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CONTACT US:    406.243.6022    •    •    MORE >


January 2019


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Thank you to our 2019 Governor’s Humanities Awards Sponsors



Skip and Meg Herman
Gold Sponsor

Clifford Edwards
Copper Sponsor

Victoria Cech

Patty Dean

Susan and David Irion

Egan Addresses Billings Town and Gown January 9

Humanities Montana’s executive director Ken Egan will discuss "Why the Humanities Matter More Than Ever" at the Billings Town and Gown, 6:00 p.m., January 9 in Prescott Hall on the Rocky Mountain College campus.

We live at a moment when the humanities seem in retreat. Fewer students are majoring in these disciplines and STEM claims ascendancy in the popular imagination. Yet the humanities matter more than ever. To demonstrate that claim, Egan will share three exemplary texts from the humanities tradition: William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of an American Slave, and Ivan Doig’s This House of Sky (along with Tami Haaland’s poetry). Through these engaging stories he will trace the origin of the humanities in Renaissance Humanism, the power of the humanities to help liberate a person considered less than human, and the need for authentic relationships in our home under the Big Sky. Attendees will come to see that the humanities offer insights, values, empathy, and critical thinking that are essential for living full, meaningful lives in the 21st century.

Ken Egan

Pint Night at Ten Mile Creek Brewing

Join us for our Brew a Better Community pint night where $1 of every pint sold goes to Humanities Montana.

Brew a Better Community

February 3, 2019

5:00-8:00 p.m.

Ten Mile Creek Brewing

48 N Last Chance Gulch, Helena, MT 59601

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, 2019-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.

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.

Governor’s Humanities Awards February 7 in Helena

Join Lieutenant Governor Mike Cooney and Humanities Montana in honoring five extraordinary Montanans on Thursday, February 7 at 3:00 p.m. in the Capitol Rotunda with the 2019 Governor’s Humanities Award.

Stephenie Ambrose Tubbs, Ellen Crain, Tami Haaland, Thomas McGuane, and Elizabeth McNamer will be recognized for their diverse, long-standing contributions to our state. A banquet featuring Bill Pullman as keynote speaker will follow at the Marriott Helena Colonial at 6:00 p.m. Music will be provided by ThreeForm.

You can read more about the awards here and purchase a banquet ticket here.

Thank You for Supporting the Humanities!

As we close the books on 2018, we would like to extend a very sincere thank you to our generous supporters. You made it possible to draw even more people together, generate new ideas and strengthen communities across our state. Our work would not have had such a far reaching impact without your thoughtful contributions.

Here is to a very happy, healthy, and enlightened New Year!


Humanities Montana Board of Directors and Staff

We Are the Humanities—
And This Is What We Do

Humanities Montana Board Meets in Helena February 8–9

The board will hold its winter meeting at the Marriott Helena Colonial on Friday, February 8 and Saturday, February 9 to plan for new program and grant possibilities.

Humanities Montana looks forward to welcoming three new board members: Carla Homstad (Stevensville), Mary McCormick (Butte), and Aaron Parrett (Helena). Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting, which will begin at 8:30 a.m. each day.

Leaders Come Together to Strengthen Civil Society in Montana

Humanities Montana will join the Montana Nonprofit Association, Leadership Montana, and Philanthropy Northwest in convening nonprofit and business leaders for a conversation about strengthening civil society in our state.

In a time of polarization and uncivil discourse, how can organizations work together to encourage thoughtful responses to our most pressing challenges? The meeting will take place in early January in Helena through generous support from the Bernard Rose Family Fund at the Billings Community Foundation. We will share insights and next steps gleaned from the conversation in our February newsletter.

Think and Drink in Red Lodge for Hometown Humanities

We’ve all had deep discussions with our friends while we’re out at night—why not add a couple of experts to the mix and really take it up a notch? Red Lodge Ales hosts an Informed Citizen Think & Drink on January 16 at 6:00 p.m. as part of a monthly series.

This time, join Ed Kemmick and Erika Fredrickson to discuss the role of journalism in a democracy. Why are independent journalism and a free press important? How do we support local news? What is the value of social media, and what are its challenges? Come think—and drink—with friends.

Letters About Literature


Free Books for Heart Butte Kids

Heart Butte School District’s Books for Heart Butte Kids, which serves children on the Blackfeet Reservation, was a recipient of this year’s Montana Center for the Book Prize. Here’s how they are utilizing their award.


NEH Awards Grants to Montanans

The National Endowment for the Humanities recently awarded over $85,000 to Montana projects! Congratulations to Ellen Crain at Butte-Silver Bow, Eric Schluessel at University of Montana, Amy Webster at Ninepipes Museum, and John Keener and Tom Rust at the Montana Center for Inclusive Education at Montana State University Billings.

Ellen Crain (project director) at the City and County of Butte-Silver Bow was awarded a $12,000 Common Heritage grant in support of a community historic preservation event. Contact: 406-782-3280.

