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June 2009 II

the latest from
Suite 603


June 30, 2009

Engaging the Future of the Humanities—
it's all about young people

Federal/State Partnership is delighted to focus this newsletter on council programs for young humanists. The selection of programs reviewed range from a week-long residential seminar—similar to teacher seminars—to humanities camps to a statewide award honoring new leaders.

We are also pleased to welcome Humanities Washington's new Executive Director, Julie Ziegler, to the humanities council family.

 King's writing lesson
Alabama Humanities Foundation's new SUPER Emerging Scholars makes the news
SUPER Emerging Scholars in Alabama
Hip Hop: "What's the 411?" in Arizona
Council contestants make National History Day finals
Vermont's humanities camps
Los Angeles Film Festival Screens three films created by California's “How I See It” Youth Digital Filmmakers Project
DC's "Soul of the City"
Indiana's Governor's Award for Future Leaders
Humanities Washington's Julie Ziegler

Visit the Federal/State Partnership website frequently.

This website is a resource for executives, boards, and staff of state humanities councils.

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Check out the 2009 insurance policies, all the Federal/State Partnership e-newsletters, the councils on the 2010 self-assessment and review cycle

SUPER Emerging Scholars in Alabama

The Alabama Humanities Foundation launched its first Emerging Scholars Institute this month. Modeled on AHF's successful series of institutes for teachers, the Emerging Scholars Institute was a week-long residential program for upper-level high-school students from underserved communities in the development of writing and critical thinking skills necessary for success in secondary and post-secondary education.

Local television news (link no longer available) covered a session analyzing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Letter from Birmingham Jail.

Read more about SUPER Emerging Scholars >>

Hip Hop: "What's the 411?" in Arizona

Darryl Khalid and the Foot Klan Dance Troupe perform at the Arizona Hip Hop Experience
Darryl Khalid and the Foot Klan Dance Troupe perform at the Arizona Hip Hop Experience

Hip hop is an international and generational phenomenon. Its stories, rhythms, poetry, and politics resonate with universal themes. On Saturday, June 27, the Arizona Humanities Council presented its groundbreaking Arizona Hip Hop Experience, a day-long menu of activities designed to promote inter-generational dialogue and understanding about the music, the art, and the stories that define this genre.


An unusually diverse audience of individuals and families gathered to hear and watch local emcees, deejays, poets, producers, scholars, and radio personalities perform their work and interpret it in such sessions as Hip-Hop 101: What’s the 411?, presented by one of AHC’s most popular Road Scholars, Dr. Matthew Whitaker; the creation of the music of hip hop; a historical overview of hip hop culture; and hip hop’s place in social change. The day’s events were capped with rousing performances by Arizona hip-hop artists Divine, 6x, Infinite Prophet, Pokafase, and Slush. As one participant observed, the day "really was a history-making event for the Council and for the local hip hop communities."


Herb Paine, the Council’s Executive Director, noted that the Experience "exemplifies our commitment to reach out to new and diverse audiences through creative new programming."

Council contestants make National History Day finals

Humanities councils in Amerika Samoa, Georgia, Hawai'i, Maryland, and New Mexico serve as state coordinators for National History Day. They mentor the middle and high school students and their teachers, hold statewide competitions, and bring their state winners to the University of Maryland, College Park, each June for the national contest. A number of other councils support History Day through grants.

This year approximately 2,350 contestants came to College Park, competing in 16 categories. Two hundred twenty-four were selected as finalists. Seven per cent of the finalists, fifteen contestants, came from humanities council state competitions.

Federal/State Partnership's Kathleen Mitchell served as a judge for Junior Group Performance (middle school students), Senior Group Performance (high school), and then as a finalist judge for Senior Individual Documentaries. The captain of her finalist panel was Laura McCarty, Vice President of the Georgia Humanities Council.

Vermont's humanities camps

The Vermont Humanities Council runs a summer literacy program for at-risk middle school/junior high students. These programs are week-long, thematic camps with lots of reading, discussion, and fun, humanities-related activities. Each summer, up to two hundred children in Vermont public schools read, keep journals, and engage in creative activities around interesting themes. The goal of Humanities Camps is to use literature as a door to a broader world for children who have not had the opportunities for these experiences.


Read more about Vermont's Humanities Camps >>

Los Angeles Film Festival Screens three films created by California's “How I See It” Youth Digital Filmmakers Project

In 2008 and 2009, the Los Angeles Film Festival screened films by the California Council for the Humanities' "How I See It" youth digital filmmakers project.

The project began in October 2007, when the Council awarded $30,000 grants to the first eight California organizations to enable teens to create digital films exploring the connections and disconnections in their lives and communities.

CCH Programs Manager Raeshma Razvi spearheaded the projects, and the teens worked with experienced filmmakers, community mentors and humanities scholars for the next year in making their films. The films dealt with a range of topics, from the legacy of genocide in Long Beach and a quest for gay history by LGBT teens in the San Francisco Bay Area to the challenges of growing up in rural Siskiyou County.

Read more about "How I See It" and other youth programs >>

DC's "Soul of the City"

"Soul of the City" is a leadership program of the Humanities Council of Washington, DC created for young people 14 to 18 years old to encourage them to develop as tomorrow’s leaders and community innovators. It is designed to guide them to take pride in their neighborhoods and their city as well as to be informed and confident about speaking out. Participants illustrate the diverse demographics of Washington, but many are from low-income areas of the city. They are encouraged to identify key political, social, and community issues within their communities and to devise original methods of resolution and progressive change.

Participants over the years have created an interactive map that illuminates various parts of the city.

Read more about "Soul of the City" >>

Indiana's Governor's Award for Future Leaders

2008 GATL award winners with Indiana Lt. Governor Becky Skillman (3rd from left, front row)

2008 GATL award winners with Indiana Lt. Governor Becky Skillman (3rd from left, front row)

The Indiana Humanities Council understands leadership is a skill and a talent that must be cultivated. Part of that cultivation process is letting young leaders know their work is being noticed and appreciated, in the hopes that they will continue dedicating their skills, talents, and ambition for stronger Hoosier communities—leading the way for the next generation of leaders.

“In a way, this award is misnamed,” said Indiana Humanities Council President Keira Amstutz. “These aren’t Indiana’s future leaders. They’re out there working hard, making connections, reaching out, mentoring youth—really leading the way right now.”

Read more about IHC's Governor's Award for Future Leaders >>

Humanities Washington's Julie Ziegler

Following a six-month national search, Humanities Washington has hired Julie Ziegler as its new executive director. Ziegler brings deep experience in program development and philanthropy to the role and a deep commitment to the organization’s mission to support and provide compelling, accessible cultural education programs to audiences across Washington.

Read more about Julie Ziegler >>

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 ]
Kathleen Mitchell, senior program officer [ about ]
Shirley Newman, program assistant [ about ]
Dwan Reece, senior program officer [ about ]

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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