Humanities Now -  November 2018
Mini Grants Now Available - Apply Today!

Installation view of Vaquero & Charro: An Enduring Legacy (2017 Mini Grant), courtesy Tucson Desert Art Museum, photograph by Daniel Cheek

Mini Grants are small grants of up to $2,000 that are available year-round to support innovative public programs that increase understanding of the human experience. Mini Grants can be used for capacity-building, program planning, and implementation of programs. Capacity-building may include training and education for constituents to help plan and/or implement public humanities engagements. The applicant organization's budget must not exceed $500,000. Larger institutions must partner with a smaller institution that will lead the program or project. 

Grantee Highlights explore Native American Heritage Month and New Topics in Archaeology 

Courtesy Clark Tenakhongva, Gary Stroutsos, Matthew Nelson, and
The Heritage Insights Lecture Series is a component of the Museum of Northern Arizona's (MNA) Fall Heritage Festivals - Celebraciones de la Gente and Native American Heritage Month. The series feature informative and interactive presentations from community members, culture bearers, and scholars. Explore the history, culture, and contemporary cultural identity of Native American cultures and these upcoming programs: November 2 at 6:00 p.m. the Yavapai-Apache forced march, November 11 at 2:00 p.m.: Öngtupqa Hopi flute performance, and November 29, 6:00 p.m. Dinè Women and weaving.

Learn more about the Museum of Northern Arizona Native American Heritage Month programs.

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Plundered Skulls and Stolen Spirits, Why Repatriation Matters
Wednesday, November 7
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Northern Arizona University - Liberal Arts Room 120

In recent years, the return of human remains and sacred objects has transformed museums and Native American communities. Dr. Colwell describes how this repatriation unfolded and why it matters by following the trail of a scalp taken in the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre. He traces the path as the scalp was removed and transformed into a war trophy, commodity, artifact, and finally back into the remains of a human worthy of respect. The process negotiates blurry lines between law and morality, politics and history, science and spirituality. The program features Chip Colwell, Senior Curator of Anthropology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. For more information, contact: Melissa Cohen at

Grab a seat and a drink and get ready to experience Archaeology Café, an annual program from Archaeology Southwest that provides an informal forum where you can learn more about the Southwest's deep history. The monthly program returns to Phoenix and Tucson for it's 2018-2019 season. Changing Hands in Phoenix and The Loft Cinema in Tucson will be the hosts for this season's programs. Can't make it in person? You can watch on Facebook Live! Learn more about Archaeology Cafe.

Life Before AD 1500 on the Upper Gila River, Southwest New Mexico
Tuesday, November 6
6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Changing Hands Phoenix

New Discoveries about the Cliff Dwellers of Central Arizona
Tuesday, December 4
6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
The Loft Cinema Tucson
Arizona Humanities Executive Director Honored with "Women of Achievement" Award

Early last month, Brenda Thomson, Executive Director of Arizona Humanities, was recognized as one of InBusiness Magazine's 2018 Women of Achievement. The award luncheon took place on October 5, 2018, at the Arizona Biltmore, where 14 Arizona business and community leaders were honored for their "varied strengths [as] part of the mesh that binds and supports the greater community and attests to the collective achievement of women in business."
As one of six awardees highlighted to express what being a woman of achievement means to them, Brenda Thomson shared powerful stories of her first lessons in advocacy, including how her mother stood up for her when her elementary school wouldn't let her read a short essay about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on his birthday:
"I was looking down at my desk and really doing the best that I could not to cry and then all of a sudden I heard somebody over the intercom talking about Martin Luther King. It was my mother. How's that possible? I'm sure she probably violated every possible traffic law and must have driven there at 90 miles an hour to make sure the people of Parker Elementary School got to learn about an extremely important man for all of us-Martin Luther King."
Hundreds attended the award luncheon, including three tables-worth of friends and supporters of Arizona Humanities, to celebrate the award recipients, commend the incredible work they are doing, and experience an afternoon of empowerment and inspiration.
The luncheon closed with Brenda offering advice and an appeal:
"You don't have to go to law school to be an advocate. I learned how to be an advocate almost every day of my life because of the people who advocated for me... Who do I advocate for? Humanity. Join me."
You can watch Brenda's full speech here:
You can read more about Brenda Thomson and the amazing work she's doing leading Arizona Humanities here:
Recognizing Board Member Service

As we move into our new fiscal year, we recognize our board leadership through October 31, 2019. 

