A Heart for the Humanities: Communications Manager Brooke Beighle

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If you have visited our Facebook or Instagram pages, come upon a press release in your local newspaper, or perused our recently upgraded website, you have encountered some of the work of our Operations and Communications Manager Brooke Beighle. In addition to producing content that aims to engage individuals, organizations, and communities in and around the state, Brooke also communicates the heart and soul of Humanities Montana’s mission and identity to you, the public.

Brooke was born in San Francisco and raised in Joliet, a small farming community in the south-central region of Montana nestled between Billings and Red Lodge. She moved to Los Angeles after high school to attend the Musicians Institute and pursue professional music. Missing the mountains and wanting to be closer to family, she moved to Missoula in 2010 where she received a BA in Communication Studies from the University of Montana

In 2014, Brooke volunteered at a wildlife refuge in Thailand and traveled through Cambodia, which opened her eyes to the importance of understanding barriers to communicating across cultures. “It was during the early morning hours of cleaning the sun bear enclosures with volunteers from around the world, and hot afternoon walks with the rescued elephants, and that I learned just how big our world is,” she says. Through the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at UM, she had the unique opportunity in 2016 to travel to Japan through the Kakehashi Project which focused on Japan’s rich culture, history, society, politics, and economics. “Both of these experiences ignited a drive in me to further understand the dimensions of cultural differences so we can be respectful in all cross-cultural relations,” she says. “Global diversity will only continue to increase and the humanities provide an opportunity to learn so we can decrease ethnocentricity and grow as human beings.”

At Humanities Montana, Brooke seeks to eliminate the barriers that prevent humanities programming from being accessible to all Montanans regardless of age, sex, gender, race, ability, economic status, or religion. “Our organization aligns with culturally and socially important projects that speak to the diverse values of all Montanans,” she says. “We highlight the importance of human nature and individual stories, and I want to help provide opportunities for all Montanans to attend events in their communities that align with their values. We are an ever evolving organization that is turning its focus toward equity work in a big way as it’s more important than ever that we have these conversations.”

By Sierra Cornelius, work-study student for Humanities Montana