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Humanities Now Blog

News and Highlights from Arizona Humanities

Arizona Humanities Awards $59,811 in Grant Funds

Arizona Humanities (AH) awarded $59,811 to support 11 projects throughout the state of Arizona. These Project Grants were awarded to organizations to engage the public with the humanities through exhibits, performances, discussions, films, and more.

Brenda Thomson, AH Executive Director commented on this cycle of grant awards: “We are delighted to fund such a diverse array of programs. We are especially pleased that the programs touch communities across the state. It is clear that the passion for learning touches all borders, and engages many members of the community.”

The Project Grant applications underwent a rigorous review process led by the Arizona Humanities Grants Review Committee, which is comprised of members of the AH Board of Directors and humanities scholars from around the state.

Agua Fria High School – Avondale
El Día de los Niños, El Día de los Libros
Total grant award: $8,000

This day-long event in May will bring together students and authors, poets, dancers, and teachers to share in performances, poetry readings, and other cultural heritage activities. Each child will participate in interactive activities to expand their knowledge of multicultural writing and performance. Local and regional scholars and authors, including Arizona Poet Laureate Alberto Álvaro Ríos, will facilitate the day.
Project Director: Matthew Bentz, http://www.aguafria.org/Domain/8, 623-932-7301

Arizona State University School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies – Tempe
Nature, History, and Culture at the Nation’s Edge
Total grant award: $4,826

Through a series of public lectures, a public art program, and a traveling exhibit, this project seeks to educate the public about the history and evolution of communities, economies, and cultures in the Arizona-Sonora borderlands. Partnering with 12 southern Arizona communities, this project explores the Indigenous, Hispanic, and Anglo perspectives on the Arizona-Sonora borderlands, as well as examines the complicated nature of this region over time.
Project Director: Paul Hirt, http://shprs.clas.asu.edu/, 480-727-3745

Borderlands Theater – Tucson
Barrio Stories Project
Total grant award: $3,000

Barrio Stories preserves the stories, history, and cultural heritage of Tucson’s historic Mexican-American barrios. With the help of University of Arizona ethnographers, high school students will conduct oral history interviews with elders of Tucson’s Barrio Libre. Youth will gain a deeper sense of belonging, history, and connection to place. A lecture, community dialogue, and visual display housed at the La Placita Gazebo in Tucson will follow the research.
Project Director: Milta Ortiz, http://www.borderlandstheater.org/, 520-882-8607

Colorado River Indian Tribes – Parker
Bird Song Gathering – Mega Throw
Total grant award: $5,000

This two-day public event in March will feature interpretive presentations of Bird Singing conducted by members of the Colorado River Indian Tribes and members of other area communities. Bird Singing is a kind of musical storytelling; the goal of the events is to share the historical context of the practice and increase interest in the practice.
Project Director: Rick Ench, http://www.crit-nsn.gov/index.shtml, 928-669-1301 

Museum of Northern Arizona – Flagstaff
Heritage Insights Programming
Total grant award: $5,000

Through Heritage Insights Programming, the Museum of Northern Arizona will integrate humanities content into its 25th Zuni and 82nd Hopi Festivals of Art and Culture. Within the festivals, specific programs led by tribal educators and elders will educate visitors on the language and history of the Zuni and Hopi people. This year, the public will explore collaboration from a Zuni perspective and experience Hopi food traditions.
Project Director: Linda Martin, http://musnaz.org/, 928-774-5213

Sedona International Film Festival – Sedona
Sedona 24 Hour Theater “What Would You Do?”: Exploration of Today’s Ethical Dilemmas
Total grant award: $5,000

Through discussions, play productions, and intergenerational discussions on ethics and literature, participants in this project will have the opportunity to explore ethical dilemmas and discuss those problems in a civil and compassionate environment.
Project Director: Tammy McKenzie, http://www.sedonafilmfestival.org/, 928-282-1177

Sharlot Hall Museum – Prescott
Sharlot Hall Museum Interpretive Kiosk Project
Total grant award: $8,000

Sharlot Hall Museum’s installation of an interpretive kiosk will greatly enhance the experience of its many visitors. The kiosk will feature interactive children’s activities designed to enhance their understanding and engagement with the past, as well as biographies of Arizona women, thus broadening the public’s understanding of women in Arizona history.
Project Director: Mary Melcher and Brenda Taylor, https://www.sharlot.org/, 928-445-3122

The Rag Collection – Phoenix
Street Voices
Total grant award: $4,785

This series of public discussions led by humanities scholars will center on the creation of and response to public murals created in the Canyon Corridor neighborhood of Phoenix. The discussions will encourage residents of the Canyon Corridor neighborhood to explore their history, stories, values, thus inspiring them to participate more fully in community life.
Project Director: Noe Baez, http://theragcollection.org/main/, 602-228-2238

Tolani Lake Enterprises – Winslow
Metal Road
Total grant award: $8,000

The documentary Metal Road tells the story of post-WWII Native American laborers on American railroads by highlighting the story of a Navajo trackman. Using oral histories, photos, and other archival materials, the documentary will help preserve the Navajo language, share the history of Native Americans working in this risky job, and bring cultural awareness about diverse Native American communities to Native and non-Native audiences. The film will be screened for the community and on PBS.
Project Director: Sarah Del Seronde, http://tolanilake.org/, 928-686-6106

Veterans Heritage Project – Carefree
Since You Asked, Arizona Veterans Share Their Memories Book Launch & Community Event
Total grant award: $5,000

The Veterans Heritage Project connects high school students with veterans to record and publish the veterans’ stories in an annual volume called Since You Asked. This April, the Veterans Heritage Project will hold an event featuring this year’s volume including an interactive student/veteran panel discussion, a presentation on the oral history process, a veteran keynote speaker, a public book signing, and a Q&A with the 120 veterans interviewed.
Project Director: Laura Byers, http://veteransheritage.org/, 602-421-9419

Yavapai College – Prescott
The Literary Southwest Presents C.J. Box
Total grant award: $3,200

The Literary Southwest will present bestselling Western novelist C.J. Box in April for a reading and conversation. Audience participation is an important component of the program and the conversation provides the opportunity for the public to engage with a prominent author and discuss current cultural and societal directions in the West and Southwest.
Project Director: James Natal, http://www.yc.edu/v5content/academics/divisions/arts-humanities/literary-southwest.htm, 928-776-2021

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

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