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April 2010

the latest from
Suite 603

 


April 27, 2010

Download the 2010 insurance policies from Federal/State Partnership's Digital File Cabinet

Connecticut Humanities Council wins Governor's Award for Excellence in Culture & Tourism
Welcome Brenda Thomson, new executive director of the Arizona Humanities Council
Jonathan Spence, Yale specialist in Chinese history and culture, will give the 2010 Jefferson Lecture on May 20

Smart ideas: what Kathleen Mitchell learned at the GEO national conference in Pittsburgh

We the People application deadline, May 5

Compliance plans are due June 1: information has already been sent via email, Humtalk, and Humtalk2

New general liability insurance policies went into effect April 1—download copies of the policies

We the People Bookshelf awards and recent NEH awards

Chairman Leach's civility tour takes him next to Louisiana and Georgia

Download the 2010 insurance policies from Federal/State Partnership's Digital File Cabinet

login: fedstate — password: partnership

The 2010 general liability insurance policies are now available for download from the Federal/State Partnership website, where you can also read a summary of the coverage. The coverage is the same as it was last year. Federal/State Partnership provides these insurance policies as protection of the National Endowment for the Humanities' investment in the 56 state and jurisdictional humanities councils.

Go over these policies with your insurance broker to make sure that you don't duplicate coverage.

While you are in the Federal/State Partnership website, don't stop with the page on insurance!

This website is a resource for executives, boards, and staff of state humanities councils. All the documents and information you could want from Federal/State Partnership are available for perusal and download at your convenience.

Please note that there is no individualized login and password for the Federal/State Partnership website. Just remember (or write down) fedstate and partnership. Then you will have access to all documents related to your NEH General Operating Support Grant plus a host of other information about nonprofit work, the achievements of state humanities councils, as well as an archive of all Federal/State Partnership's e-newsletters.

Stay up to date: be sure that everyone you work with at your state humanities council, including board and staff, has signed up to receive the monthly e-newsletter. We make every effort to sign up board chairs. You can help us by signing up your board members. This is a key way they can broaden their understanding of the work your council does because they will see it in the context of the work other councils and NEH are doing. Join the Federal/State Partnership email list from the first page of the website. The sign-up is located right under "Federal/State Partnership" in the Digital File Cabinet.

Connecticut Humanities Council wins Governor's Award for Excellence in Culture & Tourism

In a ceremony on April 28, the Connecticut Humanities Council will receive the Governor's Award for Excellence in Culture & Tourism from Governor M. Jodi Rell. The award reads:

"Incorporated in 1973 as the state’s affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Connecticut Humanities Council (“CHC”) focuses its work on two time-honored traditions in the humanities - reflective reading of literature and exploration of history. Led by Bruce Fraser, executive director for over 28 years, CHC is committed to increasing public involvement in Connecticut’s rich history and assisting museums, heritage organizations and historical societies to bring the important stories of the past to the public. CHC’s granting programs fund exhibits, walking tours, cultural festivals, and community humanities projects that explore Connecticut's diverse local heritage, as well as American and world history."

Recipients of the Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Culture & Tourism are selected based on magnitude of achievement, the level of recognition brought by achievement and sustained contribution to the field and the state.

Known as CONNie, the award statuette, designed by Connecticut artist David Boyajian, is a replica of Randolph Roger's 1878 "The Genius of Connecticut," created to sit atop the Connecticut State Capitol.

Welcome Brenda Thomson, new executive director of the Arizona Humanities Council

Brenda Thomson, new executive director of the Arizona Humanities Council.
Brenda Thomson, new executive director of the Arizona Humanities Council.
Brenda Thomson assumed her duties as Executive Director of the Arizona Humanities Council on Monday, March 22. "Brenda Thomson brings with her a contagious enthusiasm for humanities work and a fountain of fresh and innovative ideas to move the Council forward into the 21st century. Her passion for celebrating diverse literacies and expanding the AHC outreach to new and diverse communities is fundamentally connected to AHC's vision, mission, and values. We are extremely lucky to have Brenda at the helm," said Dr. Neal A. Lester, Chair of the Arizona Humanities Council Board of Directors.

Thomson specializes in executive management, fundraising, human resources, public speaking, community relations, and strategic planning. Prior to joining the Arizona Humanities Council, Thomson served as the Director of LearnLaw LLC, Director of The Center for Law Leadership and Management at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at ASU, and Executive Director of the Maricopa County Bar Association.

