July 2020
Frederick Douglass:  Abolitionist, Leader, Orator, Writer, Statesman
What Does July 4th Mean to You?

July 4 th , Independence Day, like many things when you are a child, is a time you spend with friends and family. The day is filled with food, fireworks, and music. I do not remember talk of war or freedom or slavery. Many years of living have passed, with trips to other countries, friends and family of many colors, and becoming a lawyer. Even still my notions of independence and freedom continue to evolve. How can it be that people here are still fighting for basic human rights, equality, and dignity? Some people yearn for freedom every day, not once a year. What I know is that democracy is not born, it is made. I think of the words of Frederick Douglass. In his famous speech Douglass chided the nation for not living up to the ideals it espoused in the U.S. Constitution, and the gross hypocrisy of deeds which were the very antithesis of the words held up for all the world to see. This is my country,  our  country. This is my duty,  our  duty. This is my legacy,  our  legacy. If you care about the future of our children and this nation, do something. Stand up. Speak out. Be accountable for your words and your actions. Why? Because  democracy matters .

On July 5, 1852, Douglass gave a speech at an event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, held at Rochester's Corinthian Hall. It was biting oratory, in which the speaker told his audience, "This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn." And he asked them, "Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day?" Within the now-famous address is what historian Philip S. Foner has called "probably the most moving passage in all of Douglass' speeches."
"The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro,"  1852.  Click here for the text of this historical document.

Brenda Thomson
Executive Director
AZ Humanities Awards $520k in COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grants
Emergency Relief Grants Awarded to 58 Nonprofit Organizations Across Arizona

Arizona Humanities has awarded $520,000 in rapid-response funding to fifty-eight (58) non-profit humanities and cultural organizations experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These grants are funded by the Congressional CARES Act through the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). A  special board review panel helped to quickly distribute the funds.  Applicants were ranked by a variety of factors including a demonstrated history of public humanities programming, budget, geographic location, statement of need, and financial challenges inflicted by the pandemic. Grant recipients received awards of up to $10,000. Read more about the grant recipients here .
Grantee Highlights
V ail Preservation Society Receives 2020 Albert B. Corey Award + Restoration of Old Vail Post Office

Vail Preservation Society , an AZ Humanities Project Grantee, received the 2020 Albert B. Corey Award from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) for the Voices of Vail documentary. The film captures the beauty of Cienega Creek, while documenting the reasons newcomers are compelled to move to Vail, Arizona. 

J.J. Lamb, one of this year's Humanities Awards recipients,  says, "... Arizona Humanities' funding support was the reason [we] were were able to bring the project to completion and have the special community engagement premiere event." Learn more about the Voices of Vail documentary here. 

Additionally, VPS is partnering with Lloyd Construction, Inc., a family-owned business experienced in restoring historic buildings, to restore the 1908 Old Vail Post Office.  Of undertaking restoration projects, Brad Lloyd, VP of Lloyd Construction, says, "We bring in a new heart and soul for the building." That heart and soul is integral in preserving the stories of the Vail community for generations to come. Learn more about their partnership here.
July Programs
Wednesday, July 17 at 6:30-7:30pm MST via Zoom
Skin, scars, hair, eyes: our bodies offer clues to our history, but how others interpret those clues is often out of our control. Join us for another virtual performance by three Phoenix-based poets.  Read more about their work below.  Please register for the event here.

Photo Credit: Jia Oak Baker
Jabari Jawan Allen

Jabari Jawan Allen, a Chicago, IL native, has received fellowships, scholarships, and grants from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Tin House Writers Workshop, Community of Writers,  Kenyon Review  Writers Workshop, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and VONA, among others. Along with Jari Bradley and Willie Kinard III, he is a member of the Black queer gospel trio  The Upper Room Collective . A Pushcart nominee, Allen's poems appear or are forthcoming in  Colorado Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, Vinyl, Virginia Quarterly Review, Wildness,  the anthology  The Impossible Beast: Queer Erotic Poems,  and elsewhere. Allen currently lives in Phoenix. 

Photo Credit: Shaunte Glover
Raquel Denis

Raquel Denis is an Afro-Latina writer and musician based in Phoenix, AZ. She graduated from Arizona State University with a B.A. in Creative Writing Poetry. She is a teaching artist and library assistant. Her work explores complex family relationships, the politics of blackness and historical legacies passed down through migration and diaspora.

Erin Noehre

Erin Noehre is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at Arizona State University. She has received fellowships from the Graduate College at Arizona State University as well as the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing. Her work is featured or forthcoming from PidgeonholesSonora Review, and Passages North.

Humanities Programs in the Community 
Poetry Centered Podcast Launches its Inaugural Season

Poetry Centered is a podcast that features curated selections from voca, the University of Arizona Poetry Center's online audiovisual archive of more than 1,000 recordings of poets reading their work during visits to the Center between 1963 and today. Each episode features a guest poet introducing three poems from voca and sharing their insights about the remarkable performances recorded in the archive. The inaugural season includes episodes hosted by Hanif Abdurraqib, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Maggie Smith, and Ada Limón, among others. Learn how you can tune in  here
Phoenix Public Library Kickstarts its  One Book, One Phoenix  Summer Reading Program + LGBTQIA and Anti-Racism Reading Lists

The Phoenix Public Library is once again offering a summer reading program for every member of the family called  One Book, One Phoenix . The program features Rudolfo Anaya's "My Land Sings: Stories from the Rio Grande" for kids, Robin McKinley's "The Outlaws of Sherwood," for teens and, for adults, Neil Gaiman's "Norse Mythology." Learn more here.

Phoenix Public Library has also created, Read Better, Be Better, a curated list of LGBTQIA+ and anti-racism books for kids, teens, and adults. Learn more about the exciting world of literature here.
Creative Justice Youth Arts Symposium

DATE: Tuesday-Thursday, July 14-16

Announcing the first annual 
Creative Justice Youth Arts Symposium  via Zoom. Presented in partnership with Aliento and RE:Frame Youth Arts Center, the symposium offers workshops, panels, and community open mics that center creative writing as a skill for resilience and community building through. The symposium is open to youth ages 13 - 24. All events are free. 

Register here or visit  the  Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing  for more info.
Humanities Across the Nation

"Emergency relief funding will preserve humanities jobs nationwide" - neh.gov

On June 22nd, the National Endowment for the Humanities announced the distribution of NEH CARES Act Grants across all fifty states and the District of Columbia. Of these, Arizona received four grants totaling  $378,084 to support essential operations at humanities organizations across Phoenix and Tucson.

"Over the past few months we have witnessed tremendous financial distress at cultural organizations aross the country..." said NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede. "NEH is pleased to provide $40 million to preserve thousands of jobs at museums, archives, historic sites, and colleges and universities that are vital to our nation's cultural life and economy."

Learn more about the NEH CARES Act Grants 
here .

Arizona (4) $378,084


Heard Museum
Outright $87,121

Archaeology Southwest 
Outright $114,219
University of Arizona (Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research)
Outright $71,699
University of Arizona Press (e-Books in Indigenous and Latinx Studies)
Outright $105,045
Thank You to our June Donors
James Blasingame*
Marcy Flynn
Sara C. Heitshu
Karl Kendall*
Andrew Krahe*
James David Martinez
Debbie Nez-Manuel*
Mary Lu Nunley*
Kari Paulson*
Eshé Pickett*
Almira Poudrier*
Emerson Yearwood*
PayPal Charitable Giving Fund

*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 info@azhumanities.org

AZ Humanities |  602-257-0335 | info@azhumanities.org | azhumanities.org

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