Humanities Now
February 2021
Light Beckons

February is my least favorite month. The new year has begun, but the clouds are still hanging around like fireplace smoke trapped by damp clouds. I see tiny buds on the plants in my yard. They are there, even though the sun is fleeting, even though the temperature dips to freezing at night. What is it that brings buds forth when the world seems so dark? I am inspired by the words of the young poet Christopher Poindexter. He is an "observer of the human condition in all of its grit and glory... inspired by both the darkness and the light...though we all have our dances with demons, our hearts haunted by loss, by fear, it is the light that always beckons us. Calls out our name in even the darkest hours. This is why we must love one another. Because we are not alone in this."  It is reassuring to know that we are not so different from tiny green buds. Even when it is dark, we can still grow. 

Brenda Thomson
Executive Director
College of Humanities Africana Studies Program Celebrates Black History Month with Guest Jelani Cobb
Jelani Cobb
Monday, Friday 8 at 4PM MST

Join acclaimed journalist Jelani Cobb for a virtual conversation about the role of race in our elections. In his October 2020 documentary, Whose Vote Counts? Cobb reports on allegations of voter disenfranchisement, how unfounded claims of extensive voter fraud entered the political mainstream, and rhetoric and realities around mail-in ballots. Cobb will reflect on what happened and where we go from here. Learn more here.

This program is presented in partnership with the University of Arizona College of Humanities, Tucson Humanities Festival Spring Series, and Arizona Humanities. This program is funded by "Why it Matters: Civic and Electoral Participation" initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. 
AZ Humanities is Accepting Nominations for the
2021 Humanities Awards
Do You Know an Outstanding Humanities Scholar, Leader, Partner, or Volunteer? 

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, and Humanities Rising Star. Submit Your Nominations by March 31, 2021. View past winners here.

How to Nominate:
  1. Complete an Online nomination form with two letters of support. The form includes the nominee's name, contact info, bio, and brief explanation for the nomination, and the nominator's contact info, signature and date.
  2. Two (2) letters of support are required for each nomination. The letters should describe the specific accomplishments and contributions that qualify the nominee for the award in accordance with the criteria below. The nominator must submit two letters of support. Only two letters will be accepted. For self-nominations, both letters of support must be from individuals other than the person up for the award.
Arizona Humanities is Hiring

AZ Humanities is seeking a full-time Programs Manager and a full-time Marketing and Communications Manager. We are looking for tech-savvy individuals who are passionate about the humanities and who share our enthusiasm for creating a just and civil society. 

Benefits include health insurance, retirement plan, observance of federal holidays, and paid time off. Please e-mail your cover letter and resume to Brenda Thomson, Executive Director at jobs@azhumanities.orgPositions Open Until Filled.
Grant Opportunities
City of Glendale Announces "We are One" Grants for Arizona Artists

The City of Glendale announces eight (8) $4,000 arts & cultural project funding opportunities open to Arizona artists, artist teams, arts organizations and schools. Projects/activities must take place within Glendale city limits between May 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022. 
Project proposals may feature a single artistic discipline or may be multi- or cross-disciplinary in nature and may include work from the performing, visual, media, design, and literary arts. Learn more here.
February Programs
Attend Virtual AZ Speaks Programs

Virtual AZ Speaks are 60-90 minute presentations hosted by non-profits, libraries, educational institutions, and governmental and tribal entities to engage the public in humanities-based topics. Click below to learn more.

Arizona's Great Escape with Steve Renzi
February 2 at 2:30 PM | Co-hosted by Apache Junction Library

February 9 at 4:00 PM | Co-hosted by the Arizona State Museum

The Ballad of Arizona with Jay Cravath and Dan Shilling
February 9 at 2:30 PM | Co-hosted by Apache Junction Library

February 9 at 7:00 PM | Co-hosted by Daughter of American Revolution Cactus Wren Chapter

The Salado Phenomenon in the U.S. Southwest with Allen Dart
February 10 at 7:00 PM | Co-hosted by Arizona Archaeological Society 
Women's Contributions to Aviation with Natalie J. Stewart-Smith
February 11 at 3:00 PM | Co-hosted by Buckeye Public Library
The Food of Arizona with Gregory McNamee
February 18 at 2:00 PM | Co-hosted by Coolidge Library

February 23 at 11:00 AM | Co-hosted by City of Surprise

The Food of Arizona with Gregory McNamee
February 27 at 2:00 PM | Co-Hosted by Pinal County Historical Society Museum

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 Missy Shackelford at or call (602) 257-0335 x29.
Attend Virtual FRANK Talks 

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.
February 16 at 2:30 PM | Co-hosted by Apache Junction Library

February 18 at 11:00 AM | Co-hosted by Maricopa County Library District - Southeast Regional Branch

February 19 at 3:00 PM  | Co-hosted by Camp Verde Community Library

Re-Thinking Masculinity with Rowdy Duncan
February 20 at 11:00 AM | Co-hosted by Yuma County Main Library

February 22 at 6:00 PM | Co-hosted by Peoria Public Library
Humanities Programs in the Community
Arizona Historical Society Presents, "Where Water is King and the Shadow is Queen"

Wednesday, February 3
6:00 - 7:30 PM | Register here

Author Mehmet Murat ildan once wrote, "In the empire of desert, water is the king and shadow is the queen." Ever wonder where the sources of water you use in your home come from? Do you know how water will be distributed in a crisis situation? What steps have been taken to mitigate the effects of global warming on Arizona's climate? Since the early 1990s, Arizona and the Southwest have been plagued with a megadrought. If you're curious as to why Arizona seems detached from this reality, this conversation-with-the-experts will help you understand Arizona's complex relationship with water, agriculture, growth, and landscape.

