Our History

From 1972 to Today

Explore our interactive timeline below and see some of our big accomplishments over the years.

  • 2022
  • 2021
  • 2020
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
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  • 1975
  • 1974
  • 1973
  • 1972
  • 2022

    2022 Major Accomplishments

    Humanities Montana celebrated its 50th anniversary!

    • In January, the Humanities Montana board of directors welcomed two new board members, Esther Beth Sullivan of Billings and Francine Spang-Willis of Bozeman. Jeremy Carl of Bozeman joined the board as a governor’s appointee in November 2022.
    • After over two years of virtual meetings due to the pandemic, the Humanities Montana board of directors met in person again in May in Bozeman. In-person programs for Montana Conversations and Speakers in the Schools resumed on March 1, 2022.
    • Director of programs and grants and founding director of the Montana Book Festival, Kim Anderson, retired after 23 years of service to Humanities Montana.
    • Humanities Montana celebrated its 50th anniversary! Throughout the year, previous board members, friends, and supporters penned “Golden Anniversary” letters for our monthly e-newsletter, and many were published in newspapers throughout the state. A special tribute video included interviews with previous board members and friends.
    • With special funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities’s “A More Perfect Union” initiative, Humanities Montana sent 200 Gather Round DIY Humanities Toolkits to individuals all over the state. The kits featured Living Nations, Living Words, an anthology of Native American poetry edited by the U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, and activities designed to explore and reflect on a sense of self and place through conversations with friends and neighbors.
  • 2021

    2021 Major Accomplishments

    Why It Matters

    Governor’s Humanities Awards

    • Humanities Montana hosted four Why It Matters virtual panels with the support of funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in collaboration with the Federation of State Humanities Councils: The Purpose of Protest, Our Rural/Urban Political Divide, The Native Vote in Montana, and The Political Power of Young People. Over 700 Montanans attended the four virtual panels between January and April.
    • With National Endowment for the Humanities funds provided through the American Rescue Plan, Humanities Montana awarded $551,195 in Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan (SHARP) grants to 51 cultural organizations throughout the state.
    • The Humanities Montana board of directors welcomed four new Governor’s appointees, Glory Blue Earth-Highley of Deer Lodge, Jessica Flint of Billings, Susan Hughes of Helena, and Lathie Poole of Bozeman. Jennifer Corning of Billings and Ramey Growing Thunder of Poplar also joined the board.
    • The Democracy Project launched at three library sites—Missoula, Billings, and Whitehall. With support from the Engelhard Foundation, The Democracy Project engages teens in civic action through partnerships with local libraries, community organizations, and Humanities Montana. This program gives teens the resources to effect change and know their role in an evolving democracy through direct participation.
    • In September, Humanities Montana hosted its first virtual Governor’s Humanities Awards, honoring Montanans Dorothy Bradley, Janine Pease, Jim Robbins, Jim Scott, and Chrysti Smith.
  • 2020

    2020 Major Accomplishments

    Humanities Montana executive director Randi Lynn Tanglen, Ph.D.

    2020 Impact Report

    • Humanities Montana welcomed its new executive director, Dr. Randi Lynn Tanglen, in June. Scott Crichton, former Humanities Montana board member, served as interim executive director from September 2019 until June 2020.
    • With National Endowment for the Humanities funds obtained through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Humanities Montana regranted $419,580 to 95 Montana cultural organizations. 
    • In response to shelter-in-place guidelines, Humanities Montana instituted entirely virtual programming. Virtual Humanities Happy Hour programs connected Montanans from across the state and weekly Digital and DIY Humanities emails—viewed by over 37,000 readers from March to December—encouraged readers to engage with the humanities at home.
    • In August, Humanities Montana held the organization’s first virtual townhall. New executive director Dr. Randi Lynn Tanglen spoke on “The Humanities in the Time of COVID-19,” and April Martin of the Wild Rose Center in Busby discussed the importance of CARES Act grants to Montana’s cultural organizations.
    • In October, Humanities Montana received a portion of a $1.96 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded to the Federation of State Humanities Councils. The grant supported a nationwide initiative: “Why It Matters: Civic and Electoral Participation.” 
    • Jamie Doggett of White Sulphur Springs was elected to the board of directors. She previously served on the Montana Committee for the Humanities board from 1989-2001.
    • In partnership with the Big Sky Film Institute, Humanities Montana unveiled the second edition of Gather Round, a DIY toolkit for hyperlocal, personal humanities gatherings. The kits centered on four global films, Water Warriors, Taking the Waters, Scenes from a Dry City, and Connection. 
    • Amidst the backdrop of a global pandemic and economic recession, thanks to the gracious and unwavering support of donors, Humanities Montana increased donor giving from 2019 to 2020.
  • 2019

    2019 Major Accomplishments

    2019 Governor’s Humanities Awards

    Gather Round – Hearth Toolkit

    • Humanities Montana did a deep dive on its services to Montana and introduced a new mission, new program opportunities, a new website, and new ways to make the humanities available to ever more Montanans.

