Humanities Now

November 2021

Gathering Together This November


Once the World Was Perfect

Once the world was perfect, and we were happy in that world.

Then we took it for granted.

Discontent began a small rumble in the earthly mind.

Then Doubt pushed through with its spiked head.

And once Doubt ruptured the web,

All manner of demon thoughts

Jumped through—

We destroyed the world we had been given

For inspiration, for life—

Each stone of jealousy, each stone

Of fear, greed, envy, and hatred, put out the light.

No one was without a stone in his or her hand.

There we were,

Right back where we had started.

We were bumping into each other

In the dark.

And now we had no place to live, since we didn’t know

How to live with each other.

Then one of the stumbling ones took pity on another

And shared a blanket.

A spark of kindness made a light.

The light made an opening in the darkness.

Everyone worked together to make a ladder.

A Wind Clan person climbed out first into the next world,

And then the other clans, the children of those clans, their children,

And their children, all the way through time—

To now, into this morning light to you.

--Joy Harjo. Conflict Resolution From Holy Beings, 2015.

Featured art: Kevin Peters. Sometimes, During a Summer Storm, Her Hair Ran with Rainbows, 1992

Acrylic on canvas

Nez Perce National Historic Park, NEPE 34566

Listen to the poem read by Joy Harjo here

Mini Grants Now Open!

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Apply Today!

Arizona Humanities aims to stimulate thoughtful community exchange, build new audiences for the humanities, innovate new methods in the humanities, and advocate for the importance of the humanities for a lively and engaged democratic public. Mini Grants are small grants of up to $2,000 that are available year-round to support innovative public programs that increase understanding of the human experience. Applicants may request up to $2,000. 

Mini Grants are restricted to organizations with budgets of $500,000 or less, larger institutions may partner with a smaller institution that will lead the program or project.

For more information visit our grant opportunities page and view our Mini Grants webinar.

Miss the latest event in Representation Matters or Climate Conversations?

Catch up now!

Unpacking Critical Race Theory with Dr. Rashad Shabazz

Bridging Law and Our Natural Resources, Yesterday and Today with Dr. Michael Brescia

Supporting our Schools

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Bear’s Birthday

Book & Breakfast

Literacy Program

Mountain View School in the Washington Elementary School District is celebrating Kindergarten students this year with a new literacy program! In partnership with AZ Humanities and our Mr. Bear, Kindergarten students receive 3-4 new books for their birthday as well as a stuffed animal and family literacy activities to do at home! The excited students also have their pictures taken with Mr. Bear, and those pictures are sent home in beautiful frames created by the very artistic Mountain View volunteers. When parents are once again allowed on campus, family literacy breakfasts will be held to educate parents on ways to help their students at home. Thank you, AZ Humanities!

--Karen O’Keefe, Educator at Mountain View School 

Book an AZ Speaks program now!

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AZ Speaks Special Promo

Organizations that have never hosted an AZ Speaks program can try the first program at no cost! Book now and note in your online application that you are a new host organization. Learn more about AZ Speaks at the link below!

Click Here!

Learn more about some of our new speakers here!


Nina Bogdan

Learn about the history of Russian immigrants in Arizona with Dr. Nina Bogdan, historian and translator. 

Strolling into Nogales: Interwar Russian Migrations through the Southwest

The Russian Civil War (1918-1922) displaced millions of Russian people, many fleeing to China and Japan. Events and circumstances in those countries, however, forced many refugees to seek sanctuary elsewhere. The United States accepted some Russian refugees, who had to apply for regular visas as they had no special status, but the U.S. drastically decreased quotas for eastern Europeans in the early 1920s. Consequently, some Russians traveled to Mexico and waited for opportunities to enter the United States across the U.S.-Mexico border. The quota limits, particularly after 1924, divided families, with some members living in the U.S. and others in Mexico, creating a stream of cross-border travel, often via Arizona. Complicating the situation for would-be immigrants, U.S. authorities automatically rejected unaccompanied women as “LPCs” (Liable to be Public Charges), leading to undocumented crossings as migrants made their way through Arizona to Los Angeles and San Francisco to existing Russian communities.


Zarco Guerrero

Listen to the stories along the Gila and Salt Rivers come to life with Zarco Guerrero, sculptor, storyteller, and performance artist. 

Our River Stories: The Gila and the Salt

Join Zarco for a series of stories that share the vibrant and tragic history of water and the River People, over a 2,000 year period. Beginning with the Toltec trade route that brought agriculture and corn to the Southwest. The history of the O’Odham before and after the expansion west is revealed. We learn about the Yaqui Indians who fled persecution and found refuge in Arizona rebuilding the ancient canal system. A descendant of the first Mormon settlers tells his families’ story of finding an oasis in the desert given to them by God and their determination to tame the mighty Salt River. Our story culminates when an endearing elderly woman shares the hope that there still is to protect our water resources and to right the wrongs committed against the land and its River People.

