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March 2017

MAR 2017

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Humanities Montana
Turns 45

In 1983 the Montana Committee for the Humanities created its first Speakers Bureau catalog, consisting of thirteen programs. Speakers Bureau has been one of this organization’s most popular offerings, providing high-quality humanities opportunities all over Montana.

One of the original presenters, Bill Rossiter, remains a vital force in the catalog today—in fact, Bill received the Governor’s Humanities Award in 2015. Humanities Montana recently renamed the Speakers Bureau "Montana Conversations" to reflect a move toward more discussion-centered programs. Be sure to check out the current offerings here and book a program for your community.

Bill Rossiter

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

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; and 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 this link to take direct action to let Montana’s Congressional delegation know how much the humanities mean to Montana! Thank you.

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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For more information...

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.

"Our Current State" – Programs and Community Conversations on Contemporary Topics

"Our Current State" is a conversation-based program that focuses on contemporary topics important to Montanans. Check out our calendar to see upcoming events

A conversation series in Missoula will continue with "Law, Policy, and Social Justice" on March 9th at Imagine Nation Brewing. Guest speakers include Jacob Coolidge, a lawyer at the Montana Justice Initiative, James Steele Jr., ex-chairman of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribal Council, and Kevin Kicking Woman, who is working to improve Missoula’s detention institutions. Similar conversation series are underway in Livingston and coming to Whitefish and Libby soon. To book a series tailored to your town, contact Sarah Kahn.

"Our Current State" programs are free and open to the public. This 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 Features Women’s History, Current Issues, Student Projects

Tim King has launched a new program series at the Livingston-Park County Public Library’s titled “Women in Montana History.” Livingston Livelihoods Community Conversation Series had a great launch with a conversation focused on housing. On March 16 at 6 pm, Katabatic Brewing Co. will host our next conversation, focusing on food resources. Michael McCormick of the Livingston Food Resource Center will lead the discussion. For more information, visit our event page.

Park High School students in Natalie Storey’s class are working on mapping Shann Ray’s American Copper for our M.A.P. project, which features an interactive map that allows readers to see the real places that inspire great literature. Shann Ray will be visiting the class to discuss his novel on March 3.

Park High students have finished a beautiful short film on teen dating violence, a creative work that offers resources, guidance, and compassion to youth. Livingston-based ASPEN (Abuse Support & Prevention Education Network) plans to continue using it as an educational tool. Hannah Roush, Dain Rodwell, Elizabeth Wilk, ASPEN, the talented students, and many others put in hours of great work to make this film. Congratulations!

Please join us for these March events:

3/2/17: Fashioning Montana: Victorian Clothing and Culture with Ann Foster. Livingston-Park County Library. 228 W Callender. 6 pm.

3/9/17: Alcohol, Corsets, and the Vote with Ann Foster. Livingston-Park County Library. 228 W Callender. 6 pm.

3/16/17: Livingston Livelihoods Community Conversation: Affording Food at Katabatic Brewing. 117 W Park St. 6 pm.

3/23/17: The Veteran’s Experience with Elizabeth Barrs. Livingston-Park County Library. 228 W Callender. 6 pm.

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

James Welch, Alma Jacobs Recognized as Outstanding Montanans March 9

James Welch, Blackfeet and A'aninin writer, and Alma Jacobs, transformative director of the Great Falls Public Library and Montana State Library, will be inducted into the Gallery of Outstanding Montanans on March 9.

Welch is best known for two iconic novels, Winter in the Blood and Fools Crow, but his writings cover a range of styles and genres, including poetry. Many contemporary indigenous writers draw inspiration from his work.

Jacobs was a gifted leader of public programming in the state, including serving as a founding board member of the Montana Committee for the Humanities in 1972.

The ceremony will take place at 1 pm in the Capitol Rotunda. For more information, visit this page.

Carroll College Hosts "Hope and Fear" Conference March 31-April 1

Carroll College in Helena, with grant support from Humanities Montana, will host “Hope and Fear: An Interdisciplinary Humanities Conference” March 31-April 1.