    • Humanities Montana joined with Governor Steve Bullock and Lieutenant Governor Mike Cooney to honor five extraordinary Montanans with the Governors’ Humanities Award: Stephenie Ambrose Tubbs, Ellen Crain, Tami Haaland, Thomas McGuane, and Elizabeth McNamer. The actor Bill Pullman provided a memorable keynote address at the awards banquet.

    • Tribal Partnerships supported the Michif Cultural Festival in Choteau and efforts by the Selis-Qlispe Cultural Committee to develop a cultural app for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

    • Grants supported innovative programs all across Montana, including school assemblies on how video games teach the humanities, a Spanish language immersion course for younger students, and Debra Magpie Earling’s reading at the Upper Musselshell Historical Society.

    • Humanities Montana introduced the innovative DIY program Gather Round that uses a game-playing approach to inspire meaningful humanities  conversations in participants’ homes.

    • Hometown Humanities Red Lodge culminated with an Autumn Walkabout that featured the history and current cultural vitality of the host community.

    • The board elected new members Alden Big Man Jr. (Hardin), David Dietrich (Billings), Carla Homstad (Stevensville), Mary McCormick (Butte), and Aaron Parrett (Helena). We said good-bye to five fantastic directors: Victoria Cech, Patty Dean, Lorents Grosfield, Penny Redli, and Tobin Miller Shearer.

  • 2018

    2018 Major Accomplishments

    Mark Matthews Calling Dances

    Nimi’ipuu flight through Musselshell Country exhibit

    • Humanities Montana enters into Tribal Partnerships with organizations on the Fort Peck, Fort Belknap, and Flathead Reservations, as well as with the Mitchif Heritage Keepers.
    • Red Lodge serves as host for Hometown Humanities and offers a record number of programs. Its year of programming is capped off by a special celebration of the region’s literary and artistic communities.
    • “Democracy and the Informed Citizen” programs take place all over Montana, funded by the Mellon Foundation in partnership with the Pulitzer Foundation, giving Montanans an opportunity to think deeply about journalism’s role in contemporary democracy.
    • Staff and board members attend the National Humanities Conference in New Orleans to learn from the national network of humanities councils, with a particular focus on increasing racial equity and diversity among the councils.
    • The fall board meeting takes place at Little Big Horn College in Crow Agency in conjunction with a major conference on “The Crow Treaties of 1868,” funded in part by Humanities Montana.
    • National Endowment for the Humanities Chair Jon Peede visits with board and staff during their meeting in Crow Agency, signaling the agency’s commitment to the humanities councils’ work.
    • Humanities Montana builds capacity to serve all Montanans by implementing a three-year advancement plan, which includes hiring its first full-time development director.
  • 2017

    2017 Major Accomplishments

    The Big Read Event

    Metis Festival

    • Governor Steve Bullock recognizes Chere Jiusto, John Murray, Hal and Sheila Stearns, Karen Stevenson, and Dottie Susag with the Governor’s Humanities Award. Michael Punke, a former Humanities Montana board member, provides a stirring keynote address at the awards banquet.
    • Humanities Montana introduces its Tribal Partnerships Initiative during a fall board meeting in Browning. The first tribal partner is the Aassaistto Language Society on the Blackfeet Reservation, dedicated to Pikanni language revitalization.
    • Sidney welcomes Hometown Humanities with diverse programs for schools and museums. A capstone lecture focuses on the legacy of the Bakken oil boom.
    • The Montana Center for the Book awards its first prizes.
    • The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation provides a three-year award to support Speakers in the Schools across Montana.
    • 64 grants support projects such as a film focused on a Montanan living in a biracial world, a Michif (Metis) cultural festival, and an exhibit on the cultures of Billings’ Southside.
    • Ken Egan publishes his second public history book, Montana 1889: Indians, Cowboys, and Miners in the Year of Statehood, to encourage Montanans to reconsider their past and present.
  • 2016

    2016 Major Accomplishments

    Mary Jane Bradbury as 19th c. naturalist Martha Maxwell

    Ellwein as Teddy Roosevelt

    Academic World Quest

    • Livingston serves as Hometown Humanities host, featuring programs on economic justice, artists’ reflections on their works’ impact, and creative writing opportunities for diverse community members.
    • Humanities Montana offers compelling literary programs across the state through a special grant from the Pulitzer Foundation.
    • “Our Current State,” a set of Montana Conversations programs focused on contemporary cultures and issues, launches through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
    • Humanities Montana provides 51 grants to support exciting humanities projects across Montana, including a documentary film on the Bozeman Trail, a humanities conference at Carroll College with the theme “Hope and Fear,” and creative writing programs for incarcerated youth.
    • 182 Montana Conversations programs take place across the state. Joseph S. Sample provides a recurring major gift to assure these programs are available to Montanans in rural communities.
    • Ken Egan is elected to the Federation of State Humanities Councils board of directors. He becomes chair of the Federation’s Legislative Committee, focused on advocating federal funding for state and territorial humanities councils.
  • 2015

