Humanities Now

April 2022

We Need to Read

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Without question the COVID-19 pandemic impacted everyone.

What we are still learning about is how. The impact has not been the same for everyone. This is especially true for children. Children missed school. Children missed school. They were trying to learn remotely outside the classroom. They missed seeing their teachers and friends face to face. They missed playing and laughing together at lunch time. And some of them missed school altogether. They fell behind. They dropped out. Many children were already behind. They call them the “gap” kids.


We talk to teachers about what they need, and what children need right now. They need support. We were shocked to learn that some teachers have not purchased new books for eight years. They spend their annual book allocation on tape and glue to hold the old books together. They need books and school supplies to encourage reading. 

It matters when kids cannot read. Reading improves vocabulary and writing. Reading improves comprehension, thinking skills, and memory. Reading improves social skills and confidence. Reading is exercise for the mind and much, much more. Reading broadens our horizons, our participation in life and work, and our dreams and hopes for the future. 

With your help we can make sure that children’s dreams are not limited by their resources. “When you change the world for the small of us, you change the world for all of us.”

Brenda Thomson

Executive Director

Donate Today

Welcome Aboard!


Please join us in welcoming our newest board member Christine Coe!

Christine is currently the Director of Enterprise Hosting at Intel Corporation where she leads a global infrastructure organization. Christine has been with Intel for twenty-one years in a variety of positions and is a recent transplant to Arizona. We are delighted that she has joined the board and look forward to the talent and energy she brings. She is not only passionate about problem-solving, but is also a champion for accessibility, and equality.

2022 Humanities Awards Nomination Deadline Extended to April 8th at 11:59 PM MST

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Help Us Honor our Humanities Heroes by Submitting Nominations!

Every year, Arizona Humanities honors and celebrates outstanding contributions to the humanities in our state. The Humanities Award categories are: Humanities Public Scholar, Friend of the Humanities, Humanities Rising Star, and Outstanding Speaker.

Award nominations for all categories are welcome from organizations, institutions, community partners, and patrons of Arizona Humanities. Nominations require two (2) letters of recommendation for each award category. To read the complete criteria for each award category and to begin the nomination process, click here

"The State of Democracy and The Pursuit of Justice" with Masha Gessen


Join us for the 22nd John P. Frank Annual Memorial Lecture

at April 11 at 6:30 PM MST

One of the most trenchant observers of modern democracy, Masha Gessen is a journalist, activist and bestselling author of the National Book Award-winning The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia. They have covered political subjects from Russia, autocracy, L.G.B.T. rights, Vladimir Putin, and Donald Trump, among others, and their understanding of the events and forces that have wracked Russia in recent times is unparalleled.

This event is hosted by the ASU School of Social Transformation in partnership with the ASU Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict and Arizona Humanities.

Learn More and Register Here!

Register for Upcoming Events!

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Science & Storytelling: Talking with Author and Scientist Darcie Little Badger

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April 14th at 4 PM MST

Virtual Event

From extreme weather disasters to shrinking wildlife habitats, climate change is impacting us now…and shaping a new future. These environmental themes appear throughout the work of Lipan Apache writer and earth scientist, Darcie Little Badger. Drawing upon her background in climate science and Lipan storytelling, Dr. Little Badger imagines alternate futures and parallel worlds with magic and monsters in her short stories and books for young adults. In her most recent, award-winning novel, A Snake Falls to Earth, the story is told through the perspective of a Lipan girl living in a futuristic Texas threatened by natural disasters and invasive monster species. How does the natural world inspire new genres in literature? How can literature influence a young generation of readers inheriting the challenges of the climate crisis? Join us for a lively conversation with Darcie Little Badger about writing fiction in a time of climate change.

And enter the Book Giveaway!

Arizona Humanities is giving away 20 copies of A Snake Falls to EarthENTER HERE for a chance to receive your copy of Darcie Little Badger's latest award-winning novel. Winners will be chosen at random after the program.

About the Speaker:

Darcie Little Badger is a Lipan Apache writer with a PhD in oceanography. Her critically acclaimed debut novel, Elatsoe, was featured in Time Magazine as one of the best 100 fantasy books of all time. Elatsoe also won the Locus award for Best First Novel and is a Nebula, Ignyte, and Lodestar finalist. Her second fantasy novel, A Snake Falls to Earth, received a Newbery Honor and is on the National Book Awards longlist. Darcie is married to a veterinarian named Taran.

