Award

Humanities Montana seeks nominations for the 2019 Governor’s Humanities Awards, to be conferred at a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda on February 7, 2019. Nominations of individuals aged 40 years and younger are especially welcome so we may recognize and honor great promise, innovation, or achievement in the humanities.

The deadline for nominations is Friday, April 27, 2018.

Nominations should be no more than 1000 words and should address the nominee’s contributions to the humanities in Montana. The humanities include the study of literature, history, Native American history and cultures, philosophy, languages, religious studies and other disciplines. Nominations for both individuals and organizations will be considered. Members of the Humanities Montana board and staff are not eligible for consideration, nor are deceased individuals. Nominations should be e-mailed here or sent to Governor’s Humanities Awards, Humanities Montana, 311 Brantly, Missoula, MT 59812. If you have questions, call (406) 243-6022 or visit our website.

Hometown Humanities Sidney’s March Calendar of Events

Let the Children Dance with Mark Matthews presenting in classes at Sidney Central Elementary on March 8-9

American Art and Democracy Come Together in Jazz with Wilbur W. Rehmann will be presented at MonDak Heritage Center, March 12, 7:00 pm

Montana’s Poet Laureate Lowell Jaeger will be at the Meadowlark Brewery on March 19, 6:00 pm and at the MonDak Heritage Center March 20, 7:00 pm

Presenters will also be making classroom presentations at area schools.

Grants Available for Native Language Immersion Programs

The First Nations Development Institute (First Nations), a Native American-run nonprofit organization based in Longmont, Colorado, has issued a call for grant proposals to support native language immersion programs.

First Nations will support active native language immersion programs across the country and expects to make 12 awards of up to $90,000 each in this first round, with applications due on March 23, 2018. First Nations is managing the application and award process and hopes to build a community of practice around native language immersion programs, with two more similar rounds of funding in Years 2 and 3 of the cooperative agreement.

The full RFP can be found here. This opportunity is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

NEH Makes Such a Difference for Montana

Democracy demands wisdom and vision in its citizens. It must therefore foster and support a form of education, and access to the arts and the humanities, designed to make people of all backgrounds and wherever located masters of their technology and not its unthinking servants.

—National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965, establishing NEH and NEA

As the founding legislation for the National Endowment for the Humanities states, the humanities are for everyone. Humanities Montana receives a major grant to provide programs and grants all over our state. NEH also awards direct grants to many Montanans (see sidebar above). Montana teachers and professors attend informative, transformative summer seminars and institutes that enable stronger teaching, stronger learning among our citizens. We benefit from the superb documentaries aired on MontanaPBS and other stations that would not be possible without NEH support (think of Ken Burns’ many series on U.S. history). Books that challenge and enlighten us are often written through fellowship support provided by this federal agency. In short, we’re a better state—and a better nation—because of NEH.

The president’s proposed 2019 budget requests elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Please let Congress know that you recognize NEH’s invaluable impact on our communities, our lives. Just click on this link and call or write today. Thanks so much for your commitment, your support.

Grants Awarded:
February 2018

Native Filmmaker Initiative 2018-2019, Big Sky Film Institute, Missoula, $4,000: Support for a program created by the Big Sky Film Institute; the Initiative provides career-building opportunities for underrepresented artists pursuing filmmaking as a vocation, providing a platform for Indigenous stories in theaters and schools.

One Robe - Little Shell Tribe History Children's Book, Kimberly McKeehan, Great Falls, $3,897: Funding for the creation and publication of One Robe, a Little Shell Tribe children’s history book. This illustrated children's book will be published in English/Michif and English/Ojibwe language editions and will detail where the Little Shell Tribe came from, who they have been geographically, culturally, and historically, and who they are today. One Robe will be created for elementary readers and will be available for free or at very low cost to encourage access for tribal members.

The Wheatley Lecture Event, Bishop Melvin E. Wheatley, Jr. Endowed Lectureship Series Committee at Rocky Mountain College, Billings, $500: Support for "Creating Community in Fracturing Times: Returning Civility to Civil Dialogue" that will be held at Rocky Mountain College March 8-9, 2018. The event will feature the Rev. Dr. Gary Mason, the Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto, and Rabbi Uri Barnea.

2018 Museums Association of Montana Annual Conference, Museums Association of Montana, Helena, $1,000: Support for a conference that will provide the professional and volunteer staff of Montana's museums and cultural organizations the tools necessary to interpret and promote the understanding and appreciation of Montana's history and culture. The Museums Association of Montana's Annual Conference will take place at the Radisson Hotel in Helena, from March 8-10, 2018.

2018 Big Read, Missoula Public Library, Missoula, $1,000: Funding for Missoula Public Library's biennial Big Read program that includes four weeks of activities that will engage readers' imaginations through art, music, costuming, crafts-making, and storytelling. The 2018 Big Read selection is Ursula K. Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea. Events will kick off on September 29, 2018 and conclude October 28, 2018. Related programming will take place daily through Missoula, Lolo, Frenchtown, Potomac, Seeley Lake, Condon, Drummond and Polson.

Montana Preservation Road Show Conference: Literary Landscapes and Discussion, Montana Preservation Alliance, Helena, $1,000: Support for "Literary Landscapes," a panel that will gather scholars and the public to discuss how Flathead/Glacier writers have reflected and impacted the regional landscape and how their legacies can live on, June 15, location TBD.

Refugees and Displacement: A Panel Discussion, Montana State University, Dept. of History and Philosophy, Bozeman, $1,000: Funding for a panel discussion focusing on the experiences of refugees and displaced people. The panel will be part of a series of spring events in the Bozeman area designed to promote critical and empathic conversations and reflection about refugees and forced displacement. This event will take place on March 19 and coincide with opening week of REFUGEE, an interpretive exhibition at the Exit Gallery in Bozeman.

Signatures from Big Sky 2018, Montana AGATE, Dillon, $1,000: Support for Signatures from Big Sky 2018, the only publication dedicated to the work of Montana's K-12 writers and artists. It has been published every year since 1990 and has included work from Montana students from all over the state and in every grade level. Submissions are due March 30 and publications will be available May 15.

Thanks to Our Generous Supporters — February 2018


Jerry Brekke
Victoria Cech*
Devin Egan
Ken Egan*
Marie Habener
Cynthia Harrison
Andrew and Kristin King-Ries
Tobin Miller Shearer*
Laura Mitchell Ross*
Greg Smith
Dorothea Susag


Chapter CE, P.E.O.
Friends of the Meagher County City Library
Lutheran Campus Ministry
Missoula Public Library
Montana State University, Dept. of History & Philosophy

*Current Board and Staff Members
**Former Board and Staff Members