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

Recently, we made a statement regarding the racism and social injustice that continue to plague our country. Michigan Humanities is more committed than ever to connecting people to better serve all of humanity, and we stand together against oppression. Through listening, advancing understanding and equity, and truly learning from history, we are committed to real, systemic change.

In the weeks and months ahead, we will continue seeking out and sharing resources that can help us strengthen the ways we listen, understand, advance equity, and learn from history. We have been paying close attention to the intentional, thoughtful work of our partners across the state and the wide range of humanities collaborations that are underway. We strive to build an environment where all voices can be heard and everyone's human experience can be shared. At a recent MH Board of Directors meeting, we discussed important aspects of our work, and the creative ways we can provide programs and grants despite the pandemic.

In May, we were able to provide organizations with a record amount of grant funding, totaling over $860,000 in awards. A total of 306 applications were received for Michigan HOPE Grants emergency funds with a total of more than 2.5 million dollars in requests; 116 grants were awarded totaling $660,000. Additionally, following the review of 48 applications, 16 Humanities Grants totaling $204,284 were awarded. You can read more about each grant opportunity in the e-news below.

We are here to support organizations around the state in their humanities work, and to provide programs that foster a deeper understanding of each other. I’ve never been more proud to be a part of Michigan Humanities. I hope you are, too.

Shelly Hendrick Kasprzycki
President & CEO
Michigan Humanities Organizations Pandemic Emergency (H.O.P.E.) grant funding
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan Humanities provided over 100 grantees from across the state with CARES Act relief for general operating support. Additional details will be shared in the weeks ahead.

 Funding for Michigan H.O.P.E. Grants has been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act economic stabilization plan.
Join us for a grants and programming workshop
Michigan Humanities will host an online workshop focused on the grant and program opportunities available to Michigan non-profits from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on June 18.

A link for the meeting will be sent to your email address.

Grant opportunities that will be discussed during the workshop include:
  • Humanities Grants
  • Action Grants
  • Arts and Humanities Touring Grants (a partnership with the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs)

Programs by Michigan Humanities that will be explored include: 
  • Great Michigan Read
  • Museum on Main Street
  • Poetry Out Loud

We will also walk through our online grants and programs portal to help you create your online profile and navigate the dashboard.
Applications for summer Arts and Humanities Touring Grant performances are now open

Arts and Humanities Touring Grants are now open for performances that will take place between June 1 and August 15.

Funds may be used to pay artists that provide virtual programming.  Applications are considered in the order they are received, and the application window will remain open until all funds are committed.

Browse the artist directory and apply for the grant , or you can learn more about the Arts and Humanities Touring Grant program on our website and view sample application questions .

If you have any questions please feel free to email Director of Federal and State Grants, Jennifer Rupp, at jrupp@mihumanities.org .
Apply by July 16 to bring the Smithsonian to your community

Michigan Humanities partners with the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street program to bring high-quality Smithsonian traveling exhibitions to Main Street museums, historical societies, and other small-town cultural venues across the country.

The latest MoMS exhibit, Voices and Votes: Democracy in America, is coming to Michigan in 2021 and poses questions and historic content around America’s democratic system, voter representation, social justice, and more. Six host communities will have the opportunity to host the exhibit rent-free for six weeks.

Learn more about Voices and Votes and apply to become a host site by July 16, or email Director of Grants, James Nelson, at jnelson@mihumanities.org.
Spring 2020 Humanities Grants have been awarded
Flint Youth Film Festival
We are pleased to announce $204,284 in grants to 16 Michigan organizations in support of public humanities programming. The 16 projects were selected from 48 eligible applications to Humanities Grants, which support projects exploring history, theater, reading, education, and community identity in Michigan. 

Save the date for the upcoming Flint Youth Film Festival -- a fall, 2019 Humanities Grant recipient -- when it moves to an online format for this summer's screenings and awards ceremony.
Submit your Humanities Grant draft proposal today!
Fall 2020 Humanities Grant draft proposals are currently being accepted with a final application deadline of August 27.

Visit the Humanities Grant website for additional information. 
Poetry Out Loud
This spring, Michigan Poetry Out Loud students and teachers have been taking part in online workshops with poets and educators and continuing to share the power of poetry with us through written and spoken words. Students took part in an essay competition, submitted recorded recitations, and contributed to a video compilation that will be shared with all participants this month.

