Skip to main content

April 2013

the latest from Suite 603

April 15, 2013

In his Jefferson Lecture, "Persistence of Vision: Reading the Language of Cinema," Martin Scorsese paid homage to early cinema as he did in his 2011 Oscar-winning film Hugo. © AF archive / Alamy
On the menu: the humanities at happy hour
"The Way We Worked" in Clare, Michigan
"How can we model the behavior we seek to inspire?" Reading and literacy
"With Good Reason" airs weekly from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities
"CONSTITUTION USA with PETER SAGAL" premieres in May on PBS
Eight new council executives come to Washington
  • Watch Martin Scorsese's Jefferson Lecture.
  • The Looking@Democracy challenge closes April 30.
  • The NEH provided general liability insurance policies were renewed on April 1.
  • NEH has announced awards of $17.4 million for 205 projects in 39 states and the District of Columbia.
  • Don't miss the chance to receive the CREATED EQUAL film set along with a $1,200 programming grant. Please spread the word. The application deadline is May 1.

On the menu: the humanities at happy hour

-Life in Spenard,- an exhibition of works by Angela Ramirezat the Alaska Humanities Forum
“Life in Spenard,” an exhibition of works by Angela Ramirezat the Alaska Humanities Forum

Over the last several years, humanities councils in Oregon, Washington, Illinois, the District of Columbia, Alaska, and Indiana have conducted programs in bars, watering holes, and their own home spaces that take on a range of contemporary issues.

Here is a sampling of what you can talk and learn about at these events. The Humanities Council of Washington, DC's Humanitini is currently covering gun control and the implications of the name of Washington's NFL team, the Redskins. Oregon Humanities' Think & Drink is dealing with the broad topic of "How to Love America." Humanities Washington is talking about "Bit by Bit: The Digital Evolution of the Neighborhood" in its Think & Drink series. The Illinois Humanities Council's Public Square covers a range of topics in both English and Spanish, in communities all around Chicago. On the second Friday of the month from 5-6, go to Ron's Barber Shop at 6058 W. North Avenue to be part of the action. Indiana Humanities' INconversation conversations—ranging in topic from publicly installed art and music to the experiences of Ann Meyers Drysdale, the first woman to sign an NBA contract, are available for download. The Alaska Humanities Forum hosts First Friday @ the Forum from September to April in its home in downtown Anchorage. April's First Friday featured Anchorage artist Angela Ramirez.

"The Way We Worked" in Clare, Michigan

"Work!
Thank God for the might of it,
The ardor–the urge, the delight of it–
Work that springs from the heart’s desire,
Setting the brain and the soul on fire–" —from "Work: A Song of Triumph" by Angela Morgan

The Way We Worked, a Museum on Main Street exhibition being hosted by the Michigan Humanities Council, will be at the Pere Marquette District Library in Clare, Michigan from April 9 to May 18. On opening night Robert Knapp, the author of “Clare 1865-1940,” made a special presentation. Retired from the University of California, Berkeley, he is restoring the log home in Sheridan Township built by his great-grandfather in 1888.

Other programming includes a series of films about work, workshops for pre-schoolers about "what do I want to be when I grow up," and other events that relate to work and industry in Clare—including forestry, lumbering, oil, gangsters, automotive manufacturing, and a corps of women telephone operators "because they were more reliable than men."

"How can we model the behavior we seek to inspire?" Reading and literacy

"How can we model the behavior we seek to inspire? Do our boards, staff and volunteers reflect the diversity of the communities we serve? How can we be more inclusive?" –theme of the November 2013 Federation of State Humanities Councils conference in Birmingham, Alabama.

Each issue of Federal/State Partnership’s 2013 newsletter surveys the challenges councils face as they confront such issues as geography, educational and cultural resources, audiences, technology, and philanthropy in their work. The contexts in which all 56 councils work will be illustrated. Previous articles in this series are available online.

State humanities councils are filled with book people. They celebrate books and words and ideas and ways to talk about all of them. According to the 2012 compliance plans submitted annually to NEH by councils, every council but one supports reading and discussion programs, 51 councils carry out programs in libraries, and 37 support family and adult literacy programs. Thirteen councils host or support book festivals and six are actively involved with statewide “one book” annual reading programs. Eleven serve as their state’s Center for the Book in affiliation with the Library of Congress. Councils not only program around books, a number also publish books, some of which are bilingual.

