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CONTACT US:    406.243.6022    •    •    MORE >


October 2018


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Using Literary Maps in the Classroom

Have you considered using a literary map with your students? The Montana Authors Project is an online map that helps readers visualize geographical locations in works of fiction. Featuring works such as the YA novel The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily Danforth, the classic Fools Crow by James Welch and many more, the map highlights a variety of works set in Montana. Scattered across the map of the state are points with excerpts from the text, information about the authors and photos.

Teachers who would like to share their students’ maps with the Montana Center for the Book should email Samantha Dwyer.

October is National Arts & Humanities Month!

Do you have a story of how the arts and humanities have impacted your life or your community? Share your story on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and tag Humanities Montana – we’ll share with our communities! You can also make a special donation toward our special initiatives, annual fund, and more.

Visit Americans for the Arts and the National Humanities Alliance to learn how you can get involved in promoting the value of the arts and humanities on campuses and in communities.

Humanities Montana Staff is on the Road

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. — Saint Augustine

Hometown Humanities
October 3-4, Red Lodge: Director of Programs and Grants Kim Anderson will be travelling to our Hometown Humanities site, Red Lodge, to meet with cultural planners and teachers.

Montana Nonprofit Association Conference
October 2-4, Helena: Brooke Beighle, our communications director, will represent HM and attend sessions focused on communications and development.

Montana Cultural Trust
October 15-16, Helena: Kim Anderson will travel to Helena to serve on the grants panel which will make funding recommendations to the state legislature.

Missoula Public Library Big Read Events
October 16, Missoula: Kim Anderson and Samantha Dwyer will lead a discussion of science fiction/fantasy and the quest for self-knowledge as part of the month-long Big Read celebration of A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin.

Montana Educators’ Conference
October 18-19, Billings: Ken Egan and many of HM’s fine Speakers in the Schools presenters will offer sessions during the annual conference. You can see a full schedule here.

Montana State Reading Council Literary Conference
October 18-19, Billings: Program Officer Samantha Dwyer will be presenting on the Montana Center for the Book and programs available to libraries and schools.

High Plains BookFest and Awards
October 18-20, Billings: HM board members and Ken Egan will host a table at the annual awards banquet as HM joins in celebrating the diverse literary cultures of the U.S. and Canadian high plains.

Grant Deadlines

Regular, fellowship, three-year sustaining, and film and digital production grants have been suspended from November 1, 2018 until October 31, 2019 so that HM can expand development capacity and plan for a relaunch of our grants and programs in 2020.

Already approved three-year sustaining grants and Opportunity grants will continue.

Event Calendar

Visit our online calendar to find out about upcoming Humanities Montana-sponsored events.


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Humanities Montana strengthens communities through stories, conversation, and reflection.

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.

NEH Chairman Peede Visits Crow Agency

Jon Parrish Peede, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, visited Little Big Horn College September 13-14 during Humanities Montana’s fall board meeting and a symposium dedicated to the Apsaalooke (Crow) treaties of 1868. Chairman Peede met with students from Hardin High School, toured Little Big Horn College and the Little Bighorn Battlefield, discussed NEH priorities with Humanities Montana’s board, and shared an inspiring talk on why public humanities matter more than ever, especially in rural and reservation communities.

Our board and staff thank Chairman Peede and Vincent Ricardel, senior advisor to the chairman, for their graciousness and commitment to humanities for all Americans. We also thank Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines for sharing messages of support for the humanities and native communities prior to Chairman Peede’s address.

Thank You to Little Big Horn College

The board and staff of Humanities Montana extend gratitude to Little Big Horn College for hosting our fall board meeting. We were honored to participate in "Treaties That Live: Historical Symposium for the Sesquicentennial of the Crow (Apsaalooke) Treaties of 1868." Humanities Montana provided grant support for this timely public discussion of the treaties and their significance for contemporary Apsaalooke.

Special thanks to President David Yarlott, Dale Old Horn, Tim Bernardis, Sharon Stewart-Peregoy, Janine Pease, Philip Beaumont, Alden Big Man, and Adrian Heidenreich for their kindness, warm welcome, and thoughtful counsel.

Humanities Montana Awards 2018 Montana Center for the Book Prizes

Humanities Montana has awarded five Montana Center for the Book Prizes to programs across the state in recognition of their efforts to promote literacy and literature in their communities. Award-winning programs receive $1,000 awards and promotion at festivals, events, and online throughout the year. From a large volume of impressive nominations, the Center for the Book Advisory Committee selected the following recipients for the 2018 Montana Center for the Book Prize:

Aerie Big Sky and Aerie International, Missoula: Big Sky High School’s Aerie Magazine program is one of only a handful of literary magazines around the world edited solely by high school students that offers a professional publication experience.

Arts Without Boundaries, Billings: Arts Without Boundaries is a nonprofit organization that facilitates and creates opportunities for students to engage and participate in the arts. By providing students with affordable/free of charge writing, art, and music programs, they strive to reach students in communities across all social and economic boundaries.

North Valley Public Library, Stevensville: "Captain Hooked on Books," a program of North Valley Public Library, is an interactive program of reading, singing, and dancing for children ages three to five years that reinforces early literacy skills in a fun and creative way.

Missoula Writing Collaborative, Missoula: The In Our Words: Creative Writing Residencies on the Flathead Reservation of the Salish and Kootenai Confederated Tribes program by The Missoula Writing Collaborative brings writers to reservation schools to help students write and publish poems.

