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

Michigan Humanities is pleased to bring you this issue of ENews with the optimism of spring upon us, and the hope that the COVID crisis will wane in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we are pleased to continue #MIHumanitiesatHome, our virtual humanities program, as well as continuing our standard Humanities Grants, and release a major round of more than $650,000 in emergency funds for cultural organizations through the CARES Act (please see below.)

Our Board and Staff are also actively engaged in supporting the best practices and well-being of organizations through policy development. Look for upcoming workshops as we do our best to serve the wonderful organizations that bring humanities to life across Michigan.

Thank you for being a part of Michigan Humanities. We look forward to seeing you again soon, and in the meantime, stay well and join us online at www.michiganhumanities.org.

Shelly Hendrick Kasprzycki
President & CEO
Apply today for a Michigan Humanities Organizations Pandemic Emergency Grant
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan Humanities is providing emergency CARES Act funding to museums, libraries, archives, historic sites, and other humanities-focused nonprofits impacted by the pandemic throughout Michigan. Michigan H.O.P.E. Grants of up to $10,000 are available to provide general operating support with an emphasis on maintaining personnel. 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.

An information meeting for the Michigan H.O.P.E. Grants was held on Thursday, April 23. You can   view a recording  of the meeting, and  download the slides  that were shared.

Applications will be accepted through Thursday, May 14. To apply or for more information, visit our website or email questions about MI H.O.P.E. Grants, to James Nelson, Director of Grants, at jnelson@mihumanities.org .


Additional Resources
If you are an organization researching other funding opportunities, we would like to recommend the following resources:

Join us for a disaster recovery planning workshop
On Thursday, May 21 at 10:30 a.m. , join Shelly Hendrick Kasprzycki, Michigan Humanities President & CEO, on Zoom for a free workshop on Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Plans. During this interactive session, we will share a template for developing a plan that you can tailor to your organizational needs.

Registration is required and available here.
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 program officer, Jennifer Rupp, at jrupp@mihumanities.org.
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.


Nominate your champion for the humanities
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. Please welcome Joseph and Matthew.
Joseph Cialdella
Joseph graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelors in Arts and Ideas in the Humanities, a masters in American Studies, a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies, and a PhD in American Studies. He is currently the Academic Program Manager for Public Scholarship at the University of Michigan. Published this year, his book, Motor City Green , explores the history of urban gardens and green spaces in Detroit. Read more about Joe's book here.  

What is your favorite place in Michigan to visit?
Picking just one place is really difficult! There are so many beautiful places in our state. Belle Isle Park in Detroit, Nichols Arboretum, and Kalamazoo where I grew up are some of my favorites, but if I have to pick one, I'd say the village of Pentwater in Oceana County.

What is a good book you’ve enjoyed recently?
Elemental , a collection of creative nonfiction by Michigan authors edited by Anne-Marie Oomen. I'm also reading Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants .

What is your favorite ice cream?
It always depends on the day, but mint chocolate chip is one of my go-to favorites!
Matthew Fletcher
Professor Fletcher graduated from the University of Michigan in 1994 and the University of Michigan Law School in 1997. He is married to Wenona Singel, a member of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, and they have two sons, Owen and Emmett. Matthew is a Professor of Law at Michigan State University College of Law and a director of the Indigenous Law and Policy Center. He is the Reporter for the American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law of American Indians and is the primary editor and author of the leading law blog on American Indian law and policy, Turtle Talk.

What is your favorite place in Michigan to visit?
I like Traverse City, particularly Landmark Books in the Traverse City Commons.

What is a good book you’ve enjoyed recently?
Louise Erdrich's The Night Watchman

What is your favorite ice cream?
Caramel with Sea Salt
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.





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.
Meet Marcel 'Fable' Price and Rachel Gleason from The Diatribe

Last month, we were happy to virtually host the Poetry Out Loud teacher workshop session with Marcel 'Fable' Price and Rachel Gleason from The Diatribe, which facilitates after-school programs, assemblies, and creative writing workshops rooted in poetry in West Michigan. This summer, The Diatribe will offer virtual programming. We recently caught up with Fable and Rachel to ask about their work, The Diatribe, and advice for teachers working with students through the current school environment.

Tell us about the start of The Diatribe and your current work.

A: The Diatribe started as a collective of artists that were passionate about making art more accessible in their community. The Diatribe is now a startup nonprofit organization in its third fiscal year. What started as a career day for students at an alternative school in Grand Rapids, is now a quickly growing non profit centering marginalized voices that works with early 20 schools year providing after school programs, workshops, and assemblies.

What are your past experiences and future plans as poets and educators?

A: We hope to continue to sharpen our sword when it comes to programming. We now have 7 very versatile artists who are comfortable in the class room, that all bring something unique to the table. We hope to reach new ears, hearts, and donors so that we can hire a full time development director. We also hope to one day have a small space that will transform the Urban Core of our city into an artistic oasis.

How has poetry changed for you or what has it meant to you during this crisis?

A: It hasn't. Poetry is still a megaphone that brings information to the masses in an easy to digest way. As entrepreneurs, well, everything is on fire. Our income has stopped completely as artists, our programming has come to a complete halt, and living in West Michigan there are no artist grants, stipends, or fellowships so we are in limbo when it comes to economic stability.

But creatively, we are still working to bring light to our community and those we serve.

What advice would you give to teachers and students about the role of poetry at this time?

A: Years from now, people will be reading about this moment. So, poets, you are literally writing history. Capture it, and capture it as you see it. Educators, get innovative, have fun, and find new ways to reach young people.

Right now, everyone is in limbo, everyone is learning, and this is new for everyone. So it is up to all of us to reinvent this wheel, and take what works along with us as we see what the "new normal" becomes.
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