March 2016
"Trees in Trouble" now showing on PBS
The results of an emerald ash borer infestation on this residential street in Toledo, Ohio. | Photos courtesy of

Film highlights the challenges of invasive species
Ohio Humanities planning and production grants helped Cincinnati producer Andrea Torrice interview humanities scholars and municipal leaders for "Trees in Trouble," a documentary about the threat to urban tree canopies and Ohio forests. Arborists and scientists outline the benefits of urban trees, including improved health outcomes.  Yet, at the same time, trees across the Midwest have been killed off by the emerald ash borer, and the documentary includes visual reminders of what can be lost to invasive species.

"Trees in Trouble" premiered on Cincinnati public television in December; other Ohio broadcasts include April 17 at 4 p.m. on WOSU-TV34 in Columbus and April 26 at 9:30 p.m. on WOUB-TV20 in Athens.  "Trees in Trouble" will be premiering nationally over other local PBS stations throughout April.  Check your local PBS station for details, or visit

Humanities on the Hill 2016
Herma Images
The United States Capitol
In early March, Ohio Humanities joined 55 other state and territorial humanities councils in Washington, D.C. to take part in Humanities on the Hill, a day of advocacy for the public humanities. Ohio Humanities staff and board members met with Ohio's congressional delegation to share a message that the public humanities contribute to vibrant communities across the state and to request increased funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

"I am always so pleased when I meet a Congressperson or legislative aide who has attended a Speakers Bureau or an Ohio Chautauqua program back home in the district," said Ohio Humanities Executive Director Pat Williamsen.  "The best advocates for the public humanities are our program partners!"  If you need help identifying your Congressional representatives, email Roger Burns at

Join Ohio Humanities for 18th annual Ohio Chautauqua Tour
Ohio Humanities is proud to announce that p reparations toward its Ohio Chautauqua 2016: The Natural World program are underway.  The 2016-2017 theme The Natural World   is  designed
to encourage public conversation that addresses environmental issues from a humanities perspective through living history performances.

In January, the members of the 2016-2017 troupe Chuck Chalberg, Dan Cutler, Susan Marie Frontczak, and Dianne Moran gathered in Columbus for a dress rehearsal of the tour's presentations  of how and why humans have had such an impact on the natural world.

Ohio Chautauqua 2016 Host Communities

Brimfield: June 7-11
Hamilton: June 14-18
Gallipolis: June 21-25
Rossford: June 28-July 2

From Left to Right:

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly
Dian Fossey
Pres. Theodore Roosevelt, 
Marie Sklodowska Curie
Shawnee Chief Cornstalk

Photo by
Janet Adams 

Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop to Bring Hundreds to Dayton
A grant to the University of Dayton will underwrite public programs held in conjunction with the annual Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, March 31-April 2.  A beloved newspaper columnist, Erma was best known for her humorous commentary on suburban life.  The public programs will explore her place in literary history.  For information on where the free public programs will be held, 

Inaugural festival explores impact of war on society and culture
With support from Ohio Humanities, the Cleveland Humanities Festival will engage the public in discussions about many of society's most challenging issues and pressing concerns. The inaugural festival theme "Remembering War," will explore the impact of war on society and culture. CHF participants will be challenged to consider the specter of human brutality, as well as our capacity to transcend it. 

The keynote address will be delivered by  Jonathan Shay, Friday, April 1 from 4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m at the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities located on the campus of Case Western Reserve University.  Shay is a recipient of a MacArthur "Genius Grant" fellowship and the Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice. Additional events and exhibitions are scheduled throughout April and early May. Click the link above to learn more.

Ohio Humanities names new administrative assistant  
Ohio Humanities is pleased to announce Erin Jansen as its new administrative assistant. She is a recent graduate of Boston University with a Bachelor of Arts in history. Prior to joining the Ohio Humanities staff, Erin worked as a teaching assistant with the Dahlberg-Gibson Learning Center in Columbus, Ohio. She has previously   served as an ambassador with the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and interned with Crimson Films as an historical researcher. 


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