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Humanities Now Blog

News and Highlights from Arizona Humanities

Arizona Humanities Announces $85,100 in Grants

$85,100 in grant funds awarded for 12 humanities projects throughout the state

PHOENIX, AZ – Arizona Humanities (AH) awarded $85,100 in grants to support public humanities programs in local communities throughout the state of Arizona. These Project Grants are awarded to organizations, non-profits, museums, and educational institutions, based in Arizona, or conducting projects in Arizona.

Brenda Thomson, Executive Director of Arizona Humanities, remarked on the grants funded in this cycle: “We’re very excited about the diversity of projects – from exploring the cultural impact of HBO’s Game of Thrones series, producing a Navajo weaving symposium, connecting rural communities to books written by Arizona authors, and examining Tucson folk singing from the 1950s. The humanities are being explored in unique ways that will reach diverse audiences across the state of Arizona.”

Project grant applications were reviewed through a process led by the Arizona Humanities
Grants Review Committee, which is comprised of members of the AH Board of Directors, public scholars from around the state, and AH staff. Since 1973, Arizona Humanities (AH) has directed nearly $11 million to hundreds of cultural and educational organizations in Arizona.

Any findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in these programs do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records – Phoenix
ONEBOOKAZ – Writing, Reading, and Thoughtful Interaction with Literature in Digital Formats
Total grant award: $4,500
ONEBOOKAZ connects Arizonans statewide with books authored by fellow Arizonans. The program supports local writers and fosters informed and meaningful discussions of humanities issues. Among many other activities, this year’s ONEBOOKAZ will feature four in-depth book discussions in rural communities, four writing workshops, and the development and dissemination of a digital curriculum supplement that will be made available to K-12 educators.
Project Director: Donna Throckmorton, http://www.azlibrary.gov/, 602-926-3604

Arizona State University, Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies/Center for Film, Media, and Popular Culture – Tempe
Game of Thrones: Hierarchy and Violence – Analyzing Society in the Historical Landscape of the Imagination
Total grant award: $5,000
The TV phenomenon Game of Thrones is the most popular show in the history of HBO. Its cultural impact creates an opportunity for the public to reflect upon the intersection between history, film, and literature as instruments for contemplating human behavior and the causes and circumstances that provoke social disturbances. This three-day program includes participatory round-tables, interactive discussions and multi-media forums that will stimulate debate and discussion on social interchange, acts of violence, the over-all power structure in the historical landscape of an imaginary Middle Ages, and the importance of media literacy in deciphering the imaginary landscape in its televised form.
Project Directors: Robert Bjork and Peter Lehman, https://acmrs.org, 480-965-5900

Cochise Cowboy Poets, Inc. – Sierra Vista
Roundups and Rodeos
Total grant award: $9,000
Roundups and Rodeos poetry workshops encourage and facilitate the creation of cowboy poetry by third through twelfth-graders residing in Cochise County. Students are taught the craft of cowboy poetry and the unique history and culture that it celebrates. Students bold enough to do so may enter their cowboy poetry into a local contest. The prize for winners is a public performance of their poem as well as inclusion in the publication Saddlebag of Poems.
Project Director: Eileen Ahearn, http://www.cowboypoets.com/, 520-249-3545

Girl Scouts – Arizona Cactus-Pine Council – Phoenix
2015 World Thinking Day
Total grant award: $5,000
This lively and engaging day encourages participants to learn and reflect on the concept of global citizenship. Girl Scouts will host booths that share the histories and cultures of countries located around the world. Under the guidance of the Kawambe-Omowale African Drum and Dance Theatre, the Girl Scouts will deliver an interpretive performance that explores the history and tradition of African drumming.
Project Director: Katie Penkoff, http://girlscoutsaz.org/, 602-452-7000

Heard Museum – Phoenix
Modern Spirit: Conversation on American Indian Art
Total grant award: $4,000
An engaging panel discussion will supplement the temporary exhibition “Modern Spirit: The Art of George Morrison.” The panel will feature artist Kay WalkingStick and art history scholars Dr. Kristin Makholm and Dr. W. Jackson Rushing. These three individuals will dig into one of America’s foremost Modernist artists and how he navigated and represented his American Indian identity and experiences within the art world.
Project Director: Janet Cantley, http://heard.org/, 602-252-8840

ITZABOUTIME Productions – Tucson
Tucson Folksingers Remembrance Project
Total grant award: $9,000
Between 1955 and 1962, Tucson was home to a robust and active folk singing community that developed in response to the Cold War and related issues and events. Through song, the community’s members explored such topics as danger, love, peace, freedom, and equality. Tucson Folksingers Remembrance Project, using audio and video recordings, will document the experiences of those who participated in that community. Ultimately, the recordings will contribute to a documentary on the subject.
Project Director: Ted Warmbrand, 520-623-1688