    2015 Major Accomplishments

    • Humanities Montana receives its 6th Schwartz Prize for the Hometown Humanities program.
    • Governor’s Humanities Award recipients include Philip Aaberg, Jack Gladstone, Yvonne Gritzner, Kirby Lambert, Dr. Richard Littlebear, and Bill Rossiter.
    • A National Endowment for the Humanities site visit team meets with board, staff, and constituents in June, producing an encouraging overview of our work that points the way to an even stronger cultural nonprofit.
    • Havre serves as host for Hometown Humanities, offering a record number of programs, in part through special grants from Montana State University Bozeman and the National Humanities Alliance.
    • Humanities Montana provides 157 Montana Conversations programs and 73 Speakers in the Schools offerings all over the state of Montana.
    • 47 grants are awarded to organizations large and small, including grants to support native language preservation and films about important Montana issues.
  • 2014

    2014 Major Accomplishments

    Dillion named site of Hometown Humanities

    • 152 Speakers Bureau programs in 54 communities in 33 counties.
    • 63 Speakers in the Schools programs in multiple classrooms in communities throughout the state, including rural towns such as Brockton, Frenchtown, Clyde Park, Harlowton, Miles City, Gardiner, Troy, and Arlee.
    • 41 grants totaling $130,000 to organizations large and small throughout Montana to support programs on history, literature, Native American cultures, and more.
    • Book festivals in Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, and Missoula to encourage learning and reflecting together on Montana’s extraordinary literary heritage.
    • Underwriting for radio programs that reach the entire state through Montana and Yellowstone Public Radio: “Home Ground,” “The Write Question,” “Mountain Voices,” and “Reflections West” that reach the entire state through the two public radio networks.
    • Hometown Humanities in Lincoln County.
    • Adopted new strategic plan that calls for even greater emphasis on serving the entire state through programs such as Hometown Humanities, Speakers Bureau and Speakers in the Schools and grants and handing off management of the Montana Festival of the Book to an organizing committee in Missoula.
    • Publication of Ken Egan’s Montana 1864: Indians, Emigrants, and Gold in the Territorial Year to commemorate Montana Territory’s sesquicentennial and raise funds for HM’s programs and grants.
  • 2013

    2013 Major Accomplishments

    Friends of the Yellowstone Annual Spring Knap-In

    • Seven Montanans receive the Governor’s Humanities Award: John and Anna Brumley, Walter Fleming, Larry Lahren, Mary Murphy, Lawrence Small, and Robert Swartout.
    • Grants include funding for a major lecture series on science and the humanities at Flathead Valley Community College, a digital history of the Blackfoot Flood, a Young Chautauqua program at Great Falls High School, and statewide support for book festivals and reading and discussion programs.
    • Humanities Montana Festival of the Book features standing-room only performance by Sherman Alexie, author luncheon with James Lee Burke, and gala reading with Tami Haaland, Richard Manning, Claire Vaye Watkins, and Jamie Ford.
    • Hometown Humanities Dillon kicks off with a downtown walking tour and community conversation about the importance of the humanities.
      “Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys,” a special reading and discussion program dedicated to increasing understanding of Islamic cultures, takes place in Dillon and Missoula.
    • Montana Office of Public Instruction and Montana State Parks provide grants to support Speakers in the Schools and Speakers in the Parks.
    • “The Heart of the Matter,” national report on value of humanities, released, and Governor Steve Bullock issues eloquent testimonial to importance of humanities for Montanans.
  • 2012

    2012 Major Accomplishments

    We the People

    Children’s Festival of the Book

    • 40th anniversary celebrations, including recognizing 37 Humanities Heroes and conducting HM’s first endowment-building campaign, 40 at 40.
    • HM hosts “We the People: Conversations on the Montana and U. S. Constitutions” in Helena, bringing together scholars, citizens, justices, and Constitutional Convention delegates to honor the 40th anniversary of Montana Constitution.
    • Hometown Humanities launches in Miles City.
    • Record attendance at HM Festival of the Book, featuring a gala reading with Ivan Doig, David Quammen, and Pam Houston and outtakes from the film “Winter in the Blood,” supported in part by HM grants.
    • Record number of grants—75—awarded, many going to smaller communities and organizations.
    • Speakers in the Schools program reaches 30 schools.
    • Julie Dial and Samantha Dwyer present “Humanities Work!” at National Humanities Conference in Chicago.
    • Communications refresh with redesigned website and promotional materials.
  • 2011

