Humanities Now
November 2020
Alex Elle
When Things Change

We are in a season of change. I can feel it in the air. I can see it in the plants and trees and hear it in the songs of the birds. Darkness comes early as the temperature dips. When things change, it can be comforting. When things change, it can be unsettling. When things change, it can be exhilarating. There is much that we can learn from mother earth, and from the creatures that surround us. No matter the season, no matter what the reason, when things change, so do we.
Brenda Thomson
Executive Director

there will be moments
you will bloom fully and then
wilt, only to bloom again.
If we can learn anything from
flowers it is that resilience is born
even when we feel like we are
Alex Elle
Grant News
Arizona Humanities Receives $37,000 from Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Federation of State Humanities Councils announces the award of $1.96 million by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a new national initiative, "Why It Matters: Civic and Electoral Participation," which will explore civic participation as it relates to electoral engagement in a multi-vocal democracy. Programs will be conducted in 43 US states and territories throughout the course of the initiative. The initiative begins this month and will run through spring 2021. Among the recipients is Arizona Humanities, which received $37,000. 

Executive Director Brenda Thomson says, "We are grateful for this generous support from the Mellon Foundation. We are excited to be partnering with the George Washington Carver Museum to expand our Smithsonian Voices and Voices programs. We are pleased to support the University of Arizona College of Humanities Towards Justice Series, and the Arizona Center for the Arts: AZ Uncensored Part 2: A Podcast Series. All of these programs will engage the public in lively conversations about the issues facing our state and nation."

Read more about this new initiative here.
November Programs
Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 6:30 PM

The Atascosa Highlands are an area of unmatched biological and cultural diversity, located along a rugged stretch of the US-Mexico border. Over the last three years, ecologist Jack Dash and photographer Luke Swenson have been pursuing an intensive study of the area, designated by the Coronado National Forest Service as the Tumacacori Ecosystem Management Area. Their visual storytelling project, An Annotated Flora of the Atascosa Highlands documents the environmental, political, and cultural forces shaping this unique landscape. Combining social ecology, documentary photography and oral history interviews, their work confronts the diverse, and oftentimes competing perspectives of the region. Join us via Zoom for a live presentation of their work to explore how historical land use and border wall construction along the US-Mexico border are impacting the social ecology of the Atascosa Highlands. This event will be followed by a Q&A with Jack and Luke.

To register, please click here.
Register to Attend Virtual FRANK Talk Programs

Challenging times have sparked the need for community conversations about systemic racism, implicit bias, civil rights, the history of policing, and much more. FRANK Talks span 90-minutes and are highly interactive. The purpose is to connect people to one another to discuss current events. Click below to learn more about this month's talks and to register.
Rethinking Masculinity with Rowdy Duncan
Hosted by Coolidge Library
November 12 at 5:00 PM

Hosted by Glendale Public Library
November 16 at 6:00 PM

Hosted by Maricopa Library District-Southeast Regional Branch
November 19 at 4:00 PM

Hosted by Camp Verde Community Library
November 20 at 3:00 PM

Are you a library 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 Missy Shackelford at or call (602) 257-0335 x29.
Humanities Programs in the Community
View Becoming Othello: A Black Girl's Journey

November 5-8
Taliesen West and Livestream

Southwest Shakespeare Company kicks off it's fall season of solo live and virtual performances with Debra Ann Byrd's multifaceted Becoming Othello: A Black Girl's Journey. Smart, thoughtful and transformative, Becoming Othello: A Black Girl's Journey is a living memoir of Byrd's trials and triumphs with race and the classics, her memorable experiences growing up in Spanish Harlem and her gender flipped journey on the road to becoming Shakespeare's noble, flawed general.

Limited in-person tickets are available for Taliesin West. Please see for our safety practices and policies. Virtual tickets are also available, with no limits on the number of viewers per virtual ticket purchased.

Attend the Native American Heritage Month Virtual Film Festival 

To celebrate Native American Heritage Month, Women Make Movies will make a selection of films by and about Native American women available for reviewing from November 1-8, 2020. We will also host a series of Q&As with filmmakers throughout the month. Sign up here to receive access to the films and to receive information about the Q&As.
Join November Programs at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing

Celebrate the latest release from Arizona poet laureate Alberto Rios. Spend an evening with In the Dream House author Carmen Maria Machado. Explore god in the sonnet at our advanced poetry workshop with Jabari Allen. Take a break from election day with Myriam Gurba. There's something to do nearly every other day of the week. Check out over 15 literary events and programs for November and the rest of the year!