Read More about Nina, Zarco, and the rest of our speakers here!

Community Foundation's CORE Grants


CFSA is excited to launch its fifth year of CORE Grants today! 

Since 2017, CFSA has granted $2,374,000 to nonprofits in Southern Arizona through its CORE Grants program. CORE grants provide flexibility for organizations to use dollars as they see fit to address emerging issues, boost salaries and benefits, invest in technology and infrastructure, build communication and fundraising strategies, all leading to a healthier, innovative and robust organization. Lastly and most importantly CORE grants are rooted in mutual trust with the philosophy that organizations understand their unique needs and can demonstrate and achieve impact. Learn more about CORE Grants here.

November Programs

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Attend Virtual AZ Humanities Programs

AZ Speaks are 60-minute presentations hosted by non-profits, libraries, educational institutions, and governmental and tribal entities to engage the public in humanities-based topics. FRANK Talks span 60-minutes and are highly interactive discussions. The purpose is to connect people to one another to talk about current issues affecting our communities. Click the links below to learn more about the events.

What is Patriotism? November 8 at 2 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Coolidge Public Library

LGBT+: A History in Arizona November 8 at 6:30 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Flagstaff City – Coconino County Public Library – East Flagstaff Community Library

For the Love of Turquoise November 9 at 5:30 PM MST | Co-Hosted by the Chandler Gilbert Community College Co-Curricular Programs.

What is Patriotism? November 10 at 6 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Glendale Public Library

From “Chief” to Code Talker: Four Profiles of the Navajo Code Talkers November 10 at 6 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Phoenix Public Library

Our River Stories: The Gila and the Salt November 10 at 6:30 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Friends of the Patagonia Library

The Science of Music, The Music of Science November 15 at 5:30 PM MST | Co-Hosted by the Chandler Gilbert Community College Co-Curricular Programs

Metalsmith Matriarchs: Makers, Memory, and Reciprocity November 15 at 6 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Flagstaff City – Coconino County Public Library – East Flagstaff Community Library

Arizona: The Beat Goes On November 18 at 1 PM MST | Co-Hosted by The Museum of Casa Grande

More than Pocahontas and Squaws: Indigenous Women Coming into Visibility November 27 at 2 PM MST | Co-Hosted by Old Trails Museum – Winslow Historical Society

Are you a non-profit, library, educational institution or governmental and tribal entity interested in hosting a program?

Visit our website to learn more about our exciting new list of topics. We can help you cross-market these programs to the public. 

To schedule a program or to learn more, contact Julianne Cheng at or call (602) 257-0335 x26.

ARP and Project Grant Recipients

Arizona Humanities is proud to announce over $900,000 awarded to humanities organizations across Arizona. Funding was split between Arizona Humanities Project Grants and American Rescue Plan (ARP).

Project Grants are competitive grants supporting public programming using the humanities to provide context, depth, and perspective to the Arizona experience and explore issues of significance to Arizonans. ARP grants are rapid-response funding to non-profit humanities and cultural organizations that are facing financial hardship resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding for these grants has been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and the NEH Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan (SHARP) initiative.

Funded organizations represent diverse communities and subject matters, but all will be instrumental in providing quality humanities programs throughout our state.

ARP Grant Recipients

AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute, Inc.

American Literary Translators Association,

The Amerind Foundation, Inc.

Apache Language Consortium

Arizona Foundation for Women, Inc.

Arizona Historical Society - Tempe

Arizona Jewish Historical Society

Ballet Folklorico Quetzalli-Az

Bisbee Council on the Arts & Humanities

Border Youth Tennis Exchange

Borderlands Theater 

Carver Museum and Cultural Center

Cultural Coalition, Inc.

Culture of Peace Alliance

East Valley Jewish Community Center

Emerson Theater Collaborative, Inc.

Gila County Historical Society

Gilbert Historical Society, Inc. (dba HD SOUTH, Home of the Gilbert Historical Museum)

Glen Canyon Conservancy

Grand Canyon Music Festival


Heritage Square Foundation

Hustle PHX

Jazz in Arizona dba The Nash

Kore Press

Lake Havasu City Historical Society

Mesa Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee

Million Dollar Teacher Project

MKUU, Inc.

Morning Star Leaders Inc

Naco Heritage Alliance

Northern Arizona Book Festival

Old Trails Museum/Winslow Historical Society

Phonetic Spit

Pinal County Historical Society Museum

Pueblo Grande Museum Auxiliary

Quartzsite Historical Society

Reveille Men's Chorus

Rising Youth Theatre

River of Time Museum

Sedona Arts Center

Sharlot Hall Museum

SOUNDS Academy

Tempe Historical Society

The Black Theatre Troupe, Inc.