Join the Arizona Historical Society on Wednesday, February 3 from 6:00-7:30 PM for a discussion on the history and future of water in Arizona. Featured speakers include Ileen Snoddy, Doug Kupel, and Dr. James Burns.

This program is in partnership with the Phoenix Mural Festival.
Painting by artist Bob Martin
Vision and Sound: An African American Experience to Launch Virtual Art Exhibition

February 4-25, 2021

Enjoy art, music, literary works, and more with Vision and Sound: An African American Experience. This multi-cultural initiative celebrates Black art, history, and culture by creating educational experiences and environments that broaden understanding and appreciation of African American art to a multi-cultural audiences. Learn more here.
Arizona Jewish Historical Society Commemorates International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Friday, February 5, 2021

Holocaust survivor, Charlotte Adelman was nine years-old and living in Paris when the Nazis invaded in 1940. She and her brother were given to an orphanage by her parents, who were told by the Nazis that they had to go work at a "camp." Instead, they were put on a truck headed to Auschwitz, where her mother, the motivation for Charlotte's survival, was killed. Join the Arizona Jewish Historical Society, as they present Charlotte and her story. To RSVP for this virtual seminar, please contact Tony Fusco at
Tommy Orange
Yavapai College Presents: An Evening with Tommy Orange

Friday, Feb. 5 at 7PM MST

To kickstart their 2021 Literary Southwest Reading Series, Yavapai College will welcome Tommy Orange, author of the New York Times bestselling novel, There, There.

The Literary Southwest 2021 is a series of readings and conversations with the finest writers from the West and beyond. Writing in multiple genres, these writers represent a plethora of distinctive voices and diverse backgrounds. Learn more about the series here.
NEA Big Read: Phoenix
February - March 2021

Working with over 40 authors, speakers, and community organizations, the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University is proud to announce the NEA Big Read: Phoenix, a celebration of Indigenous literary arts and culture across the Valley in February and March 2021.
Inspired by The Round House, an award-winning novel from Anishinaabe author Louise Erdrich, the NEA Big Read: Phoenix features over 25 talks, workshops, performances, art exhibitions, book clubs, and other virtual events centered around creative writing, community archiving, storytelling, and family history. Learn more here.
Center for the Study of Race and Democracy Presents Social Cohesion Dialogue 2021

February 18 at 6-7:30 PM
Register Here

Erica Armstrong Dunbar, author of Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit Of Their Runaway Slave Ona Judge and NoĆ© Alvarez, author of the memoir Spirit Run: A 6,000-Mile Marathon Through North America's Stolen Land will engage in conversation with communities at and beyond ASU about critical issues of race, freedom, power, memory, flight and self-determination.
Artlink Announces a 33-day Celebration of Arts & Culture

February 27-March 31, 2021

Artlink, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the mission of connecting artists, businesses and the community, announces that Art Detour will be returning for its 33rd year for a 33-day celebration of the arts and culture community. The event offer art patrons, collectors, and art lovers a range of ways in which to engage with Arizona artists. Learn more here.
Mission San Xavier del Bac
The University of Arizona Worlds of Words Seeks Applications from K-12 Educators for its Virtual Summer Institute

Apply by March 1, 2021

We the People: Migrant Waves is a two-week live online virtual professional opportunity for K-12 educators, hosted by the University of Arizona and Worlds of Worlds Center of Global Literacies and Literatures. Through children's, young adult, and adult literature, historical records, artifacts and film, participants will explore the stories, histories and contributions of underrepresented groups to U.S history. Participants will also interact with visiting scholars and children's and young adult authors to learn from their processes of research. Learn more here.
Humanities Across the Nation
NEH Budget Increases to $165.7 Million

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, provides funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities at $165.7 million, an increase of $5.25 million over the agency's Fiscal Year 2020 spending. In addition to providing support for NEH's seven grantmaking divisions and support for local and regional humanities programs administered by the network of 56 state and jurisdictional humanities councils, the legislation provides $5.7 million for NEH's "A More Perfect Union" initiative. Learn more here.
Thank You to our January Donors

Michael  & Kathi Baron
James Blasingame*
Robert & Christine Fry
Jill Ginsburg
Barbara Hatch
Karl Kendall*
Andrew Krahe*
Debbie Nez-Manuel*
Kari Paulson*
Almira Poudrier*
Nancy Splain
Martin Stamat*
Crys Waddell*
Arizona Community Foundation/Newton and Betty Rosenzweig Fund for the Arts

*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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