Humanities Now

February 2022

If You Change

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If you change the way you look at things, 

the things you look at change.

-Wayne Dyer

Congratulations to Arizona's Own!


Shelly Lowe confirmed as chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities

Lowe issued the following statement after her Senate confirmation:

“I am honored and privileged to serve the nation as Chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities and am grateful for the bipartisan support of the Senate and of President Biden and Vice President Harris.

“Having grown up in a small rural Navajo community in Northeast Arizona, I have personally seen how the humanities can help sustain and strengthen individuals, communities, and institutions, yet I am alert to the fact that access to humanities resources remains unevenly distributed across our country. I look forward to working with NEH staff and the network of state and jurisdictional humanities councils to expand opportunities for all Americans to participate in and benefit from humanities-centered research, education, and public programs.”

You can read her full statement here.

Now Accepting Nominations for our 2022 Humanities Awards

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Help Us Honor our Humanities Heroes by Submitting Nominations!

Due March 25, 2022

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.

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

Help us honor humanities champions in the community by submitting a nomination today.

Submit Your Nominations by March 25, 2022. 

Mini Grants Now Open!

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Apply Today!

Arizona Humanities aims to stimulate thoughtful community exchange, build new audiences for the humanities, innovate new methods in the humanities, and advocate for the importance of the humanities for a lively and engaged democratic public. Mini Grants are small grants of up to $2,000 that are available year-round to support innovative public programs that increase understanding of the human experience. Applicants may request up to $2,000. 

Mini Grants are restricted to organizations with budgets of $500,000 or less, larger institutions may partner with a smaller institution that will lead the program or project.

For more information visit our grant opportunities page and view our Mini Grants webinar.

Register for Upcoming Events!

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Hippie Modernism: Literature, Counterculture, and Transforming Our Natural World

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February 10th at 6 PM MST

A dramatic surge in human activity, known as the Great Acceleration, transformed our natural world beginning in the mid-twentieth century. People’s relationship with the planet fundamentally shifted. In the United States in the late 1960s and into the 1970s, literature, literary production, and literary consumption became keenly attuned to ecological consciousness. Two significant, intersecting concerns informed this trend: the social dissonance and environmental destruction created by consumer capitalism, and the changing ideas around individual consciousness. Join us as Dr. Gioia Woods explores the environmental and cultural shifts that informed this new ecological consciousness and look at the ways literature of the era came to embody these changing values.

About the Speaker:

Gioia Woods is professor of Humanities, president’s distinguished teaching fellow, and chair of the Department of Comparative Cultural Studies at Northern Arizona University. Dr. Woods’s teaching and research in the environmental humanities focuses on the ways in which humans understand and construct relationships with the non-human natural world. A recent Fulbright Teaching Fellow trained in American literature, Dr. Woods is the author of articles on environmental literature, American literature of dissent, and literature of the American West.

Register Here!
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Civic Participation in Our Democracy–Is Citizenship Required?

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February 24th at 6 PM MST

The Representation Matters series promotes civic education and encourages program participants to be engaged citizens. But who gets to be a citizen? Millions of immigrants are woven into the fabric of increasingly diverse communities across our country. Although many lack citizenship status, they participate in the economic, political, and social life of our democracy. How should we define national membership during times of significant migration? What are the boundaries of citizenship? What does participation in our democracy look like beyond citizenship status? Join us for a conversation with ASU Law Professor Angela Banks about the history of citizenship and explore the variety of forms of membership in our democracy.

About the Speaker:

Angela Banks is the Charles J. Merriam Distinguished Professor of Law at the Sandra Day O’Conner College of Law at Arizona State University. Prior to joining ASU, she was Professor of Law at William & Mary School of Law. Professor Banks is an expert on immigration and citizenship. Her research focuses on membership and belonging in democratic societies, and her work has appeared in numerous law review journals. She is the author of Civic Education in the Age of Mass Migration: Implications for Theory and Practice, which offers educators an inclusive approach to teaching civic education in diverse classrooms and a new way to conceptualize membership in our democracy regardless of citizenship or immigration status.

