Humanities Now
March 2021
Happy Birthday to Me

March is on my mind lately. March 9 is my 60th birthday. I guess that's a big deal, mostly because I'm still alive. So who else was born on March 9? Well a lot of people actually, some pretty famous. The football player Brian Bosworth; famous jazz trumpeter Ornette Coleman; Bobby Fischer, the chess grandmaster; and Amerigo Vespucci, yes that Amerigo Vespucci, whose ship landed here in 1454. I don't really have anything in common with these people, except that they were people, and I like learning about the lives and experiences of people. March 22 is the 11th anniversary of my service to Arizona Humanities as Executive Director. I mention this because my job, the best job, is to promote a just and civil society by providing opportunities for people to learn about the human experience, " the humanities." I am grateful to be here. I am grateful to be here, in the United States, where democracy lives. I know that democracy is a work in progress. But I also know that "Democracy dares to make room for all kinds of people and ideas." My birthday wish is for more. You can never have too much democracy.

Brenda Thomson
Executive Director
Community News
Thank You to Friends of Carver Museum

"The beloved George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center in downtown Phoenix has seen some tough times during the past year. Like all museums, Carver has been challenged by COVID and closures. As if this wasn't tough enough, the museum was also vandalized last fall with swastikas and racial slurs. Despite these affronts you will be please to know that Carver is rising due to the generosity of many individuals, organizations, and local businesses in the community. The City of Phoenix and Phoenix Union High School District have helped with grounds and landscaping, electrical repairs, and more. Special thanks to Mike Anderson, Dave Toon, and Max Laois of ASIS International Phoenix Chapter, Enterprise Security Inc., and Apache Rentals for their help this past weekend improving Carver's security by donating a lift and installing security cameras. It was a huge and important job. A team of volunteers from the companies even spent the day painting the lobby! We are more than grateful for this support and look forward to the day when people can visit Carver again in person."

Paul Taliercio
Carver Museum Curator
Visit the website here.

Accepting Nominations for the 2021 Humanities Awards
Help Us Honor Humanities Champions by Submitting Nominations

Due March 31, 2021

Every year, Arizona Humanities honors and celebrates outstanding contributions to the humanities in our state. The Humanities Award categories are: Humanities Public ScholarFriend of the Humanities, and Humanities Rising Star.

In addition to our traditional award categories, we are excited to announce our new Outstanding Speaker Award. This award will recognize a speaker who demonstrates popularity with attendees, communicates the importance of the humanities to a just society, and always advocates for Arizona Humanities.

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 31, 2021. 
Grant News
AZ Humanities Awards $62,000 in Project Grants to Twelve Organizations

Executive Director Brenda Thomson shared, "We are so pleased to fund exciting new projects across the state of Arizona. It is impressive that so many cultural organizations are reaching communities with both virtual and live programs during these challenging times. Please be sure to visit your local museums, libraries and cultural organizations in person if you can, or online to see what's new."

Project Grants are awarded twice yearly and organizations can apply for up to $10,000 in funding. The next Project Grants Intent to Apply deadline is May 1, 2021. For questions regarding the grants application process, contact Samantha Anderson, Grants Manager at or 602-257-0335.

Welcome Aboard New Staff!
We are delighted to welcome two new exciting hires: Julianne Cheng Stratman, Programs Manager  and Griffin Riley, Marketing and Communications Manager. Both Julianne and Griffin come highly recommended and bring a range of skills and experiences to the AZ Humanities team. Learn more about them below.
Julianne Cheng Stratman
Julianne Cheng Stratman
Programs Manager 

Julianne Cheng Stratman received her B.A. in History and Art History at UCLA and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Art History (focusing in Greek art and archaeology) at Emory University in Atlanta. As a graduate student, Julianne taught undergraduate art history courses, conducted curatorial work at various museums, and participated in archaeological excavations in Greece. More recently, Julianne put her academic writing skills to use as the coordinator of the ASU Writing Center on the Downtown Phoenix campus. When she's not studying or working with people, Julianne enjoys walking her former-foster-now-forever dog, Eva. She says, "I've been able to study the human experience primarily through the lens of art history and archaeology, and I hope to apply my passion for understanding the past to contribute toward AZ Humanities mission of creating a just and civil society."
Griffin Riley
Griffin Riley, Marketing and Communications Manager

Griffin Riley graduated Magna Cum Laude in May 2020 from the University of Arizona with a B.A. in Journalism and a B.A. in Political Science. While at the university, he acted as Director of Media and Communications for ZonaZoo, a student-run athletics organization focused on student engagement, where he shot, created, and posted all visual content. He is an experienced public speaker, acting as emcee for Bear Down Friday in Tucson, Arizona. Griffin believes the responsibility of a journalist and political scientist is to be an educator: to study, understand, and communicate the history of the world and humankind to the communities we live in. "As the Marketing and Communications Manager, I want to expand our platform and digital footprint in the new virtual landscape, so that communities have greater access to the humanities." For marketing inquiries, email Griffin at
March Programs
Attend Virtual AZ Humanities Programs

Virtual AZ Speaks are 60-90 minute presentations to engage the public in humanities-based topics. 

