Honoring Humanities Work Throughout Michigan
Dear humanities friends,

Spring is here, and with it comes fresh ideas, perspectives, and a renewed sense of purpose. In this newsletter, we are sharing the results of our recent IDEA survey, and many public humanities programs that are upcoming. 

We are also celebrating what outstanding humanities work took place in 2020. Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence, reminds us to “Celebrate what we want to see more of.” With this purpose, we are delighted to announce that the 2021 Michigan Humanities Awards nominations process is now open! In the past two years, more than 55 projects and people have been nominated for awards. Please take a moment to consider the impact of cultural programs in your communities, and submit a nomination. Awards will be held on Friday, September 10, in a limited setting at the Headlands International Dark Sky Park Waterfront Event Center in Mackinaw City. 

Please also join us in wishing Katie Wittenauer, our Director of Programs, a very fond farewell as she embarks on a new career journey! Katie will be the new Director of Strategic Engagement at the Michigan College Access Network. Her contributions to Michigan Humanities, especially with the Great Michigan Read and Poetry Out Loud, are treasured. Personally, she will be missed for her incredible teamwork, attention to detail, kindness, and sense of humor.

Thank you for your support of public humanities. 

Shelly Hendrick Kasprzycki
President & CEO
Who We Are
MH Board and Staff
What makes community life worthwhile? Is it the relationships you build over time with family, friends, and co-workers? What about the good times and memories from attending annual festivals and events? Or is it the experience of working through difficult times that bonds us together? Read more...
Humanities Awards Call for Nominations 2021
Michigan Humanities wants to recognize and celebrate individuals, schools, universities, libraries, community organizations, groups, foundations, and corporations who have advanced the humanities in Michigan through their leadership, education, and advocacy.

Our award categories for this year are:
  • Outstanding Humanities Organization.
  • Humanities Champion of the Year-Individual.
  • Community Impact Partner of the Year 2020.

The awards will take place on September 10. Please submit your nominations here.
IDEA Survey
Michigan Humanities has carefully reviewed the results from the IDEA survey that was sent out in February of this year. Thank you so much to the 98 people who took the time to complete the survey and share their wisdom!

Based on the feedback we received, the Michigan Humanities Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Council has offered a comprehensive list of recommendations to improve our IDEA efforts. These recommendations will be reviewed by the Michigan Humanities Board of Directors and will be implemented on a speedy timeline. Please see the summary for the survey results here.
Staff Updates

Katie Wittenauer, our Director of Programs, will be leaving Michigan Humanities this month. She will be the new Director of Strategic Engagement at the Michigan College Access Network. We are sad to say goodbye to Katie, but excited to see all of her accomplishments in this new role!
Earlier this month, Estee Schlenner joined our team as the new Programs and Communications Coordinator for Michigan Humanities. Estee has worked recently with the RCAH Center for Poetry at MSU and is a 2019 graduate of Michigan State University. Welcome, Estee!
Grants and Programs Virtual Workshops
Want to learn about Michigan Humanities' funding opportunities and how to write a successful grant application?

In early 2021, we hosted two virtual workshops to share information about our current grant and program opportunities and how to prepare MH grant applications.

  • A recording of the Grants & Programs Workshop can be found here.
  • The recording of the Tips and Tricks for a Successful Application Workshop can be found here.
Programs and Grants
Great Michigan Read
The 2021-22 Great Michigan Read – chosen by regional selection committees representing all corners of Michigan – is The Women of the Copper Country, by Mary Doria Russell! In celebration of Women’s History Month and National Reading Month, the selection was announced during a virtual event on March 30. View a recording of the event on Facebook, or via Zoom. Learn more about the title and how you can become a Great Michigan Read partner here!

Plus, don't forget to register for the final virtual event of our current Great Michigan Read with Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha. On April 29, Dr. Mona will be in conversation with Dr. Aron Sousa, interim dean of the MSU College of Human Medicine. This event is hosted by the MSU Alumni Office Spartan Book Club. Find additional details and register here.
Poetry Out Loud
In early March, the first virtual Michigan Poetry Out Loud State Finals were held, and we are thrilled to announce that Madison Ganzak, a senior at Roosevelt High School in Wyandotte, is the 2021 Michigan Poetry Out Loud State Champion. Madison’s Poetry Out Loud teachers at Roosevelt High School are Rob Keast and Warren Baker, and she will represent Michigan in the virtual National Finals in May.

The first runner-up is Elaiyna Schwartzkopf, from Calvary Baptist Academy in Midland. The second runner-up is Tyler Zolynsky, from Riverview Community High School in Riverview. The third runner-up is Catelyn Danckaert, from Black River Public School in Holland. 

In addition to the recitation contest, this year's Michigan Poetry Out Loud program also included an original poetry and artwork competition. The original poetry contest winner is Crishtion King, for his poem “No Pity.” Crishtion took part in Poetry Out Loud through WHOH Community Sports Complex, Inc., and is a student at Loyola High School in Detroit. The first runner-up is Isabelle Larou, for her poem “Where in the World.” The second runner-up is Aliina Maki-Warne, for her poem “Swim like the Fishes, it’ll help.” The third runner-up is Maya Lackey, for her poem “Wonders.” Isabelle, Aliina, and Maya are all students at Marquette Senior High School. The artwork contest winner is Courtney Larson, a student at Marquette Senior High School.

Read more about this year's virtual Poetry Out Loud State Finals here.
Arts & Humanities Touring Directory
Arts and Humanities Touring Grants opened February 1 -- don't forget to apply! The Arts and Humanities Touring Program is a joint collaboration of Michigan Humanities and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

Requests for a grant may not exceed $3,000 per application, and an organization may not submit more than four grant applications or request more than $4,000 during the program period. Applications opened February 1 for performances that will take place between March 1, 2021, and May 31, 2021.

Please refer to our website for other 2021 funding window dates and application deadlines. Be sure to check out the new “Virtual Programming” category.
Museum on Main Street
Museum on Main Street: Voices and Votes is now open at Artworks in Big Rapids!

This year's exhibit is centered around the questions that the American revolutionaries who waged a war for independence put forward to concretize their vision about what an independent American nation should look like and how these questions continue to frame our nation today.

Click here to access the complete calendar for this exhibit.
Our Blog
Kalamazoo Girls and Boys Travel the World Through the Merze Tate Explorers Program

This month Michigan Humanities spoke to Sonya Bernard-Hollins, a Great Michigan Read and Poetry Out Loud partner, about her ongoing work as a journalist, publisher, and founder of the Merze Tate Explorers.

The Merze Tate Explorers started in Kalamazoo as an initiative for girls in fourth through twelfth grade to come together and learn about the histories of their communities and beyond. They now host a Boys with Promise chapter to involve boys in the journey of exploring the histories of Black and communities of color locally as well as internationally.

Our Mission
2008 Michigan Author Homecoming
To inspire us to come together in creative and freely expressed ways to deepen our understanding of ourselves and enrich our communities.
Our Vision
For all people of Michigan to experience and understand the importance of humanities to enrich lives.
  • Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity
  • Discovery and Understanding
  • Authentic Conversation
  • Respectful Collaboration
  • Meaningful Experiences
  • Build awareness and excitement for humanities in everyday life.
  • Achieve best practices and sustainability for all humanities programs and services in Michigan.
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Okemos, MI 48864