    2011 Major Accomplishments

    Baumler Telling Stories Workshop

    • Humanities Montana board approves “Strategic Plan, 2011-15” with commitment to making programs relevant to all Montanans, streamlining grants processes, improving fundraising, and positioning HM’s staff to serve the state of Montana.
    • Montana Conversations: Speakers in the Schools program launched, offering 70 free programs to schools around the state.
    • Record number of Opportunity Grants awarded, mainly to smaller museums and libraries.
    • Film and digital grants awarded to projects such as “Winter in the Blood.”
    • Grants fund projects such as “Beyond the Breadbowl: Hunger, Excess and the American Appetite” and “Heartland in Judith Gap.”
  • 2010

    2010 Major Accomplishments

    • 2010 Richard Hugo’s Selected Poems chosen as One Book Montana.
    • NEH Site Visit in Missoula.
    • “State of Montana” public forum with Pat Williams and Lorents Grosfield, moderated by Brian Kahn.
    • Strategic Planning Retreat, Camus Creek Ranch.
    • Hosting NEH Chairman Jim Leach on “Civility Tour” in Billings.
    • Meaning of Service grant renewed.
    • Humanities Montana Festival of the Book features Hugo Karaoke and A Shiver Runs Through It: The Ghost Gala.
    • Grants provided for films focused on “the Red Corner” and “Indian Relay.”
    • Grants provided for “End of Life Choices Conference” in Helena, “German Gulch Interpretive Website,” “Glacier National Park Exhibit,” Montana Musueum of Art and Culture, and more.
    • Record number of requests for OpenBook programs.
    • Humanities Montana staff present on social media and rural programs at National Humanities Conference.
  • 2009

    2009 Major Accomplishments

    2009 Governor’s Awards

    Book Festival

    • Ken Egan becomes Executive Director.
    • Farewell Reception for Mark Sherouse.
    • “Can We Talk?” Conference, Billings.
    • “Reason and Respect” Conference, Hamilton.
    • The Surrounded chosen as One Book Montana.
    • Humanities Roundtable, HM’s social network, launches.
    • Reflect: Community Readings and Conversations begins.
    • Civic Education Institute in Billings.
    • Montana Festival of the Book features mystery writers Dennis Lehane, George Pelecanos, and Laura Lippman.
    • Grants include “Tribal Histories Gathering in Bozeman,” screening and discussion of “Prodigal Sons” in Helena, “A-Z Lecture Series” at MSU-Bozeman, “Butte Digital Film Project,” and “High Plains Book Festival” in Billings.
    • Humanities Montana receives its fifth Schwartz Prize for its Public Affairs Initiative.
  • 2008

    2008 Major Accomplishments

    • “Can We Talk” continues in Great Falls
    • Humanities Montana receive a $76,000 “Congressionally-directed grant” from the US Department of Education thanks to Senator Max Baucus, to “continue civic education programs.”
    • Grants include “Facing the Storm: the Story of the American Bison,” “The Write Question,” “The Tenth Amendment: Do State Really Matter?”, “Religion, Violence and Law—A Community Forum on Islam in Central and Southwest Asia,” and “Our Lives Along the River: Discussions of Yellowstone River Valley Life.”
    • One Book Montana selection is Kirby Larson’s Hattie Big Sky.
    • Montana Library Association honors Humanities Montana as a “special friend of libraries.”
    • New website, new online grant and other applications.
    • Humanities Montana hosts annual conference of state humanities council program directors.
    • Montana Festival of the Book features Thomas McGuane, Andre Dubus, Mary Clearman Blew, James Lee Burke, Rick Bass, William Kittredge and Annick Smith.
    • Executive Director Mark Sherouse announces his retirement, effective in 2009; board appoints Kim Anderson acting executive director.
  • 2007

    2007 Major Accomplishments

    • “Key Ingredients” concludes in Bigfork.
    • “The Meaning of Service” reading and discussion program with Montana Conservation Corps.
    • Grants include “Governor’s Food and Agriculture Summit,” “Home Ground Radio,” “We’re Making History/Billings’ First 125 Years,” “Beyond Borders and Boundaries: David Thompson and the North American Fur Trade,” and more.
    • One Book Montana is Guy Vanderhaeghe’s The Last Crossing.
    • Governor’s Humanities Award honorees included Rose Marie Aus (Glendive), Marvin Granger (Billings), Eve Malo (Dillon), William Marcus (Missoula), and Johnnie Lockett Thomas (Miles City).
    • Montana Festival of the Book includes Deirdre McNamer, James Lee Burke, Ron Carlson, Guy Vanderhaeghe, Governor Schweitzer, Jag, the inaugural Define-a-thon, Poetry under the Big Sky, and much more.
    • Humanities Montana gets new name, new look, new messages.
    • Public Affairs Initiative: “Can We Talk? Public Discourse in Montana” conference Bozeman.
    • 35th anniversary.
  • 2006

