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August 2010

the latest from
Suite 603

 


August 24, 2010

North Dakotan Eric Sevareid

The North Dakota Humanities Council hosts the Eric Sevareid Symposium, Sept 30 to Oct 3, celebrating one of the premier journalists of 20th-cent. television journalism.

Welcome Federal/State Partnership's Meg Ferris
Books books books
What are you reading? and how are you reading it?
RICH Grantmaking: The Evolution of Grantmaking by the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities

Kudos for Bridging Cultures awards

Jim Leach tours with the New York Council for the Humanities

10th annual National Book Festival, sponsored by the Library of Congress and the Center for the Book, will be on the National Mall September 25th
2010-2011 general liability insurance policies
♦ Everything you need is there: www.neh.gov/partnership (login fedstate password partnership)
 

Welcome Federal/State Partnership's Meg Ferris

Meg Ferris at the Incan archaeological site in Ollantaytambo, Peru.
Meg Ferris at the Incan archaeological site in Ollantaytambo, Peru.

Federal/State Partnership is delighted to introduce Meg Ferris who joined the staff this month as program analyst. Meg comes to NEH from the National Gallery of Art where she worked in the department of Exhibition Programs, assisting in the production of educational materials for special exhibitions. She received a Masters degree in Art History from American University and a Bachelors degree in Art/Art History and French from Goucher College. While at American University she wrote two qualifying papers: one a study of Alphonse Mucha’s posters of Sarah Bernhardt and the other an overview of Frida Kahlo’s self-portraiture. She also has co-curated two art exhibitions: "The (Real) Art World" at the American University Museum and "Hand-Made" at the Mansion at Strathmore in conjunction with the Washington Sculptors Group.

You can contact Meg at 202.208.7100 or by email at mferris@neh.gov.

Books books books

The South Dakota Festival of Books is publishing clues on Facebook for finding free books hidden around Sioux Falls.
The South Dakota Festival of Books is publishing clues on Facebook for finding free books hidden around Sioux Falls.

A Canton, Ohio newspaper ad placed just before Christmas 1933 offered $10, no strings attached, to 75 families in distress if a letter describing their hardships would be submitted to a Mr. B. Virdot. It was Ted Gup’s grandfather Sam Stone who placed this ad, and Gup's new book A Secret Gift: How One Man’s Kindness – and a Trove of Letters – Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression will be featured at the Utah Book Festival, October 20-23.

 

The fall season of book festivals is about to begin (click for a list of festivals through the spring, with dates), but humanities councils promote books and reading year round. Humanities Iowa offers a video book review. Humanities Tennessee hosts the Southern Festival of Books (October 8-10) and Chapter 16, an online book review website. Humanities Washington's annual fundraiser, Bedtime Stories, will be emceed by Book Lust to Go celebrity librarian Nancy Pearl on October 1.

 

Keep track of councils and books by following them on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up to be a fan—otherwise you might not know that the Maine Humanities Council posted a FB link to a competition to win a new book cart. It will open your horizons to what book carts could be.

What are you reading? and how are you reading it?

Many humanities council staff and board meetings begin with a humanities moment. Talking about books is a natural topic of conversation.

When we had our humanities moment here in Federal/State Partnership, we discovered that this is what we're reading:

  • Edie — Stieg Larsson's The Girl Who Played With Fire (paperback)
  • Kathleen — Dan Baum's Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans (Kindle)
  • Meg — Stieg Larsson's The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (hardback)
  • Shirley — Ivan Doig's The Whistling Season (paperback)

Checking in with our friends at the Federation of State Humanities Councils, across the river in Arlington, we discovered what Esther, Susan, and Jeff are reading:

  • Esther — moving back and forth between Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall (hardback—big and borrowed) and Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (paperback)
  • Susan — flipping through five Washington guidebooks. Newcomer’s Guide to Washington DC is a favorite—it has the best need-to-know information (paperback).
  • Jeff — Neo-Natal Bioethics by John Lantos (hardback, checked out from the library)

RICH Grantmaking: The Evolution of Grantmaking by the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities

RICH's 2009 announcement of its grants in the State House.
RICH's 2009 announcement of its grants in the State House.

RICH executive director Mary-Kim Arnold writes: "In 2008, when we began our strategic planning process, the philanthropic landscape was grim. Total giving to all types of charities in the U.S. was down 5.7%.1 Giving to the arts and humanities saw a record 9.9% decline from 2007 levels.


"In Rhode Island, many cultural organizations reported a 'perfect storm' of converging funding crises: a reduction in sponsorships and contributions from corporations and small businesses; state funding drying up; and operational costs rising.


"It was against this backdrop that the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities (RICH) was reassessing its own work. Leadership transitions at the board and staff levels, coupled with the NEH self-assessment process, presented us the opportunity to review our current activities with an eye toward developing a long-term vision and plan.


"RICH has long been recognized in Rhode Island for a kind of fearless support of community-initiated projects. Grantees applaud … " [ read morethis article appears in council activities on the Federal/State Partnership website (logon fedstate password partnership) ]

 

Kudos for Bridging Cultures awards

CCH has a long history of telling the stories of California's many cultures. A 2009 radio show told the stories of global cuisine on one street in Sacramento.
CCH has a long history of telling the stories of California's many cultures. A 2009 radio show told the stories of global cuisine on one street in Sacramento.

The California Council for the Humanities received a $250,000 NEH Bridging Cultures award for its proposal to hold a conference and workshop in March 2011 at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. Participants will explore topics such as the history of contentious conversations, the role of compromise in democracy, the difference between incivility and impassioned dissent, and the future of public discourse in the digital age. Public outreach programs and educational materials developed during the forum will be incorporated in the Council’s Democracy Project, a two-year statewide initiative addressing the evolving nature of democracy in the United States.

Congratulations are especially due to the CCH because this is its first NEH competitive grant. See all current council competitive NEH grants on the Federal/State Partnership website (logon fedstate password partnership).

The Illinois Humanities Council, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, and both Humanities Washington and the Idaho Humanities Council are, respectively, major collaborators in Bridging Culture awards made to the American Bar Association, George Mason University, and Washington State University.

Jim Leach tours with the New York Council for the Humanities

Jim Leach (left) with Niagara Falls mayor Paul Dystra and NYCH executive director Sara Ogger (right). Niagara Falls is in the background.
Jim Leach (left) with Niagara Falls mayor Paul Dystra and NYCH executive director Sara Ogger (right). Niagara Falls is in the background.

NEH Chairman Jim Leach spent time recently in western New York with the New York Council for the Humanities as part of his Civility Tour of all 50 states. Read a full account of his time in Buffalo and western New York. This report of Leach's western New York trip appears in council activities on the Federal/State Partnership website (logon fedstate password partnership).

The September stops on Leach's Civility Tour are Kansas, Montana, Wyoming, North Carolina, Indiana, and South Dakota. The Chairman is pleased that the state humanities councils play such important roles in facilitating and hosting Civility Tours events.


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 Federal/State Partnership office

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