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February 2017

FEB 2017

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Humanities Montana
Turns 45

The first board meeting of the Montana Committee for the Humanities (now Humanities Montana) took place October 30, 1972 in Bozeman.

Thirteen board members representing Montana’s academic institutions and diverse communities met with the first executive director, Bruce Sievers. MCH’s initial focus was public policy, and so in 1973 MCH awarded 38 grants in support of dialogue on "Political Power in Montana."

For an overview of Humanities Montana’s entire history, go here.

Grant Deadlines

Humanities Montana’s next grant application deadline is April 20, 2017 for regular grants (over $1,000). Grant decisions will be made by May 22.

Opportunity Grant applications are accepted at any time but should be submitted at least four weeks before the project begins.

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.

Let Congress Know How Much the Humanities Mean

The humanities change lives by bringing Montanans together to learn and reflect on our past, present, and future.

Each year Humanities Montana provides up to 180 Montana Conversations programs all over the state and especially in rural communities; 80 Speakers in the Schools programs to inspire students with history, literature, philosophy, and more; $150,000 in grants so Montanans can design their own exciting programs; community conversations on current issues so citizens can thoughtfully consider alternative points of view and ways to move forward together.

These incredible opportunities depend on federal funding through the National Endowment for the Humanities. Please click here to take direct action to let Montana’s Congressional delegation know how much the humanities mean to Montana! Thank you.

Congratulations to Governor’s Humanities Awards Honorees

Governor Steve Bullock hosted the Governor’s Humanities Awards ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda on Thursday, January 26. Congratulations once again to the six honorees, Chere Jiusto, John Murray, Hal and Sheila Stearns, Karen Aspevig Stevenson, and Dottie Susag. Thanks to all who attended to celebrate these stellar Montanans.

Humanities Montana expresses profound gratitude as well to Michael Punke, who provided a memorable keynote address during the awards banquet, and Mike Jetty, who gave a Spirit Lake Dakota blessing during the ceremony. The humanities are alive and well in Montana, thanks to the leadership of Governor Bullock, the honorees past and present, and our many sponsors, partners and friends.

Humanities Montana Elects Three New Members to Board

Three new members were elected to the Humanities Montana board during the winter meeting in Helena: Debbie Garland from Missoula, Lorents Grosfield from Big Timber, and Laura Mitchell Ross from Billings. They make a strong board even stronger by bringing knowledge of education, fundraising, the Montana legislature, legal processes, and more. We thank them for dedicating their time and talent to the humanities community.

Bring "Our Current State" to Your Community

"Our Current State" is a conversation-based program that focuses on contemporary topics important to Montanans, including the changing economy, land use, and the ways our communities can protect and understand the diverse voices that make up our state.

We are excited to welcome a number of new presenters, including scholars, leaders in cultural preservation, environmentalists, experts in immigration law, and more. Presenters will offer insight, guide critical engagement, and spark discussion. Best of all, these programs will be free and open to the public, inviting all Montanans to learn and reflect together. This special project is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

To learn more about these timely programs and how to book one, email Sarah Kahn.

Hometown Humanities Livingston Focuses on Youth & Community

Livingston-Park County Public Library’s Tim King will continue the "Many Cultures" program series with "Profiles of African American Montanans" with Ellen Baumler on February 9.

Park High School students are collaborating with Humanities Montana’s staff to add Shann Ray's American Copper to our interactive Montana Authors Project literary map. Ray will visit the class in March.

Ambrin Masood met with students at Park High and Sleeping Giant Middle School to explain her experience practicing Islam in America, from the challenges of prejudice, to the facts and misconceptions, to the kindness she has often encountered in Montana, to the joys of her spiritual connection. We loved seeing the kids’ questions and her thoughtful responses! Ambrin will return to Livingston for a public presentation at Elk River Books on March 9.

Visit our Hometown Humanities site for more information and a calendar of events and contact Sarah with questions or requests.

