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August 2008


the latest from
Suite 603


August 28, 2008

Warning! this e-newsletter won't be a quick read —
it will be a delightful time of watching and listening to



 featuring Ernest Hemingway

Councils on YouTube

Humanities, arts, and television ... together

From VFH to NPR to YouTube

Rachel Carson is a History Day winner

"War is hell": Ohio World War II stories

DNA and African geneaology

Evidence of pirate raid at St. Augustine?
Going on 13 in California
Clay Jenkinson's TR at Reno

the logon and password
for the Federal/State Partnership website:
"fedstate" & "partnership"

This website is a resource for executives, boards, and staff of state humanities councils. Join the Federal/State Partnership email list from the first page of the website.

Councils on YouTube

State Humanities Councils are using many means to communicate their messages. The free video-sharing website YouTube has become home to a number of videos about council work. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities' webmaster Trey Mitchell notes that, "We have a Virginia Folklife YouTube channel where we post 'official' video from the program. This is then syndicated on the Folklife website itself." The Maryland Humanities Council also has a YouTube channel as does the Michigan Humanities Council (MHC's YouTube channel), the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC's YouTube channel), and the California Council for the Humanities (CCH's YouTube channel). Nevada Humanities showcases the Nevada Humanities Chautauqua on its Live from Reno YouTube channel.

The Florida Humanities Council and the Ohio Humanities Council have projects posted by other organizations. The University of Florida Libraries host FHC's St. Augustine Landmark videos and the WGTE-TV YouTube channel previews OHC's World War II oral histories. 

A number of other videos crediting humanities councils have been posted by individuals. "That realization was a part of the impetus to do something more official," says VFH's Trey Mitchell.

We were anything but scientific in our basic search for council videos. We plugged "humanities council" into YouTube's search engine and got six pages of videos to choose from. You can see chautauqua presentations, a lot of music, a great Maryland History Day winning documentary on Rachel Carson, and trailers for council-funded documentaries.

What follows below are some of our favorites. Please share your favorites with all of us.

Throughout, click on the images to link to the videos.

Humanities, arts, and television ... together

The Howell Opera House was established in 1881, closed in 1924, and is now on the brink of a new life. This video won the 2006 Michigan Association of Broadcasters award for Best Feature and Best Use of Medium.
The Howell Opera House was established in 1881, closed in 1924, and is now on the brink of a new life. This video won the 2006 Michigan Association of Broadcasters award for Best Feature and Best Use of Medium.

We learned about this great collaboration with the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs and Michigan Public Television by reading the Michigan Humanities Council's interim narrative report. As the report states, "the interstitials are approximately 2.5 to 3 minutes in length and air multiple times throughout the year in between the station's regularly programmed pieces. These pieces are offered to all Michigan Public Television stations, placed on the Internet to reach the widest possible audience, and are showcased on YouTube."

Scott Hirko, the Michigan Council's Public Relations Officer, sees real benefits to YouTube. "Putting videos on YouTube provides an opportunity to expand the reach of Michigan's quality cultural programming far beyond Michigan's public broadcasting stations into other states and to an international audience. The power of YouTube has allowed the Michigan Humanities Council to take video content created for one format, but then make it available to anyone through its unique worldwide reach."

See more videos at the Michigan Humanities Council's YouTube channel. "Michigan Shadow Towns" is featured on the main page of the Federal/State Partnership website.

From VFH to NPR to YouTube

VFH's Trey Mitchell writes: "This video is of Frank Newsome recording a song for his CD in our Crooked Road Recording Series. Frank and this song in particular were featured in NPR's Weekend Edition 'What's in a Song?' that aired nationally in April. Frank is one of our most popular YouTube videos and he doesn't own a computer, has never seen these videos, and really has no idea that thousands of people from all over the country have seen this video [and] love him and his music. It's a great example of how a council can use a tool like YouTube to give people from all over the world a glimpse into the lost, unseen and unheard parts of our states."

Rachel Carson is a History Day winner

On the Maryland Humanities Council's YouTube channel, you can see clips from many of MHC's chautauquas. You can also see the award-winning documentary on Rachel Carson created by Samuel Hudnet and Justin Tibbels that won the silver medal at the 2006 National History Day contest. 

"War is hell": Ohio World War II stories

The Ohio Humanities Council has a long-standing practice of promoting oral histories. By placing "Ohio Humanities Council" in the YouTube search engine, you will find six Ohio war stories: Carlos Cordova, Kenneth T. CrothersDavid Fought, Margaret Nowicki, Iris Maxwell, and George H. Snyder, Jr.

DNA and African geneaology

In 2007 the Illinois Humanities Council ran a year-long series on genetics, "Future Perfect: Conversations on the Meaning of the Genetics Revolution." The presentation by Rick Kittles, Scientific Director of African Ancestry, Inc. and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago, is available in three parts on YouTube: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Evidence of pirate raid at St. Augustine?

For the last several years, the Florida Humanities Council has held an NEH-funded teacher seminar, "Between Columbus and Jamestown: Spanish St. Augustine." In partnership with the University of Florida Libraries, FHC has created a website, "Spanish Colonial St. Augustine, a Resource for Teachers." This We the People project also has a presence on YouTube. An example of the archaeological video resources is the piece on the St. Augustine well.

Going on 13 in California

The California Council for the Humanities has been telling California Stories since 2001. The latest initiative of California Stories is How I See It, an opportunity for young people to tell the stories of their own California. Catch this engaging look at the lives of Isha, Esmeralda, Rosie, and Ariana in the trailer for "Going on 13." Read more about this film on the CCH website.

Clay Jenkinson's TR at Reno

Nevada Humanities' website notes that "Chautauqua in Nevada became the largest event of its kind in the nation." Ten of NH's chautauqua videos are available on YouTube. Nevada Humanities Chautauqua Artistic Director Clay Jenkinson's portrayal of Theodore Roosevelt tells with inimitable style the story of the battle leading up to San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War.

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
Kathleen Mitchell, senior program officer
Shirley Newman, program assistant
Dwan Reece, senior program officer

visit 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