Humanities Now
October 2020
Lift Every Voice*

As the weather cools off, temperatures have been rising. Indeed tempers have been flaring. Sometimes it seems that everyone is talking, but no one is listening. How can we adapt, when we are confronted daily with daunting challenges? I have friends that go hiking, or read books they could not get to before now.  Some bake bread, and others have become full-time teachers for their kids and grandkids. We do not always get to choose how we spend our time.

I was deeply saddened by recent vandalism at the George Washington Carver Museum in Phoenix. Someone painted swastikas and racial slurs on the property for all to see. I serve on the board, and so I went there early in the morning to take stock. I met a city employee named Tony, already there to help. He told me that he walked past the school every day as a boy, and hated that someone would do that. I thanked him, and then went back to my car and cried. I cried because it hurt. And then I began to hear from people, lots and lots of people who cared, all wanting to help. I am reminded by this, that each day may bring sadness or joy. But we can choose how we react. I choose joy.

Brenda Thomson
Executive Director

*Lift Every Voice and Sing was written as a poem by NAACP leader James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) and then set to music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson (1873-1954) in 1899. The hymn is known as the "Black National Anthem," but it's more than that. It's a history lesson, a rallying cry, a pledge of unity, people gather to fight for equality and justice (Wikipedia).
October Programs
PhxPlays at Home Brings Mystery Mansion to The Ellis Shackelford House

Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 6PM
FREE Ages 6-12
Join PhxPlays at Home for a kid-friendly, Halloween-themed virtual recreational program-Mystery Mansion: A Surprise at Every Door.

Enjoy a scavenger hunt, dance challenges, and guest appearances by ghosts, mummies, zombies, and more! Registered participants will receive a unique code to virtually join the session. Register for the event here.
From left: Rory Gilbert and Dr. Matthew Whitaker
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.

Hosted by Camp Verde Community Library

Nice is Not Enough: Understanding Systemic Oppression with Rory Gilbert
October 16 at 10:30 AM
Hosted by Pima Community College Library

Gender, Race, Class, and Election 2020 with Matthew Whitaker
October 19 at 6:00 PM
Hosted by Glendale Public Library 

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.
Grant News & Opportunities
Project Grants Applications Now Open 

Arizona Humanities is seeking grant applications for humanities-based projects in Arizona. Project Grants are competitive grants supporting public programming in the humanities. Organizations may request up to $10,000 to support their program implementation. All organizations must submit an Intent to Apply by Monday, November 2 in order to submit a full application. The Intent to Apply must be submitted through the online Grants and Programs Dashboard.

Click below to access our Grant Guidelines and the Grants and Programs Dashboard.

Interested in learning more about the grant application process? Stay tuned for upcoming informative webinars designed to help applicants navigate the application process. Webinars will be made available on our website by mid-October.
Grants Available for Small Businesses and Nonprofits in Maricopa County

Maricopa County has extended its grant application deadline to October 30, 2020 and expanded its eligibility criteria to include small businesses and nonprofits in Phoenix and Mesa. Local small businesses and nonprofit organizations experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 are eligible to apply for grants up to $25,000.

Learn more about eligibility requirements and the application process here.
Humanities Programs in the Community 
The Surviving Humanity Seminar Series
Shares Survivor Stories

The Arizona Jewish Historical Society, an AZ Humanities grantee, is hosting The Surviving Humanity Seminar Series. This series will feature survivors of terrorism, acts against humanity, and other forms of genocide, and will draw comparisons of survival to the Holocaust. The series will feature a primary source and an eye-witness account to the event.

To RSVP, please contact Tony Fusco at

TITLE: It Was a Beautiful September Day 

: Brian Branco, 9/11 Survivor
TITLE: Navajo Weapon

SPEAKER: Peter MacDonald, Navajo Code Talker

DATE: October 9
DATE: October 23

Eric Gansworth with his book, Apple (Skin to the Core)
The Simon Ortiz RED INK Indigenous Speakers Series to Host Virtual Celebration on Indigenous People's Day

Monday, October 12 at 10 AM MST/AZ

In Celebration of Indigenous People's Day, The Simon Ortiz RED INK Indigenous Speaker Series will host a virtual event with musical performances, spoken word poetry, and author Eric Gansworth, whose book Apple (Skin to the Core) is a 2020 National Book Award nominee. Register for the event here.