Creating Humanities Communities Grants Due February 15

The National Endowment for the Humanities has announced a special grant opportunity, "Creating Humanities Communities," focused on high-need states such as Montana.

Please visit the website announcing the grant line, review the requirements, and contact Susan Begley Broeksmit to gain more insight into this opportunity.

Teachers, Spend a Summer Studying What You Love

The National Endowment for the Humanities offers summer seminars and institutes for teachers. Click here to learn of the many opportunities. Carroll College is hosting a wonderful program in July focused on "Re-enchanting Nature."

These are incredible professional development opportunities—fun, informative, challenging—and participants make friends for life. Applications due March 1.

February Marks African American History Month

This month, Humanities Montana joins our nation in honoring the history and culture of generations of African Americans who have built, inhabited, and bettered our country. It is the job of the humanities to preserve our history and to engage our citizens in critical reflection on that history, and to build better communities through that process.

On September 24, 2016, the Smithsonian opened the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. For more information, look through their online collection.

Thanks and Good Luck, Lisa Teberg-Johnson

The board and staff of Humanities Montana extend thanks and good luck to Lisa Teberg-Johnson as she leaves us to move forward with her teaching and creative writing. Lisa has served as executive assistant since December, 2015, planning the Governor’s Humanities Awards, arranging board and community meetings, and providing the friendly voice when humanities friends contact our office. Nothing but the best, Lisa!

Grants Awarded:
January 2017

Bitterroot Salish History & Winter Storytelling 2017, Sleeping Child Hot Springs for All, $750. Support for the third annual presentation by the director of the Salish-Kootenai Culture Committee on the Bitterroot Salish history and stories.

Interpreting Today: Making Connections Through Story, Travelers’ Rest Preservation and Heritage Association, $550. A grant to fund a storytelling workshop led by Mary Jane Bradbury on developing stories from historical replicas and artifacts.

Fort Belknap Mid-Winter Fair, $581.56. Funding for honoraria for Gros Ventre (Aaniih) and Assiniboine (Nakota) tribal musicians who will perform at the fair.

Belgrade High School Writing Tutors, Belgrade High School Writing Center, $685. This grant will support the growth and development of the Belgrade High School Writing Center by allowing its tutors and their director to join their university counterparts at Montana State University for the Rocky Mountain Writing Centers Association Tutor Conference, February 24-25.

The Big Read: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Billings Cultural Partners, $1,000. Support for the purchase of books and honorariums for scholars to work with students in high school during the city-wide Big Read program running March 7-April 11.

Breakfast for Literacy for Families, Plant a Seed...READ!, $569.70. Funding for an annual event for families teaching the importance of reading aloud from birth to age 8 and how to interact in purposeful play with children.

2017 MAM Annual Conference, Museums Association of Montana, $1,000. Support for honoraria and marketing for the MAM annual museum conference, including lectures, tours, and workshops, in Kalispell, March 9-11, 2017.

Montana National History Day, Montana National History Day, $1,000. Funding will support the spring 2017 outreach and support for both teachers and students in Montana's middle and high schools.

Notable Montana Authors: Sharing the Story of Montana, Elling House Arts & Humanities Center, $600. A series of four programs, June-September, profiling some of the notable authors in Montana's history.

The Daly Mansion FREE 2017 Spring Lecture Series, Daly Mansion, $150. Annual lecture series featuring presentations on Montana history ranging from an examination of activist Jeannette Rankin to a discussion of racehorses on the wild frontier.

Research for an Article and Biography on Willard E. Fraser, Betty Lou Mandler, $2,000. The grant will support research into Willard E. Fraser, mayor of Billings from 1963 to 1969 and again from 1971 to 1972.

A Walk Along the Trail of the U.S. Forest Service, Cheryl Hughes, $3,500. A fellowship to support research into the U.S. Forest Service that will result in an interpretative trail at the site of the new U.S. Forest Service museum.

