Michigan Humanities   ~   Michigan Stories
Executive Update
2015 and 2016 Heritage Grantees gathered in Lansing on April 18, 2017 to discuss their programs and projects.  

Recently, my son and I were discussing a philosophical point about a landmark in our hometown, and he offered some perspective that shed light on a cultural context for that landmark. It struck me how often the humanities play an important role in everyday life. This is so often reinforced for me when I talk with our grantees and program partners, who carry out such important work, often to under served audiences whose voices aren’t always included in important community dialogues. Recently, we convened our Heritage grantees, and it was illuminating to hear what was accomplished with our W.K. Kellogg Foundation partnership. The voices came through loud and clear, and we look forward to the future of humanities and social change. The photos to the left reflect the people who played such important roles in this work.

The Michigan Humanities will soon be announcing a new round of grants. We've worked hard to be strong advocates for humanities funding, and our Board of Directors is cognizant of the need to be strategic in our work. I hope you enjoy this May Enews, and that your community enjoys the value of humanities today.

~ Shelly Kasprzycki, Executive Director

Advocacy Update
Where does funding for Michigan Humanities Council (MHC) come from  for our grants and programs? Over 82% of our budget comes to us from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The National Endowment for the Humanities budgets 42% of their funds in grant support to the 56 state humanities councils. This partnership helps make humanities education and lifelong learning available to serve local interests and needs. The councils operate in all 50 states and in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa. To find out more about councils around the country and the work that we all do, please visit the NEH website. 
"On September 29, 1965, as President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act, he was surrounded by scholars, artists, teachers, and political and cultural leaders in the White House Rose Garden. Fifty years later, NEH has made more than 63,000 grants totaling $5.3 billion, and leveraged an additional $2.5 billion in matching funds. Those grants have helped fulfill NEH’s mission to support humanities research and scholarship, to advance teaching and learning, to preserve cultural assets and heritage, and to make cultural resources available to the American people." William D. Adams, Chairman, National Endowment for the Humanities, Annual Report 2015

Federal funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities will ensure that the grants and programs that are offered through Michigan Humanities Council will continue throughout Michigan. Would you like to add your voice to the growing chorus that is asking that support for the Humanities and the Arts continue?   Please contact us today.  
#SavetheNEH    #HumanitiesMatter
Great Michigan Read 2017-18
We are thrilled to share with you our 2017-18 Great Michigan Read "X: A Novel" by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon. Written by Malcolm's third daughter, this book tells the story of Malcolm's childhood, and includes memories of his time living in Michigan, his travels to Boston and New York, and the experiences that ultimately shaped his beliefs and made him the iconic figure that he is.

To become a partner, visit our website and submit an application. Benefits of partnership include free materials, including copies of the book, as well as publicity through the council and the chance to host events featuring the story and themes of "X: A Novel".


Do you have a project idea to explore for a possible Humanities Grant? The draft proposal form is now available on the MHC website. A draft proposal is not required prior to the submission of a final grant application, but it can provide valuable feedback as you further develop and fine-tune your project proposal and final application. Draft proposals must be submitted to MHC by July 1st in order to allow adequate time for feedback to be provided and incorporated into your final application (due August 17th).

New Opportunity in 2017-18!
In order to offer more flexibility in project planning and implementation, MHC will offer two application periods for Humanities Grants during 2017-2018:

Fall 2017 Grants (Awards made in November 2017)
Spring 2018 Grants (Awards made in June 2018) 

NOTE: The availability of 2017-2018 Humanities Grants is dependent on the continued funding of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in the FY18 federal budget. 

The next Museum on Main Street Traveling Exhibition:
Water/Ways is coming to Michigan!

There's still time to apply! Visit our website  and see if Water/Ways should come to your community!  
Applications are due July 10, 2017
Heritage Grantee Convening

 The final convening of MHC Heritage Grantees was held at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Close to 100 people involved in designing, directing, and implementing Heritage Grant projects throughout Michigan gathered to share experiences, learn from each other, and move forward with shared goals. The important work of our grantees has positively impacted many people and communities statewide. MHC is very grateful for the energy and commitment they have devoted to their Heritage Grant funded projects. Attendees also had the opportunity to listen to our keynote speaker, Levi Rickert, Founder and Editor of Native News Online, and participate in breakout sessions focused on sharing experiences and strategies for building on the progress initiated in Heritage Grant projects. The day left us inspired and energized as we shared in their accomplishments and explored ways to continue the important work of racial equity by bringing the authentic voices of communities and cultural identity groups to the foreground.

Don't Miss Your Chance!
 Funding is still available for Arts & Humanities Touring Grants.

If you have an event that occurs by August 31, 2017 that includes a performer/presenter from the Arts & Humanities Touring Directory,  apply today . Touring Grants are processed in the order received until funding runs out. Don't miss your chance! Funding is still available.
Featured Performer from our Touring Directory
Jenifer Strauss, Story Be Told
Dynamic and thought provoking, engaging and educational, heart-warming and humorous, Jenifer Strauss offers a unique brand of energy-injected and interactive performances, workshops, trainings, keynotes and consultation services using STORY as the common denominator to capture interest, motivate learning, inspire action, and transform lives. In 1993, following ten years as an environmental educator and classroom teacher, Jenifer Strauss united her passion for teaching and storytelling to create Story Be Told, a narrative consulting business. In over 300 speaking engagements a year, Jenifer uses story to help educators, organizations and individuals connect, communicate, clarify and achieve their goals.

View our Touring Directory!

Poetry Out Loud National Finals

The 2017 Michigan Poetry Out Loud State Champion, MaryKate Wright of Owosso High School, traveled to Washington D.C. in late April to represent Michigan in the National Finals. MaryKate had the opportunity to meet other state champions, attend a Congressional breakfast, and compete against the best students from all over the country. MaryKate proudly represented us, and finished in the top 24 — a very impressive performance. While in D.C., MaryKate also had the pleasure of meeting her Congressman John Moolenaar, and Michigan Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters.   
As we wrap up Poetry Out Loud 2017, please share information about this program with your teacher and school system — all Michigan high schools are eligible to be a part of this free program. Contact our office for information. Signup will be open online prior to the 2017-18 school year.  

  The 2017 Quick Grant Application
is Open 

Please allow up to four weeks for your application to be processed.

Quick Grants provide up to $500 to Michigan-based nonprofit organizations in support of public humanities programs. 

Visit our website for more information.

#HumanitiesMatter      #SupportNEH