She earned her bachelor's degree in English from Yale University in 1983 and her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1989. Thomson said, "I went to Yale to become a composer. I studied piano for many years and wrote music, and had dreamed of becoming a songwriter. Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with literature and poetry and decided to major in English."

Her passion for literature and the humanities attracted her to the Arizona Humanities Council. "The humanities teach us about all facets of the human experience, and more. They help us bridge cultural, religious, and viewpoint differences, and learn what we have in common."

Thomson also enjoys spending time with organizations that promote education and diversity through a wide array of community and volunteer activities which include reading to 3rd graders each week with BookPALS, the Diversity Leadership Alliance, AZ State Bar Diversity Task Force, Valley Leadership, Florence Crittendon, Glendale Chamber Foundation, Phoenix Rotary 100, and Park Central Toastmasters.

Jonathan Spence, Yale specialist in Chinese history and culture, will give the 2010 Jefferson Lecture on May 20

Request Jefferson Lecture tickets online by clicking on Spence's photograph.
Request Jefferson Lecture tickets online by clicking on Spence's photograph.

“Jonathan Spence’s scholarship has shaped the field of Chinese history,” said NEH Chairman Jim Leach. “In a world in which mutual understanding has never been more important, Spence has helped Americans understand the culture of one of the world’s oldest and greatest civilizations.”

Spence will present the 39th Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities on Thursday, May 20, 2010, at 7 p.m. at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C.

In the lecture, “When Minds Met: China and the West in the Seventeenth Century,” Spence will explore the many ways that one of the first Chinese travelers to reach Europe shared his ideas with the Westerners he met. Though the contacts were brief, they showed the possibilities ... [ read more ]

Smart ideas: what Kathleen Mitchell learned at the GEO national conference in Pittsburgh

Kathleen, Senior Program Officer in Federal/State Partnership, attended the Grantmakers for Effective Organization's conference in Pittsburgh, a city filled with foundations and creative philanthropy. The focus of the conference was "Unleashing Philanthropy's Potential." Here's what stands out in her mind:

  • Dev Patniak, toward the end of his plenary, "Standing in Their Shoes: How Widespread Empathy Leads to Better Decisions," asking his sign interpreter why she had changed the motions signifying the word "empathy": because, she said, the more she listened, the more she understood that "empathy is a gut feeling of connection" and her hands needed to show that.
  • The recognition that the term "civic engagement" in the foundation world means community organizing and advocacy.
  • The absolute inspiration of listening to Bill Strickland talk about the "value-added life" and the fact that grantmakers should "invest in leaders, not programs" and his statement that, "at the end of this day, [a nonprofit] is a business."
  • The surprising and challenging results that can arise when a well-meaning grantmaker that emphasizes the importance of diversity for its grantees takes stock of what kinds of diversity exist—or don't exist—within its own house. This study looked at gender, immigration status, sexual identity, disability, age, and religion. It also asked who is management? who is staff? who is the board? who are the grantees? who do the grantees serve?
  • The big question: when the economy improves, do you go back to what you were before?
  • Having had a chance to be an interim executive director, most associate directors and program people do not want to be administrators, they want to do programs. This was a follow-up session to the Creative Disruption study about executive sabbaticals reported in the March 2010 Federal/State Partnership e-newsletter. Two panelists in this session know humanities councils well. Author of the study, Deb Linnell, served as a site visitor to the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities and session panelist Claire Peeps is a former board member and chair of the California Council for the Humanities.
  • Grantmakers can play an important role as advocates for their grantees.
  • Define your relevance and update your stories.
  • Keep on top of demographic shifts, networks, and technology.
  • The great pleasure of discovering that practically everyone I met knew their state humanities council. My favorite: so it's Humanities Texas that's restoring that house I drive by every day on my way to work.

Grantmakers for Effective Organizations is a community of more than 350 grantmakers committed to helping their grantees do good work and be able to demonstrate the value of that work.

By means of Federal/State Partnership's complimentary membership in GEO, all 56 state and jurisdictional humanities councils have complimentary memberships as well. Several GEO publications can be easily accessed from the resources section of the Federal/State Partnership website.


FEDERAL/STATE PARTNERSHIP
National Endowment for the Humanities
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 603
Washington, DC 20506
202.606.8254, main number
202.606.8365, fax

Edie Manza, director [ about ]
202.606.8257
Kathleen Mitchell, senior program officer [ about ]
202.606.8302
Shirley Newman, program assistant [ about ]
202.606.8254

visit www.neh.gov to keep up with the
National Endowment for the Humanities

Federal/State Partnership is the liaison between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the nonprofit network of 56 state and jurisdictional humanities councils