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March 2019

MARCH 2019

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Reflecting on the Governor’s Humanities Awards


Skip and Meg Herman • Montana PBS • Yellowstone Public Radio • A&E Architects • Clifford Edwards • JCCS Accounting • The Montana History Foundation • Montana Preservation Alliance • Montana Public Radio • Carroll College • Victoria Cech • Patty Dean • Susan and David Irion • Laura Mitchell Ross • Debbie Garland and Tom Stockburger

Honoree Spotlight:
Stephenie Ambrose Tubbs

Stephenie Ambrose Tubbs is a historian and public humanities presenter who is well known for her books on the Lewis and Clark expedition, including Why Sacagawea Deserves the Day Off: Lessons from the Lewis and Clark Trail.

We begin with Ambrose Tubbs’ personal account of growing up in a public humanities family: "'Once upon a time' describes the effect the humanities have had on my life. I grew up surrounded by stories because my parents shared their unquenchable passion for the arts and traveling on history-based adventures across the country. They impressed us with the importance of place and the stories that connected people to place. It was their love of story that brought me to Montana. It was their love of culture and history that gave me an early appreciation for place and for this place in particular."

You can read Stephenie’s full remarks here.

Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month, when we recognize the significant contributions women have made to our nation and state. Many of our Montana Conversations this month center on bold women in history, like Beth Judy’s talk in Havre on March 14.

Type the name of your town in the search bar of our online calendar to find women’s history events in your community.

2019 State Literacy Award Goes To...

In recognition of their outstanding contributions to the promotion of literacy and reading in the local community and the state, Montana Center for the Book nominated the Missoula Writing Collaborative for the 2019 Library of Congress State Literacy Award Program.

We are proud to announce the Missoula Writing Collaborative has been selected as a 2019 winner. They will receive an award of $2,225. The Library of Congress State Literacy Awards Program is made possible through the generous support of David M. Rubenstein.


Program Reveal Next Month

We are very excited about a brand-new program for the Montana Center for the Book that’s a bit different for us. We aren’t quite ready to make the big announcement but watch this space next month to get in on the secret. And save the date April 20 for a trip to Chico Hot Springs if you want to be part of the kickoff party. More information and tickets coming soon!

Hometown Humanities Update

Red Lodge is filling up the calendar with fun, meaningful, and diverse programs. Check out the Red Lodge Carnegie Library’s Lunch and Learn series. Visit The Willows for a conversation on Crow culture or a living history event called “Alcohol, Corsets, and the Vote: A Conversation with Mary Long Alderson.” Red Lodge Ales continues their Think & Drink series and the Carbon County Historical Museum gets in on the action in May. If you’re not already a local, plan a trip to Red Lodge for all things Hometown Humanities.

In Memoriam:
Ron Perrin and Richard Wheeler

Montana recently lost two public humanities legends: Ron Perrin of Missoula and Richard Wheeler of Livingston.

Ron Perrin passed away October 7, 2018. He was an engaging political science professor at the University of Montana in Missoula for 25 years, but his impact extended far beyond campus. He received the Montana Governor’s Humanities Award in 2011 because “he inspired many students with his discussion of political theory. He became a national authority on public humanities work through his leadership of Humanities Montana and participation on the Board of the Federation of State Humanities Councils. He served on the board of the Missoula Cultural Council and traveled the state of Montana presenting public lectures on the humanities.” As one nominator observed when recommending Dr. Perrin for the Governor’s Humanities Award, “His commitments to both ‘the people’s business’ and to academic inquiry and discussion have been unwavering for decades.... His life provides a model of civic engagement and commitment to humanities-focused inquiry and outreach.” A memorial service will be held for Dr. Perrin on Saturday, March 9 at 2:00 p.m. at the Missoula Country Club.

Richard Wheeler passed away February 24, 2019. Wheeler was the 2001 recipient of the Owen Wister Award for lifetime contributions to Western literature and a six-time Western Writers of America Spur Award winner. Following a distinguished career as newspaperman he turned his talents to recreating the challenges and drama of western life in over 80 novels. He was married to Sue Hart, literature professor extraordinaire at Montana State University Billings who preceded him in death. Richard and Sue dedicated their lives to demonstrating that literature and history should be accessible and engaging for all Montanans. For a thoughtful, affectionate profile of the writer and the man, listen to Humanities Montana board member Aaron Parrett in conversation with the novelist Russell Rowland here. A memorial service for Richard took place February 28 in Livingston.

Opportunity Grants Awarded

Art and Adaptation: Transforming Art among the Apsaalooke, Western Heritage Center, Billings, $500. An exhibit exploring the work of contemporary Apsaalooke artists, February 28–May 4, 2019.

Writing the West: A Way Forward, the 2019 In the Footsteps of Norman Maclean Festival, Alpine Artisans, Seeley Lake, $1,000. The three-day festival, September 13–15, features Michael Punke, Rick Bass, Peter Stark, Richard Manning, Debra Magpie Earling, Judy Blunt, Annick Smith, and Dan O’Brien.

Spanish Heritage Education, World Language Initiative-MT, Bozeman, $1,000. This grant will support scholarships for Spanish Heritage camp, July 22–26, designed to support Hispanic children in language maintenance, Spanish literacy and academic skills.

Revisiting Montana 1889 Facebook Group Focuses on Russell, Bower, and Fergus

The Revisiting Montana 1889 Facebook Group will spend March discussing Charlie Russell, B. M. Bower, and James and Pamelia Fergus. The Montana Historical Society is hosting 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.

Participants can share many reading suggestions, encouraging immersion in primary and secondary writing about our state’s colorful, complex past.

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 — February 2019


Mandy Smoker Broaddus*
Eileen Carney
Victoria Cech*
Kae Cheatham
Beth Conklin
Scott Crichton*
Devin Egan
Barry** and Louise Ferst
Debbie Garland*
Lorents Grosfield*
Marie Habener
Pat Hale
Linda Halstead Acharya
Robert Harrison
Gregg Holt
Carla Homstad*
Chris Hopkins*
Raela Hulett
Susan and David* Irion
Kathryn Jahnke
Martha Kohl
Lorrie Koski
Sue Malek
William Marcus** and Cynthia Fudge
Mary McCormick*
Thomas McGuane
Precious McKenzie
Tom Morris
Aaron Parrett*

Individuals (continued)

Aaron Pruitt*
Bill Pullman
Dorothy Gail Rader
Kathleen Ralph**
Penny Redli*
Shani Rich
Bernard Rose
Laura Mitchell Ross*
Marilyn Ryan
Diane Sands
Tobin Miller Shearer*
Patrick Smith
Hal Stearns**
Katie Sullivan
Dorothea Susag
Hannah VanHoose
Bonnie Williamson**

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


Bitz Grain & Cattle Corp
Carroll College
Flathead Friends of the Library, Inc.
Livingston Park County Public Library
Range Riders Museum

Humanities Montana Opportunity Grants Available through Regular Grant Suspension

Opportunity Grants (quick-action grants up to $1,000) are currently available for organizations seeking funding for humanities programs.

Humanities Montana has suspended other grantmaking decisions until November 1, 2019 while we expand development capacity and review our grants and programs. We recognize this change affects our many partners around the state. Please call Humanities Montana’s staff at 243-6022 to discuss Opportunity Grants and other possible funders for your work.

For more information...

Humanities Montana strengthens communities through stories and conversation.

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.