We are continuing to celebrate the achievements and hard work of this year’s students and teachers, and are thrilled to announce the 2020 Poetry Out Loud essay, video recitation, and artwork contest winners below. Congratulations to all of this year's school champions on their outstanding achievements!

Poetry Out Loud is a partnership of Michigan Humanities, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional support is generously provided by Meijer and the Liesel Litzenburger Meijer Fund.
For our inaugural Poetry Out Loud essay contest, students reflected on the following questions: How has participating in the Poetry Out Loud program personally impacted you, your relationship to poetry, and your understanding of the poems you selected?

 Students includes examples of their interpretations and analysis, and crafted powerful essays that spoke to the program's personal impacts. This year's winning students are:

First Place ($1,000): Roxy Sprowl, Grade 12 at Marquette Senior High School
Teachers: Tanya Sprowl & Eric Hammerstrom

Second Place ($500): Xavier Hernandez, Grade 12 at Melvindale High School
Teacher: Michelle Meschke

Third Place ($200): Soja Kureekkattil, Grade 11 at Rochester High School
Teacher: Ashley Painter

Fourth Place ($100): Mahbuba Sumiya, Grade 11 at Benjamin Carson High School of Science and Medicine
Teacher: Shannon Waite
Video Recitations
These four students had the highest total scores from the judges' review of their three video recitations. In alphabetical order, this year's winning students are:

Elizabeth Ajaero, Grade 12 at University High School Academy
Teacher: Torrie Maas

Adeline Frazier, Grade 9 at Houghton High School
Teacher: Julie Antilla

Soja Kureekkattil, Grade 11 at Rochester High School
Teacher: Ashley Painter

Lizzy Shetler, Grade 11 at Traverse Bay Area Career-Tech Center
Teacher: Teresa Scollon

Earlier this spring, we invited all Poetry Out Loud students to share artwork that represented the power of poetry and how it speaks to them. This year's winner and creator of the beautiful artwork displayed here is:

Annie Vokes, Grade 12 at Yale High School
Teachers: Alissa Nicol and Maria Gerardy

Within her artist statement, Annie wrote:

“In my artwork I wanted to convey how truly powerful and inspiring poetry can be. Poetry speaks to me in many different ways. Personally, I believe that each poem has its own unique message that varies from person to person because everyone has their own interpretations."
Great Michigan Read
The 2019-20 Great Michigan Read (GMR) is extending programming into late 2020 and early 2021 to accommodate rescheduled virtual and in-person events with Dr. Mona, author of this year's selection, What the Eyes Don't See . If you are interested in accessing this year's GMR materials online, remember that the reader's guide, teacher's guide, and additional resources are located here.

The August author events with partners in the Upper Peninsula have been cancelled due to necessary COVID-19 safety precautions, and updated event information will be available online in the weeks ahead.
In late May, Dr. Mona was part of an online conversation with the Merze Tate Explorers, a Great Michigan Read partner and GMR Action Grant recipient in Kalamazoo. As noted on their website , girls taking part in Merze Tate Explorers programs "learn of the world and all it has to offer through college and career exploration, study abroad, and visits to Fortune 500 corporations where they meet women leaders." Thank you to Dr. Mona and Sonya Hollins for sharing several photos -- including the one at left -- of their engaging, inspiring conversation in progress!

Our selection process for the next GMR is underway, and we want your ideas! Learn about the selection criteria and submit your ideas online . If you have questions about the Great Michigan Read, want to register as a partner, or apply for a GMR Action Grant, visit the GMR website or contact Director of Programs, Katie Wittenauer, at kwittenauer@mihumanities.org .
Nominate your champion for the humanities
Help us celebrate the important work that is being done in the humanities around our state! The Michigan Humanities Awards 2020 will take place virtually on September 16. 

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.

A round up of some of our favorite #MIHumanitiesatHome

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

Share how you're exploring and enjoying the humanities at home by tagging us on social media and using #MIHumanitiesatHome, or check out the full list of #MIHumanitiesatHome resources on our website , updated every week.
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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