    2006 Major Accomplishments

    • Key Ingredients: America By Food tours Butte, Libby, Conrad, Huntley, and Colstrip; concludes its tour in 2007 in Bigfork.
    • “Humanities Boutique.”
    • One Book Montana is Ivan Doig’s This House of Sky.
    • The seventh Montana Festival of the Book features William Kittredge, Barry Lopez, Ivan Doig, Jess Walter, Greg Mortensen, Kirby Larson, Dorothy Patent, David James Duncan, David Quammen, and many others; attracts more than 6,000.
    • Notable grants include book festivals in Helena and Meagher County; publication of Dennis Swibold’s The Copper Chorus: Mining, Politics, and the Montana Press, 1889-1959; “Montana By Food” photo exhibit; Montana Mosaic teachers’ institute; Montana Indian Education for All conference; Champions of the World documentary.
    • MCH hosts biennial meeting of Western Humanities Directors.
    • Jamie Doggett appointed by the White House, confirmed by the Senate, to a six-year term on the National Humanities Council.
    • Yvonne Gritzner retires after fifteen years with MCH.
    • Major governance and other changes enacted.
  • 2005

    2005 Major Accomplishments

    • MCH and its Montana Center for the Book are honored by the Library of Congress with the Daniel Boorstin Award for excellence in promoting Montana literature, libraries, and literacy.
    • Farcountry Press publishes Eat Our Words: Montana Writers’ Cookbook, a fund-raiser for the Montana Center for the Book.
    • The 2006 Montana Festival of the Book attracts an audience of some 4,700, featuring gala readers Rick Bass, Sandra Alcosser, and James Crumley.
    • Governor’s Humanities Award honorees include Art Ortenberg and Liz Claiborne, Jamie Doggett, Darrell Kipp, Joseph Mussulman, and Bob and Pauline Poore.
    • One Book Montana features Diane Smith’s Letters From Yellowstone.
    • Major grants include the publication of Beaver Steals Fire by the University of Nebraska Press and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Missoula, “The Historical Jesus in the 21st Century,” Rocky Mountain College, Billings, and the “Burton K. Wheeler and the Coming of the War,” Wheeler Center, Bozeman.
  • 2004

    2004 Major Accomplishments

    • MCH wins its fourth Schwartz Prize from the Federation of State Humanities Councils, honoring the nation’s outstanding public humanities program.
    • One Book Montana features James Welch’s Fools Crow.
    • Letters About Literature attracts more than 600 Montana entries.
    • Outstanding regrants include “The Bill of Rights: Alive and Well, or Under Siege?”, publication of The Salish People and the Expedition of Lewis and Clark, the documentary “Evelyn Cameron: Photographing Montana,” the “Children of Children” exhibit at Southgate Mall in Missoula; and an update and revision of the nationally-acclaimed “Discovering Lewis & Clark” website.
    • The fifth Montana Festival of the Book features a special edition of NPR’s “Selected Shorts” program, gala readers Mark Spragg, James Lee Burke, and Chuck Palahniuk.
  • 2003

    2003 Major Accomplishments

    • Fourth Montana Festival of the Book.
    • Screening of Stone Reader and appearance by director Mark Moskowitz.
    • Gala readers include Leif Enger, Robert Wrigley, and David Quammen.
    • Inauguration of One Book Montana with Mildred Walker’s Winter Wheat. More than fifty groups statewide participate, Montana Public Radio and Yellowstone Public Radio readings and panels.
    • Governor’s Humanities Award honorees include Diana Eck, Harry Fritz, Sue Hart, Cindy Kittredge, and James Welch.
    • Major grants include “Confluence of Cultures” and “Montana and the Silk Road.”
    • MCH former chair Jamie Doggett retires as chair of the board of directors of the Federation of State Humanities Councils.
    • READON! becomes OpenBook.
    • Book festival grants in Billings, Great Falls, and Helena.
  • 2002

    2002 Major Accomplishments

    • Major bookfest grant from National Endowment for the Arts.
    • Third Montana Festival of the Book.
    • Bookfest mini-grants to Bozeman, Great Falls, and Helena.
    • Development of 9-11 special edition of Speakers Bureau.
    • Missoula high school student Ledah Wilcox wins national Letters About Literature contest.
    • Grants include research fellowship on African Americans in territorial Montana.
    • Documentary on the Montana Constitutional Convention (and support for its 30th anniversary conference).
    • Home Ground radio series.
    • Lecture series on the 225th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
    • Billings residency for poet (and now National Endowment for the Arts Chairman-nominee) Dana Gioia.
    • Kalispell lecture and discussion series on 9-11.
    • Presentations on PBS’ Frontier House by its historian/ consultants.
    • Lectures preceding Shakespeare in the Parks’ summer productions of Henry IV, Part I.
    • Missoula series on public issues in healthcare.
  • 2001

