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August 2017


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Humanities Montana
Turns 45


Humanities Montana’s 45th birthday party continues with events in Missoula (see article) and Miles City.

The Miles City Humanities Celebration will take place Thursday, September 7 from 6-8 pm at the Miles City Public Library. We will thank our humanities partners (including those who participated in the first Hometown Humanities year), recognize current and former board members, and share exciting plans for our future.

More information to follow in the September newsletter.

The Humanities Make All the Difference: Montana Stories

Every week Humanities Montana receives moving testimonials to the impact of our work. We’ll share excerpts in the newsletter as a way of celebrating how humanities change lives for the better.

Here is a message from a host of the Speakers in the Schools program Kid Gloves and Brass Knuckles: The Life of Nancy Cooper Russell by Mary Jane Bradbury:

The character portrayed in this program was certainly one our students will remember for years. The program captured the students' attention from the very beginning and held their attention and interest throughout the entire hour, which can be quite a challenge with a diverse group of students! Her knowledge of the topic is excellent as is her period dress, use of language, and voice. Just an all-around excellent program. Thank you for sharing the talents of these people with the students in our small rural schools. This was our first experience with these programs, but certainly will not be our last one!

— Aubrey Miller

Hillcrest Elementary

Mary Jane Bradbury

as Nancy Cooper Russell

Grant Deadlines

Humanities Montana’s next grant application deadline is August 20, 2017 for regular grants (over $1,000) as well as film & digital media grants.

Opportunity grant applications are on hold until October 1, for projects beginning November 1 or later.

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.

Celebrate the Humanities at
Ten Spoon Winery in Missoula, August 20, 6-8 pm

Humanities Montana invites all to join as we celebrate our 45th anniversary of serving the great state of Montana. Doubling as a fundraiser, this casual summer evening celebration will take place at the beautiful Ten Spoon Winery in Missoula and will include live music from brass trio Trillium, tasty hors d’oeuvres from Market on Front, and plenty of opportunity for mingling and wine tasting.

It is through exploration of the humanities that we gain deeper insights into important civic issues, aspects of culture, philosophy, poetry, and more. We at Humanities Montana believe that the humanities provide the ideal foundation to create an informed society of critical thinkers and creatives—thus, we celebrate!

Our evening program will feature prominent community members including Salish poet Victor Charlo and his daughter April (a member of the Humanities Montana board), Mayor John Engen, University of Montana director of African-American studies and Humanities Montana chair, Tobin Miller Shearer, and others. Humanities Montana’s own Kim Anderson will facilitate a “fireside chat” with former U.S. Rep. Pat Williams and writer and former Deputy U.S. Trade Rep. Michael Punke as they discuss the important impact of the humanities in Montana and the world at large. We will also award the Montana Center for the Book Prize to Classics Behind Razor Wire.

The Missoula Humanities Celebration will take place on Sunday, August 20, from 6-8 pm at Ten Spoon Winery. The event is casual, free and open to the public and we encourage everyone to join us. We hope to see you on August 20th!

Congratulations to the First Montana Center for the Book Prize Recipients!

The Montana Center for the Book, a program of Humanities Montana, announces the 2017 Montana Center for the Book Prize recipients. Five programs across the state are recognized for their efforts to promote literacy and literature in their communities. Award-winning programs will each receive a $1,000 award, be featured on the Montana Center for the Book web page, and have their events promoted by Humanities Montana.

From a large volume of impressive nominations, the Center for the Book Advisory Committee selected the following recipients for the 2017 Montana Center for the Book Prize:

Wild Rose, Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation: Wild Rose installed mini-libraries in Birney, Ashland, Muddy, and Lame Deer, and uses these libraries to distribute books for their program, R-Rez-Reads, which addresses current affairs to open lines of communication and discussion.

Classics Behind Razor Wire, Deer Lodge: This program offers Shakespeare, classic literature, and creative writing classes in the Deer Lodge prison in the belief that offering a space for literary discussion and analysis and access to literature will encourage personal growth.

Plant a Seed...READ!, Havre: Plant a Seed...READ! is a proactive nonprofit that supports children and families by enhancing literacy, language and social/emotional skills from birth to age 5 and is a driving force behind much of the literacy programming in the Havre area.

Writer’s Voice, Billings: WV was founded in 1991 and has provided hundreds of programs to assist emerging writers in their artistic and professional development, to support accomplished writers, and to challenge the traditional definition of the literary arts while enriching all sectors of the community.

Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Lewistown: The second oldest cowboy poetry gathering in the country captures and honors the unique history of the Montana Territory through cowboy poetry verse and the lyrics of western songs.

Prizes will be awarded in person at events around the state, and the Humanities Montana Center for the Book Facebook, Humanities Montana Facebook, and Center for the Book pages will highlight awardees and nominees each week in the coming months.

NEH Awards Grants for Six Montana Projects

Huge congratulations to the Montanans who received National Endowment for the Humanities grants! Our state was awarded $368,537 in funding for six deserving humanities projects. Special congratulations to our Montana Conversations presenter and Standing Together partner, Elizabeth Barrs, who received funding for her project, "The Veteran's Experience":

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

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

Montana Preservation Alliance, $60,000, The Path Less Traveled: Montana Preservation Roadshow (project director Christine Brown): The expansion of a touring conference that explores the unique cultural landscapes and historic destinations of the state of Montana.

Missoula Writing Collaborative, $30,000, Free Verse Project (project director Sarah Kahn): The creation of a series of writers’ residencies at high schools, on Native American reservations, and in juvenile detention centers, and the subsequent public presentation of these young writers’ works in community dialogues. This project would not be possible without partnerships with Second Season and Arts Without Boundaries.

University of Montana, $111,377, Sustainable Care for the University of Montana’s Anthropological Museum (project director Kelly Dixon): A project to upgrade environmental controls and rehouse artifacts in the University of Montana’s Anthropological Curation Facility (UMACF), which holds an extensive collection of ethnographic materials on the American West. The project would be undertaken in partnership with tribal representatives, who would collaborate on community-based policies for preventive conservation, storage, and handling strategies.

University of Montana, $97,160, The Veteran's Experience (project director Clint Reading): A three-year project to develop a veterans studies program.

State Parks Alive with Humanities This Summer

One of the wonderful things about Montana is that most of us live within a short drive of one of the state's many scenic parks. Once you’re done exploring, stick around for a Montana Conversations in the Parks program!

Here’s what’s happening in August:

Bannack State Park

Aug 12 — Montana Towns: Then, Now, and Tomorrow with Hal Stearns

Aug 19 — Meagher of the Sword with Neil Lewing

First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park

Aug 26 — Living with the Land with Louise Ogemahgeshig Fischer

Pictograph Cave State Park

Aug 12 — Storytelling, Cultural Survival & Indigenous Cultures with Joseph Grady

Placid Lake State Park

Aug 12 — A Tour of Montana in the Late 1800’s with Ken Egan

Check with each state park or our online calendar for more information

Welcome Brooke Beighle to Humanities Montana

Please join us in welcoming Brooke Beighle as Humanities Montana’s executive assistant. Beighle has a 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. She supported various U.S. State Department-funded international programs while working at The Mansfield Center at the University of Montana, interned as a fundraiser at Service Animals For You, and was an Arts and Culture Reporter for the Montana Kaimin. In 2016, Brooke participated in the Kakehashi Project in Japan and has a strong interest in Southeast Asian cultures.

As an artist, writer, and musician, she will continue promoting human connection through art and humanities disciplines and enjoys supporting Humanities Montana’s mission as its executive assistant. Thanks for advancing the humanities in Montana, Brooke!

Grants Awarded:
July 2017

MSU-N Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration 2017: La Fiesta Continues, Montana State University-Northern Office of Diversity Awareness and Multicultural Programs (Havre), $500. In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month 2017, MSUN will invite Dimencion Nortena, a Mexican norteno band, to perform for the community in a kermes (Spanish for carnival). The importance of this celebration lies in the inclusiveness of the rich cultural heritage of the ethnicities on the MSUN campus as well as Havre and the Hi-Line community.

The Big Read: The Round House by Louise Erdrich, Billings Cultural Partners, $1,000. The Round House explores the consequences of a single act of violence, the theme of justice and ultimately the theme of resilience in Native cultures. The Big Read is a national program that offers grants to support organizations in developing community-wide programs which encourage reading and participation by diverse audiences. The Writer’s Voice will host the NEA Big Read in Billings and at tribal colleges throughout Montana in October, 2017.

Thanks to Our Generous Supporters — July 2017


Connie Daugherty*
Devin Egan
Ken Egan*
Marie Habener
Bill Kearns
Neal Lewing
Carmen McSpadden*
Dorothea Susag


Quail Roost Foundation

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