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February 2010

the latest from
Suite 603

 


February 25, 2010

The White House Announces the
National Humanities Medalists

 Philippe de Montebello, Albert Small, Theodore C. Sorensen, Elie Wiesel
2009 National Humanities Medalists, from left (top row): Robert Caro, Annette Gordon-Reed, David Levering-Lewis, William H. McNeill; (bottom row): Philippe de Montebello, Albert Small, Theodore C. Sorensen, Elie Wiesel
National Humanities Medalists

Update: Chairman Leach's Civility Tour

What does your state look like on the big screen?

Eat and drink with the humanities

"Practicing Democracy: Seeking Common Ground" in Maryland, Illinois, and Washington

SC Humanities writing workshops

Federal/State Partnership's Digital File Cabinet

We the People application deadlines, Mar 17 & May 5

Compliance plans are due June 1: watch for information

New general liability insurance policies go into effect April 1—downloadable copies of the policies will follow

This month's CLEVER IDEA >>

National Humanities Medalists

The National Humanities Medal designed by David Macaulay, 1995 Charles Frankel Prize winner. The Frankel prize was the precursor of the National Humanities Medal. Macaulay is the author of, among many others, The Way We Work and The Way Things Work.
The National Humanities Medal designed by David Macaulay, 1995 Charles Frankel Prize winner. The Frankel prize was the precursor of the National Humanities Medal. Macaulay is the author of, among many others, The Way We Work and The Way Things Work.
 

The White House has just announced the 2009 National Humanities Medalists. They are meeting with NEH staff for a panel discussion Wednesday afternoon, February 23. This event will be followed by a black tie dinner at the National Museum of American History and a ceremony at the White House on Thursday afternoon.

The National Humanities Medalists are: Robert Caro, Pulitzer Prize winning biographer of Lyndon B. Johnson and Robert Moses; Annette Gordon-Reed, author of The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family and Pulitzer Prize winner; David Levering-Lewis, Professor of History, New York University, and Pulitzer Prize winner; William H. McNeill, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Chicago and prolific author of global history; Philippe de Montebello, longest serving director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, now emeritus; Albert Small, businessman, collector, and philanthropist; Theodore C. Sorensen, close associate of President John F. Kennedy and author; and Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor, author, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and human rights activist.

Update: Chairman Leach's Civility Tour

Chairman Leach at Wayne State University in Michigan.
Chairman Leach at Wayne State University in Michigan.

Chairman Jim Leach has recently been to Michigan, Wisconsin, Washington, and Iowa. Although his official visit to New Jersey will be in April, he spoke about the importance of political civility at Princeton University this last weekend when he accepted the Woodrow Wilson Award, the University's highest distinction for an undergraduate alumnus.

His next trips will be to Jackson, MS, where he will present the Mississippi Humanities Council's Annual Awards on February 26. He will be in New York City on March 4th, visiting New York University and the New York Historical Society. On March 26th he will speak at the University of Arizona in Tucson. His trip to Oregon, originally scheduled for February 12, is being rescheduled. It fell victim to the record-breaking mid-Atlantic snowfalls earlier in February.

What does your state look like on the big screen?

 Legends of the Fall, Little Big Man, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, A River Runs Through It
Four Montana movies (clockwise from top left): Legends of the Fall, Little Big Man, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, A River Runs Through It

This is the question Humanities Montana has put out to its network. HM was looking for suggestions for a Montana Film Festival. They had such a big response that they've turned it into the Montana Movie Tournament to allow the public to select their favorites. Thirty-two films have been nominated, and the list is being cut in half each week by popular vote. Here are the current standings: The Big Sky, Butte America, Class C: The Only Game in Town, Everything That Rises, Heartland, Legends of the Fall, Little Big Man, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, Missouri Breaks, North Fork, Pow Wow Highway, Prodigal Sons, Rancho Deluxe, A River Runs Through It, The Slaughter Rule, and Thunderbolt and Lightfoot.

What does your state look like on the big screen?

Eat and drink with the humanities

Award-winning, multi-genre author Ursula Le Guin and OSU philosophy professor Lani Roberts discussed morality and self-deception.
Award-winning, multi-genre author Ursula Le Guin and OSU philosophy professor Lani Roberts discussed morality and self-deception.

Perhaps spurred on by the popularity of the travelling exhibition Key Ingredients or by recognition that Americans love to eat and drink, councils are seeking new audiences by conducting programming in convivial settings. Oregon Humanities is hosting a series of programs in watering holes and restaurants in Portland and Eugene. The topics have ranged from advertising to sports in American culture to women and global media. O.Hm. had people listening through open doors and windows for their Think & Drink program in June featuring best-selling author Ursula LeGuin.

The Minnesota Humanities Center has begun using its kitchen and dining room to host a new series of panel discussions called Lunch and Learn. Upcoming topics include "Why the Census Matters: A Panel Discussion" and " From the Tropics to the Snowbelt Midwest: Somalis in Minnesota."

Stealing Buddha's Dinner by Bich Minh Nguyen is the Michigan Humanities Council's current selection for The Great Michigan Read. This memoir chronicles the author's move from Viet Nam in 1975 and her growing up in Grand Rapids in the 1980s. Michael Rose wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle that, in this book, "food becomes part of her yearning for Americanness, for normalcy. If she eats what's on TV, she'll fit in, even as she occasionally laments the loss of her mother tongue. It's this premise that makes the book relevant not only to anyone who's ever lusted after the perfect snack, but anyone who's ever felt different."

"Practicing Democracy: Seeking Common Ground" in Maryland, Illinois, and Washington

The Maryland Humanities Council received an $80,000 grant from the Boeing Charitable Trust to work with the Illinois Humanities Council and Humanities Washington to develop a series of public discussion forums that will strive to produce real and respectful debate. In 2010, the discussion forums in Maryland will focus on issues of the environment, sustainability, development and transportation. Each program will be developed in partnership with other Maryland non-profit organizations. Similar efforts are planned for Washington and Illinois. Boeing has a corporate presence in each of these three states

The Boeing Charitable Trust program officer Angel Ysaguirre notes, "There is an urgent need to re-imagine new ways to discuss issues across ideological camps, to model civil debate and dialogue between people who come down on different sides of an issue and to share information that strives to be unbiased, fact-based and even-handed." Ysaguirre is a former program officer of the Illinois Humanities Council.

SC Humanities writing workshops

The SC Book Festival, a program of the Humanities Council of South Carolina, has opened registration for its annual Master Classes in Writing, a series of writing classes led by authors and industry professionals. One emphasizes writing a novel and the other deals with writing a book proposal. James O. Born, author of five police thrillers including Escape Clause, will teach the principles of structuring a novel, developing characters, and creating suspense. Bob Morris, the author of the Zack Chasteen series of mysteries set in Florida and the Caribbean, walks through the steps of creating a book proposal that "will attract agents and fire the enthusiasm of publishers."

Federal/State Partnership's Digital File Cabinet

login: fedstate — password: partnership

The Federal/State Partnership 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, and 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 has signed up to receive the monthly e-newsletter. Join the Federal/State Partnership email list from the first page of the website.


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