Humanities Now -  October 2018
Celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month

I Have Seen the Stars
When you live in the city sometimes you forget the beauty and grandeur of the earth that abounds in Arizona. Lately the talented poets and scholars that I have met have reminded me to pause and reflect, and even to think and protect, this unique place which is our home. In late September we had the pleasure of co-hosting a reception with SRP in the new Heritage Center. The Heritage Center is an amazing space. Every inch presents learning opportunities that engage the senses. You can put on goggles that will let you virtually experience standing at the top of the Roosevelt Dam as the water is released, or drop from a helicopter line to the desert below, without risking comfort and safety. Poet Laura Tohe with her elegance and eloquence invited us to think about and connect to water in ways we had never imagined. Her grandmother taught her that water was precious and not to be wasted. She learned to place her hand in the water of streams, rivers, and oceans, so that the spirit of the water, could meet her own. We saw beautiful images of night skies dappled with stars, and lightning breaking through the clouds. We saw verdant fields, and flowers tilting their faces upwards toward the sun. And in the end we learned from experts on water, Sarah Porter and Grady Gammage They talked about the future of water, and how the actions we take every day, what we build, where we live, what we grow, and how we use water, affect this unique resource, and the plants and animals whose lives depend on it. So whether you are gazing up from a hiking trail, or from your backyard in the city, enjoy the beauty and peace of the stars above. If we care for the earth, water and sky, we can see stars for many years to come.

Brenda Thomson
Executive Director

Grantee Highlights:  Binational Encurentro: Female Migration and Arizona Women's History Alliance Symposium

Binational Encurentro: Female Migrations
October 11-19
Presented by the UA Department of Spanish and Portuguese and Splitseed Productions

Image via
This Binational Encuentro creates a space for migrants, artists, activists, organizers, community leaders, scholars and the general public to participate in workshops, contribute to roundtable discussions, and view dynamic performances that address what it means to be a gendered border crosser. Through the lens of gender and sexuality, artists from Mexico City, Tucson, Phoenix, and Douglas will explore concepts of border, territory, and
displacement. Workshops, roundtables, and performances will take place in both Tucson and Douglas, AZ. All events are free and open to the public. Interpretation and translation in Spanish and English will be provided during the events.  Learn more at:

Arizona Women's History Alliance Symposium: Arizona Women Advocating for Change
Friday, October 12

Since the nineteenth century, Arizona women have been persistent advocates for change. The Arizona Women's History Alliance (AWHA) invites anyone with an interest in history including the general public, students, teachers, historians, scholars and researchers to learn more about women's advocacy in the past and present by attending the AWHA Symposium "Arizona Women Advocating for Change" on Friday, October 12 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This free event includes panel discussions with a diversity of speakers who have researched women in history who advocated for change in education, law, labor, unions and political leadership in Arizona. The symposium will be held at the Arizona Heritage Center in Papago Park, 1300 N. College Ave. in Tempe. Lunch will be provided. Register through Eventbrite.

Learn, Listen, and Reflect with FRANK Talks

FRANK Talk at the Glendale Public Library, 2018
FRANK Talks are interactive conversations on ideas that matter. Attendees discuss issues of local and national importance in local libraries at a 75-minute program. FRANK Talks encourage participants to weigh facts, provide the opportunity to put them in context, and consider different points of view. 

New FRANK Talks Topics are now available! Check out the list on our website and book your programs today.
  • We The People: What does it mean to be a U.S. Citizen?
  • Crime, Punishment, and Prisons in America
  • The spread of fake news: Is there a vaccine for that?
  • Know Your First Amendment: What is freedom of speech, press, religion and assembly?
  • Energy in an Uncertain World
  • Water in the Southwest: Where have we been, and where are we going?
  • Can We Get Along? Talking to Each Other About Controversies Now
  • Borders, Walls, and Immigration
Visit Water/Ways in Miami-Globe through November 4 

Water/Ways is officially open in Miami-Globe! The opening festivities included music and remarks from Vice President of Salt River Project John Hoopes and Congressman Ed Pastor. Be sure to also check out the companion exhibit of water photographs by local photographer Elizabeth Eaton.

September 22 - November 4
Thursdays-Saturdays: 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Sundays: 12:00 - 3:00 p.m.
150 N. Plaza Circle
Miami, AZ

Revisiting the Underground Railroad with Author Colson Whitehead October 18

If knowledge is power, how powerful are secrets? Join Arizona Humanities at the Tucson Humanities Festival for Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead.

From the secret lives of elevators to international poker tournaments, Whitehead takes on the marginal, the strange, and the surreal. His newest novel, The Underground Railroad, reimagines pre-Civil War America, exploring an alternate reality in which the underground railroad is no mere metaphor, but an actual subterranean train system delivering slaves to freedom. The novel was a #1 New York Times bestseller and won both the 2016 National Book Award and 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

This program is in partnership with the University of Arizona College of Humanities and is part of the "Democracy and the Informed Citizen" initiative, of the Federation of State Humanities Councils. We thank The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their generous support of this initiative and Pulitzer for their partnership.

Celebrate Stories and Books at the Ghostly Stories Festival on October 20

Join the annual Ghostly Stories Festival in downtown Phoenix! Celebrate stories, books, and reading with a spooky twist! Wear a costume and enjoy story time, arts and crafts, a free book giveaway, snacks, & chalk art mural. 