    2001 Major Accomplishments

    • Second Montana Festival of the Book.
    • Bookfest mini-grant events in Billings and Great Falls.
    • Library of Congress renews Montana Center for the Book designation through 2004.
    • Second Lewis and Clark scholar in residence (Jonathan Logan Alllen).
    • “Shamans and the Origin of Art” in Bozeman.
    • Jamie Doggett elected chair of board of Federation of State Humanities Councils.
    • Governor’s Humanities Awards to Greg Keeler, Paul Lauren, Henrietta Mann, Harriet Meloy, Helen “Gus” Miller, Lee Rostad, and the Western Heritage Center.
    • Grants awarded for “Barn Again! An American Icon” traveling exhibit to museums in Cascade, Clancy, Cut Bank, Dillon, Hardin, Lewistown, and Malta.
  • 2000

    2000 Major Accomplishments

    • “Toward Deliberative Dialogue in Western Communities” progresses.
    • Lilly Endowment grant for “Art of Association.”
    • First Montana Festival of the Book.
    • “The Jazz Age in Paris: 1914-40,” “The 100 Years That Made 2000 A. D.,” “Montana’s Millennial Literary Map,” “Lewis and Clark Scholar in Residence – 2000” (Gary Moulton), “American Schools: Public Choices,” “Champions of the World: The Fort Shaw Indian Girls Basketball Team of 1904,” “Vocal Music of the Assiniboine and Sioux.”
    • MCH wins its third Schwartz Prize for Excellence in Public Programming for 1999’s Bozeman Trail Heritage Conference.
  • 1999

    1999 Major Accomplishments

    • “Bozeman Trail heritage conference.”
    • “What Holds Us Together: Common Cultural History and Games of the Past (A Native American Perspective on the Value of Old Games.”
    • “How the West Was Fun: The Explorers” wins Telly.
    • NEA awards ArtsREACH grant to MCH and Montana Center for the Book for Montana Literary Festival.
    • NEH Self-Study and visit of consultants Bill Lang, Bruce Sievers, and Edie Manza.
    • “The Silent Potemkin—Voices From the Past.”
    • “Asian Settlers in Early Montana.”
    • “Butte, America: From Their Labors.”
    • “Montana Historic Bridge Conference.”
    • NEH Model Humanities Project grant: “Toward Deliberative Dialogue in Western Communities.”
  • 1998

    1998 Major Accomplishments

    • MCH acquires the Montana Center for the Book.
    • Committee incorporates, with new Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws.
    • Joseph Kinsey Howard conference in Great Falls.
    • Speakers Bureau grows to more than seventy programs.
    • “Five Rivers Festival of Film in Missoula.”
    • Helena resident Stephen Ambrose awarded National Humanities Medal.
    • Governor’s Humanities Awards honorees are David Walter of Helena and Anna Zellick of Lewistown.
  • 1997

    1997 Major Accomplishments

    • Silver Anniversary events in Great Falls, Terry, Missoula, Helena, Bozeman.
    • First edition of Rendezvous, MCH magazine.
    • “A. B. Guthrie’s The Big Sky—After Fifty Years.”
    • Jamie Doggett elected to Federation of State Humanities Councils board.
    • “Brahms in Bozeman.”
    • “Montana Constitutional Convention 25th Anniversary”
  • 1996

    1996 Major Accomplishments

    • MCH initiates HUMTALK, Internet discussion list linking all state humanities councils, the Federation, and NEH.
    • Establishes its website and creates another Internet listserv for ongoing discussion of humanities in Montana.
    • “Montana Visions, Montana Values: A Conference on Civic Culture in Montana.”
    • Governor’s Humanities Awards: Joe McDonald, Antoinette Hagener, Dan Cushman.
    • White House awards former Missoula Mayor Dan Kemmis a Charles Frankel Prize.
    • “Sacred Journey of the Nez Perce.”
    • MCH Endowment established with Montana Community Foundation.
  • 1995

    1995 Major Accomplishments

    • Members of the 104th U.S. Congress target NEH for elimination.
    • Massive budget cuts affect NEH, although state councils are largely spared.
    • “In the Thoreau Tradition III.”
    • “Montanans New and Old and the Search for a Workable Future.”
    • First Governor’s Humanities Awards: Ivan Doig, Montana Association of Churches, William Sullivan (KPAX).
    • Margaret Kingsland retires after twenty-two years.
    • Mark Sherouse becomes new Executive Director.
    • “Tribal Voices” reaches all seven Montana reservations.
    • Fellowship program established.
  • 1994

    1994 Major Accomplishments

    • White House awards Montana writer and humanities scholar William Kittredge a Charles Frankel Prize.
    • MCH wins Federation Schwartz Prize for “Montana This Morning,” best council-conducted project nationally.
    • “Tribal Voices” initiative.
    • “Shakespeare in the Schools.”
    • “The Burden of Knowledge.”
    • “I’ll Ride That Horse.”
  • 1993

