Michigan Humanities News
October 2019
Message from our President

Dear Humanities Friends,

With the autumn breezes and brilliant fall colors comes our last Board of Directors meeting of the year. At our October meeting, we will both reflect and forecast what our organization has done and can do in the coming year. Of high priority are diversity, equity, and inclusion. Stay tuned for news of our internal reflection and addition of a diversity, equity, and inclusion council. We are also launching the Emerging Leaders Program to bring young people’s fresh perspective to humanities, civility, and grantmaking in the coming years. 

We are also transitioning by saying thank you to five board members as they retire from service: Dr. Melba Boyd, Paul Chaffee, Eric Hemenway, Anne Marlowe Belanger, and Susan Higman Larsen. Five new members will join us in February. Stay tuned for news of their amazing skills and background in future e-news!  

October is National Arts and Humanities Month, and collaborations and projects are thriving all over the state of Michigan. We are so proud to be a part of such important work to help us all learn from each other and build understanding with neighbors just down the street, across the state, and around the world.

Shelly Hendrick Kasprzycki
President & CEO
Join us for a grants and programs workshop

Michigan Humanities will offer a workshop focused on the grant opportunities and program offerings that are available to Michigan non-profits on Monday, October 28 at the Kalamazoo Public Library from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

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

Staff will also introduce the new online grants and programs portal to help organizations create their online profile. The workshop will be interactive, so bring your laptop and ideas! There is no fee to attend and lunch will be provided. If you are interested in attending please call 517-372-7770 or register online by October 23.  
Michigan Humanities wins Diversity Champion Award

In late September, Michigan Humanities was awarded a Diversity Champion Award from Corp! Magazine at their Salute to Diversity Awards. “Be the Change” was the theme of their event, honoring Diversity Focused Companies, Diversity Focused Leaders, and Diversity Champions. We are honored to be in the company of these impressive Michigan leaders.

Versell Smith, Jr., Board Chair (pictured); Susan Higman Larsen, Board Member; and Carol Taggart, MH Director of Advancement were present to receive the award.
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.


Here are some upcoming events around the state funded by a Michigan Humanities Action Grant:

  • October 16, 2019, City Opera House, Traverse City: The Importance of Libraries and Books. Learn more about this event.
  • October 17, 2019, Van Buren District Library Webster Memorial Branch, Decatur: Made in Michigan: Savoring Michigan’s Rich Foodie and Agricultural History. Learn more about this event.
  • November 6, 2019, Schoolcraft College, Livonia: Meet the Author: Conversation and Book Signing with Steve Luxenberg. Learn more about this event.
Thank you for joining us at the GMR kick-off!


The Great Michigan Read officially kicked off in September with a conversation, audience Q&A, and book signing at the Flint Farmer's Market with Dr. Mona.

Thank you to the Flint Farmer's Market for a beautiful space to launch the Great Michigan Read, Jan Worth-Nelson for facilitating the conversation with Dr. Mona, Steady Eddy’s Cafe for catering, Source Booksellers for having copies of What the Eyes Don’t See available to purchase, and University of Michigan-Flint Jazz Ensemble for creating the atmosphere. 
Photos by Peter Johnston.
Join us for the fall 2019 GMR author events with Mona Hanna-Attisha
The fall GMR author tour begins this month! Please join us at one of the events listed below or stay tuned for more author tour dates across the rest of the state through our website.

Thursday, October 17
10 a.m. at Flint Public Library, 1026 E Kearsley St, Flint, MI 48503
Hosted by Flint Public Library, in partnership with local high schools

1:30 p.m. at Caro High School, 301 N Hooper St, Caro, MI 48723
Co-hosted by Caro High School and Caro Area District Library


Monday, October 21
10 a.m. at Washtenaw Community College: Towsley Auditorium, 4800 E Huron River Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48105
RSVP required to Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at (734) 998-9351 or olli.info@umich.edu
Co-hosted by Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at U of M, WSC Academy, Ypsilanti District Library, and Bailey Library at WCC

6 p.m. at Osborn Academy, 11600 Seven Mile E, Detroit, MI 48205
Co-hosted by the Wilder Branch of Detroit Public Library and local GMR partners


Tuesday, October 22
1 p.m. at Oakland Community College, Orchard Ridge Campus: Smith Theater, 27055 Orchard Lake Rd, Farmington Hills, MI 48334
RSVP required via Eventbrite
Co-hosted by Farmington Community Library, Oakland Community College, and West Bloomfield Township Public Library

7 p.m. at Arab American National Museum, 13624 Michigan Ave, Dearborn, MI 48126
Co-hosted by the Arab American National Museum, Caroline Kennedy Library of Dearborn Heights, and Dearborn Public Library
Not yet a registered partner?
Libraries, high schools, colleges, book clubs, arts and cultural institutions, and other organizations around the state are invited to register as partners via our online system.

Please visit the Great Michigan Read page on the Michigan Humanities website to sign up.
Supplement your Great Michigan Read community programming with a GMR Action Grant

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 begins 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.

Apply today!
Visit the Michigan Humanities website to apply for a GMR Action Grant or contact Katie Wittenauer at kwittenauer@mihumanities.org to learn more.
Third Coast Conversations: Dialogues about Water wraps up in Alpena
Project Directors from organizations that participated in the Third Coast Conversations: Dialogues about Water program came together in Alpena at the Thunder Bay Marine Sanctuary to share about their work on the project. Eighteen organizations from across the state facilitated discussion programs focused on Michiganders' relationship with water. Discussions led to the creation of citizen-led action committees, student-created performance art, museum exhibits, environment fairs, and most importantly, space in communities where open dialogue took place, and can continue to take place! 

If you participated in a Third Coast Conversation in your community we would love to hear from you! We hope that this project continues to have ripples across the state and these great conversations keep happening!
New poetry teaching resource from the Poetry Foundation and Complexly

Ours Poetica is a new tri-weekly video series by the Poetry Foundation and Complexly that features poets, writers, actors, and artists who read a poem that is meaningful to them, and discuss their connection to it, or inspiration for it. This series is a great way to connect students to poetry, reading a poem aloud, and POL. Check out the Ours Poetica YouTube page.

Don't forget!
Applications for Poetry Out Loud are open! You can read more about POL, here, and register for the program here. The last day to submit an application is November 21, 2019.
Looking for POL updates all year long?

Visit our website and Facebook page Michigan Poetry Out Loud  for poems, program updates, and events taking place around the state.
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