The Simon Ortiz RED INK Indigenous Speaker Series, sponsored by  the Labiola Center at Arizona State University, addresses topics that underscore Indigenous American experiences and perspectives across the arts, humanities, sciences, and politics. Learn more about the Indigenous Speaker Series here.
Tucson Humanities Festival Goes Virtual 

October 1-30, 2020

The College of Humanities is transforming the 2020 Tucson Humanities Festival by introducing a series of virtual presentations that examine the ideals of freedom, equality, and justice in America and around the world. Learn more about the 2020 Tucson Humanities Festival and sign up for event reminders here.
Register to Attend the 39th Annual Governor's Arts Awards

Wednesday, October 28 at 6 PM MST/AZ

The 90-minute broadcast, hosted by Executive Director Joseph Benesh, begins at 6:00pm and will include the announcement of 2020 honorees, a silent auction and a musical performance. There is no cost to view the ceremony, but donations will be accepted. Award categories include: Artist, Administrator/Organization, Business, and Philanthropy. Thirty-seven finalists from sixteen Arizona communities were announced in March. 

A link to view silent auction items will be live the week before the event. Registration is required to participate. 
Arizona Humanities Seeks Board Members
Arizona Humanities is currently seeking applications from scholars, journalists, and working professionals to join our volunteer board of directors. We're looking for tech-savvy individuals who are passionate about the humanities and are committed to enhancing the cultural life of Arizona in pursuit of a just and civil society. 

Arizonans living outside of Maricopa County and/or who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color are especially encouraged to apply. The application deadline has been extended to October 31st. Learn more at our Prospective Board Member brochure.
Ready to apply? Please complete the Arizona Humanities Board Application form and email to
Humanities Across the Nation
NEH and Teagle Foundation Partner on $7 million Grant Initiative

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and The Teagle Foundation are partnering to sponsor 
Cornerstone: Learning for Livinga grant program to reinvigorate the humanities in general education on campuses across the country. 

NEH Chairman Josh Parrish Peede said, "NEH is proud to partner with The Teagle Foundation to put the humanities at the center of general education, giving today's college students the tools necessary to meet the challenges of tomorrow."

Learn more about this initiative and other national humanities happenings here.
Thank You to our September Donors
Peggy Barksdale
Ronna & Frederic Beeson
Jim Blasingame*
Barbara Bowden
Charles Calleros
Julie Codell*
Donna Cohen
Hon. Dave Cole
Catherine F. Connolly
Kim Covington
Patricia Dreiseszun
Wendy B. Drew
Alain-Philippe Durand*
Charlotte Fischer
Jill Ginsburg
Barbara Hatch
Linda Jakse
Karl Kendall*
Farrell L. Kenimer
Sally Kitch
Janice Klein
Lee Anne & Peter Kline
Andrew Krahe*
Eve Krahe*
Chloe Lamb
Jerrie Jean (JJ) & Ken Lamb
Greg Magee
Marty Manning
Debbie Nez-Manuel*
Christine Marin - In Memory of Lupe & Eulalia Marin
John Martinson
Mary Lu Nunley*
Kari Paulson*
Eshé Pickett*
Robin Pinto
Almira Poudrier*
Martha Prumers
Barbara Quijada
Susan J. & Michael W. Rohrbach
Dana Saylor
William W. Scales
Jana D. Selk
Melissa & Brian Shackelford
Mary Ann & William Sheely
Richard T. Smith
Susan & Rodo Sofranac
Sue Spahle
Martin Stamat*
Pam Stevenson
Jane Swicegood
Paul Taliercio
Laura Tohe
Andrea M. Tovar
Audrey Waite
Sandy Weir - In Honor of Rosaura Magaña
Emerson Yearwood*
Juliana Yoder
Holly Young
American Online Giving Foundation, Inc.
Cable One, Inc./Sparklight - Awards Sponsor
*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