Humanities Now
July 2020
Time Matters

With all that is happening in the world it is easy to find yourself overwhelmed on a daily basis. How do you maintain balance with so many competing demands from work, school, family and friends? I hear that some people take a media  break, and cut off contact with social media, radio and television. Others find solace in nature and open spaces, hiking, biking, and walking in the woods and trails. My husband reads... a lot. There are piles of books everywhere, and sometimes I can only see the top of his head. None of these things really work for me. I find myself thinking about people and worrying about them. I am hoping that they are okay. I want them to be safe. I want children to be able to play, to splash in the pool, make cookies, watch cartoons. I don't want them to worry about getting sick. I want caregivers to be cared for, and all the first responders to know that what they do every day matters. I am grateful for the workers fixing water mains, and roofs and air conditioners. They smile and wave even when it is 116 degrees outside. There are so many things that we cannot control. But we can control how we treat each other every day.

"I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again." -Stephen Grellet

Brenda Thomson
Executive Director
Hands-On Humanities: A Virtual Awards Celebration 
Saturday, September 26
1:00 PM MST/AZ Time via Zoom
Register for free here

Every year, Arizona Humanities recognizes exemplary Arizonans who advance the humanities through scholarship, leadership, support, and advocacy. Join us as we honor this year's award recipients on Saturday, September 26. Learn about each awardee and their work here.

Dan Shilling Public Scholar Award

Paul Hirt
Juliana Yoder Friend of the Humanities Award
Aguila Youth Leadership Institute
Juliana Yoder Friend of the Humanities Award

J.J. Lamb

Humanities Rising Star Award

Rosaura Magaña

Outstanding Supporter Award

Judith Hardes

Founder's Community Partner 

Karen O'Keefe
August Programs
Poetry as Community with Laura
Friday, August 7 at 6:30pm MST/AZ Time via Zoom
Photo Credit: J. Morgan Edwards
Can poetry unite disparate communities? Is there healing power in the written word?

Join Academy of American Poets Fellow and ASU Professor Emerita, Dr. Laura Tohe, as she speaks to the power of poetry as community on
Friday, August 7 at 6:30 PM MST/AZ TimeJoin the virtual event by registering here.
Schedule Virtual FRANK Talks Now through Dec. 31, 2020

FRANK Talks are now being offered virtually. Virtual FRANK Talks are hosted by FRANK Talks Speakers and local libraries/museums, and span a total of 60-minutes. The purpose of virtual FRANK Talks is to encourage participants to weigh facts, provide the opportunity to put them in context, and consider different points of view. Visit our website to learn more about our exciting new list of topics or watch our teaser trailer to catch a glimpse of some of our offerings.

Video Credit: Eduardo Manteca
Humanities Programs in the Community 
Black Philanthropy Initiative Presents Foresight 20/20-Eyes on Social Justice

During Black Philanthropy Month, the Black Philanthropy Initiative invites you to join a series of conversations every Wednesday in August called: FORESIGHT 20/20 - Eyes on Social Justice. Each session explores the lasting damage caused by a history of policies that have placed Black and White people into two separate worlds and builds upon the knowledge shared in the previous session. BPI strongly encourages participants attend all four sessions. Learn more about Black Philanthropy Initiative here.
Addressing Inequalities of Social Justice in America and Arizona
6:00 to 7:00 p.m. (Arizona time)

The Civil Rights Movement in Arizona from the 1950s to Present 
6:00 to 7:00 p.m. (Arizona time)

Recent Trends, Patterns and Drivers of Income and Economic Inequalities in Arizona
6:00 to 7:00 p.m. (Arizona time)

The Road Ahead for Social Justice: Solutions for Economic Equality
6:00 to 7:00 p.m. (Arizona time)
From Interior to Border: Libraries Reaching Rural Communities

Holding Space is a national conversation series presented by the American Library Association that explores the impact of libraries and engages stakeholders to advocate for libraries and the communities they serve. This nationwide virtual tour will include a stop in Arizona at the Coredes Lake Public Library in Prescott Valley on August 5 at 1:00pm MST. Register for the virtual event here.
Arizona Humanities Board Elects New Officers
Each new officer brings unique talents that enhance Arizona Humanities'  work for the people of Arizona. Karl Kendall has tremendous insight about delivering the best library programs, with a million plus visitors annually to the Phoenix Burton Barr Library. Eshé Pickett brings IT savvy, as we upgrade our technical abilities and virtual resources, and James Blasingame is familiar with nationally renowned authors who can help engage Arizona youth and foster literacy. Arizona Humanities feels fortunate to work with these wonderful people.

Dr. James Blasingame Vice Chair
Karl Kendall
Eshé Pickett

Humanities Hires
Photo credit: Ernesto L. Abeytia
Introducing Our Community Engagement Manager, María Isabel Álvarez

María joins the staff at Arizona Humanities after a year spent writing and researching in Madrid, Spain. She received her B.A. in English Literature and her M.F.A in Creative Writing from Arizona State University, where she previously worked as a program coordinator, student support coordinator, research assistant, and teaching associate. María is passionate about amplifying the arts and humanities, especially in the realm of literacy and creative writing. Her writing has received grants and fellowships from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, The Elizabeth George Foundation, the Speculative Literature Foundation, and the Colgate Writers' Conference. Additionally, she is experienced in program management, digital marketing, document design, copy-editing, and content writing. She enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with her French Bulldog, Luna. You can contact María at

We also say goodbye to Program Manager, Chris Wells, who has relocated back to Houston, Texas. Chris brought warmth and cheer to each of our programs at Arizona Humanities, and we wish him the best of luck in his new endeavors.
Humanities Across the Nation

On June 29th, the National Endowment for the Humanities announced $30 million in grants to support 238 Humanities Projects across the nation. 

"These challenging times underscore how important the humanities are to making American culture and world history relatable across generations," said NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede. "NEH is proud to award hundreds of grants to keep our nation's scholars, students, teachers, and citizens moving forward in pursuit of new knowledge and understanding."  

Humanities projects in Phoenix, Prescott, Tempe, and Tucson received funding totaling $679,850. 

A full list of the 238 grants by geographic location is available here.
Thank You to our July Donors
Almira Poudrier*
James Blasingame*
Judith Hardes
Matthew Jewett
Karl Kendall*
Andrew Krahe*
Debbie Nez-Manuel*
Mary Lu Nunley*
Eshé Pickett*
Martin Stamat*
Emerson Yearwood*
American Online Giving Foundation, Inc.

*Arizona Humanities Board Member
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

AZ Humanities | 602-257-0335 | |

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