Maricopa County Historical Society (dba Desert Caballeros Western Museum) – Wickenburg
Interpretive Audio Tours @ Desert Caballeros Western Museum
Total grant award: $8,000
Nearly 90% of all Desert Caballeros Western Museum visitors utilize the audio tour guide. Because of such popular appeal, the museum will create children’s and Spanish-language versions of the guide. The audio narrative provides context for the visitor as they reflectively wander through the museum’s exhibits, examining both art and artifact. The museum specializes in the many histories, cultures, and experiences of the West.
Project Director: Sandra Harris, http://westernmuseum.org/, 928-684-2272

National Orphan Train Complex Museum and Research Center – Concordia, KS
Orphan Trains to Arizona
Total grant award: $5,000
Between 1854 and 1929, over 250,000 orphans and unwanted children were sent out of New York on trains to be given away in train stations in every state in the union. Through live music, historical fiction, oral history, and informal discussion, participants will learn about this little-known chapter of the largest child migration in American and Arizona history and the local legacies of their relocation.
Project Director: Alison Moore, http://orphantraindepot.org/, 785-243-4471

Northern Arizona University, Department of Comparative Cultural Studies – Flagstaff
Art, Culture, Life: Navajo Weaving Symposium
Total grant award: $5,000
The Art, Culture, Life: Navajo Weaving symposium will skillfully unravel the story of Navajo weaving and encourage a sophisticated understanding of the role that the tradition plays in Navajo society. The symposium and exhibition will illustrate that Navajo weaving is not simply an artistic and commercial endeavor, but rather a meaningful and culturally-sustaining practice that reinforces the Navajo way of life.
Project Director: Jennifer McLerran, http://nau.edu/CAL/CCS/, 928-523-3881

Northern Arizona University, Philosophy in the Public Interest – Flagstaff
Hot Topics Café
Total grant award: $9,000
Hot Topics Café provides an opportunity for civil, rational, compassionate conversations about issues that range from local to global. These discussions allow participants to discuss positions that span the political spectrum, and provide a space for public discourse that improves participants’ understanding of key issues while fostering critical thinking, compassion, tolerance, value analysis, and civility.
Project Director: Andrea Houchard, http://nau.edu/CAL/Philosophy/Philosophy-in-the-Public-Interest/, 928-523-2648

Pueblo Grande Museum Auxiliary – Phoenix
Ki:him area of the 38th Annual Pueblo Grande Museum Auxiliary Indian Market and Ki:him
Total grant award: $9,000
The O’Odham word for village is Ki:him, a place where diverse American Indian activities are demonstrated and discussed. This two-day Pueblo Grande Museum Auxiliary Indian Market and Ki:him will have a full slate of interactive and fun activities for visitors of all ages. Demonstrations and instructors will teach within their specialized areas, from dry-farming techniques handed down from the ancestors to creating traditional basketry, pottery, weaving, drum-making, and cordage-making to ancient arts and religious experiences such as Kachina carving, sand painting, petroglyph art, and arrowhead knapping.
Project Director: Norman Y. Harai, http://www.pueblogrande.org/, 602-495-0901

Smoki Museum, Inc. – Prescott
An Essential Relationship: Amateurs and Professionals in Central Arizona Archaeology
Total grant award: $4,000
This exhibition examines the historical relationships between amateur and professional archaeologists who have worked together in the Prescott region to gain an understanding of the prehistoric peoples who once inhabited central Arizona.
Project Director: Cindy Gresser, http://www.smokimuseum.org, (928) 445-1230

University of Arizona, School of Anthropology – Tucson
Anthropology and Community: 100 Years
Total grant award: $9,000
One of a year-long series of events commemorating the centennial of anthropology studies in Arizona, this exhibition will focus on six representative projects from the University of Arizona School of Anthropology that involved the Tucson community. This project will incorporate the community as collaborator into the selection of the exhibition’s potential topics with two public forums. The exhibition will be featured at the 2015 Tucson Meet Yourself festival.
Project Director: Diane Austin, http://bara.arizona.edu/, 520-621-6282

Through grants, Arizona Humanities supports innovative, community-based projects and partnerships that use history, literature, philosophy, and other humanities disciplines to strengthen and enhance civic life across Arizona. AH welcomes proposals from a wide range of nonprofit organizations and for all kinds of program formats that bring together diverse groups of Arizonans.

Click here for more information about Arizona Humanities grants.

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