Register Here!

Watch the recording of past events here!


History in Real Time: Asian Americans Fight Back in the Age of COVID

with Renee Tajima-Peña

Did you miss the live event? No worries! Join Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker and activist Renee Tajima-Peña as she connects the rise of anti-Asian violence with the history of Asians in the United States: facing hate, fighting for justice, and shaping the American story. Learn more about the untold stories of the Asian American experience with Renee and Arizona Humanities by watching the recording below!

Watch the Recording Here

ASU to honor 23 Social Work Month Award recipients in March


Includes 21 students, faculty, staff, alumni; 2 community organizations

Students, faculty, staff and alumni of the Arizona State University School of Social Work and noteworthy community organizations who demonstrated outstanding achievement during the past year will be honored with the school’s annual Social Work Month Awards.

The school will pay tribute to 21 individuals and two organizations in a ceremony during March, which is Social Work Month. Each year, the month commemorates the contributions of social workers. It also calls attention to how the services social workers provide are needed more than ever as the nation addresses economic inequality, systemic racism, the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges.

You can learn more about the social workers by reading here.

Grants Opportunities!


AZ Humanities Project Grants are Now Open!

Arizona Humanities supports innovative, community-based public programs that use humanities disciplines to connect Arizonans to the cultures, peoples, and histories of the state and beyond. Project Grants are competitive grants supporting public programming in the humanities. Organizations may request up to $10,000 to support their program implementation.

The Intent to Apply Form is due May 1, 2022 with the full application due June 15, 2022. All applicants must complete an Intent to Apply form in order to access the full application.

...And Mini Grants are still Open!

Mini Grants are small grants of up to $2,000 available year-round to support innovative public programs that increase understanding of the human experience.

Interested in Learning More?

To learn more about both grant opportunities, please visit our website and read our Grant Guidelines. Questions should be directed to Grants Manager Samantha Anderson at

Grant Webpage
Grant Guidelines

Funding Available for K-12 Educators!​


Arizona Humanities believes that building strong literacy skills at an early age is crucial for building a just and civil society. With funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARP), Arizona Humanities is excited to announce a new initiative to launch innovative and engaging literacy programs in K-12 schools in Arizona in partnership with educators. We invite program proposals from teachers, school librarians, and administrators that foster literacy in the humanities through active engagement. 

You can learn more about the new program by visiting our website here or watching the webinar below!

Deadline for submissions is April 30th, 2022.

Watch the Webinar here!
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Arizona English Teacher Association’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee is forming an Educator Book Club this Summer 2022. The book club aims to provide a space for Arizona teachers and pre-service teachers from diverse communities to network across schools and to have generative book-based discussions about challenges we face in and out of the classroom. Arizona Humanities will provide books to participants at no cost. Learn more at the survey link below!

Survey Here

Welcome our New FRANK Talks Facilitator, Sarah Porter!

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Sarah Porter is Director of the Kyl Center for Water Policy at Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy

Before leading the Kyl Center, Porter served as the Arizona state director of the National Audubon Society and led the Western Rivers project, a multi-state initiative to protect and restore important river habitats in the Intermountain West. As deputy directory of Audubon Arizona, Porter was a key team member in the effort to launch the Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center, a nature education center located in a restored riparian habitat in South Phoenix. Learn more about her events by reading below!

"Water Policy in Arizona: Who Has Access?"

Access to water is important to ensure prosperity and stability in communities across the state. So where does our water come from? Who controls water resources? Rural, urban, and industry constituents all compete for access to water. Who benefits from current water policies and who is burdened? Can present-day water policies or potential reforms create a more sustainable, equitable and secure water future for everyone? Join us for a timely conversation about water policy and water certainty in a time of climate change and growing water shortages.

"Growing Arizona: Water for the Future"

Water has played a vital role in the long history of thriving agriculture in Arizona. For generations, agricultural production was the linchpin of the state’s economy, and cotton, cattle and citrus production had a significant influence on how Arizona communities grew. Water continues to support farming, ranching, and more recently, urban population growth. As Arizona adjusts to a hotter and drier climate, what is the future of water for agriculture and urban communities? Can Arizona continue to grow with increased competition for water and shrinking resources? How can we grow and sustain water resources? Join us for an important conversation about water, growth, and our future.

 Learn more about Sarah Porter and other FRANK Talks here!