The Hopi Foundation - Hopi Leadership Program

The Sun Cities Area Historical Society

The Vail Preservation Society

TigerMountain Foundation

Tucson Chinese Association dba Tucson Chinese Cultural Center

Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation

West Valley Arts Council

Willcox Theater and Arts, Inc.

Xico, Inc. 

Project Grant Recipients

ABOR - ASU - Noble Library - Map and Geospatial Hub

ABOR - UA - Department of Spanish and Portuguese

American Literary Translators Association, The

Arizona Historical Society - Tempe

Cultural Coalition, Inc.

Friends of Verde River Greenway


Maricopa County Historical Society (dba Desert Caballeros

Western Museum)

Museum of Northern Arizona

Pueblo Grande Museum Auxiliary

Superstition Mountain Historical Society

The Language Conservancy

The Road Ahead Partnership

The Rogue Theatre

Tucson Presidio Trust (dba Presidio Museum)

University of New Mexico - Departments Music and Anthropology


















Humanities Programs in the Community


Tempe 150 Legends Gala & Reception

November 5, 2021 at 5:30 PST

Celebrate the "Legends" of Tempe at this year's Tempe 150 Legends Gala & Reception. Enjoy food and drink with friends while experiencing the highly anticipated Tempe 150 feature exhibit. Be the first to sample and purchase a special edition Sesquicentennial Whiskey produced by Adventurous Stills of Tempe. Hear about Tempe History Society’s 2021 selection of living and historic “Legends” and the contributions they’ve made to the Tempe community. Learn more here.


Kierland Pop

November 5 - 7, 2021

The Kierland POP experience will feature immersive and experiential activities throughout Kierland Commons and The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa. Colorful experiences include a three-day community POP art festival, the 4th Annual Kierland POP 5K Run/Walk, an Arts & Crafts marketplace, and more. Learn more here.

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Natural Landmarks of Arizona

November 9, 2021 at 5:30 PM MST


Natural Landmarks of Arizona celebrates the vast geological past of Arizona’s natural monuments through the eyes of a celebrated storyteller who has called Arizona home for most of his life. The Southwest Center, Why I Love Where I Live, and the University of Arizona Press invite you to a book signing and celebration with David Yetman. Learn more here.


Indigenous Views on Ancestors, Archaeology, and Interaction with Archaeologists

November 9, 2021 at 7 PM MST 

A discussion with Jefford Francisco (Tohono O’odham), Cultural Resource Specialist, Tohono O’odham Nation Cultural Affairs Department. The Indigenous Interests Online Presentation Series is designed to provide an avenue for communication between Native Americans and non-Indians that can result in more understanding of each other’s cultures, traditions, histories, viewpoints, philosophies, and ways of life. The presenters, all members of Native Nations, will share their thoughts about the human experience; what it means to be human and Native American; how peoples of different cultures relate to one another; comparative religions, ethics, history, jurisprudence, language acquisition and retention, and philosophy; and how Native Americans view the archaeologists and anthropologists who study them. Learn more here.


Indigenous Views on Ancestors, Archaeology, and Interaction with Archaeologists

November 10, 2021 at 6 PM MST 

Join the Arizona Historical Society and Curator/Filmmaker Bruce Nelson for a presentation about the Veterans of Washington-Escobedo Community. Learn about the brave, inspiring, and determined veterans from the once segregated community in Mesa, known as the Washington-Escobedo neighborhood. Explore powerful stories from Black Arizona history that all people and veterans of Arizona will enjoy. These stories are curated into a new exhibition that will be on display November 8-13, 2021 at the Mesa Veterans Resource Center. Learn more here.


Arizona Translates! Keynote Address by Ofelia Zepeda and Discussion Tables

November 12, 2021 at 3:30 PM MST


A member of the Tohono O’odham (formerly Papago) Nation, Ofelia Zepeda grew up in Stanfield, Arizona. She earned a BA, an MA, and a PhD in linguistics from the University of Arizona. She is the author of a grammar of the Tohono O’odham language, A Papago Grammar (1983). Zepeda’s poetry collections include Ocean Power: Poems from the Desert (1995) and Jewed’l-hoi/Earth Movements, O’Odham Poems (1996). Following the keynote address, you are invited to move to the discussion tables at the back of the room to share your thoughts about Ofelia Zepeda’s keynote address with your fellow attendees. We encourage you to sit with someone you don’t know! Learn more here.


