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November 2009

the latest from
Suite 603

 


November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving and more ...
Chairman Jim Leach's National Press Club speech

Maryland Humanities Council presents "Music of the Movement: A Sustaining Voice"

Filmmaking and council programming

NEH 2010 summer teacher workshops, seminars, and institutes

Coming Up Taller Awards

Bookmark it! The new general terms and conditions for General Operating Support Grants is available for download on the Federal/State Partnership website

Maryland Humanities Council presents "Music of the Movement: A Sustaining Voice"

click on the photograph to hear Congressman John Lewis talk about gospel music during "Music of the Movement"
click on the photograph to hear Congressman John Lewis talk about gospel music during "Music of the Movement"

The Maryland Humanities Council closed its two-year initiative Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Remembrance and Reconciliation with a conversation about the music of the civil rights era on November 17. Participants in this conversation were Congressman John Lewis (D-Georgia), legendary civil rights leader; Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, civil rights activist, cultural historian, founder of Sweet Honey in the Rock, and 1995 winner of NEH's Charles Frankel Prize; ethnomusicologist Portia K. Maultsby, co-editor of African-American Music and professor at Indiana University; and Tricia Rose, Professor of Africana Studies at Brown University and author of The Hip-Hop Wars. The panel was moderated by veteran anchor Maureen Bunyan of Washington's ABC 7/WJLA. The Bowie State University Gospel Choir sang. The audience also got to sing.

Federal/State Partnership's Kathleen Mitchell attended: "I wanted to hear Bernice Johnson Reagon, but I was thinking in terms of her singing. Would I rather hear her sing or hear her talk? Fortunately, I got to experience both. I wondered how Portia Maultsby and Tricia Rose could ever follow up after Lewis and Reagon. Not to worry. I learned so much from all four of them—about music, about the movement, about American society, about the humanities. MHC board member Judi Latta closed with the compelling point that the humanities transform us. It was an evening of transformation. This program also made the essential point that there is no divide between the humanities and the arts. They are life and soul companions. An image that I will savor is that of Maureen Bunyan (great moderator) and John Lewis holding hands and dancing to the Bowie State Gospel Choir."

Participate in this event by watching Lydia Woods, MHC's Coordinator of Grants and Community Outreach, talk about it on Baltimore's WJZ and hear Congressman Lewis speak about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and music.

Filmmaking and council programming

WPHS 89.1 FM, a Michigan Humanities Council Picturing Your Community in America high school film.
WPHS 89.1 FM, a Michigan Humanities Council Picturing Your Community in America high school film.

Increasingly councils are funding filmmaking both as grant lines and as council-conducted programs. There is a long tradition of support for films, as can be seen in the Southern Humanities Media Fund, a regional collaboration of state humanities councils. The California Council for the Humanities just won a Schwartz Prize from the Federation of State Humanities Councils for its How I See It: Youth Digital Filmmakers.

The Public Square program of the Illinois Humanities Council, in partnership with numerous other organizations, is holding its Looking for Democracy: How to Make It, How to Sustain It 2nd Annual Film Contest. The videos must be five minutes or less in length and can be documentary, narrative, experimental, remix, music video, public service announcement, "etc."

Julie Mulvihill, Executive Director of the Kansas Humanities Council, writes that, "As part of our Kansans Tell Their Stories initiative, we have been funding short films that somehow 'tell the Kansas story.' I am attaching a link to the most recent project—one that I think is a compelling story of innovation and change. It's the story of Professor Bauer, a faculty member from Baker University who convinced Baldwin City to 'go electric.' More than 100 folks squeezed into a very small space to be part of the premiere and panel discussion. Neat stuff." KHC is also piloting a program, FLIKS, that is soliciting new films 15 minutes or less in length to serve as the basis of discussions on topics of historical or contemporary interest to Kansans. The films eligible for consideration by the FLIKS program can be documentary, narrative, animation, or experimental films with a humanities focus.