Register Here!

Celebrate Black History Month with AZ Humanities and the University of Arizona


Presented as part of the Tucson Humanities Festival's spring series, UArizona's College of Humanities and Africana Studies Program are hosting several events in February to celebrate Black History Month, including special guest speakers and more. 


Sitting on Zora's Porch: Notes from a Black Girl in the Hip Hop South

Join Dr. Regina Bradley as she discusses her personal experiences growing up in the South, and the influence of hip hop. A leading scholar on contemporary southern Black life and hip hop culture, Bradley’s work has been featured on a range of media outlets including Netflix’s hip hop docuseries Hip-Hop Evolution, The Washington Post, NPR, and Atlanta Journal Constitution. In May 2017, she delivered a TEDx talk, “The Mountaintop Ain’t Flat,” about the significance of hip hop in bridging the American Black South to the present and future.


Listening to Other Voices

Join us for a community coming together to celebrate our passion for books and authors from around the world. Daytime lectures and workshops include: Translation: Building Bridges between Cultures; Young Readers Workshop; Public Lecture and Exhibit: The ’14 Black Classicists; and World Literature: Building Connections. The series culminates with a public reading on Friday, February 18 at 6:00 PM at the University of Arizona Poetry Center "A Night to Celebrate Other Voices" with poet Farid Matuk.

Learn More Here

New Year, New Programs

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Welcome the new year with humanities-based public programs... learn about the history, culture, and stories of Arizona! 

Special 2022 Promo:

Organizations can book their first AZ Speaks program of this year for free!

Click Here!

Everyone loves a story. Folklore and fairy tales capture our imagination, convey cultural beliefs, and reflect societal issues. Learn more about the origins and impact of storytelling with…


Akua Duku Anokye

Associate Professor of Africana Language, Literature and Culture at Arizona State University 

A Story, A Story: Ananse Tales to Live By 

Ananse the Spider, a trickster hero of Ghana, is one of the most important characters of West African and Caribbean folklore. Ananse’s tales are told to not only explain the origins of the Akan people, but used to reinforce the belief system that enriches their society. Not just found in Ghana, these stories are likened to Brer Rabbit and John Tales in the American South. Here in Arizona, the stories are compared to Coyote stories of Native lore. Hear these stories and connect them to everyday experiences and the lessons learned.


Albrecht Classen

Professor of German Studies at the University of Arizona

The Grimms’ Fairy Tales 

No other collection of fairy tales has enjoyed such a popularity all over the world as the one by the Brothers Grimm. They were not newly composed by these two philologists, but collected from oral and written sources. Since the first anthology was published in 1812, the Grimms’ Fairy Tales have enjoyed a global success. This begs the question why they are so much loved, and why they continue to be so important both in the Old and in the New World, both in Germany and in China, for instance. In addition, these fairy tales have made their way into all the modern media, whether film or comic strips, video game or music. Obviously, the Grimms had understood some fundamental need people all over the world face and which fairy tales can satisfy to some extent. We will learn much about the Grimm’s sources, their political and literary interests in writing these fairy tales, and study representative pieces regarding their reflections of political, cultural, ethical, religious issues. 

Learn more about these presentations and our speakers here!

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture Grants Program​


Upcoming Opportunities and Grants Applications are here!

The City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture believes that investing in arts and culture builds community and enhances the quality of life for residents. The Office provides a variety of funding opportunities that enable artists, arts and culture organizations, schools, and neighborhood groups to carry out high quality public arts programming for all residents.

The annual Community Arts Grants program, which is an allocation from the city’s general fund of just under $1 million, strengthens the community’s access to arts and culture programming, and provides support in this program in two distinct ways: The General Support program and the Project Support program.

You can learn about them both and their application timeline by clicking here!

Learn more here!