Arizona Translates! Before the German’s Here: A Staged Reading and Talkback

November 12, 2021 at 7:30 PM MST


Juliá has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Suddenly her life has been thrown into a blaring state of imminence. She knows now, her biggest enemy is time. Juliá faces her family, her past, and herself, as she races the ever-ticking clock to live her life to the fullest, before her own mind betrays her. A vitalist play that transmits a glimmer of hope in the face of irreversibility and that speaks to us about choice, identity, and courage.

Learn more here.


Sahuarita Chalk Art Festival

November 13, 2021 at 10 AM MST 

The Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance and the Town of Sahuarita are inviting artists to hit the pavement, with chalk that is. In one day, an amazing collection of chalk artists will bring the park pavement to colorful life in the third annual Sahuarita Chalk Art Festival. Attendees can watch professional artists create stunning murals in a variety of themes, or grab a piece of chalk at the Sahuarita Lake Park. Learn more here.


Living History Day

November 13, 2021 at 10 AM MST 

The Presidio Museum comes alive allowing visitors get a feel for what it would have been like to be in the Presidio at its height of occupation in the late 18th century. This month, in addition to our traditional demonstrations, Living History will focus on Veterans Day, honoring a variety of soldiers that have served Arizona from New Spain to statehood (1775-1912) with demonstrations and presentations of military gear and weaponry. Learn more here.


Is Meritocracy Worth Saving?

November 16, 2021 at 6 PM MST 

In 1958, the British sociologist-politician Michael Young coined the term “meritocracy” in a book in which he critiqued systems based on individual merit. But to Young’s chagrin, his book was widely interpreted as a celebration of the idea that people should advance according to their talents rather than their birth. More recently, the pendulum has swung back in Young’s intended direction, with meritocracy’s critics denouncing it as a false promise and pretense. Why are we so conflicted over meritocracy and the related ideals of open competition and equal opportunity? Do today’s profound social inequalities reflect a fundamental failure of the idea of meritocracy, or a corruption of an ideal that needs renewal? Learn more here.


Third Thursday Food for Thought – “Horses in Rock Art”

November 18, 2021 at 7 PM MST


Pictographs and petroglyphs of horses have been made since those animals were reintroduced to North America by the Spanish in the 1500s. After horses were in use by northern Plains Indians, they drew hundreds of scenes that include horses and their riders, often in war-related activities. Archaeologists have studied enough of these scenes to be able to recognize Crow horses, Blackfoot horses, Comanche horses, and those of other peoples. Depictions of horses also are found on rocks on the southern Plains and across the Colorado Plateau, but not in large numbers. There are places, however, where they are common. For example, there are hundreds of horse depictions at sites in Canyon del Muerto, Arizona. Archaeological research on one spectacular panel there by Robert Mark, Stephen Jett, and Sacred Sites Research, combined with information gleaned from studying other rock art horses in the Intermountain West, is the topic of this presentation by archaeologist Lawrence (Larry) Loendorf, PhD. Learn more here.


Patagonia ART WALK 2021

November 26, 2021 - November 27, 2021

What a great way to revive after the excesses of Thanksgiving day: Get out and about at the one-of-a-kind Patagonia Art Walk! Local artists, musicians, storytellers, and merry-makers add sparkle to Thanksgiving weekend at Patagonia’s ART WALK. Come stroll the heart of Patagonia, enjoy talented local artists, live music, delicious food…and our unique, quirky small-town charm. Contemporary sculpture, paintings, textiles, jewelry, handbuilt ceramics, quilts, wizard wands, whimsical birdhouses, and more. Plus live music, dancing, and activities for the kids! Learn more here.

Humanities Across the Nation


NEH Announces Additional Biden Administration Appointees

Today, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced the appointment of two senior political appointees for the Biden-Harris Administration: Shelby Lopez, White House Liaison and Senior Adviser to the Chief of Staff, and Alison Share, Director of Congressional Affairs. Learn more here.

Thank You to Our October Donors

Alain-Philippe Durand*

Regi Adams*

James Blasingame*

Rowdy Duncan

Marcy Flynn

Jill Ginsburg

Karl Kendall*

Andrew Krahe

Debbie Nez-Manuel*

Christine Marin (On behalf of Lupe Trujillo Marin and Eulalia Renteria Marin)

Eshé Pickett*

Almira Poudrier*

Natalia Ronceria Ceballos*

Crys Waddell*

American Online Giving Foundation, Inc.

*Board Member

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Humanities Now is published monthly by Arizona Humanities.

About Arizona Humanities

Arizona Humanities is a statewide 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the Arizona affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Since 1973, Arizona Humanities has supported public programs that promote the understanding of the human experience with cultural, educational, and nonprofit organizations across Arizona.


Arizona Humanities builds a just and civil society by creating opportunities to explore our shared human experiences through discussion, learning and reflection.

To request this or any other agency publication in an alternative format, contact Arizona Humanities at (602-257-0335) or email

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