Michigan Humanities ~ Michigan Stories
Executive Update
Greetings!

July in Michigan brings a focus on our greatest treasure: the Great Lakes. Recently, we traveled to Beaver Island for the Smithsonian Water/Ways Exhibit . It was an amazing experience with colleagues, Beaver Island residents, and many others who gathered to share their collective experiences with water. Michigan Humanities scholar Dave Dempsey illuminated the critical nature of water in Michigan. Twenty percent of the world’s fresh water supply (and 84% of the nation's) is in the Great Lakes. We are so proud to support the work of Third Coast Conversations (our grant program) around the topic of water, and the Water/Ways traveling exhibit. Please visit our website for details about where you can see Water/Ways as it travels to six small towns in Michigan.  

The Council has much on the horizon. We are beginning the selection process for a new Great Michigan Read book, and engaging in a Listening Tour across the state. Many partners have provided invaluable insight to our humanities work. This will help us shape the final stages of the Council’s strategic plan. We will be strengthening existing program elements and adding some new grants and components that we believe will help lead us to a more civil, informed society.

We are also finalizing re-branding efforts, which is incredibly exciting. Stay tuned for a launch yet this fall! Please enjoy this e-update, and as always, we appreciate your support.  Without you, the Council’s work would be impossible.  Your donations are appreciated and you can donate online.  Enjoy a safe and happy summer!

Shelly Kasprzycki
President and CEO
Visit Beaver Island before August 5 to see Water/Ways!

The exhibit will be on display, free and open to the public, at the St. James Township Hall until August 5, 2018. 

Visit our website for full tour details and to see when Water/Ways will be in a Michigan community near you. 

To see photos of the Water/Ways exhibit, visit our website!
Great Michigan Read
Want to take part in the Great Michigan Read this summer? We still have nearly 150 copies of X: A Novel that your organization could use for summer reading activities, a book club, or other program with youth and adults. Register online today and we will send you copies of the book and the accompanying educational resources!

Curious about getting involved with the selection process for next year’s Great Michigan Read? Contact Program Officer Katie Wittenauer if you would like to learn more.

Big thanks to our GMR partners at the Traverse City Human Rights Commission for sharing a photo of their group gathering together to read and discuss X: A Novel !
Discovery Days at the Leelanau County Poor Farm funded in part by a Michigan Humanities Quick Grant
The Leelanau County Historic Preservation Society was awarded a Quick Grant to support their “Discovery Days” at the Society’s Poor Farm. “Discovery Days” will be held to identify and gather information from the public about personal experiences with the County Poor Farm; family stories, photos, journals, letters, and photographs. A celebratory historic reenactment of plowing the field at the Leelanau County Poor Farm took place on May 26, 2018. A second “Discovery Day” is planned for Saturday, July 28, from 10 a.m. to noon at Kasson Township Hall. The Coleman family (original managers of the Poor Farm) will be on hand to share stories and family photographs. The Historic Preservation Society has also partnered with Buckets of Rain to use the land for a community garden that will provide free food to local food pantries. 
Fall 2018 Humanities Grants Now Open

Do you have a humanities project that you are working on for 2019? Humanities Grants provide up to $15,000 for a variety of humanities programming. Applications are currently being accepted for the Fall 2018 cycle with a deadline of Thursday, August 16, 2018. A full description of our grant opportunities is available on the Michigan Humanities website and Program Officer, James Nelson, is available to discuss your project and answer any questions. Email: jnelson@mihumanities.org or phone: (517) 372-7770.
Announcing the next Museum on Main Street: Crossroads

The Smithsonian’s Crossroads: Change in Rural America exhibit is coming to Michigan in 2019.  Crossroads is an exploration of the past, present, and future of rural America.  As a host of Crossroads , you will have the opportunity to work with partners in your community to create programming and exhibits that share your small town Michigan stories. The request for proposals and application will be available in July and applications will be accepted through Monday, December 3, 2018. Please contact Program Officer, James Nelson, with any questions. Email: jnelson@mihumanities.org or phone: (517) 372-7770.

Poetry Out Loud
In late summer and early fall, teachers at high schools throughout Michigan can begin registering for the 2018-19 Poetry Out Loud program. This year, more than 8,000 students across the state took part, and we are excited to kick off the fourteenth year of Poetry Out Loud in Michigan soon.

If you are a student, parent, or teacher who would like more information about ways that you can take part in this annual, nationwide recitation contest for high school students, visit our Poetry Out Loud page or contact Program Officer Katie Wittenauer.
Grace Garver, Michigan’s Poetry Out Loud state champion, competing at the National Finals event in Washington, D.C. (photo by James Kegley).
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