“As you read this Annual Report, you will get a sense of the commitment Humanities Montana has to enriching the lives of all Montanans. You will see the creativity involved in ensuring that programming went forth, regardless of the unique environment created by the pandemic.”
I was first introduced to Humanities Montana in June 2012, when I volunteered as a facilitator for a community conversation in Miles City between long-time residents and oil field workers coming into the community with their families, looking for a place to call home. That was also the kick-off for the first Hometown Humanities, which included a year’s worth of Humanities Montana speakers, authors, and historians presenting programs in Miles City. Between the community conversations and the year of programming, the people of Miles City and the surrounding areas were enriched with cultural events and a deeper understanding of not only their local community but also their Montana heritage.
As you read this Annual Report, you will get a sense of the commitment Humanities Montana has to enriching the lives of all Montanans. You will see the creativity involved in ensuring that programming went forth, regardless of the unique environment created by the pandemic. Humanities Montana made a crucial pivot to online programming in response to COVID-19. Humanities Montana staff and speakers produced 49 online humanities programs that Montanans accessed from the safety of their homes. More than 3,000 Montanans connected virtually with authors, poets, historians, and journalists, covering topics from contemporary culture to folktales.
None of this would have been successful without a talented and committed staff set to work for the benefit of Montana and its citizens. 2020 brought changes due to the pandemic as well as a change in leadership for Humanities Montana. Luckily, the board was able to convince a Montanan turned Texan that she needed to come back home. Randi Lynn Tanglen, Ph.D., was selected, through an extensive interviewing process, as the new executive director of Humanities Montana. She started mid-pandemic in June of 2020. Randi’s leadership of Humanities Montana, along with the dedication of its staff, will ensure the organization’s viability and programming well into the future.
As you review this 2020 Annual Report and reflect on Humanities Montana’s many accomplishments, realize that we are now well on our way to an exciting 2021. Stay tuned for excellent programming and events, including this year’s Governor’s Humanities Awards.
Chris Hopkins, Board Chair
”In June 2020, I returned to my beloved home state to join the Humanities Montana team and had the opportunity to virtually connect with many of our friends and supporters. Your passion for the humanities has served as a reminder of how stories and conversation can transform the world, even in daunting times.”
“Your support had a profound impact in our communities in 2020. Your confidence in the mission of Humanities Montana was felt in the gifts you gave, experiences you shared, and opportunities you created with us.”
Our board members provide crucial guidance that strengthens
Humanities Montana’s work across the state.
Mandy Smoker Broaddus*
White Sulphur Springs
Carla Homstad, 2021 Vice Chair
Chris Hopkins, 2020 Vice Chair/2021 Board Chair
Aaron Pruitt,* 2020 Board Chair
Laura Mitchell Ross