February 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

📹/🧑 Star Wounds: Meteorites from Ancient Native American Sites February 8 at 2:30 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Apache Junction Library

🧑 What is Patriotism? February 9 at 5:30 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Friends of the Florence Community Library

🧑 The Science of Music, The Music Of Science February 10 at 1 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Senior Services Inc – Encore For More

📹Black Woman Rising: African American Community Mothers in Phoenix February 10 at 6 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Phoenix Public Library

🧑 Arizona Legends, Myths, and Folklore February 11 at 2 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Coolidge Public Library

📹An Uneven Landscape: Inequities in Transportation, Community Planning and Land Management February 11 at 3 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Maricopa County Library District – Southeast Regional Branch

🧑Pathways of Water: Historical Journeys Along Arizona’s Rivers February 12 at 10:30 AM MST | Co-Hosted by Chandler Public Library – Downtown Branch

🧑 Arizona Goes to the Movies: A Filmmaking History February 12 at 1 PM MST | Co-Hosted by The Phippen Museum

🧑 Plants of the Mojave Desert and the Traditional Tribal Uses February 12 at 1 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Sounds of Kingman

📹 Understanding and Learning to Talk About Systemic Racism February 14 at 6 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Glendale Public Library

📹/🧑 Saviors and Saints on the Arizona Frontier February 15 at 2:30 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Apache Junction Library

📹 You Can’t Quit Being White: Arizona Territories Intriguing First Inter-Racial Marriage Trial February 15 at 5:30 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Copper Queen Library

🧑 The Mexico-US Borderland as Authentic Place: How to See the Border and Its Issues with Clarity February 16 at 5:30 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Mohave Community College – Lake Havasu Library

🧑 The Underground and Overground Railroad February 17 at 1 PM MST | Co-Hosted by The Museum of Casa Grande

📹/🧑 Miners, Cowboys and Washerwomen: The Worksongs of Arizona February 22 at 2:30 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Apache Junction Library

🧑 A Story, A Story: Ananse Tales to Live By February 22 at 6 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Mesa Public Library District – Main Branch

📹 What is Patriotism? February 22 at 6 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Flagstaff City – Coconino County Public Library

🧑 Chiles & Chocolate: Sweet and Spicy Foods in the American West February 23 at 1 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Mohave Community College – Bullhead City – Hargrove Library

📹 Listening Through the Fear: Understanding Extremism in America February 25 at 12 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Avondale Public Library

🧑 Dog Whistle Language in the Media: How Can We Hear It? February 26 at 10 AM MST | Co-Hosted by Glendale Public Library – Foothills Library

🧑 Arizona Goes to the Movies: A Filmmaking History February 26 at 12 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Cochise College – Center for Lifelong Learning

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 [email protected] or call (602) 257-0335 x26.

Humanities Programs in the Community


When Orphan Trains Went West

February 6, 8, 9, and 22

Riders on the Orphan Train chronicles the lives of two children among approximately 250,000 young people "placed out" between 1854 and 1929; boarding trains in New York City and literally given away at rail stations across the country. From the teeming streets of New York among a crush of immigrants; through the winding down of the old West; the dustbowl Riders on the Orphan Train is a story of the search for home, of dislocation, of loss and the rapidly-changing quality of American life. Learn more here.


BorderVisions: A Virtual Conversation with the Series Editors

February 11 at 12 PM MST

BorderVisions seeks new projects that engage with the U.S.-Mexico borderlands’ dynamic histories and cultures and expand our understanding of the borderlands beyond a site of geopolitical inquiry. The series conceptualizes borderlands as both a place and a methodology, and addresses the constraints of traditional fields, challenging authors to think creatively and critically about the expansive frameworks and possibilities of borderlands studies. Learn more here.