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April Programs

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Attend AZ Humanities Programs

AZ Speaks are 60-minute presentations hosted by non-profits, libraries, educational institutions, and governmental and tribal entities to engage the public in humanities-based topics. FRANK Talks span 60-minutes and are highly interactive discussions. The purpose is to connect people to one another to talk about current issues affecting our communities. Click the links below to learn more about the events.

🧑 In-person events

📹 Virtual events

📹/🧑 Hybrid events offered both in-person and virtually

🧑 Arizona: A History of the Grand Canyon State April 9 at 1 PM MST | Co-Hosted by The Phippen Museum

📹 What is Decolonization and Why Does It Matter? April 12 at 6 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Phoenix Public Library

🧑 Southwest Rock Calendars and Ancient Time Pieces April 13 at 6:15 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Verde Valley Archaeology Center.

🧑 Star Wounds: Meteorites from Ancient Native American Sites April 13 at 7 PM MST | Co-Hosted by the Arizona Archaeological Society – San Tan Chapter

🧑 For the Love of Turquoise April 14 at 1 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Senior Services Inc. – Encore For More

📹 Flying Through Arizona: The Story of the First National Women’s Air Race April 14 at 6:30 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Mesa Public Library – Red Mountain

🧑 The Evolution of an Icon–The History of Arizona Highways Magazine April 16 at 11 AM MST | Co-Hosted by Mesa Public Library – Red Mountain

📹 Paper Sons: Tales of Chain Migration in Tucson April 18 at 12:30 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Mesa Public Library District – Main Branch

🧑 The Science of Music, The Music of Science April 19 at 11 AM MST | Co-Hosted by Jewish Family and Children’s Services

📹/🧑 Saviors and Saints on the Arizona Frontier April 19 at 3 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Mohave Community College – Bullhead City – Hargrove Library 

📹 Specters of the Past – Ghost Towns That Built Arizona April 19 at 6 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Phoenix Public Library

🧑 Chiles & Chocolate: Sweet and Spicy Foods in the American West April 21 at 1 PM MST | Co-Hosted by The Museum of Casa Grande

🧑 They Beat the Heat: How Arizonans Survived the Desert Heat in the Days Before Air Conditioning April 21 at 5:30 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Safford City – Graham County Library

📹 Desert Rats, River Runners, and Canyon Crawlers: Four Arizona Explorers April 23 at 2 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Old Trails Museum – Winslow Historical Society

📹 Where Healthcare Meets the Humanities: The Therapeutic Value of Poetry April 25 at 6 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Glendale Public Library

🧑 What is Patriotism? April 25 at 6:30 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Glendale Public Library – Foothills Library

📹 Arizona’s Vintage Signs: Lighting the Future April 29 at 11 AM MST | Co-Hosted by the Surprise Art and Culture Commission

🧑 Pathways of Water: Historical Journeys Along Arizona’s Rivers April 26 at 7 PM MST | Co-Hosted by City of Goodyear – Arts & Culture

🧑 Chiles & Chocolate: Sweet and Spicy Foods in the American West April 27 at 1 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Mohave Community College – Bullhead City – Hargrove Library

🧑 The Evolution of an Icon–The History of Arizona Highways Magazine April 27 at 2 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Friends of the R. H. Johnson Library

📹 What is Critical Race Theory? Let’s Talk About It April 27 at 5:30 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Mohave Community College – Lake Havasu Library

📹 Southwest Rock Calendars and Ancient Time Pieces April 27 at 6 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Friends of Ironwood Forest

🧑 What Is Language and What Language(s) Do We Actually Speak? April 28 at 5:30 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Friends of the Florence Community Library

Are you a non-profit, library, educational institution or governmental and tribal entity interested in hosting a program?

Visit our website to learn more about our exciting new list of topics. We can help you cross-market these programs to the public. 

To schedule a program or to learn more, contact Julianne Cheng at or call (602) 257-0335 x26.

Humanities Programs in the Community


The Trolley Quarterly

The Trolley Quarterly Vol 3 Num 1, is published by the Phoenix Trolley Museum for those having an interest in the history of Phoenix or Arizona in general. If you do find the Trolley Quarterly something you would like to continue receiving, please follow this link for a free subscription.


