Humanities Now
September 2020
Sisters Rose, Robin, and Brenda
School Daze
I can't believe the summer is over and kids are going back to school, or maybe not, or are in school, but not at school!?  Face it folks. Things are just different now. I loved back-to-school time when I was a kid. I loved shopping for school supplies and getting new white sneakers. Gym uniforms always sucked, but the sneakers were cool. I had many good teachers, and so I looked forward with nervous excitement to the first day of school. Looking back I realize now that I was "schooled" by many people. My favorite art teacher Mr. Coniglio taught me to let the watercolors paint, not use the paintbrush like a pen.  My gym teacher Mr. Helms taught me not to be afraid in dodge ball when boys were throwing the ball. I was always running away. He said, "it's just a ball; stand there and catch it." And so I did. This did not help my dating life, by the way. Everybody was making sure that I could learn something, be safe, and mostly happy.  
I hope that we are doing our part to pay it forward. Arizona Humanities is staying out front trying to figure out this weird new world. We are filming speakers and putting together virtual programs. We are developing a new website for teachers, families, and children with crafts, and storytelling, and virtual resources for teachers. We are holding community conversations virtually, and tackling tough issues on the police, and elections, and race in America. And in the fall we will begin a new series with small local bookstores called, "The Write Stuff." Ali Nervis, owner of GrassRootz bookstore in Phoenix, will kick off this series in October. We want to make sure that, no matter what, we help you keep learning, be safe, and mostly happy.
If you are inspired, send us some "lunch" money. I promise we will put it to good use.

Brenda Thomson
Executive Director
Virtual September Programs
Hands-On Humanities: A Virtual Awards Celebration

Saturday, September 26
1:00 PM MST/AZ Time via Zoom
For free tickets, register here

Every year since 1990, Arizona Humanities celebrates exemplary Arizonans who advance the humanities through scholarship, leadership, support, and advocacy. While our platform might have changed, our commitment to presenting the 2020 Humanities Awards is as steadfast as ever. Join us for a virtual celebration on Saturday, September 26 at 1:00 PM as we honor this year's award recipients. Enjoy guest speakers and musical entertainment, all from the comfort of your home. This event is free, simply register at Eventbrite to reserve your tickets. We can't wait to see you there!

Learn about the 2020 Humanities Award Recipients here.
Michelle Dew
Scottsdale Community College
Rowdy Duncan
Phoenix College
Rory Gilbert
Matthew Whitaker, Ph.D.

FRANK Talks are now virtual! We have wonderful and engaging Speakers to lead FRANK Talks with host libraries. Challenging times have sparked a great deal of interest in these small community conversations. Each program spans 90-minutes and is highly interactive. The purpose is to connect people to one another to discuss current events.

Interested in joining the conversation? Register for these upcoming programs:

September 11 at 3:00 PM
Hosted by Camp Verde Community Library

September 17 at 5:00 PM
Hosted by Coolidge Library
The History of Police and Policing with Matthew Whitaker

September 21 at 6:00 PM
Hosted by Heroes Regional Park Library
Nice is Not Enough: Understanding Systemic Oppression with Rory Gilbert

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 
Courtesy of the Collections of the Library of Congress
The Phoenix Arts & Culture and Women's Commissions to Host the 2020 Centennial Celebration of a Woman's Right to Vote

Beginning September 1st and spanning throughout the month, this virtual celebration will include an online photography exhibit, video testimonials, storytelling, and curricular guides for local schools. Thirty-one female influencers will be honored for their demonstrated leadership and civic engagement within the community.

"While our original idea of having a large audience and traveling exhibit had to be adjusted due to the pandemic, it never stopped our task force's momentum and we are proud of what has been accomplished," stated Regina Nixon, taskforce chair and chair of the Arts & Culture Commission.

Learn more about Phoenix HerStories here.
Brighter Days by Jeffrey Gibson. Photo Credit: Heard Museum
Heard Museum Presents
Largest Exhibition in its 90-Year History

On September 4, The Heard Museum will open Larger Than Memory: Contemporary Art from Indigenous North America, which was originally scheduled to open May 1. 
Curated by Diana Pardue and Erin Joyce, this original exhibition centers around works produced in the 21st century, highlighting the significant contribution indigenous artists have made and continue to make to broader culture from 2000-2020. Learn more about historic exhibit here.
The Literary Southwest at Yavapai College Welcomes Author Lisa Ko

National Book Award Finalist, Lisa Ko, will be speaking at The Literary Southwest Online on Friday, September 25 at 7:00 PM via YouTube. The event will include a live reading, open conversation, and Q&A. 

To register for the live Q& A, click here
To watch via YouTube, click here.

The Literary Southwest facilitates readings and conversations with writers from the west and beyond, from diverse backgrounds, with distinctive voices, and those writing across multiple genres. Learn more here.
Phoenix Center for the Arts Unveils Virtual Fall Classes

Phoenix Center for the Arts and Thunderbird Arts Center are now offering interactive online classes for adults and youth.

Learn how to draw, paint, write, or play the piano-all from the comfort of your home. Learn about their exciting new catalog of classes here
Call for Arizona Humanities Board Applications
Join the Arizona Humanities Board of Directors

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. Learn more at our Prospective Board Member brochure.


Ready to apply? Please complete the Arizona Humanities Board Application form and email to Application deadline is September 30.

Thank You to our August Donors
James Blasingame*
Jennifer Bonilla*
Karl Kendall*
Andrew Krahe*
Eve Krahe*
Mary Lu Nunley*
Debbie Nez-Manuel*
Eshé Pickett*
Almira Poudrier*
Rodo Sofranac
Martin Stamat*
Emerson Yearwood*
American Online Giving Foundation, Inc.
PayPal Special Campaigns
The University of Arizona Foundation

*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

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