**New this year!**  Don't miss performances by New Carpa Theater Company, Violet Duncan, Elizabeth Toledo(Arizona Latino Arts and Cultural Center), local poets Anna Flores and Megan Atencia, the Polka Dots and author Tom Laveen. Storytelling and art activities led by Music Together, Rodo Sofranac, Anne McDowell, and the Sunshine Readers.

We are excited to partner with the Phoenix Public Library who will be leading bi-lingual and Frankenstein story time, reading games, signing attendees up for library cards, and more! This year's festival is supported by the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture and Thrivent Financial.

Don't forget to visit our community booths to get information about family resources in your neighborhood. Participating organizations include ALAC (Arizona Latino Arts and Cultural Center), Phoenix Public Library, Cardboard House Press, Kids Need to Read, Music Together, New Carpa Theater Company, and the Phoenix Trolley Museum.

Would you like to Volunteer?  Click here to Sign Up.

Saturday, October 20
4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Arizona Humanities: 1242 N. Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Explore "AZ H20 + Art" with Jim Ballinger on November 1

Hoover Dam on the Colorado River. Lake Mead waters on left, May 1972 courtesy U.S. National Archives
Hoover Dam is an iconic marvel of American engineering. Created to manage the floodwaters of the Colorado River, the dam continues to affect Arizonans' lives daily. But the Hoover dam is rarely thought of as a significant work of art. Since artists first visited our region, water has been a subject for their work, ranging from rivers and lakes to dams, agriculture and recreation. This program will explore works of art created over the past 150 years, and invite participants to discuss the various ways water is systemic to life in the Arizona deserts, mountains and the Colorado Plateau.  Jim Ballinger is uniquely qualified to lead the conversation, having served as the director of the Phoenix Art Museum for 33 years. 

Thursday, November 1
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Burton Barr Library: 1221 N. Central Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85004
Apply for a Project Grant by November 1

Do you have an idea for a humanities project 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 a Letter of Intent by November 1 in order to submit a full application. 

The Letter of Intent must be submitted through the online Grants and Programs Dashboard.

A few helpful tips to get you started:
Questions? Give our office a call at 602-257-0335.
NEH News and Other Opportunities

Explore grant opportunities with the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Humanities Open Book, Humanities Connections Planning & Implementation, Dialogues on the Experience of War, and many other grants have deadlines this fall.

Watch the 2018 Jefferson Lecturer in the Humanities on October 15. Dr. Rita Charon is a scholar, physician, and originator of the burgeoning field of narrative medicine. She will share her lecture, "To See the Suffering: The Humanities Have What Medicine Needs." Watch the live-stream at

New grant available for small museums from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The new grant is called Inspire! Grants for Small Museums and is a special initiative of the Museums for America program. The grant has three project areas: Lifelong Learning, Community Anchors and Catalysts, and Collections Stewardship and Public Access.The deadline is November 1, 2018. Read more on the IMLS website
Highlighted September Programs

Check out programs on our website calendar.

FRANK Talks: Crime, Punishment, and Prisons in America
Saturday, October 6
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Salazar-Ajo Library
15 W. Plaza St. #179
Ajo, AZ 85321
Arizona Goes to the Moon with Kevin Schindler
Monday, October 8
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Church of the Nazarene
55 Rojo Dr
Sedona, 86351
Día de los Muertos: A Celebration of Life and Death with Elena Díaz Bjorkquist
October 13
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Smoki Museum
147 North Arizona Avenue
Prescott, AZ 86301
Armed with Our Language, We Went to War: The Navajo Code Talkers with Laura Tohe
Saturday, October 13 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Mohave Museum of History and Arts
400 W. Beale St.
Kingman, AZ 86401
Noche en Blanco Returns October 27

Courtesy Hance Park Conservancy
The Hance Park Conservancy presents the third annual "Noche en Blanco" fundraiser to benefit the future of Hance Park. This unity dinner party celebrates the cultural diversity within the City of Phoenix and State of Arizona. Inspired by a similar "dinner in white" which began in Paris 29 years ago, Noche en Blanco has a character unique to Phoenix. Arizona Humanities sits right next to Hance Park, and is committed to ensuring a bright future for this vibrant place. 

The Social Buzz 

A few popular articles from our facebook and twitter feeds. Follow us to stay in the know! 
  • To Restore Civil Society, Start With the Library via NY Times 
  • The Water Crises Aren't Coming-They're Here via Esquire
  • Tapped out, or plenty to tap? Developers argue there's more water in the Colorado River Basin via Cronkite News
Thank you to our September Donors

Barbara Baderman*
Michael & Katherine Baron
Gay Chanler
Catherine Connolly
John Doty
Jo Ann Handley
Gary Hanneman
Judith Hardes
Karl Kendall*
Barbie and Charlie Moody
Mary Lu Nunley*
Eshé Pickett*
Dr. John and Dr. Helen Schaefer
Bill and Mary Ann Sheely
Nancy Splain
James Walsh
Elaine Warner
Emerson Yearwood*
American Endowment Foundation 

*Arizona Humanities Board Member
Important Dates
  • October 19 - Board of Directors Meeting
  • November 1 - Project Grants Letter of Intent Due
  • November 1 - Mini Grants Open
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.
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