We would also like to thank retiring board members Dr. Barbara Baderman, Past Chairman, and Tina Clark, Interim Secretary for their service on the Board of Directors over the past 6 years.

2019 Executive Committee
Ryan Bruce
Mary Lu Nunley
Vice Chair
Dr. Christine Szuter
Dr. Eve Krahe
Dr. Tanae Morrison Joins the Board of Directors 

Dr. Tanae Morrison is an Arizona native hailing from Tucson and an educational change agent. Tanae earned a B.A. in Sociology, an M.A. in Educational Psychology, an M.A. in Educational Leadership, and a Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership respectively and is now setting the educational system in Arizona on fire by becoming one of the most highly regarded women in business in the state. Tanae has been a driving force in the Arizona educational system and has not wavered from her passion for rigor and excellence in the academic development of students wherever she has served. Dr. Morrison has been in the educational field for over 20 years beginning as a teacher assistant, and progressing through special education, student advocacy, teaching, school counseling, and now is the CEO of Morrison Education Group, Inc. dba Sun Valley Charter School founded in 2009. Governor Doug Ducey appointed Dr. Tanae Morrison to the Board of Directors in October.

Celebrate Water/Ways in Florence November 17 through December 30

McFarland State Historic Park courtesy Town of Florence

Florence has a long-term relationship with the Gila River and its water. The Gila riverbed goes directly through the town's historic downtown core, which is designated a National Historic District. The town is one of the oldest municipalities in Arizona. It was founded in 1866 and serves as the seat of Pinal County. The first settlers in the area encountered the expertly engineered canals constructed by the Hohokam people centuries before, and wasted no time in resurrecting some of them to water their own crops.

McFarland State Historic Park will serve as the host for the Smithsonian Water/Ways exhibit. In addition, explore the companion exhibit Our Water-Past and Present at the Pinal County Historical Museum and attend programs and film screenings at the Florence Community Library.

Water/Ways Exhibition Special Preview "Our Water-Past and Present" 
Thursday, November 15
5:30 p.m.
Pinal County Historical Society Museum - 715 S. Main St., Florence, AZ

Water/Ways Grand Opening Celebration
Saturday, November 17
1:00 p.m.
McFarland State Historic Park - 24 W. Ruggles St., Florence, AZ

Forced to Abandon Our Fields: The 1914 Charles Southworth Gila River Pima Interviews with Dr. David DeJong, Project Director, Pima-Maricopa Irrigation Project
Friday, November 30
6:00 p.m.
Florence Library and Community Center - 778 N. Main St., Florence, AZ

Water/Ways Movie Series 
Saturday, December 1
1:00 p.m.
Florence Library and Community Center - 778 N. Main St, Florence, AZ

Read more about Florence and view all Water/Ways Florence programs.
Know Your Water: Supporting Future Generations on November 29

Courtesy Central Arizona Project

In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Colorado River Basin Project Act, authorizing the construction of what is today known as Central Arizona Project (CAP).  CAP is a 336-mile long system of aqueducts, tunnels, pumping plants and pipelines that delivers Colorado River water to central and southern Arizona, serving 80 percent of the state's population. Those water deliveries have generated nearly $2 trillion of Arizona's gross state product since water deliveries began in the mid-1980s. In addition to providing a vital water supply, CAP also values educating the public and youth about the importance of our water resources. CAP's educational programs include classroom lessons, presentations and tours, and incentives for college research through the CAP Award for Research. Heather Macre, a popularly elected member of CAP's board of directors, and partner at Aiken Schenk Hawkins and Ricciardi, will discuss how the Central Arizona Project is impacting our lives today, and will impact the future.