Learn more about individual program offerings here.
Archaeology Cafe Presents Virtual Program on Irrigation Longevity and the Salt River Hohokam

The Archaelogy Cafe (an Arizona Humanities grantee) presents, "The Flow of Water and Time: Irrigation Longevity and Social Change Among the Lower Salt River Hohokam" on November 10 at 6:00 PM via Zoom. The purpose of this program is to help Arizonans learn more about the past to help protect special places. 

Join Preservation Archaeology Postdoc Christopher Caseldine as he shares findings and insights from his recent dissertation research on these ancient irrigation systems. To participate in the program, register here.
Attend Veterans Day Film Presentation

November 1-14, 2020

In honor of all our veterans, the Braun-Sacred Heart center is pleased to present the first documentary film we produced, 14 years ago, Los Veteranos of World War II: A Mission for Social Change in Central Arizona.  This is the story of the veterans from the barrios who grew up on the margins of the majority society, but World War II changed them, and they, in turn, changed their society. These veterans organized to form American Legion Post 41 as the vehicle to make those changes. To learn more, click here.
Literary Journal Makes Call for Submissions

Ecozon@, a multi-lingual journal out of the University of Arizona is seeking submissions related to their most current theme, Hip Hop and its relationship to the environment. Contributions are welcome in English, French, German, and Spanish.

To read past issues and to learn more, click here.
Arizona Humanities Board of Directors Welcomes New Officers and Members
The Arizona Humanities Board of Directors is excited to welcome Dr. James Blasingame and Edgar Olivo to the positions of Chair and Vice Chair, respectively, and Dr. Tamika Sanders and Crys J. Waddell to member roles.
Executive Director Brenda Thomson remarked, "We are more than delighted to have these talented people join our leadership team. They bring both creative skills and business acumen."

Newly-elected chair Dr. James Blasingame said, "For nearly fifty years, Arizona Humanities has provided a welcoming venue for exploring, understanding and making sense of our shared human experiences. From celebrating the knowledge and culture of our twenty-two Indigenous nations, to documenting the historical experiences of our veterans, to celebrating children and literacy on El Día de Los Niños, El Día de los Libros, all Arizonans are welcome to join each other in learning, discussing and reflecting on this great place and its wonderful people."

Learn more about AH's new officers and board members here.
Dr. James Blasingame
Edgar Olivo
Dr. Tamika Sanders
Crys J. Waddell
George Washington Carver Museum Board of Directors Seeks Members
The George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center seeks board members skilled in advocacy, fundraising, marketing, museum management, and curation. Board members reflect the diversity of the community.  Carver engages people in discussion forums, cross-cultural programs, education services, and events that promote understanding of our rich African American culture and heritage in Arizona and beyond. For more information and to apply click here.
Humanities Across the Nation

NEH Awards $120,000 to Repair and Restore Historical American Statues 

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded $120,000 to help repair and restore statues of iconic historical figures that have been damaged or vandalized, and to construct new ones, in an effort to revitalize public interest in American history in advance of the nation's 250th anniversary in 2026. 

"We cannot expect our youth to know about our history if we don't provide them with educational materials-whether it's films, books, or statues-to tell them about our history," said NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede. "NEH is pleased to provide funding to help highlight the accomplishments of the many individuals who helped build and shape our exceptional country."  
To date, NEH has awarded four NEH Chairman's Grants of $30,000 each to assist in the restoration of historical statues in four municipalities. Learn more at
Thank You to our October Donors
James Blasingame*
Gail Browne and Frances Sjoberg 
Lori Eby
Karl Kendall*
Andrew Krahe*
Sallie McCutcheon
Joan Meyer
Mary Lu Nunley*
Eshé Pickett*
Dr. John & Dr. Helen Schaefer
Martin Stamat*
Emerson Yearwood*
American Online Giving Foundation, Inc.
PayPal Special Campaigns

*Arizona Humanities Board Member
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

AZ Humanities | 602-257-0335 | |

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View on Instagram View our profile on LinkedIn