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Mission & History

Mission: Arizona Humanities builds a just and civil society by creating opportunities to explore our shared human experiences through discussion, learning and reflection.

Arizona Humanities (formerly the Arizona Humanities Council) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and the Arizona affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

What does Arizona Humanities do? 
  • Provides grants for high-quality public humanities programs and resources
  • Offers entertaining and informative speakers presentations with AZ Speaks
  • Brings Smithsonian Museum exhibitions to rural communities
  • Encourages family reading through the PRIME TIME Family Reading Time Program
  • Supports veterans from all eras with writing workshops and book discussion groups
  • Creates direct program collaborations with diverse organizations for audiences to think, share, and reflect on issues facing our communities
What is the Arizona Humanities story?

In 1973, Lorraine W. Frank became the founding Executive Director of Arizona Humanities, and with her leadership and vision for a new organization, changed the cultural development of Arizona. During her tenure she elevated public discourse both locally and nationally, and understood that engaging communities was critical to the life of the state. In 2015 Frank was inducted into the Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame. Since our inception over forty years ago, Arizona Humanities has directed almost $11 million to cultural and educational organizations throughout Arizona and is a prominent and influential leader in the cultural life of Arizona.  We support humanities based projects and work with museums, libraries, and other cultural organizations to serve communities throughout the entire state of Arizona. Arizona Humanities supports public programming in the humanities that promotes understanding of human thoughts, actions, creations, and values. Through providing accessible and enriching educational programs, we strive to help Arizonans better understand themselves and the world around them.

Above photo: Governor Rose Mofford and Lorraine W. Frank in 1989.

How can you get involved?
What are the humanities?

The humanities are disciplines such as history, philosophy, literature, and others that explore our past and present human experiences. The humanities inspire, engage and enrich us, allowing us to remember our past, envision our future and consider ourselves as individuals and as members of communities. Click here to download our “Hello, my name is Humanities” flyer.

what are humanities

Click to download the “Hello, my name is Humanities” Flyer


Where do Arizona Humanities programs take place?

Arizona Humanities_Annual Report MAP 2013-2014









Read our 2012-2013 Annual Report

Read our 2013-2014 Annual Report

*Map shows 2013-2014 programs

To request printed materials, email info@azhumanities.org.

What if there were no humanities?

Watch The Heart of the Matter video featuring John Lithgow, Sandra Day O’Connor, Ken Burns, and others.