Discovering U.S. literacy rates is challenging and what exists is fundamentally flawed.Nonetheless, the data suggest that the U.S. literacy rate is approximately 86% for those age 16 and older. In the following council thumbnails, we look at the contexts affecting reading and literacy in nine states. Of these, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Maine have high literacy rates (93%); Washington (90%), Maryland (89%), and Tennessee (87%) fall above the national average; and both Nevada and Mississippi at 84% and New York with 78%, fall below the national average. Of these councils, seven ...

See the nine COUNCIL THUMBNAILS and read the full article >>

"With Good Reason" airs weekly from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

 The Networks and the Civil Rights Movement"
Click on the image to hear "Equal Time: The Networks and the Civil Rights Movement"
 

Each week on With Good Reason, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities' award-winning radio program, host Sarah McConnell examines a wide range of topics with leading scholars. Featured guests have included Julian Bond discussing race in America, Bruce Grayson sharing his study of near death experiences, Mike Seeger exploring American folk music, Aniko Bodroghkozy tuning in on sixties television, Bryan Caplan on the "myth of the rational voter," Nikki Giovanni reading from her poetry, and Lawrence Weinstein describing—through a process called “guesstimation”—how big your feet would have to be in order to walk on water. You may discover the traditions of the samurai warrior, hear about the ways we pre-judge others based on their accents, or laugh at the surprising history of Hawaiian shirts.

With Good Reason is produced by VFH for the Virginia Higher Education Broadcasting Consortium and is broadcast in Washington, DC, Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, Georgia, Alaska, California, and Michigan.

"CONSTITUTION USA with PETER SAGAL" premieres in May on PBS

Courtesy of Christopher Buchanan / Insignia Films
Courtesy of Christopher Buchanan / Insignia Films

Peter Sagal, host of NPR's Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!, hops on a red, white, and blue "We the People" motorcycle to travel around the country, searching for "where the U.S. Constitution lives, how it works and how it doesn't ... how it unites us as a nation and how it has nearly torn us apart."

This four-part series, supported by NEH through the Division of Public Programs, considers federalism, the meaning of the words "We the People," rights, and equality and the 14th Amendment. See preview clips of each segment and a short background film on the series' website. As Sagal says in the background short, the series has "a slightly less serious approach to serious topics." The goal of the filmmakers is to "humanize the Constitution" and "to do history in a different way."

Sagal and his team traveled to almost 30 cities and small towns gathering stories of what the Constitution does and what people think the Constitution does—not necessarily the same thing. A few of the people he spoke with were Olympic Boxing Gold Medalist, Claressa Shields about Title 9/equal rights for women; Private Investigator, Efrat Cohen about privacy in the digital age; a Park Ranger at the Hoover Dam about the benefits of major federal-government projects; and the Lopez family about rights under the Constitution of children of undocumented aliens.

The series is a production of Twin Cities Public Television, tpt National Productions, in association with Insignia Films.

Eight new council executives come to Washington

Erik Nordberg begins work as Executive Director of the Michigan Humanities Council the day before he comes to Washington for the new executives orientation meeting with Federal/State Partnership and the Federation.
Erik Nordberg begins work as Executive Director of the Michigan Humanities Council the day before he comes to Washington for the new executives orientation meeting with Federal/State Partnership and the Federation.

Federal/State Partnership and the Federation of State Humanities Councils welcome the 2012-2013 class of new council executive directors, May 2-3. They come from all over the country. The first day of the orientation meetings will be with the NEH at the Old Post Office and the second day will be across the Potomac with the Federation in Arlington, VA.

We look forward to working for two days with Armand DeKeyser, Alabama Humanities Foundation; Nina Kemppel, Alaska Humanities Forum; Hayden Anderson, Maine Humanities Council; Erik Nordberg, Michigan Humanities Council; Patricia Williamsen, Ohio Humanities Council; Laurie Zierer, Pennsylvania Humanities Council; Elizabeth Francis, Rhode Island Council for the Humanities; and Timothy Henderson, Humanities Tennessee.


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
Meg Ferris, program analyst [ about ]
202.208.7100
Shirley Newman, program assistant [ about ]
202.606.8254

directions to the National Endowment for the Humanities and Federal/State Partnership

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
 
     
 
connect with us twitter