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CONTACT US:    406.243.6022    •    •    MORE >


October 2017


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Humanities Montana
Turns 45

Read Montana 1889 and Support Humanities Montana

Executive Director Ken Egan's second Montana history book has just been published— royalties support the programs and grants of Humanities Montana.

Montana 1889: Indians, Cowboys, and Miners in the Year of Statehood tells the story of Montana’s transformation through the lives and crossed destinies of people such as Plenty Coups, Granville Stuart, Dull Knife, Nannie Alderson, Deaf Bull, Bud and Clara McAdow, Mad Wolf, Marcus Daly, Charlo, Paris Gibson, and many more.

Go here to purchase a copy—and be sure to check out Montana 1864: Indians, Emigrants, and Gold in the Territorial Year, which narrates the creation of Montana at the height of the Civil War as emigrants flowed into the region during the gold rush, posing a threat for native nations.

Book a Program to Discuss Vietnam and Other Wars

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s documentary series on the Vietnam War has provoked widespread discussion of that conflict and its aftermath.

Humanities Montana offers programs to help communities, organizations, and students discuss these challenging questions in a thoughtful, informed way. Consider booking one of these programs today (click on the program title to learn much more about it):

Elizabeth Barrs, The Veteran’s Experience and Military Culture

Lowell Jaeger, The Art of Meaningful Conversation: Let’s Talk about What’s Important

Al Zelver, Thinking the Unthinkable: The Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

The Humanities Make All the Difference: Montana Stories

"Humanities Montana is a treasure. The offerings you provide are top notch. That these programs are 'free to the public' is an important outreach service. So many folks would not be able to participate if they had to buy tickets. Your offerings are so varied and there is something for everyone. This as the fifth presentation we have brought to Heron and all of them were excellent. Thank you."

— Cabinet Wilderness Historical Society
Heron, Montana Chapter

Grant Deadlines

Humanities Montana’s next grant application deadline is December 20, 2017 for regular grants (over $1,000) as well as research fellowships.

Opportunity grant applications are once again open 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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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.

Humanities Montana Launches Tribal Partnerships Initiative

We have just launched a new initiative called Tribal Partnerships. Our goal is to support humanities projects on the seven reservations within Montana’s borders with up to $5,000 in funding. These will be informal relationships rather than conventional grant-driven processes.

At this time we are asking potential partners to share their aspirations and stories with us by phone, e-mail, or in person. We are in a listening, learning and gathering mode. We will form up to three partnerships each year, beginning January 1, 2018. If you would like to visit with Humanities Montana about your project, contact Ken Egan, Kim Anderson, or Brooke Beighle, or call our office at 243-6022.

We met with our first tribal partner, Aasaisstto Language Society, during the fall board meeting in Browning. Thanks to this organization for creating innovative ways to revitalize the Piikani language. We look forward to learning much from this first of many partners. And if you would like to support this work, go here.

Letters About Literature – Students Write Back

Montana’s Center for the Book, a program of Humanities Montana, will be giving Montana students a chance to submit to the national Letters About Literature competition again this year.

Letters About Literature is a reading and writing contest for students in grades 4-12. Students are asked to read a book, poem, or speech and write to the author (living or dead) about how the book affected them personally. A panel of national judges for the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress will select one national winner per competition level to receive a $1,000 cash award. The judges will also select one national honor per competition level to receive a $200 cash award.

Having students write to authors is a great way for teachers to get kids more deeply engaged as readers, and LAL encourages those students’ passion, reflection, and responses. The Library of Congress provides schools with a teaching guide to help get kids writing. Students can enter themselves or teachers can send in their submissions using these guidelines.


• Level 1: Grades 4, 5 and 6

• Level 2: Grades 7 and 8

• Level 3: Grades 9, 10, 11 and 12

Deadline (all competition levels): January 12, 2018

The 2017-2018 Letters About Literature contest for young readers is made possible by the Library of Congress, which promotes the contest through its affiliate Centers for the Book, state libraries, and other organizations. For more information on how to submit, ask a teacher, email Brooke Beighle, or go here.

Missoula Brewery to host Our Current State Dialogues – "Let’s Talk About the Travel Ban"

Thoughtful reflection and respectful dialogue in our communities about our communities and nation is needed more than ever. Humanities Montana is proud to offer the Our Current State Dialogues series, a conversation series that challenges Montanans to think and talk about identity, race, religion, and community.

The first conversation will take place on Thursday, October 19th from 6-7pm at Imagine Nation Brewing Co. in Missoula. The focus will be on immigration and the travel ban and will feature Shahid Haque, founder and president of the MT Immigrant Justice Alliance, immigration lawyer and law instructor at UM, and Danny Tenenbaum, Missoula attorney and former refugee officer with the Dept. of Homeland Security. After an introduction to the topic and insight from our panel, we will open the floor to audience questions and thoughts. We welcome all voices and encourage civil dialogue in this inclusive public space.

Keep an eye out for upcoming community conversations and join us in October to talk about the current state of the world we live in.

Join Humanities Montana at Montana Educators' Conference

Humanities Montana will host several sessions at the MEA/MFT Montana Educators’ Conference in Missoula October 19-20. With special funding from MEA/MFT, many of our Speakers in the Schools presenters will lead sessions. Look for Joseph Grady, Shahid Haque-Hausrath, Robert Hall, Kae Cheatham, Dennis Swibold, and Bill Rossiter. These dynamic, accessible presenters are available for free to schools across the state—and they represent the many presenters teachers can book through our Speakers in the Schools program. See the full conference schedule here.

