Humanities Now
December 2020
The Wisdom of Winter
As the year comes to an end, I find myself thinking less about what has been, and more about what is to come. The night is cool and the moon is full as winter solstice nears. Winter solstice marks the shortest day and longest night of the year in the northern hemisphere. It is not just about the changing of the seasons as an astrological event. It is about the changing seasons of our lives. As the world changes around us, we also change. Things slow down in winter. We move differently. But despite the appearance of stillness, humanity does not sleep. We pause and reflect, we remember, we break bread, we give thanks. Ponder peace as you sit by the fire. Take comfort in silence if you can. Before you know it, spring buds will peek through the snow.
Brenda Thomson
Executive Director
Grant News and Highlights
Why It Matters: AZ Humanities Partners with Nonprofits Across Arizona

With grant support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Arizona Humanities looks forward to partnering with the following nonprofit organizations to enhance humanities-based programs community programs:

From October 2020 to April 2021, AH and the George Washington Carver Museum will offer a companion series of recorded program excerpts integrated with Arizona voting stories as part of the Smithsonian Voices and Votes traveling exhibit. Learn more about the series here.

In March 2021,  AH and the University of Arizona College of Humanities will bring Chief Correspondent Jeffrey Brown to the Tucson Humanities Festival to deliver the keynote address as part of the Toward Justice Virtual Events Series.

In partnership with Arizona Citizens for the Arts, AH will help support the development of the AZ Uncensored Part 2: A Podcast SeriesThe focus of Phase 2 is on communities of color, and artists as advocates and activists, within their communities. Listen to the podcast series here

These initiatives are made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which awarded Arizona Humanities $37,000 in grant funding.
Emancipation Arts Poet Laureate George Hammons
AH Grantee Heritage Square Foundation Presents Umoja Poetry Workshop

Wednesday, December 23, 2020
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM MST/AZ Time
Register here | Free Virtual Event

In partnership with Heritage Square Foundation, Emancipation Arts LLC will present the work of George Hammons' poetry at the Umoja Poetry Workshop. The mission of Emancipation Arts is to raise the profile of Black artists in Arizona. George Hammons' poetry is grounded in Blackness, love, and family. The Umoja Poetry workshop is held in collaboration with Emancipation Arts LLC and is funded by a grant from Arizona Humanities.
Call for Arizona Humanities Board Members
Join the Arizona Humanities Family

Arizona Humanities seeks members to serve on its Board of Directors. The application process is open and applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until vacancies are filled. Applicants must be residents of Arizona. Applications will be reviewed by the Board Governance Committee. Directors serve a 3-year term with possible re-nomination for a second 3-year term. We are seeking qualified candidates from all walks of life who demonstrate a commitment to the humanities in public life. We strive to form a board that is diverse in terms of geographical areas, occupations, educational backgrounds, ethnic and racial identities, and generation. Click here for a brochure describing board service. Click here for the board application. Please call or email Brenda Thomson, Executive Director, with any questions: or (602) 257-0335x22.
December Programs
AZ Speaks Programs are Now Virtual

Our new virtual AZ Speaks programs are hosted by AZ Speakers and local libraries and museums, and span between 60 and 90 minutes. The program is a great way for non-profits, libraries, educational institutions, governmental and tribal entities to engage in humanities-based programs. AZ Speakers represent a diverse range of expertise, from a variety of professional backgrounds including history, gender studies, cultural studies, and more. Speakers are selected based on their expertise and ability to offer content and insight that inspires discussion with audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Click below to learn more about this month's programs and to register.

The Ballad of Arizona with Jay Cravath and Dan Shilling
December 5 at 2:00 PM | Hosted by Old Trails Museum

December 18 at 3:00 PM | Hosted by Prescott Valley Public Library

Are you a library 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 Missy Shackelford at or call (602) 257-0335 x29.
Attend a Virtual FRANK Talk 

Challenging times have sparked the need for community conversations about systemic racism, implicit bias, civil rights, the history of policing, and much more. FRANK Talks span 90-minutes and are highly interactive. The purpose is to connect people to one another to discuss current events. Click below to learn more about this month's talks and to register.

