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

Recently, I attended the Nonprofit Legislative Advocacy Day sponsored by Michigan Nonprofit Association. One of the keynote speakers, Skillman Foundation President & CEO Tonya Allen, discussed the Trust Formula. 

Credibility + Reliability + Intimacy = Trust. 

What an important concept for leaders, and so very critical to the work we are doing with our continuing programs and grants. We at Michigan Humanities work hard to ensure our credibility as a board and staff. We seek to always use best practices and are actively engaged in becoming more equitable and inclusive. We aim to demonstrate our reliability by delivering on the promises we make. We provide more than $500,000 annually in grants, and thousands more in program support and implementation. Our staff members strive to provide quality technical assistance and support. The last element in the equation is intimacy, and that involves knowing Michigan Humanities, what we do, and that we can be trusted to do so. We are here to make humanities for all a possibility, from around the corner in your hometown, to rural and urban communities across the state. 

We hope that our continuing work and latest initiatives will bring you closer to our mission, and that we support everyone in their efforts to better understand each other, where we’ve been, and where we can go together. 

We cordially invite you to a Michigan Humanities Open House to see our new office home at 2364 Woodlake Drive, Suite 100, Okemos from 2 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, February 20. We will have light refreshments, and will be able to show you our training room. You can visit with staff, and have a chance to get to know us better. We hope to see you there!

Secondly, our Detroit 2021 Committee is launching planning for the National Humanities Conference taking place in November, 2021. This is an exciting opportunity to showcase our state and bring 500 humanities leaders from all over the world to Detroit.

Please read more below about two requests for proposals: Voices and Votes, a partnership with Museum on Main Street, and the Kathleen S. Mullins Emerging Leaders Program.  

Finally, we are so excited to announce the Second Annual Michigan Humanities Awards to be celebrated on May 20, 2020, at 5:30 p.m. at the University Club in East Lansing. Nominate your outstanding humanities leader or program today! This prestigious award celebrates the wonderful people and programs who bring our society closer together through knowledge, conversation, understanding, and insight.

As always, we hope that you call or email us to learn more about Michigan Humanities and how we can partner with you. I can be reached at 517-372-7770 or skasprzycki@mihumanities.org.  

Shelly Hendrick Kasprzycki
President & CEO
Honoring Humanities Work throughout Michigan
On May 20, 2020, Michigan Humanities will honor and celebrate outstanding contributions to the humanities in our state. Michigan Humanities will recognize individuals and organizations who have advanced the humanities in Michigan through leadership, education, and advocacy. What better way to honor and recognize the important work being done in our state?

Nominations will be accepted through Wednesday, April 1 at 6:00 pm. Do you know worthy nominees? Please share them with us. Self-nominations and repeat submissions are also encouraged.

Michigan Humanities Awards 2020
Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 5:30–9:30 p.m.
University Club, 3435 Forest Road, Lansing, MI 48910
Table Sponsorship and Individual tickets are available for purchase. Please contact Carol Taggart for more information.

At this year’s Michigan Humanities Awards, all nominees will be honored, in person. The recipient of each award will be announced live, at our event. All nominees are encouraged to attend.

Awards will be presented in the following categories:
  • Outstanding Humanities Supporter–Corporate or Individual
  • Humanities Champion of the Year–Individual
  • Community Impact Partner of the Year

Visit our nomination page for details.
Visit us at our new office!
Stop by our office at 2364 Woodlake Drive, Suite 100, Okemos, MI 48864 for an open house on Thursday, February 20, between 2 and 4 p.m.

We'd love to share our new space with you over a cup of coffee and a sweet treat. Hope to see you then!

Announcing the Kathleen S. Mullins Emerging Leadership Program
Michigan Humanities is pleased to announce the Kathleen S. Mullins Emerging Leaders Program. This program was named after the late Kathleen Mullins, our Emeritus Board Chair who championed humanities leadership in Michigan. This program will pilot five sites to develop the art of reflective conversation with youth leaders, and build a humanities-based community discussion at each site.  

Eligible applicants will:
  • Be a community college with an identified group of diverse students ages 18-22
  • Be able to provide meeting space and mentor support for the Emerging Leaders group
  • Agree to host a community conversation in the fall of 2020

If you are interested in applying visit www.michiganhumanities.org.  Applications can be completed online and are due March 15 .  

If you have questions or would like more information you may contact Jennifer Rupp, Director of State and Federal grants at jrupp@mihumanities.org
Important Notice: SAM.gov
Because Michigan Humanities is a federally-funded agency, all organizations requesting grant support are required to have a DUNS number and be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM.gov), a website used by entities doing business with funds from the U.S. government.

Organizations are strongly encouraged to begin the registration process or have an active SAM.gov account prior to submitting their grants application. If awarded a grant, no funds may be distributed to organizations without an active SAM.gov account. The process is free, but time consuming, and it is highly recommended that you begin as soon as possible. 

For more information and instructions on how to register, please visit here  on our website.
GMR Author Events

Looking for an opportunity to see Dr. Mona speak about What the Eyes Don't See ? Starting in March, Dr. Mona will continue making her way throughout Michigan for Great Michigan Read author events. Save the date for these next GMR tour events:

  • March 24: Holland and Grand Rapids
  • March 25: Benton Harbor and Kalamazoo

Curious about upcoming partner events? Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha will speak at Saginaw Valley State University on March 12 at 6:30 p.m. in the Malcom Field Theatre . The public is invited to attend this lecture made possible through Saginaw Valley State University’s Early Assurance Program partnership with Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and sponsored in part by an SVSU Foundation Resource Grant. The lecture is part of the annual Your Health Lecture Series initiative between Saginaw Valley State University, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, and MidMichigan Health.