    1993 Major Accomplishments

    • “Montana This Morning” debut on KPAX—humanities on commercial television!
    • “Big Sky Radio” debut.
    • “Last Stand at Little Big Horn.”
    • Immediate Action Grants announced.
    • “Hunting in the Montana Tradition.”
    • Margaret Kingsland on sabbatical, Jerry Fetz serves as acting director, again.
  • 1992

    1992 Major Accomplishments

    • “American Encounters: Lewis and Clark, the People and the Land.”
    • Planning begins for “Montana This Morning.”
    • Twentieth Anniversary celebrated in Bozeman, Missoula, Billings, and Great Falls.
    • Planning for Fellowship program begins.
    • “In the Thoreau Tradition II.”
    • “Their Eyes Tell Everything.”
  • 1991

    1991 Major Accomplishments

    • “Mozart in Montana: A Humanistic 200 Years Commemoration.”
    • “Beyond Columbus: Rediscovering the Americas.”
    • Expansion of reading and discussion group program into ReadOn!
    • Scholar in the Schools begins.
    • Twentieth Anniversary Gala, Helena.
    • Humanities Awards to five original members and Margaret Kingsland.
    • Artist Monte Dolack’s MCH poster “Landscapes of the Mind” unveiled.
  • 1990

    1990 Major Accomplishments

    • “In the Thoreau Tradition.”
    • “Out West: Stories from the Big Sky,” a musical inspired by The Last Best Place.
    • Weekend Institutes for the Study of Humanities (WISH) begin.
  • 1989

    1989 Major Accomplishments

    • Humanities Award winners: Michael Malone and Arnie Malina.
    • “The Last Best Place: Montana Myths” video.
    • The “pink bird” (fountain?) logo first appears.
    • “The Book Group.”
    • “Constitutional Symposium ’89: Montana’s 1972 Constitution.”
  • 1988

    1988 Major Accomplishments

    • The Last Best Place is published.
    • “The Warrior: Formation, Transformation, Defamation.”
    • “Feminism in the 90s: Learning from Our History, Envisioning Our Future.”
    • Humanities Award winners: editorial board of The Last Best Place.
    • “A Festival of Chinese Culture.”
    • “Learning the Habits of the Heart” radio series.
  • 1987

    1987 Major Accomplishments

    • U. S. Constitution “Bicentennial Bookshelf.”
    • “Sweet Grass and Bitter Root.”
    • Cultural Congress in Billings.
    • Celebration of Fifteenth Anniversary.
    • “Images of the West: Fact, Fantasy, and Memory.”
    • Humanities Award winner: Pat Williams.
  • 1986

    1986 Major Accomplishments

    • Vigilante Players “Homespun.”
    • “Crow and Gros Ventre Indian Ledger Art.”
    • “Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering.”
    • “The Changing Face of Humanity in the Nuclear Age.”
    • Humanities Award winners: Mary Clearman Blew and Diane Sands.
    • Ron Perrin elected to Federation of State Humanities Councils board.
  • 1985

    1985 Major Accomplishments

    • Humanities Awards: Gordon Brittan and Albert Borgmann.
    • “Distant Voices: Words and Images of the Blackfeet.”
    • “Let’s Talk About It.”
    • “Bach in Bozeman: From Musicology to Mathematics.”
    • “My Grandmother’s Star Quilt Honors Me.”
    • First grant for Centennial literary anthology.
    • “Contrary Warriors.”
    • Margaret Kingsland on leave, heading the Federation of State Humanities Councils…Annick Smith serves as acting director in 1985-86.
  • 1984

    1984 Major Accomplishments

    • Planning commences for MCH involvement in Montana Centennial and for a “Montana Myths” theme.
    • “Summer Seminars for Montana Secondary School Teachers.”
    • “Montana Myths: Sacred Stories, Sacred Cows.”
    • First Montana Humanist Awards: Richard Roeder and Lynda and Michael Sexson.
    • “LOGON ’83” wins Federation’s Schwartz Award for best regrant program nationally.
    • First catalog of MCH media collection appears.
    • Gerald Fetz acting director.
    • MCH office partially automated.
  • 1983

    1983 Major Accomplishments

    • MCH celebrates Tenth Anniversary, May 14, in Helena. First Speakers Bureau brochure, with thirteen presenters.
    • Minigrants offered.
    • Planning and media grant categories identified.
    • “A. B. Guthrie’s Vanishing Paradise.”
    • “Jeannette Rankin: The Woman Who Voted No.”
    • “The Economics and the Myth.”
    • MCH purchases first computer.
    • Gerald Fetz elected to Federation of State Humanities Councils board.
    • “Reflections in Montana” debut.
  • 1982