Humanities Montana will also co-host with the Montana Council for Social Studies (an affiliate of the National Council for the Social Studies) a roundtable discussion on “Montana History Reborn” Thursday, October 19 from 3:00-4:50 pm in the Big Sky High School Auditorium. Join Bruce Wendt, Jeff Wiltse, Martha Kohl, Mike Jetty, and Dave Beck for a discussion of the current and future state of Montana history in our schools, colleges, and communities.

Join Center for the Book at High Plains BookFest

Writers and readers across the country are anticipating the High Plains BookFest, October 19-22 in Billings.

On Saturday, October 21, the winners of the High Plains Book Awards will be announced at the annual banquet at the Yellowstone Art Museum, with a keynote by Humanities Montana board member Mandy Smoker Broaddus. During the banquet Humanities Montana will present the Montana Center for the Book Prize to two local recipients—the Billings-based Writer’s Voice and the Wild Rose Center located on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation.

Hometown Humanities Sidney Offers Lecture Series

Beginning later this month, the MonDak Heritage Center will host a series of Montana Conversations focused on the diverse cultures of Montana (programs will include A History of the Crow People with Franco Littlelight and Cultural Diversity and Muslims in America with Ambrin Masood).

A full schedule of fall events will be up on the Hometown Humanities website in the weeks to come, but if you’re in the area be sure to set aside Thursday, October 19, for a roll-up-your-sleeves planning meeting with Kim Anderson, Humanities Montana’s director of programs and grants.

If you’d like to receive updates on times and venues for Hometown Humanities Sidney events, sign up for our e-newsletter here.

Humanities Montana Requests Proposals for Fundraising Consultant

Humanities Montana dreams of a time all Montanans have the opportunity to experience the humanities in their communities and schools. While we currently provide 240 programs and $150,000 in grants each year, we aspire to double or triple these opportunities. Therefore we are issuing a request for proposals for a fundraising consultant to work with our board and staff on increasing support from individuals, foundations, and corporations. We are especially committed to increasing the number and amount of major gifts.

You can see the RFP here. Proposals are due by October 13. If you have any questions, e-mail Ken Egan or call our office at 243-6022.

Grants Awarded:
September 2017

Huge congratulations to this year’s Film & Digital Media Grant and Regular Grant recipients! It was a very competitive grant cycle with many interesting proposals. Please keep an eye on our calendar for final film screening dates and times.


KENDRA (project director Brooke Swaney), Big Sky Film Institute, Missoula, $10,000: A documentary that follows Native American adoptee Kendra Mylnechuk Potter, who was raised in a white family, as she reunites with her birth mother and discovers her Lummi heritage.

New Neighbors Project (project directors Bryan Bello, Saif Alsaegh, Claire Haughey, Ryan Seitz, Gabe Sweeney), Renga Media, Missoula, $10,000: Through a series of documentaries and live discussions, refugees recently resettled in Missoula will tell their own stories and infuse their observations into the community discourse.

The House That Rob Built (project director Megan Harrington), Big Sky Film Institute, Missoula, $10,000: A documentary about former University of Montana basketball coach Rob Selvig and the cultural phenomenon he helped to create in women's basketball.

The Bozeman Trail (project director Lee Haines), WyomingPBS Foundation, $5,000: A one-hour public TV documentary telling the story of the Bozeman Trail from three major viewpoints: Native American perspectives, the emigrant perspective, and the U.S. military perspective.

The Lentil Underground 360: A VR Journey for the Organically Curious (LU360) (project director Jaime L. Jacobsen and Charles Dye), Friends of MontanaPBS Inc., Bozeman, $3,500: A uniquely participatory web experience encouraging dialogue across Montana's sometimes polarized agro-economic aisle about the history, people, and ideas featured in Liz Carlisle's award-winning book.


Rick Steber's "Books for Kids" and Ninepipes Museum's Jackson Sundown Presentation, Ninepipes Museum of Early Montana, Charlo, $3,061: A project that will provide free, autographed books by the author to students in various western Montana schools. The author will also present a program to the public based on his 2016 publication, Jackson Sundown.

MSU KGLT Chrysti the Wordsmith's "Latin in Everyday English," KGLT, Bozeman, $2,500: Collaborating with Erika Shupe, Latin teacher and consultant, Chrysti the Wordsmith will reveal, during the course of a year’s radio programming, how Latin animates our written and spoken American English.

Thanks to Our Generous Supporters — September 2017


Gale Bacon
Bill Bickle**
Caroline Bitz*
Bethany Caball
Rita Collins*
Scott Crichton*
Connie Daugherty*
Patty Dean*
Devin Egan
Ken Egan*
Deborah Garland*
Marie Habener
Thomas E. Kotynski**
Neal Lewing
Mark & Tam Miller
Tobin Miller Shearer*
Nancy Nicholson
Aaron Pruitt*
Penny Redli*
Mandy Smoker Broaddus*
Tom Stockburger
Dorothea Susag
Dennis Swibold
Susan Talbot


Drummond School and Community Library
Northwest Montana Posse of Westerners
Shodair Children's Hospital

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