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 both programs.
March 11 at 2:00 PM | Co-Hosted by Coolidge Public Library

March 11 at 3:00 PM | Co-Hosted by Buckeye Public Library

March 19 at 2:00 PM | Co-Hosted by Pinal County Historical Society Museum

March 23 at 4:00 PM | Hosted by Arizona State Museum

March 23 at 6:00 PM | Co-Hosted by Glendale Public Library

March 24 at 2:30 PM | Co-Hosted by Arizona Senior Academy

March 24 at 5:30 PM | Co-Hosted by Mohave Community College-Lake Havasu Library

March 29 at 10:00 AM | Co-Hosted by Chandler-Gilbert Community College

March 30 at 7:00 PM | Co-Hosted by the City of Goodyear Arts and Culture Commission

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.
Humanities Programs in the Community
Courtesy of Tucson Desert Art Museum.
All the Single Ladies: Women Pioneers of the American West

January - May 29, 2021.

Tales of the long-ago Wild West portrayed women in one of two stereotypical ways: the seductress or the wholesome farmer's wife. In reality, the experiences of early pioneer women were far more diverse. While it is true, most women who moved west were married and traveling with husbands and families, many maverick single women sought another path to pursue their dreams of freedom from strict Victorian norms, adventure, and opportunity. Learn more here.
"Save My Children" featuring Holocaust Survivor Leon Kleiner

March 12, 2021 at 10:00 AM

A young Jewish boy and his siblings fleeing a world destroyed by hate. A notoriously cruel antisemite hunting for Jews. Why did this murderer risk his own life to save these children? An 11-year-old boy and his siblings fight for survival after the evil of the Nazi regime descends upon Poland. Time after time, they miraculously escape certain death as the murderous fascists attempt to make their hometown of Tluste Judenrein. Their luck seems to have run out when the Germans order to liquidate their work camp. Unexpected help comes from Timush, a man known for his terrible deeds against the Jews. After hearing their mother shout to him in a desperate plea, "Save my children!" as she is marched to her execution, Timush amazingly risks his own life to make sure they survive. "Save my Children" is the true story of the transformation of a man once filled with hate and violence who made the ultimate sacrifice to save the people he once sought to kill. Learn more here.
Lecturer Anna Spain Bradley, courtesy of
Combating Global Racism: A Human Rights Perspective

March 15, 2021 at 11:00 AM.

The Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University cordially invites you to attend the annual John P. Morris Memorial Lecture focusing on diversity and inclusion. Morris was the first-and, for a long time, the only-African-American faculty member at ASU Law. The annual lecture series was established to honor his memory. This year's distinguished Morris Lecturer, Anna Spain Bradley, Professor of Law and the Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at UCLA, will present on "Combating Global Racism: A Human Rights Perspective." Learn more here.
Graphic courtesy of Museum of Northern Arizona
Yucca Weaving Demonstration

March 23, 2021 at 2:00 PM

This live-stream event will showcase Zuni weaver Christopher Lewis as he demonstrates the making of yucca pot rests and discusses the cultural connection to his craft.
Christopher Lewis often works with natural mediums, such as yucca, and seeks to revitalize traditional techniques found in the Zuni culture. Christopher has participated in many shows across the Southwest including the Museum of Northern Arizona's annual Zuni Festival of Arts and Culture. Learn more 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. 

March 6 Events:

Mujerx Book Club with Palabras Bilingual Bookstore | 12:00 PM
Learn more here.

"We Thrive Together" with AGUILA Youth Leadership |
12:00 PM
Learn more here.

Remembering the Phoenix Indian School with Rosalie and Patty Talahongva |
2:00 PM
Learn more here.
Americanicity Virtual Exhibit

Now - April 17, 2021

The images from John G. Zimmerman, a photojournalist and innovator, bring into view the lives and lifestyles of American families, politics, sports, and society from the 1950s through mid-1970s. This golden era of the Fourth Estate, before the Internet and cable news, when photojournalism projected influence through print media of newspapers, magazines, and billboards, into our homes and businesses, informed social behavior, personal knowledge, and political policy. Explore Zimmerman's virtual exhibit here.

Humanities Across the Nation
Eight HBCUs Awarded Grants for Cultural Stewardship Planning

Eight Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were awarded more than $650,000 in grants through the HBCU Cultural Heritage Stewardship Initiative, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The program provides HBCUs with resources to protect, preserve, and leverage their historic campuses, buildings, and landscapes, ensuring these symbols of African-American excellence and American achievement are preserved to inspire and educate future generations. Learn more here.
Thank You to our February Donors

James Blasingame*
Robert W. Crawford
Angeline Duran-Piotrowski
Barbara Hatch
Vickie Jo Scott
Karl Kendall*
Andrew Krahe*
Debbie Nez-Manuel*
Edgar Olivo*
Eshé Pickett*
Almira Poudrier*
Rodo Sofranac
Martin Stamat*
Crys Waddell*
*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 | |

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View on Instagram View our profile on LinkedIn