    1982 Major Accomplishments

    • Continuing New Directions discussion.
    • Biennial proposal to NEH first announces “packaged programs” and a “speakers bureau.”
    • “Butte: The Urban Frontier.”
    • “Reflections in Montana” radio series proposal wins NEH “Chairman’s Award for Excellence”…Vigilante Players’ “An American Agricultural Experience.”
  • 1981

    1981 Major Accomplishments

    • Significant federal budget reductions and leadership changes at NEH impact state humanities councils…Committee undertakes discussion and planning for “new directions.”
    • Appointment of a New Directions subcommittee.
    • “Montanans at Work.”
    • “Architecture and Community: A. J. Gibson’s Missoula.”
  • 1980

    1980 Major Accomplishments

    • Conferences “Freedom To Die” and “Retelling One’s Own: Indian Story-Telling in Education and World View,” “Work in the Eighties,” “Appropriate Technology: Its Implications, Its Values, Its Claims.”
    • “Liberty, Decency, Feminism: Three Perspectives on Pornography,” and the film “Next Year Country.”
  • 1979

    1979 Major Accomplishments

    • “Aging Lifestyles: Growing Old in Montana,” “Eclipse ’79 Celebration,” “Violence in the Family,” “Women and Technology: Deciding What’s Appropriate,” “Montana Agriculture: The Economics and the Myth,” “The River is Wider Than It Seems,” and “Who Owns the West?” are among regrant projects.
    • Continued MCH attention to oral history initiatives.
    • Membership changes from three- to four-year terms.
  • 1978

    1978 Major Accomplishments

    • Two new statewide themes appear: “Montana and the West: New Directions,” and “Heritage and Challenge.”
    • MCH funds oral history projects under “New Directions,” and, in what is the beginning of the Media Collection, begins to circulate video and film series such as The American Short Story.
    • “Governor’s Conference on Families.”
    • First Governor’s appointments to Committee: Alene Cooper and Perry Melton.
  • 1977

    1977 Major Accomplishments

    • NEH Reauthorization legislation from Congress significantly broadens program opportunities for state councils, removing the requirement of focus on public policy.
    • “The Future of Montana’s Economy,” with Malcolm Forbes and Ernst F. Schumacher, in Helena.
    • “Women Aware: Traditions in Transition,” Bozeman.
  • 1976

    1976 Major Accomplishments

    • “Traditions in Transition” is the theme for an eighteen-month grant period from NEH.
    • “Montana and the West: Perspectives on Its Past, Its Present, and Its Preservation,” in Helena.
  • 1975

    1975 Major Accomplishments

    • “Private Rights and Public Choices” continues.
    • Projects include a town meeting series, the film “Foreign Ethnic Influences in Montana” and the conference “Montana and the West: New Directions” with the Montana Historical Society.
    • MCH sponsorship of the Historical Society annual conference continues for many years.
  • 1974

    1974 Major Accomplishments

    • The Committee’s new theme is “Private Rights and Public Choices.”
    • Regrants include a second “Montana Land Use Conference,” “Montana Local Government Review” town meetings, “Should Religious Values Influence Politics?” conference, and film documentary “Outside the Melting Pot.”
    • Director Bruce Sievers resigns to become founding director of the California Humanities Council.
    • The Committee appoints Margaret Kingsland acting director, and later, director.
    • Sievers and Kingsland attend a first meeting of western state humanities council directors, from which the idea of a regional, and later, a national, Federation of State Humanities Councils, is born.
  • 1973

    1973 Major Accomplishments

    • Membership and statewide theme continue…regrant projects include a television program on Hutterites in Montana, the “Political Decisions in Montana” television series, and the influential “Montana Land Use Conference.”
    • Statewide conference “Politics: The Dilemma of Power and Morality,” in Billings, includes Rollo May, Michael Walzer, and Senator Harold Hughes.
    • First MCH newsletter appears.
    • Director Sievers hires Margaret Kingsland as administrative assistant.
  • 1972

    1972 Major Accomplishments

    • Montanans Robert Pantzer, Pierce Mullen, Joe Ward, John Van de Wetering, and Roy Huffman are invited to Washington, D.C., to meet with officials of the National Endowment for the Humanities to discuss formation of a state humanities council in Montana.
    • They submit a planning proposal ($15,000), add new members Alma Jacobs, Earl Barlow, and Harold Stearns, and hire director Bruce Sievers and secretary Leslie Hargesheimer.
    • The incipient Committee holds a series of state conferences, and, by August, submits a proposal to NEH, with the theme “Political Power in Montana,” and requesting $155,000 for 1972-73.
    • The full Committee’s first meeting of record—including new members David Drum, James Murray, Bradley Parrish, William MacKay, Jr., and Flora Willett—occurs on October 30, 1972, in Bozeman.
    • A grants subcommittee is appointed by chair Pantzer, but approval of a first regrant proposal, to KUFM in Missoula, does not occur until the Committee’s second meeting, December 1-2, at which time the Committee holds its first public conference, on “Political Power and Human Values in Montana” in Helena.