Picturing Your Community in America was a 2008-2009 initiative of the Michigan Humanities Council which engaged students from eleven high schools who worked with Michigan Television producers to create short films about their communities. WPHS 89.1 FM, produced by students of Warren Mott High School, Warren, MI, tells the story of a high school radio station that has been on the air since 1964.

NEH 2010 summer teacher workshops, seminars, and institutes

Roman mosaic from the website (web.utk.edu/~theff/carthage) of the Summer Seminar for College Teachers "Augustine and Perpetua: Autobiography in its Roman African Context," being held in Carthage.
Roman mosaic from the website (web.utk.edu/~theff/carthage) of the Summer Seminar for College Teachers "Augustine and Perpetua: Autobiography in its Roman African Context," being held in Carthage.

Please help get the word out about the teacher development programs that NEH is offering in 2010. There are seminars and institutes for four-year college, community college, and K-12 teachers: Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops for School Teachers, Summer Seminars and Institutes for School Teachers, Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops for Community College Teachers, and Summer Seminars and Institutes for College Teachers.

Two Landmarks workshops have been created by state humanities councils. "Building America: Minnesota's Iron Range, U.S. Industrialization, and the Creation of a World Power" is by the Minnesota Humanities Center. "Jump at the Sun: Zora Neale Hurston and Her Eatonville Roots" is by the Florida Humanities Council.

Coming Up Taller Awards



Shana Brown (center), a student with the Shakespeare Remix Program, read a speech by Emilia, Iago's wife, from Othello and explained why it made her love Shakespeare. Melissa Friedman (left) accepted the award from Mrs. Obama.

Shana Brown (center), a student with the Shakespeare Remix Program, read a speech by Emilia, Iago's wife, from Othello and explained why it made her love Shakespeare. Melissa Friedman (left) accepted the award from Mrs. Obama.

The President's Committee for the Arts and Humanities' 2009 Coming Up Taller awards were made at the White House on November 4, hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama. Read more about the awardees and the semifinalists. There is also a list of all the awards made during the ten years that this program has been in existence. Three of this year's humanities awards went to:

  • Higher Achievement: For more than 30 years, Higher Achievement has impacted the lives of more than 10,000 motivated young people. Its mission is to develop skills, behaviors, and attitudes in motivated and underserved middle school children, "scholars," to improve their grades, standardized test scores, attendance, and to provide them opportunities to be accepted to top high schools. The program is guided by three principles: Talent is everywhere, Intellect is built through effort, and Opportunities matter. It takes advantage of Washington's rich cultural resources. When students study history, for instance, they visit museums and historic sites.
     
  • Girls Write Now Mentoring Program: Each year, forty high school girls with emerging writing talent are custom-matched with professional women writers—writers of all genres—who serve as personal mentors and writing coaches, meeting weekly for an entire school year, and for up to four years.
  • Shakespeare Remix Program: Shakespeare Remix students conquer Shakespearean text while developing the tools necessary to re-interpret and perform Shakespeare’s plays for their schools, parents, and communities. Each year, this rigorous after-school program engages students in text analysis, professional mentorship, and civic engagement, as they develop literacy, communication, and leadership skills.

The guidelines for the 2010 Coming Up Taller competition will be available online at the end of November. The deadline for receipt of the applications is Friday, January 29, 2010. For advice or assistance, contact Traci Slater-Rigaud. A Coming Up Taller award brings with it $10,000 plus recognition, a plaque, and a summer conference designed to help the grantee leverage the award and expand capacity.

The Coming Up Taller Awards highlight after-school and out-of-school programs that are tangible examples of the power of the arts and the humanities to encourage young people's creativity and to provide them with learning opportunities, chances to contribute to their community, and ways to take responsibility for their own futures. The Awards also celebrate the contributions that educators, curators, historians, scholars, librarians, and artists make to families and communities by mentoring and teaching children.

Bookmark it! The new general terms and conditions for General Operating Support Grants is available for download on the Federal/State Partnership website

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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.

Join the Federal/State Partnership email list from the first page of the website.


FEDERAL/STATE PARTNERSHIP
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Kathleen Mitchell, senior program officer [ about ]
202.606.8302
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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