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November 2017


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Humanities Montana
Turns 45

Humanities Montana Turns 45: Schwartz Prizes Recognize Humanities Montana’s Excellence

Humanities Montana has received six Schwartz Prizes from the Federation of State Humanities Councils recognizing excellence in public humanities programs. These awards point to the many ways we serve Montana:

Logon '83: Technology, Myth, and Literacy in the Digital Age (1984)

Montana This Morning Television Program (1994)

Bozeman Trail Heritage Conference (2000)

Confluence of Cultures: Native Americans and the Expedition of Lewis and Clarke (2004)

Montana Public Affairs Initiative (2009)

Hometown Humanities (2015)

The Humanities Make All the Difference: Montana Stories

"I have said it before and when anyone asks I will say it again, but this was the most amazing year. Not only did I get to stretch my programming legs, but I learned so much history and Montana culture. Each program was excellent, every speaker so friendly and informed, and you ladies at HM were just wonderful (Ken too).... You were so helpful, gracious and fun to work with this year and made this year a joy.... Thank you Humanities Montana for a wonderful experience."

— Tim King
Livingston Library, discussing Hometown Humanities Livingston

Grant Deadlines

Humanities Montana’s next grant application deadline is December 20, 2017 for regular grants (over $1,000) as well as research fellowships. We are especially encouraging fellowship applications from faculty at two-year colleges.

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 for Every Montanan — Make a Gift this Holiday Season

Students listen raptly to Montana’s poet laureate; citizens reflect on Montana’s past and present during a presentation on Metis history; Sidney and surrounding communities join together to host a full array of humanities programs in museums, libraries, and schools; a scholar conducts cutting-edge research on Montana history through a Humanities Montana fellowship; films such as Indian Relay and Class C engage audiences all across the state; community members discuss guns in a thoughtful manner in Butte; an innovative nonprofit sustains the Blackfeet language on the reservation.

These are just some of the many learning opportunities made possible by Humanities Montana—with your help. Every year demand for our programs and grants far exceeds our ability to give, yet as these examples show, Montanans need these opportunities more than ever. Join the 200 Montanans who support this work by giving a gift this holiday season.

It’s easy—go here to donate so that every Montanan can participate in our civic culture by learning and reflecting together. Thank you!

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 and among the Little Shell nation 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 recipient 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.

Hometown Humanities Sidney is Up and Running

Last month Humanities Montana staff member Kim Anderson met with leaders from Sidney and the surrounding area to learn about the community and discuss cultural issues and potential programs. In addition to an evening of lively conversation at the Meadowlark Brewing Company, Kim met with representatives from the Richland County Department of Health, the Sidney Health Center, the Sunrise Festival, the MonDak Heritage Center and the Chamber of Commerce. We look forward to working with these leaders and others in the months to come.

Fall programming includes:

Latino America, Latino Montana with Bridget Kevane, Wednesday, November 1st, MonDak Heritage Center, 7:00 pm

Cultural Diversity and Muslims in America with Ambrin Masood, MonDak Heritage Center, Thursday, November 9, 7:00 pm

Paleoindians in Montana: 13,000-8,000 Years Ago with Ruthann Knudson, Mondak Heritage Center, Thursday, November 16, 7:00 pm

Paleoindians in Montana: 13,000-8,000 Years Ago with Ruthann Knudson, Sheridan County Library, Plentywood, Friday, November 17, 6:00 pm

Profiles of African American Montanans with Ellen Baumler, MonDak Heritage Center, Thursday, November 30th, 7:00 pm

Public Humanities Community Convenes in Boston

The National Humanities Conference will take place in Boston November 2-5. Each year the 56 state and territorial humanities councils join members of the National Humanities Alliance to discuss best practices in public humanities programming, advocacy, development, and stewardship.

These dedicated individuals and organizations believe in the power of the humanities to bring citizens together to address our deepest yearnings and most pressing challenges. For more information about the conference, go here.

Grants Awarded:
October 2017

2017 Carroll College Undergraduate Literary Festival, Carroll College, Helena, $500: Support for Carroll's literary festival that features creative work and literary criticism by students from Carroll, other Montana colleges, and community members. The festival includes a keynote by a nationally acclaimed author. All events are free and open to the public.

Salish-Pend d'Oreille Culture Committee Attendance at Western History Conference, Selis-Qlispe Culture Committee, Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes, St. Ignatius, $1,000: Support for Salish-Pend d'Oreille Culture Committee attendance at 2017 Western History Association Conference, which includes numerous sessions relevant to SPCC projects in ethnography and history.

Native Montana — A Pop-Up Museum, Helena College University of Montana, Helena, $1,000: Support for Native Montana — A Pop-Up Museum, a photo exhibit showcasing Native Americans in Montana, both in the past and present. The project is a collaboration between Helena College, the Helena College Native American Studies faculty/historian Laura Ferguson, and the Montana Historical Society.

Winter 2017 - 2018 Book Discussions, Friends of the Glendive Public Library, Glendive, $1,000: A monthly scholar-led book discussion at the Glendive Public Library.

Thanks to Our Generous Supporters — October 2017


Barbara Boorman
Devin Egan
Ken Egan*
Louise Ogemahgeshig Fischer
Marie Habener
Eugene Miller
Laura Mitchell Ross*
Lee Silliman
Dorothea Susag


Friends of the North Valley Public Library
Prairie County Homemakers Council

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