In the words of the conference organizers, “Our social, political, and religious climate has been dominated recently by a mood of collective fear.... Where is there room for hope in such times of uncertainty and fear?” Join humanities scholars from around Montana and the U.S. and keynote speakers Denise Juneau, Nell Irvin Painter, and Loren Graham as they reflect together on these critical questions.

Go here to learn more about and register for the conference.

NEH Offers Grant Workshop at MSU Bozeman April 6-7

Montana State University Bozeman will host a National Endowment for the Humanities grant workshop on Friday, April 7 from 8:30 to 11:30 in the Strand Union, Ballroom B.

Workshop activities include an overview of NEH grant programs and special initiatives, followed by a mock panel review session offering strategies for developing strong applications for the NEH. Private one-on-one consultations will be offered on Thursday, April 6, 3-6 pm and Friday, April 7, 2-5 pm.

This free workshop will be led by NEH Senior Program Officer, Mary Macklem, PhD. Registration is required. Go here to register.

University of Montana Launches Humanities Institute

The University of Montana Missoula has launched a Humanities Institute that will serve as the public face of humanities at the flagship liberal arts university.

Dr. Nathaniel Levtow, a nationally recognized religious studies scholar, will lead the Institute. In an interview he shared his vision for the Institute as an incubator of scholarly excellence, interdisciplinary thinking, public programs, and student mentoring. In its initial phase the Institute will support and feature the work of UM faculty in diverse disciplines such as English, history, philosophy, languages, the classics, media arts, visual arts, and more.

Congratulations to the university on supporting the humanities and making a difference to Montana. For more information, visit the Humanities Institute website or contact Dr. Levtow.

The Humanities Make All the Difference: Chere Jiusto

This year’s Governor’s Humanities Awards recipients shared thoughts on how the humanities changed their lives. We’ll feature excerpts from these moving testimonials in the next three newsletters.

Chere Jiusto, director of the Montana Preservation Alliance, reflects, “In this busy, button-down world of ours, I must say, I love the Humanities. Give me the people who understand, when they feel the ancient stories running deep in the earth, that these places need protection because they are the essence of who we are. That the wilderness of our past is alive within each and every one of us. And that together we can find our way, as spiritual beings, looking for light on the path to the sacred.”

You can read Chere’s full statement here.

Grants Awarded:
February 2017

First Annual Indigenous Film Festival, Missoula Urban Indian Health Center, $1,000. A free event, June 9-11 featuring Native American shorts, an adult feature film and a youth feature film followed by discussion.

Metis Music and Art Festival, Metis Music and Art Festival, $1,000. The first annual festival will be held in Choteau and will focus on preservation and celebration of Metis culture, including indigenous arts, music, cultural foods, dance, historic preservation, and the Michiff language, June 9-11.

Columbus High School Yellowstone National Park Inquiry Project, Columbus High School, $1,000. Columbus High School students will study the historical and contemporary impacts that visitors have on Yellowstone National Park’s animals, ecosystem, and cultural values.

Native American Race Relations and Healing Symposium, The Montana Racial Equity Project, $900. A day-long symposium featuring two panel discussions on tribal sovereignty and other contemporary Native American issues, April 1 in Missoula.

Thanks to Our Generous Supporters — February 2017


Clyde Aspevig and Carol Guzman-Aspevig
Ellen Baumler
Caroline Bitz*
Colleen Brommer
Bob Brown**
Victoria Cech*
April Charlo*
Scott Crichton*
Connie Daugherty*
Devin Egan
Ken Egan*
Marie Habener
Pat Hale
Patricia Helvey
Chris Hopkins*
David Irion*
Bill** and Deborah Jones
Carmen McSpadden*
Susan Miller
Tobin* and Cheryl Miller Shearer
Aaron Pruitt*
Penny Redli*
Marion Rosa
Joseph Sample**
Mandy Smoker Broaddus*
Karen Stevenson**
Edwin and Jessica Stickney
Dorothea Susag
Stephen Sylvester**


Friends of the Troy Library

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