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CONTACT US:    406.243.6022    •    •    MORE >


June 2018

JUNE 2018

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Montanans are encouraged to serve as reviewers on the National Endowment for the Humanities grant review panels. This is a chance to learn about exciting projects taking place around the nation and have an impact on funding for underserved states such as Montana. You can access the application form here.

Grant Deadlines

Humanities Montana's next grant application deadline is August 20, 2018 for regular grants (over $1,000) and film & digital media grants.

Opportunity grants are available for up to $1,000. These quick-action grants are especially helpful for new or emerging humanities projects in smaller communities.

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.

Sidney Hosts Humanities Montana Board Meeting June 7-9

Humanities Montana’s board will meet in our Hometown Humanities host community, Sidney, June 7-9.

Our gathering will begin with a Montana Conversations program featuring Almeda Bradshaw, “Into the Sunset: The Forgotten Cowgirl Singers” on Thursday, June 7 at 7 pm at the MonDak Heritage Center—free and open to the public. The meeting will take place at the MonDak Friday, June 8 from 8:30-4:30 and Saturday, June 9 from 8:30-11:00 am. We hope everyone will join us for a Thank You Reception at the MonDak from 5:30-6:30 pm Friday evening. Beverages and light hors d'oeuvres will be served at this casual gathering. This is an opportunity for Humanities Montana to express its deep gratitude for the great partnership with Sidney over the past year.

We look forward to many more years of humanities collaboration between Sidney and Humanities Montana. See you in Sidney!

Montana Center for the Book Prize Nominations Open until July 15

The Montana Center for the Book, a program of Humanities Montana, is now accepting nominations for the second annual MCB Prize. Nominations will be accepted until July 15, 2018.

The Montana Center for the Book Prize recognizes and supports programs that celebrate literature and give people increased access to books and writers. The MCB Prize includes a $1,000 cash award presented to each of up to five Montana-based organizations that offer creative and wide-reaching literary programming. Organizations may nominate themselves for the Prize and Humanities Montana will promote the MCB Prize widely. Prize recipients will be chosen by the Montana Center for the Book advisory committee and the Humanities Montana board of directors.

In awarding the MCB Prize, the Montana Center for the Book will prioritize geographic diversity with a special emphasis on organizations that reach rural populations. While programs do not have to be free, low- or no-cost programs are preferred. Examples of prize-worthy activities include mini-festivals, literacy promotion, One Book programs, little free library programs, reading/writing workshops, and book-making workshops.

For nomination instructions and examples of past winners, see our MCB web page.

Congratulations to Letters About Literature Winners

Students from Bozeman, Fairfield and Missoula captured top honors in this year’s statewide Letters About Literature writing contest. Judges selected the winning entries from 231 submissions in three separate age categories.

Letters About Literature is a reading and writing promotion program of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and is sponsored at the state level by Humanities Montana and the Montana Center for the Book.

Every fall, young readers across Montana write a personal letter to an author whose book has especially affected them. Children write about being inspired to pursue their dreams, appreciate friends and family, and imagine possibilities. A panel of judges read about how literature teaches young people to empathize with others and overcome hardships. These letters are submitted to a national contest for a chance to win state and national prizes and winners are recognized across Montana each spring. Prize-winning letters can be read online here.

The state winners in the three age categories are:


First Place – Ryan Maeve Howell, Missoula, wrote to Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are


First Place – Lily Easton, Missoula, wrote to John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars

Second Place – Hagen Layne Kalista, Fairfield, wrote to Gary Paulsen, author of Hatchet

Third Place – Audrey Warren, Missoula, wrote to Ben Mikaelsen, author of Petey


First Place – Sage Crawford-Kahrl, Bozeman, wrote to Albert Camus, author of The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

Second Place – Kade McCulloch, Missoula, wrote to Harper Lee, author of To Kill A Mockingbird

Third Place – Mattie Steinberg, Missoula, wrote to Liz Murray, author of Breaking Night

This year’s LAL state judges were Big Sky Writing Workshops Instructor Danell Jones; Browning High School Librarian Amy Conrey Andreas; Assistant Professor of English at Montana State University Billings Tom Nurmi; and Brooke Beighle at Humanities Montana. Guidelines for the 2019 Letters About Literature program will be posted in August on the Humanities Montana website.