Shakespeare in Montana, Gretchen Minton, $3,500. Continuing research for a book project that tells the diverse stories about Shakespeare’s influence on the people of Montana.

The Future of the Wild in Montana’s Anthropocene, Christopher James Preston, $2,000. Support for research for a book on how human impacts such as climate change and habitat destruction mark the onset of the ‘post-wild’ world of the Anthropocene.

The Montana Book Festival, The Montana Book Festival Organizing Committee, $15,000 three-year sustaining grant. Sustaining support for the multi-day celebration of literary arts held in downtown Missoula, including readings, author signings, panels, workshops, special events, vendor exhibits and a book fair.

The Write Question, Montana Public Radio, $20,055 three-year sustaining grant. Continuing support for the half-hour weekly radio program and podcast that features the literature of, and writers from, the western United States.

Home Ground Radio, Artemis Common Ground, $15,000 three-year sustaining grant. Ongoing support for the weekly radio interview program aired throughout Montana on public radio.

Writing Home: Creative Writing on the Hi-Line, Missoula Writing Collaborative, $3,300. Six six-week writing residencies in fourth-grade classrooms in Havre and Fort Belknap.

Worlds Apart but Not Strangers: Holocaust Education and Indian Education for All, Montana State University-Billings English, Philosophy, and Modern Languages Department, $2,500. An experiential-learning inquiry-based seminar for educators of all subject areas, for grades four through college faculty.

The 2017 In the Footsteps of Norman Maclean Festival presenting The Story of the Blackfoot, Alpine Artisans, $2,400. A three-day festival inspired by Norman Maclean’s novella A River Runs Through It, September 8-10, 2017 in Seeley Lake and Missoula.

Language Revival and Healing through Language, University of Montana Linguistics Program, $2,584. A conference featuring Daryl and Jarrid Baldwin giving presentations on their experiences reviving the once-extinct Myaamia language April 21-22.

Big Sky Schoolhouse Survey, Montana Preservation Alliance, $3,000. A multi-year effort to document remaining historic rural schoolhouses in Montana, encourage their preservation and interpretation and present findings to the public.

Race in Montana Community Forum Series, The Montana Racial Equity Project, $2,500. Support for a community forum in Bozeman on September 15 focusing on various aspects of racial justice and equity issues.

MeagherFest ’17, Thomas Francis Meagher Association, $2,000. An international history, cultural, arts exchange festival celebrating the life and legacy of Thomas Francis Meagher, the Irish patriot who became Montana’s second territorial governor. The festival will be held on July 1 in Helena.

Counter Programming: Western Art Week and the Creative Indigenous Collective, Paris Gibson Square, $4,000. Events scheduled during Western Art Week include a Native Fashion show created by Still Smoking Designs and an indigenous panel featuring the Creative Indigenous Collective, March 15-18, in Great Falls.

Thanks to Our Generous Supporters — January 2017


Caroline Bitz*
Glenda and Stan Bradshaw
Jerry J. Brekke & Patricia A. Brekke
Dave Caserio
Victoria Cech*
April Charlo*
Linda and Brian Cockhill**
Scott Crichton*
Connie Daugherty*
Rudolf** and Carol Dietrich
Devin Egan
Barry Ferst**
Louise Ogemahgeshig Fischer
Tami Haaland
Marie Habener
Robert and Cynthia Harrison
Chris Hopkins*
Kurt F. and Jeanette M. Ingold
David Irion*
Chere Jiusto and Jim Robbins
Bill** and Deborah Jones
Carmen McSpadden*
Aaron Pruitt*
Will Rawn**
Penny Redli*
Wilbur Rehmann
Joseph Sample**
Mandy Smoker Broaddus*
Karen Aspevig Stevenson** and Mike Stevenson


Billings Cultural Partners
Bozeman Public Library
Carter County Museum
Daly Mansion Preservation Trust
Darby Community Public Library
Friends of the Society
Glendive Public Library
North Lake County Public Library
Northern Rockies Heritage Center
Ravalli County Museum

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