December 7 at 6:00 PM | Hosted by Glendale Public Library

December 8 at 2:30 PM | Hosted by Apache Junction Library

White Allies: Be the Change with Rory Gilbert
December 10 at 4:00 PM | Hosted by Coolidge Library

December 11 at 10:00 AM | Hosted by Pima Community College Library
Humanities Programs in the Community
Every Christmas Story Ever Told at the Emerson Theater Collaborative, Dec. 4-6, 8-13

Instead of performing Charles Dickens' beloved holiday classic for the umpteenth time, Emerson Theater Collaborative and three actors, Josh Rivedal, Jimmy Shoffman, and William Gabriel Grier will perform Every Christmas Story Ever Toldwhich includes Christmas traditions from around the world, seasonal icons from ancient times to topical pop-culture, and every carol in between. Original music by Will Knapp will accompany the performance. General admissions (livestream) are $25. For showtimes and tickets, please click here.
Regional Report: New Economy Initiative
Thursday, December 10
10:00 AM-11:00 AM | 
Register here

Join Chris Camacho (President and CEO of GPEC) and Dr. Michael Crow (President of ASU) for the next installment of Regional Report: A GPEC Virtual Series, where they will explore industries in Greater Phoenix impacted by the current COVID-19 pandemic. This webcast will focus on the New Economy Initiative, a robust plan designed to advance Arizona's competitiveness and enhance the quality of life for its citizens. To register for the program, click here.
Holiday Writing
Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020 
10:00 AM-12:00 PM | Register Here
Free and Open to the Public

Holidays have a unique power to concentrate our personal thoughts and feelings about family, country, self-identity, community, heritage, etc. This month's Words on Wheels program will use holiday memories and customs you follow as inspiration for writing. Read more about the program here.
Speak Up, Stand Up, and Save Lives

On January 19, 2021, students throughout Arizona will join together in the first virtual conference to Speak Up, Stand Up and Save Lives. Now in its fifth year, the event will run from 9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. and will inspire attendees to create lasting ways to combat bullying, depression, and suicide at their schools. The conference is free of charge thanks to partnerships and donations and is open to all schools in Arizona.  The conference is for students in grades K-12, adults and volunteers. There will be individualized breakout sessions for each age group along with sessions available for teachers, staff and parents alongside law enforcement members and government leaders to learn how to become trusted adults ready to respond to students in crisis. For additional information or to register, please click here.
Humanities in the News
Pee Posh Artist Yolanda Hart Stevens, courtesy of
AZ Speaker Yolanda Hart Stevens Featured in Arizona Republic

Pee Posh Artist Yolanda Hart Stevens is carrying on a centuries-long tradition of creating articles of clothing, headpieces, necklaces and earrings, and other items used in Indigenous regalia according to award-wining journalist Debra Utacia Krol in a featured article for the Arizona Republic. 

"For millennia, Indigenous peoples have used materials from their surroundings to create both everyday apparel and items for culturally significant events. They range from coming-of-age-ceremonies like the Kinaaldá in the Navajo Nation or the Apache Sunrise Dance to more public events such as powwows or the Hoop Dance. But all tribal regalia traces origins to the traditional ways of Native peoples," she writes.

Read more about Yolanda Hart Stevens and other Indigenous artists here.
Community Foundation for Southern Arizona Awards $350k to Nonprofit Organizations

In partnership with the City of Tucson's Mayor and Council, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona (CFSA) is pleased to announce the third round of We Are One | Somos Uno Nonprofit Continuity Grant Recipients. In this round, $350,141 in CARES Act funding was awarded to twenty nonprofit organizations to support the continued provision of essential services to vulnerable members of the Tucson community during the pandemic. 

Learn more about CFSA's grant recipients here.
Humanities Across the Nation
Image courtesy of
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Presents:
The Monuments Project: Expanding the American Story

With the launch of the Monuments Project - a significant new multi-year commitment to reshaping our country's commemorative landscape - the Mellon Foundation is broadening its national conversation about public monuments and memorials. 

Join Mellon Foundation President Elizabeth Alexander, Monument Lab Director Paul M. Farber, USC University ProfessorPulitzer Prize winner, and author of Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Vanderbilt University Writer-in-Residence and author of the noteworthy New York Times op-ed "My Body is a Confederate Monument," Caroline Randall Williams as they address provocative questions about the making of our commemorative spaces, including what a monument is, how myth-making has shaped the process of memorializing, and why new commemorations will expand the American Story. 

The Monuments Project: Expanding the American Story
Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 5:00-6:15 PM ET | Register here
Teagle Foundation President and Alexander Hamilton Professor of American Studies at Columbia University, Andrew Delblanco

Humanities for Everyone: A Plan

In September of this year, the NEH and the Teagle Foundation announced Cornerstone: Learning for Living, a $7 million partnership to revitalize the humanities in American colleges, where the decline of the general education curriculum has diverted countless students away from serious engagement with life-changing texts in the humanities.
"The humanities are about making connections. The humanities are about appreciating complexity, and no scholar in any particular field can get their arms entirely around human experience," says Teagle Foundation President Andrew Delblanco. 
Learn more about the initiative from NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peedein conversation with Teagle Foundation President Andrew Delblanco.
Thank You to our November Donors
Julie Codell*
Bernadette Montemayor
Tanae Morrison*
Debbie Nez-Manuel*
Eshé Pickett*
Almira Poudrier*
Martin Stamat*
Drexel G. Woodson
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

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