Become an Informed Citizen!

Whether the newspaper hits your front porch every morning at 5:00 am or you listen to the news on your commute to work or you scan headlines in your Facebook feed, journalism almost certainly plays some role in your daily life. Join Humanities Montana in exploring the state of journalism today and the role news media plays in our national conversation.

The Informed Citizen Initiative is a multi-year project funded, in part, by the Federation of State Humanities Councils. The initiative seeks to deepen the public’s knowledge and appreciation of the vital connections among democracy, the humanities, journalism, and an informed citizenry.

Join the discussion in several ways:

  • Book one of more than a dozen programs from our special Informed Citizen catalog (see directions below) featuring working journalists and scholars.
  • Work with Humanities Montana staff to put together a community conversation featuring local journalists and journalism scholars—send us an email or call Kim Anderson at 406-243-6022.
  • Watch for news about presentations by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists coming to Montana later this year.

You can apply for a program funded by Humanities Montana using our easy online application (identical to our Montana Conversations and Speakers in the Schools applications). All Informed Citizen discussion leaders are selected through a careful application and review process in order to assure the highest quality. Thank you to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Federation of State Humanities Councils for your generous support of this initiative, and the Pulitzer Prizes for your partnership.

Montana Teachers Apply for Western Literature Prize by July 1

Montana teachers of Western American literature have a unique opportunity to share their teaching strategies at a national meeting. You can submit an application for the WLA/Charles Redd Center K-12 Teaching Prize, which supports attendance at the annual Western American Literature Conference. Go here to see the application details. The deadline is July 1. Montana's very own Cheryl Hughes and Hali Kirby have won this award—add your name to the list!

Welcome Back, Sam!

Samantha Dwyer, our executive and program assistant from 2011 to 2016, is returning to Humanities Montana as a program officer on June 25. She and her husband, Dylan, taught at the American Community School in Oman for two years and look forward to coming home. Sam will work closely with Montanans on programs such as Montana Conversations, Speakers in the Schools, and Montana Center for the Book. Welcome back, Sam!

Grants Awarded:
May 2018

Diversity Issues Forum, The Montana Racial Equity Project, Bozeman, $1,000.00: Support for an event that will address current hot-button issues in Montana including race, culture, and resilience in schools; societal challenges for LGBTQIA+; and minorities in prisons. The forum will take place on September 27, 2018, from 9:30 am to 8:00 pm at the Bozeman Public Library.

The New Wild West, MonDak Heritage Center, Sidney, $1,000.00: Support for a public program in which journalist and author Blaire Briody discusses her book, The New Wild West: Black Gold, Fracking, and Life in a North Dakota Boomtown, as well as her experiences exploring the oil landscapes of western North Dakota and eastern Montana. The program will be on Tuesday, July 17 at 7:00 pm at the MonDak Heritage Center in Sidney.

"Nimi'ipuu Flight through Musselshell Country," Upper Musselshell Historical Society, Harlowton, $1,000.00: Support for the blessing and drum honoring ceremony by the Bear Canyon Drumming group for the opening of the Nez Perce exhibit, "Nimi'ipuu Flight through Musselshell Country," at the Upper Musselshell Museum in Harlowton. The exhibit details the historic fight of the Nez Perce in 1877 and the many continuing traditional arts that bind them as a people today. The grand opening will be June 15.

Wild Words Summer Slide Program, HAB Education and Wellness Corporation, Billings, $1,000.00: Funding for Wild Words Summer Slide Program, a literacy program for students living in public housing. This program brings in local professionals to lead workshops that include poetry, Montana history, and science. Wild Words will take place June through August 2018 at the Family Investment Center in Billings.

Thanks to Our Generous Supporters — May 2018


Philip Burgess
Dave Caserio
A. Clifford Edwards
Devin Egan
Debbie Garland*
Jim Heckel**
Raela Hulett
Bridget Kevane
Neal Lewing
Bernard Rose
Suzanne Schwichtenberg
Hal Stearns**
Dorothea Susag
Stephen Sylvester**
Mallory Witham


Carbon/Stillwater Community & Senior Programs
Flathead Reservation Human Rights Coalition
University of Montana Western Paranormal Club

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