Michigan Humanities News
April 2020
Message from our President
Dear Humanities Friends,

On behalf of the board of directors and staff of Michigan Humanities, we wish you good health and cheer. We are pleased that the launch of #MIHumanitiesAtHome on all facets of our social media is reaching more viewers than ever! Please take a moment to visit our Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram to see for yourself. It is a delightful way to tour beautiful exhibitions virtually, share great books, enjoy bedtime stories, and get the latest humanities news.

The Michigan Humanities board and staff are working hard to continue operations, albeit virtually. We are continuing to plan the Detroit 2021 National Humanities Conference, and grant review is underway. Policies are being updated, and the Humanities At Home campaign is thriving.

I’m also pleased to announce that we may be able to help more arts and cultural organizations through some additional funds that will be released to state humanities councils. Stay tuned to our website www.michiganhumanities.org and our social media to learn more in the next month. We know our valued partners are facing challenges, and we will do all we can to help.

Although the Poetry Out Loud Championship State Finals were not held as planned on March 13-14, we look, we look forward to special announcements for other ways to celebrate the sublime youth who perform such excellent poetry recitations. We are also finding ways to hold virtual programming for the Great Michigan Read. Where there’s a will (and a humanities project), there’s a way! We are also going to celebrate the Michigan Humanities Awards, which will now take place on September 16. Nominations are still being accepted at https://www.michiganhumanities.org/michigan-humanities-awards-2020-call-for-nominations/.

Lastly, there is no more important time than now for humanities. Thoreau said, “however mean your life is, meet it and live it.”  As I recently said on a video shot at home, while science educates us, the humanities feed our hearts, minds, and souls. Fostering the human connection keeps us vital. So, please, check out our daily posts and celebrate together with us the wonderful things that connect us all.

Shelly Hendrick Kasprzycki
President & CEO
These Michigan Humanities events have been postponed or rescheduled

  • Museum on Main Street's "Crossroads Change in Rural America" tour in Rogers City has been postponed. Learn more here.

  • The Great Michigan Read spring author tour has been cancelled. Learn more here.
Join us for a grants update webinar
Current grantees are invited to join grants staff, James Nelson and Jennifer Rupp, for a Zoom call on Thursday, April 16 at 10 a.m.

This call will serve as an update on current events and to answer any questions you may have. This call will also be recorded and made available after April 16 if you are unable to attend. All project directors will receive an email from Michigan Humanities with the Zoom call login information. See you then!
Michigan Humanities Awards 2020 have been rescheduled
Michigan Humanities Awards 2020 have been rescheduled to Wednesday, September 16 at the University Club in Lansing, Michigan. We hope you will join us to celebrate the important work that is being done around our state. We have extended the deadline for nominations to August 1, 2020.  

Awards will be presented in the following categories:
Outstanding Humanities Supporter – Corporate or Individual
Recognizes corporations or individuals that have made a lasting contribution to the cultural life of their communities or our state through their active support of and involvement in promoting public humanities.

Humanities Champion of the Year – Individual
The person whose contributions result in outstanding public humanities impact in their community and in our state. An example would be humanities person (teacher, scholar, librarian, cultural leader) who has creatively and successfully brought humanities to the public forum.

Community Impact Partner of the Year
Universities, schools, libraries, community centers and organizations who have brought to life a book, humanities project, discussion or other humanities programs in an innovative or creative way, serving their community and our state. They have championed the value of public humanities and made a lasting contribution to the cultural life of Michigan.

Get to know some of our new board members
We are pleased to have five new board members working with Michigan Humanities. They recently shared with us some of their favorite Michigan spots and pastimes, and we are delighted to introduce them all to you. First, please welcome Amisha and Ethriam.
Amisha Harijan
Amisha is a librarian at Detroit Public Library specializing in working with teens through the HYPE Teen Center and Children’s Library. She holds a Master of Library and Information Science (2009) degree from Wayne State University and a Bachelor of Arts, Africana Studies also from Wayne State University. She is a skilled presenter and leader. She has worked for Detroit Public Library since May 2015. She is pictured with her dog, Viktor Vaughn.  

What is your favorite place in Michigan to visit?
I experienced ArtPrize while working for Grand Rapids Public Library several years ago. It's a treat to visit in the fall for the art takeover.

What is a good book you’ve enjoyed recently?
Tayari Jones' novel, An American Marriage , is a compelling read. My book club was texting and discussing it well before our meeting date. Highly recommended!

What is your favorite ice cream?
Favorite ice cream? Pistachio. Cherry Garcia. Butter Pecan. A scoop of all three means I'm willing to share.
Ethriam Cash Brammer
Ethriam Cash Brammer is a Chicano writer and scholar, of Purépecha descent, from El Centro, California. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from University of California, and received his Ph.D. in English from Wayne State University. He currently serves as an assistant dean for the Rackham Graduate School at the University of Michigan, where he also serves as the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Implementation Lead. He is pictured with his son Julian, playing hockey in their backyard last year.

What is your favorite place in Michigan to visit?
I have two: my own kitchen--because I love to eat; and, the Old Mission Peninsula near Traverse City, because I love to witness first-hand how the wine industry is growing in Michigan.

What is a good book you’ve enjoyed recently?
I have two of those, too: Love Poems (For People with Children) by John Kenney and Don't Want to Be a Good Indian No More by Michigan writer, Martin Reinhardt.

What is your favorite ice cream?
I guess I'll continue with the same double-scoop theme: Rocky Road and Mint Chocolate Chip.The ice cream has to be Hudsonville, of course.
A round up of some of our favorite #MIHumanitiesatHome

Check out some of our favorite #MIhumanitiesathome activities, tours, and more from the last few weeks.

  • Jump in on the Branch District Library's virtual storytime of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Share how you're exploring and enjoying the humanities at home by tagging us on social media and using #MIHumanitiesatHome.
Bring the Smithsonian to your community in 2021

Michigan Humanities is partnering with the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street program to bring the traveling exhibit Voices and Votes: Democracy in America to Michigan in 2021. Six host communities will have the opportunity to host the exhibit rent-free for six weeks.

Support our work!

We need your help to create, fund, and support the dynamic programs we present each year throughout the vast geography of our state.

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