Thursday, November 29
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Arizona Humanities - 1242 N. Central Ave. Phoenix, AZ
Colson Whitehead Speaks

Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, Colson Whitehead, and Dean Alain-Philippe Durand, courtesy University of Arizona College of Humanities

Acclaimed author and speaker Colson Whitehead delivered a riveting address on October 18 at the annual Tucson Humanities Festival at the University of Arizona. Over 600 guests listened, laughed and cried as he reflected on his journey as a writer, and read excerpts from his Pulitzer award winning novel, The Underground Railroad, and his latest book The Nickel. The Nickel examines the tragic deaths of young boys at a brutal reform school, in early 1960's Florida, and the country's attempt to grapple with loss, retribution and healing. Special thanks to the University of Arizona College of Humanities for partnering with Arizona Humanities on this memorable program.
Noche en Blanco Rocks Hance Park

Courtesy Hance Park Conservancy

Hance Park was filled with over 1000 revelers, dressed in white, dancing under the stars, enjoying good food, music, and friends. The Hance Park Conservancy's signature event to raise funds for the park, Noche en Blanco, has grown in popularity, selling out quickly this year. The park is an important gathering place for members of the community, and the conservancy's mission is to make sure that the community has a special place to come together to enjoy world class, art, music, culture and sporting events, and most importantly to enjoy sun, shade and open space every day with children, families and pets. "Together we can build a park that has something for everyone. This year's event was a tremendous success because of the hard work of the Hance Park Board of Trustees, Sara Lynch and Alison Snipes from Downtown Phoenix Inc., emcee extraordinaire Oscar De las salas, and especially all the students from the Arizona School for the Art's National Honor Society, from Aguila Youth Leadership Institute, and the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity brothers from ASU's School of Engineering. We couldn't have done it without them." Brenda Thomson, Treasurer, Hance Park.
NEH News and Other Opportunities

Research grant opportunities with the National Endowment for the Humanities. Dialogues on the Experience of War, Collaborative Research Grants, and Programming Grants to Accompany NEH on the Road Exhibitions currently have upcoming deadlines. 

Explore the new NEH website! Earlier this fall, the National Endowment for the Humanities launched a brand new website. Some pages and links have changed. Check it out at 
Highlighted November Programs

Check out the over 60 programs on our website calendar.

On the Road Since 1925: The Colorful History of Arizona Highways Magazine with Win Holden
Wednesday, November 7 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
St. Paul's Cultural Center\
645 S. 2nd Ave.
Yuma, AZ 85364
Plundered Skulls and Stolen Spirits, Why Repatriation Matters
Wednesday, November 7 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Northern Arizona University Liberal Arts Room 120
700 S. Humphreys, Bldg 18
Flagstaff, AZ 
Grantee Event
Landscapes of Migration in the Arizona-Sonora Borderland with Scott Warren
Wednesday, November 14 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Oro Valley Public Library
1305 W. Naranja Drive
Oro Valley, AZ 85737
FRANK Talks - Water in the Southwest: Where have we been, and where are we going? 
Friday, November 16 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Ed Robson Branch Library
9330 E. Riggs Rd. 
Sun Lakes, AZ 85248
The Social Buzz 

A few popular articles from our facebook and twitter feeds. Follow us to stay in the know! 
Thank you to our October Donors

Jennifer Bonilla*
Robert and Roberta Buchanan
Julie Codell*
Ken de Masi
Stacy Do
Michelle Dodds
Alain-Philippe Durand*
Joyce East
Valerio Ferme*
Gary Hanneman
Karl Kendall*
Mary Lu Nunley*
Sally Shackelford
Richard Smith
Dianna Soe Myint*
Christine Szuter*
Emerson Yearwood*

*Arizona Humanities Board Member
Important Dates
  • November 1 - Mini Grants Open
  • November 12 - Veterans Day Observance (Office Closed)
  • November 22-23 - Thanksgiving (Office Closed)
About Arizona Humanities
Arizona Humanities is a statewide 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the Arizona affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Since 1973, Arizona Humanities has supported public programs that promote the understanding of the human experience with cultural, educational, and nonprofit organizations across Arizona.

Arizona Humanities builds a just and civil society by creating opportunities to explore our shared human experiences through discussion, learning and reflection.
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