Visit our website's GMR events page for details about the author tour, partner events, and more. Not yet a partner? You can still register online and receive free copies of the book, reader's guides, teacher's guides, and more supplementary materials.
GMR Action Grants

Great Michigan Read (GMR) Action Grants provide up to $750 to GMR partners in support of their GMR programming. Organizations may receive one GMR Action Grant in the 2019-20 program cycle, which began in September, 2019, and ends September, 2020.  

Eligible expenses include materials, guest speaker fees, food, transportation, venue rental, and other promotional expenses. Funding will be available on a rolling basis until funds are expended. Visit the Michigan Humanities website to apply for a GMR Action Grant or contact Katie Wittenauer at kwittenauer@mihumanities.org to learn more.
Michigan Humanities awarded Democracy and the Informed Citizen Initiative grant
Michigan Humanities is pleased to announce it has been chosen to participate in the Democracy and the Informed Citizen Initiative. This program, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils with a grant from the Mellon Foundation, will examine the essential role that journalism and the humanities play to create an informed citizenry, the foundation of our democracy. 

In a partnership with the Knight School of Environmental Journalism at Michigan State University, and the Department of History, student projects will concentrate on how communities in Michigan can work together with local environmental journalists in times of crisis. 

More information will be available on our website . Be sure to check back in spring of 2020 to see where conversations will be hosted so you can participate.
Poetry Out Loud State Finals
Join us for the upcoming Poetry Out Loud State Finals on March 13 and 14 at the Crowne Plaza Lansing West (925 S. Creyts Rd., Lansing 48917). Round 1 of competition will be held from 2:30 to 5 p.m. on Friday, March 13. Rounds 2 and 3 will be held from 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 14. Recitation rounds are open to the public and free to attend.

Visit our website and Michigan Poetry Out Loud  on Facebook for State Finals and program updates.
A peek at Poetry Out Loud at Houghton High School

Excerpt from The ViewPoint , Houghton High School's student newspaper

The Houghton High School Poetry Out Loud School Competition was held on Dec. 11, 2019. All of the student recitations were wonderful, with Adeline Frazier placing first. She will travel for the state competition in Lansing on March 13 & 14. Congratulations to her and to Ilya Holden--runner-up this year---and to all of our talented students that participated. It was extra special this year because Tajah-Rayne Davise, Michigan’s Poetry Out Loud Champion from last year, attended to recite her three poems from Nationals in Washington D.C. 
Fund your project with a Humanities Grant
Spring 2020 Humanities Grant applications are due Thursday, March 19, and are awarded in June, 2020.

Humanities Grants emphasize collaboration among cultural, educational, and community-based organizations and institutions in order to serve Michigan’s people with public humanities programming. These grants play a vital role in defining our culture, our state, our community, and ourselves, and are intended to connect us to Michigan’s rich cultural heritage and historical resources through initiatives that help the people of our state reason together and learn from one another.

Learn more about organization and project eligibility on our website , or contact James Nelson at jnelson@mihumanities.org

Image from Humanities Grant project "Breed and Bootleg."
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.

When American revolutionaries waged a war for independence they took a leap of faith that sent ripple effects across generations. They embraced a radical idea of establishing a government that entrusted the power of the nation not in a monarchy, but in its citizens. That great leap sparked questions that continue to impact Americans: who has the right to vote, what are the freedoms and responsibilities of citizens, and whose voices will be heard? Voices and Votes: Democracy in America will be a springboard for discussions about those very questions and how they are reflected in local stories.

Voices and Votes is based on a major exhibition currently on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. This Museum on Main Street adaptation will have many of the same dynamic features: historical and contemporary photos; educational and archival video; engaging multimedia interactives with short games and additional footage, photos, and information; and historical objects like campaign souvenirs, voter memorabilia, and protest material.

Museum on Main Street's Crossroads is now in Reed City!
Visit the Reed City Area Depot now through March 15, 2020 , to see "Crossroads: Change in Rural America" on display, or visit our website to see when it will be in a community near you.

Read more about the "Crossroads" exhibit in Reed City in this recent Cadillac News article about the opening weekend.
Jump-start your programming with an Action Grant

Is your organization looking for a way to jump-start programming? Do you have an exhibit that you need funding for? Maybe you are interested in having an author come and speak to your community! 

Action Grants allow Michigan Humanities to provide a responsive line of funding for nonprofit organizations in Michigan to bring public humanities programming to their communities. If you have an idea, or are wondering if an Action Grant is right for your organization, you are invited to contact Jennifer Rupp, Director of State and Federal Grants, to discuss your project in more detail. Learn more about Action Grants.
Submit your Michigan Humanities-funded event to our online calendar
The Michigan Humanities website now has an event calendar! You can now see events Michigan Humanities is hosting, including grant workshops, Museum on Main Street exhibition locations, grant and program application windows, and more.

Michigan Humanities partners are invited to submit their events to the calendar. If you have an event being funded by MH, we would love to help you spread the word about your project to the public.

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.

MichiganHumanites.org | 517-372-7770