Eric Schluessel (project director) at the University of Montana was awarded a $60,000 Fellowship grant in support of advanced research toward a publication. Contact: 949-637-4695.

Amy Webster (project director) of the Ninepipes Museum of Early Montana was awarded a $5,775 Preservation Assistance Grant Support for small and mid-sized institutions to care for significant humanities collections. Contact: 406-644-3435.

John Keener and Tom Rust (project directors) of the Montana Center for Inclusive Education at MSU Billings was awarded a Humanities Landmark of American History and Culture grant for their “The Battle of the Little Bighorn and the Great Sioux War (1876)” summer 2019 workshops for K-12 school teachers. Contact: 406-657-1743.

Become an Informed Citizen—by Taking Part in One of these Upcoming Events!

Across the state Montanans are talking about how they know what they know! Join one of the following conversations about the importance of journalism in a democratic society:

Think & Drink with Erika Fredrickson and Ed Kemmick, 6:00 p.m., January 16, 2019, Red Lodge Ales, Red Lodge

Civic Engagement and the Press, Kathy Best, editor, The Missoulian 6:30 p.m., January 22, 2019, Missoula Public Library

Responsible Consumerism in a 24-hour Media Cycle with Shanti Johnson, 6:00 p.m., February 7, 2019, Livingston-Park County Public Library

What Happened to the News? With Dennis Swibold, 6:30 p.m., February 11, 2019, Missoula Public Library

Think & Drink with Courtney Cowgill and Dennis Swibold, 6:00 p.m., February 14, 2019, Red Lodge Ales, Red Lodge

Locavore News with Courtney Cowgill, 5:30 p.m., February 15, 2019, Old Roosevelt School, Red Lodge

Margaret “Unsinkable Molly” Brown and a Mythmaking Press with Mary Jane Bradbury, 2:00 p.m., February 24, 2019, Museum at Central School, Kalispell

Responsible Consumerism in a 24-hour Media Cycle with Shanti Johnson, 6:30 p.m., March 19, 2019, Missoula Public Library

Plus, look for events February 4–9 in Butte and Bozeman when Humanities Montana partners with The Root & Bloom Collective and the Montana Standard to host national award-winning journalist Bill Lambrecht for the Mining City Writing Project—The Fourth Estate week long residency. Stay tuned for details!

If your group would like to have a conversation about the importance of journalism to an informed citizenry you can learn more about our program here.

Join Revisiting Montana 1889 Facebook Group During 2019

Reflect on our state’s history by joining the Revisiting Montana 1889 Facebook Group during 2019. The Montana Historical Society will host this lively monthly conversation based on Humanities Montana's executive director Ken Egan’s Montana 1889: Indians, Cowboys, and Miners in the Year of Statehood. We will revisit important figures out of Montana’s past such as Lone Wolf, Granville Stuart, Nannie Alderson, Louis Riel, Mary Gleim, Deaf Bull, and Chief Charlo. We will consider changes to the land and peoples that led up to and followed from Montana statehood.

Ken will launch the book group formally with a talk at the Montana Historical Society on Tuesday, January 15 from 3:30-5:00 p.m. You can respond in real time to the introductory talk through the book group Facebook page by posting observations and questions. Moving forward, each month Ken will share questions on the group’s Facebook page and reply to readers’ thoughts. Montana is a small town with long streets and we can have a lively exchange of views through social media. If you need a copy of Montana 1889, go here. Royalties from book sales support the programs and grants of Humanities Montana.

Thanks to Our Generous Supporters — December 2018


Ossie Abrams and David Orser
Clyde Aspevig and Carol Guzman-Aspevig
Bonnie Bowler** in memory of Mike Bowler
Stan and Glenda Bradshaw
Carol Bronson
Dave Caserio
John Clayton
Brian Cockhill**
Barbara Coleman
Patty Dean*
Rudolf Dietrich**
Devin Egan
Howard and Judy Evans
Gerald Fetz** in memory of Ron Perrin**
Louise Ogemahgeshig Fischer
Marie Habener
Chris Hopkins*
Raela Hulett
Kurt and Jeanette Ingold
Jennifer Jeffries Thompson**
Chere Jiusto
Mark Johnson**
Brian Kahn
Linda Karell**
Daniel Kemmis
Tom** and Katie Kotynski
Melissa Kwasny
Bonnie Lambert
Kirby Lambert
William Marcus** and Cynthia Fudge
Judy Mathre
Lyndel Meikle**
Mary Meissner
Cathy Moser
Albert and Virginia Niccolucci
Cynthia Parry and Peter Strauss
Lawrence Pettit**
Aaron Pruitt*
Kathleen Ralph**
Penny Redli*
Bernard Rose
Victor and Pamela Sample
Nancy Silliman
Hal Stearns**
Karen Stevenson**
Dorothea Susag
Sally Thompson
Nicholas Vrooman
Christopher Weiss-Lehman
O. Alan Weltzien**
Bruce Wendt
Niki Whearty** and James Reynolds


Friends Of the Whitehall Community Library

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