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August 2011 II

the latest from
Suite 603

 


August 31, 2011

Good news!

The Federal/State Partnership website has a new url: partnership.neh.gov (no www). Even better news: it is now a completely open website with no password protection.

This newsletter went out last week but, because it is a tour guide around the Federal/State Partnership website, we've updated all the links to match the new urls and are sending it to you again.

Please bookmark the Federal/State Partnership website and use this newsletter as your guide to it.

Something new: read Mass Humanities' Hayley Wood's sidebar piece about the power of autobiography in an assisted living residence.

Take a trip (around the Federal/State Partnership website)
Why?
The road map
A quick orientation to Federal/State Partnership and NEH
A treasure chest of resources
Meet your colleague Paul Austin
9/11, the New York Council for the Humanities, September Roses, Humanities Washington, a little history, and why the website and e-newsletter are called "Working Together"
Hayley Wood, senior program officer at Mass Humanities, just emailed the link to the latest The Public Humanist blog. This piece was "written by one of our board members, Lucia Knoles, who is an English professor at Assumption College in Worcester. She taught an autobiography writing course to seniors in her father’s assisted living residence over the summer and created an edited compilation of their writing. Her essay is a beautiful testimony to taking some time to connect with elderly people and encouraging deeper connections and community in group homes."

Thanks so much, Hayley.

Take a trip (around the Federal/State Partnership website)

Our offices are on either side of the turret to the right of the lamp post, on the floor above that with big arched windows. Photo by Maria Biernik
Our offices are on either side of the turret to the right of the lamp post, on the floor above that with big arched windows. Photo by Maria Biernik

August provides the last chance for a vacation before school starts, a chance to get away before you have to be back.

To mark this annual transition—as the light starts to soften and the air seems to freshen—we invite you to take a trip around the Federal/State Partnership website. We don't have great theatre and cool restaurants to recommend to you and we don't tout this as "three special days in …", but we do have many things designed to make your working and volunteer life easier. As someone connected to a state humanities council, you will know in the months ahead that you don't have to go searching for that document or file that you need, you can quickly look it up or download it at partnership.neh.gov.

A link to this e-newsletter is there too, should you need to refresh your memory about what is where on the website.

 

 

Why?

The Federal/State Partnership website provides links to just about all the information you need to maintain your General Operating Support grants. It explains the work of Federal/State Partnership, highlights great council activities, provides a description of the 2011 general liability insurance policies (if you haven't already downloaded your copies, please contact Kathleen Mitchell and she'll email them to you), and even has the link to the NEH logos.

The documents explaining what is needed for self-assessment and site visits are there; so is a link to NEH's founding legislation with an explanation of the how and why of gubernatorial appointees to your board. You can see what NEH's 2011 appropriation looks like as well as a pie chart of the breakdown of Federal/State Partnership's funding formula.

The website gives you 24/7 access to all the information you need for working with NEH and Federal/State Partnership.

The road map

The easiest way to start touring the Federal/State Partnership website is to go directly to the digital file cabinet & site map. This section is organized in two ways.

The digital file cabinet is broken down by Federal/State Partnership information, NEH information, and contacts. The contact listing includes all the Partnership contacts: councils, NEH, Federation, and, of course, Federal/State Partnership.

In the NEH information section, for instance, you'll find links to the terms and conditions (both 2005 and 2009) and matching guidelines for your General Operating Support grant as well as to the addendum for grants made after 10/1/10 and the Accounting System Manual for State Humanities Councils.

The digital file cabinet also links you to the now out of print Design for Accessibility: A Cultural Administrator's Handbook.

The site map section pretty much replicates the structure of the website, letting you know what you will find in each section.

A quick orientation to Federal/State Partnership and NEH

One of the reactions we had from the new executive directors who came to the New Directors Orientation meetings here in May was, "I wish I'd known this when I started out."

We've developed a document that will orient you not only to Federal/State Partnership and its work but also to all the grant making divisions and offices of NEH. All of NEH's "one-pagers" are included in this pdf file.

The first section is a summary of Federal/State Partnership's work, key dates, and what we need from you. It also provides an overview of the website. This section has active hyperlinks.

You might want to make sure that every staff and board member—regardless how seasoned and experienced—has this link bookmarked or maybe even a printed copy of the 17-page document.

A treasure chest of resources

The online magazine Blue Avocado is one of the many nonprofit resources linked to the website
The online magazine Blue Avocado is one of the many nonprofit resources linked to the website

We've put together a library of resource links that will help you run your nonprofit well, that will link you to best practices in grant making, and that will easily give you access to NEH and Federal/State Partership materials.

If you need information, for example, about a particular aspect of the nonprofit business, come to the resources section and you may well find a link that will take you to just what you need.

In addition, very importantly, if you run across a great link that isn't there, please email Kathleen Mitchell and she'll make sure that it is included. We want this to be a useful go-to compendium that serves you.

 

Meet your colleague Paul Austin

Almost every issue of Humanities magazine profiles a state humanities council executive director. The July/August 2011 issue features Paul Austin, executive director of the Arkansas Humanities Council.

Links to all the Humanities profiles of current council executives are on the front page of the website, in the lower right section. Short bios of all the executives can be found on the council contact page. Executives, if you'd like to update your bio, please send the new version to Kathleen and she'll post it right away.

You can also find bios of the Federal/State Partnership staff by clicking "about" after each of our names on the left side of the front page of the website.

The council contact page is likely one of the real time-savers on the website. In addition to the bios, it lists all the councils' contact info, their website urls, and the executives' email addresses. If a gold asterisk appears by the council's name, mouse over it to find out what has changed recently—the council's name, its address, its executive, its executive's name. A printable version of this council contact sheet is available as a pdf file.

But, before all else, drop Paul an email and let him know that you like his profile in Humanities.

9/11, the New York Council for the Humanities, September Roses, Humanities Washington, a little history, and why the website and e-newsletter are called "Working Together"

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the New York Council for the Humanities, located in lower Manhattan close to Ground Zero, is sponsoring Community Conversations to give people of all ages the opportunity to talk about what happened then and since. Toolkits for organizing these conversations can be downloaded. There is one each for adults, young adults, and kids—Jeanette Winter's September Roses has just been reissued by the NYCH. Humanities Washington's speakers bureau features Darold Bigger, a retired Navy chaplain who was on duty near the Pentagon when the hijacked airliner struck it.

To give some historic perspective, the "council activities" section of the Federal/State Partnership website links to an article in the July/August 2002 issue of Humanities that tells the many stories of state humanities councils' nimble responses to the 9/11 attacks ten years ago and ways in which they were working then to strengthen community. The article is titled "Working Together," a title given it by Mary Lou Beatty, the late NEH Communications Director and editor of Humanities.

Thanks to Mary Lou's gift of words, the Federal/State Partnership website and this e-newsletter are titled by the core value that characterizes all our work: working together.


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

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