Heart Butte School District, Heart Butte: The Books for Heart Butte Kids program serves children on the Blackfeet Reservation and strives to provide books that children can call their own outside of the school library.

Prizes will be awarded at the Montana Book Festival, Saturday, September 29 and the High Plains Book Awards, Saturday, October 20th. Additional events will be announced throughout the year. The Montana Center for the Book will highlight awardees and nominees each week in the coming months.

Rural Groups Receive Big Sky Reads Awards

Four rural communities will receive $500 stipends from the Montana Center for the Book and Humanities Montana to support local book clubs. Libraries in Cascade, Hot Springs, Chinook, and Dillon have each been awarded Big Sky Reads awards which support author visits, book kits, outreach efforts and more. In exchange, the book clubs agree to post news about their reading lists and discussions on a new Facebook group site. Congratulations to librarians Nancy Royan, Starla Rice, Valerie Frank, and Lori Roberts.

Tribal Partnerships Initiative Supports Fort Belknap’s Mid-Winter Fair

The Fort Belknap Mid-Winter Fair will be celebrating its 51st year in February, 2019. Montana State University Extension, tribal programs, local schools, and community members organize the reservation-wide winter community events for all ages. It is an event where artists, quilters, craftsmen, musicians, dancers, and singers share their cultural talents with each other. Community members are recognized for their leadership and outstanding accomplishments. It is a great time for the communities to come together during the long, cold winter months. A Humanities Montana Tribal Partnership will provide support for this inventive, inviting fair.

Humanities Montana Suspends Regular, Film and Digital Grants for 2019

Humanities Montana has entered a year focused on expanding development capacity and planning for a relaunch of our grants and programs during 2020. We will therefore suspend our regular, film and digital, three-year sustaining, and fellowship grants for fiscal year 2019 (November 1, 2018-October 31, 2019).

We will continue to offer Opportunity Grants (quick-action grants up to $1,000) and will honor our already-approved three-year sustaining grants.

We recognize this suspension may cause inconvenience for our many partners and humanists around the state. Please call Humanities Montana’s staff at 243-6022 to discuss this temporary change and other possible funders for your work.

2019 Letters About Literature: Read. Be inspired. Write back.

Montana Center for the Book sponsors Letters About Literature (LAL), a statewide and national competition for young readers to submit letters for cash prizes. Letters About Literature is a reading and writing contest for students in grades 4-12. Students select a book, poem, or speech they have read and write a personal letter to the author (living or dead) about how the book affected them.

Tens of thousands of students from across the country enter Letters About Literature each year, engaging more as readers, and creating a conversation about ideas, feelings, and perspectives.

Online submissions will be accepted November 1, 2018 until January 11, 2019 here. Watch the Letters About Literature YouTube video to learn more. State winners receive $100 for first place, $75 for second place and $50 for third place in three grade levels. First place winners advance to the national competition for a chance to win $2,000 and national recognition.

Contact Program Officer Samantha Dwyer for more information.

Thanks and Welcome to Humanities Montana Board Members

Fall is a time of change, blending beauty with a sense of time’s passage. And so it is in the spirit of autumn that we say good-bye to highly valued board members and welcome new directors. The board and staff of Humanities Montana extend deepest gratitude to Antoine (Tony) Brockman, Rita Collins, and Connie Daugherty for years of service to this organization. They have brought wisdom, love of literature, history, and diverse cultures, commitment to rural and reservation communities, and a delight in public programs and collegiality. Tony, Rita, and Connie, you will always be part of Humanities Montana!

We welcome as new board members Carla Homstad (Stevensville), Mary McCormick (Butte), and Aaron Parrett (Helena and Great Falls). They share a commitment to public humanities, history, literature, historic preservation, and more. Thank you for dedicating your talents to this great cause! They will begin their service to Humanities Montana January 1, 2019.

Free Informed Citizen Programs for Montana Teachers

Would your students like to become more media literate? Or would they like to discuss the role of local and national journalism in a healthy democracy? Humanities Montana's Informed Citizen Initiative offers a catalog of free programs aimed at encouraging critical thinking about the media.

In Memoriam:
Helen Guthrie Atwood

Montana lost a fierce advocate for the humanities when Helen “Gus” Atwood passed away September 25. Gus, a 2001 Governor’s Humanities Award recipient, was the driving force behind many cultural institutions and achievements in the state, including Butte’s Mother Lode Theater and the Museum of the Rockies. She was also, of course, the daughter of one of Montana’s great writers, A.B. Guthrie Jr. You can read much more about her rich life here. We extend our condolences to Gus’ family and friends.

Thanks to Our Generous Supporters — September 2018


Caroline Bitz*
Almeda Bradshaw
Mandy Smoker Broaddus*
Dave Caserio
Judy Collins
Scott Crichton*
Devin Egan
Arch Ellwein
Lorents Grosfield*
Marie Habener
Carla Homstad
Chris Hopkins*
Raela Hulett
David Irion*
Carmen McSpadden*
Aaron Pruitt*
Loren Randall
Penny Redli*
Bernard Rose
Laura Mitchell Ross*
Hal Stearns**
Dorothea Susag
Gary Svee
Sandi Vashro


Mission Ridge on St. John's Campus
Prairie County Homemakers Council
River and Plains Society
WyndStone Senior Living
Yellowstone Genealogy Forum

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