Art in Your Park

February 11 at 11:59 PM MST

The City of Tucson is seeking Artists and/or Artist teams to create public art in connection with Prop 407 park improvements for Tucson parks. The scope of work involves creating artwork in two different parks, John F. Kennedy Park and Barrio Nopal Park. The selected Artist(s) will be responsible for designing and fabricating artwork under the guidance of the Public Art Project Panel assembled for this project. The selected Artists(s) will be required to provide professional construction design plans to the City of Tucson for approval prior to fabrication. The artwork should reflect the culture and aesthetics of the community to promote distinctive neighborhood identities. Representatives of each community will be involved in the design process. Learn more here.


LIVING HISTORY DAY – Celebrating Arizona’s Statehood

February 12 at 10 AM MST

The Presidio Museum comes alive allowing visitors to get a feel for what it would have been like to be in the Presidio at its height of occupation in the late 18th century.Traditional demonstrations available throughout the event include blacksmithing, tastings of handmade tortillas, children’s games, soldier drills and firing of muskets and cannon and much more. Learn more here.


Zig Jackson Artist Talk

February 12 at 1:30 PM MST

Jackson’s most recent work in the Native American homeland focuses on his culture and the changing way of life of both urban and reservation Indians, along with the attendant socio-political issues of the “Indian Condition.” In this series Jackson uses photography as a teaching and story-telling device to de-mythologize his own history and to break down the romanticized and racially charged stereotypes of Indians perpetuated in history and the media by presenting a simple straightforward journey. In the poetic photographic style of Henri Cartier-Bresson, and like Bill Owen’s work Suburbia, Jackson documents the joys of ordinary life with humor and empathy. Learn more here.


Understanding Indigenous Mexico through the Maya, Mixtec, and Aztec Codices

February 17 at 7 PM MST

Mexican codices are manuscripts made by precontact and early Spanish colonial period Mesoamerican peoples. In this presentation Michael Brescia, PhD, Curator of Ethnohistory at the Arizona State Museum and affiliated Professor of History and Law at the University of Arizona, will discuss what the codices tell us (and don’t tell us) about the political, economic, social, and cultural rhythms of daily life in the Maya, Mixtec, and Aztec cultures. After the Spanish conquest of Mexico in 1521, the codex tradition continued under the auspices of the Spanish missionaries and provided Indigenous peoples with a voice amid the dramatic changes that were taking place all around them. Register here.


The Okemah Project: A Neighborhood Gone, But Not Forgotten

February 24 at 6 PM MST

Where in the world is Okemah? The African-American Okemah Community of South Phoenix is remembered by two elders in this program. Join us to explore their memories of a now physically gone but not forgotten neighborhood and we discuss an oral history project to record this piece of Arizona history before it’s too late. Register here.


Arizona-Sonora Borderlands, Palimpsest of Cultures

Apply by March 1

The Arizona-Sonora Borderlands is a palimpsest of continuous human habitation dating back to at least 1200 BCE. It is a landscape whose settlements preface the famous Hohokam farmers of southern and central Arizona and their Native descendants, Spanish colonialism, Anglo settler-colonists, and 20th-century Sunbelt City booms and busts. For this NEH-sponsored summer 2022 workshop, we approach the rich history of human occupation in the Arizona-Sonora borderlands as a laboratory for investigating present-day issues facing the Humanities. Learn more here.

Humanities Across the Nation

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New Grants Awarded by NEH and UK Arts and Humanities Research Council to Support Digital Innovation at Cultural Institutions

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is proud to join the United Kingdom’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), in announcing the recipients of the second round of NEH/AHRC New Directions for Digital Scholarship in Cultural Institutions grants. Learn more here.

Thank You to Our January Donors

Julie Codell*

Robert W. Crawford

Becky & Kevin Day

Emily & William Jaeger

Edgar Olivo*

Eshé Pickett*

Debora Schwartz

Mary Ann & Bill Sheely

Nancy Splain

Jayne F. Sprecher

Martin Stamat*

William Tsutsui

Elaine W. Warner

Li Yang & David Marco

Judy & Joel Zaft

American Online Giving Foundation, Inc.

Network for Good

Phoenix Police Museum

*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 [email protected]

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