[ih-maj-in] : Artists’ Books from PaperWorks

From April 5 until June 24th

To imagine is to dream, fantasize, hope, fear, evoke, and evolve. Our imaginations embrace curiosity and wonder, possibility and impossibility as they spark our individual and collective futures into being. Join us for an exhibition of artists’ books that engage with the imagination, presented in cooperation with PaperWorks, the Sonoran Collective for Paper and Book Artists. Juried by book artist Barbara Tetenbaum, this exhibit explores how artmakers enliven their creative visions across diverse book forms, varied techniques, and the interplay of image and text. Venture into the space of each book to explore the world of your own imagination. Learn more here.


Tribal Perspectives on Borderlands Issues

April 9 at 10 AM MST

The Arizona State University Social Work Program in Tucson is partnering with the Tohono O’odham Community College to host an educational experience centered around the border. The goal is to learn from leaders and individuals who represent tribal-specific initiatives and programs addressing U.S. / Mexico border issues in the context of tribal sovereignty, cultural preservation, and community action. Learn more here.


UA Main Library: Poetry from Around the World

April 15 at 5:30 PM MST

Calling all international students at UArizona for an open mic night! Join us at the CATalyst Studio in the Main Library from 5:30-7 PM, and bring a favorite poem or a poem of your own to share. Poetry Center Library Director Sarah Kortemeier will give a brief overview of the Center and share some poems. Learn more here.


America Talks

April 21 and 23

In April 2022, thousands of Americans will match with those who have different backgrounds and beliefs from all corners of the country to connect face-to-face on video. Each conversation will provide a repairing stitch to America’s frayed social fabric, as participants shift perspective from “us versus them” to “you and me.” Learn more here.


“Third Thursday Food for Thought” program featuring “The Mimbres Twins and the Rabbit in the Moon” presentation by archaeologist Marc Thompson, PhD

April 21 at 7 PM MST

This presentation documents illustrations from Classic Mimbres Black-on-white ceramic bowls (1000-1130 CE) depicting the Panamerican apologue of the Hero Twins saga. These motifs account for about 12% of Mimbres figurative bowls and can be arranged in a narrative sequence from birth, trials, tests, death, and resurrection of the Hero Twins, to apotheosis as the sun and the moon. In this saga, the Hero Twins survive the tests, trials, and ballgame challenge through guile, cunning feats, and as tricksters of legerdemain. This tale, the characters, and the basic plot are known throughout North, Central, and South America. The deep, fundamental basis of the story revolves around dualities as in two sides of the same coin; they include life and death, dark and light, and male and female. Cognate Hero Twins motifs, both graphic and recorded, are documented on Classic Maya ceramics (200-900 CE), in the 16th century Twins’ saga of the Popol Vuh book of the Maya, and in US southwestern traditional tales. Comparing these similar, but ethnically distinct accounts allows for a fuller comprehension of these emblematic, evocative, heroic figures. Learn more here.


Tastes, Toasts & Tales

April 26 at 5 PM MST

Join us for an evening under the stars with eight of Arizona’s top Chefs: Chris Bianco, Silvana Esparza, Christopher Gross, Vincent Guerithault, Mark Tarbell, Eugenia Theodosopoulos, Alessandro Stratta and Charles Wiley. Enjoy an array of hors d’oeuvres prepared by each celebrity chef, along with wine and lively conversation. Master of Ceremonies is Barbara Fenzl, former owner of Les Gourmettes Cooking School, PBS television personality and cookbook author. Learn more here.

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Día De Los Niños, Día De Los Libros 2022

April 29 at 10 AM MST

At the event, Palabras Bilingual Bookstore founder Chawa Magaña will receive the Flores Family Award, which is named in honor of ASU Día founder Tracey Flores, for advocacy in support of family literacy, cultural celebration, books, kids and reading. El Día is hosted by the Department of English at ASU with support from ASU’s Office of the President, ASU’s Office of the Provost, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and its Humanities division, Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, and Center for Indian Education. Learn more here.

Humanities Across the Nation


NEH Statement on FY2022 Congressional Appropriation

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022, approved by Congress and signed into law by President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on March 15, 2022, provides funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities at $180 million, an increase of $12.5 million over the agency’s Fiscal Year 2021 appropriation. Learn more here.

Thank You to Our March Donors

Jill Ginsburg

Eshé Pickett

Jana D. Selk

Rodo Sofranac

Martin Stamat*

American Online Giving Foundation, Inc.

*Board Member

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Humanities Now is published monthly by Arizona Humanities.

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.

To request this or any other agency publication in an alternative format, contact Arizona Humanities at (602-257-0335) or email

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