"I love books. I adore everything about them. I love the feel of the pages on my fingertips. They are light enough to carry, yet so heavy with worlds and ideas. I love the sound of the pages flicking against my fingers. Print against fingerprints. Books make people quiet, yet they are so loud."

 - Nnedi Okorafor in
The Book of Phoenix

Connect with Us!

Our events calendar is organized by month, date, and region of the state.  Click the icon to visit our calendar, and remember  to check back often. There are always new humanities events to attend!


Utah Humanities empowers Utahns to improve their communities
 through active engagement in the humanities

Executive Director Jodi Graham and
Board Member Randy Williams talk with Utah Public Radio

"The humanities are all about stories...."

- Jodi Graham

Federal legislation to cut arts and humanities funding was recently blocked by a bipartisan effort. Utah Humanities believes that constituent involvement helped the effort succeed and is necessary for the humanities to receive needed funding.

The executive director of Utah Humanities, Jodi Graham, said the off-season for state and federal lawmakers is one of the best times for constituents to ask their legislators to support the humanities.

"I would hate to think that anybody would get lost during a legislative session, but with the sheer number of people that are contacting legislators, I think that that could happen," Graham said.

She said the humanities are all about stories, which is why constituents should invite legislators to community events.

"It all is very personal," Graham said. "It's about learning how to get to know and understand people who are different from you who may be your neighbors. It's important for our elected officials to hear those stories, and not only during the legislative session when they're just bombarded with request after request and person after person making pitch after pitch for their own funding."

Randy Williams is a folklore curator and oral history specialist at Utah State University and a Utah Humanities board member. She remembers years ago a state representative who was actively involved in a program highlighting the stories of Latino community members.

"He came to one of our events, he met with the participants, and I think that probably helped inform his view of some of his constituents," Williams said.

Graham said in her experiences, she has found lawmakers want to be involved with these types of events.

"They really do want to make an effort to understand," Graham said. "And so if these things are going on in the community, or if you are coming to a Utah Humanities event in your community, invite them."

This story by Matilyn Mortensen of UPR aired on July 30, 2018. To hear the recording, visit Utah Public Radio.

Photo (from left): Jodi Graham took the helm at Utah Humanities as Executive Director on March 1, 2018. Randy Williams, folklore curator and oral history specialist at Utah State University, joined the Utah Humanities board in June, 2017.

A New School Year Brings New Opportunity and Growth!

"Every week I look forward to the Clemente philosophy period more than any other class because of the deep questions and critical thoughts we explore. I love trying to solve the big questions like 'what is life?' or 'what is love?'" 

- Clemente student

Fall is approaching and school is underway! This school year brings new and continuing Clemente Courses at East High School and West High School. These unique courses combine passionate instructors, engaged students, and an intensive exploration of the humanities.

In line with Governor Herbert's "66 by 2020" education goal of 66% of Utah's citizens earning a post-secondary degree or certification by 2020, our Clemente Course in the Humanities is a year-long course for high school students from groups that are underrepresented in college. The course offers challenging, college-level introduction to humanities subjects, rigorous hands-on projects, and dynamic group discussions.

Sixth Year at East High School & 100% of Inaugural Group in College
Now in its sixth year, the original Utah pilot program at East High School in Salt Lake City continues to impact students' lives. For example, graduate Fabiola Munoz credits Clemente with helping her to become a leader among her peers and to plan a bright, informed, and engaged future for herself. She received a full-ride scholarship to Westminster College and has an interest in the medical field. Additionally, the entire inaugural group of 18 Clemente students graduated from East High and 100% of them are enrolled in college. And as a final, fitting tribute, a Clemente student was chosen by East High faculty to speak at graduation.

Second Year at West High School & New Concurrent Enrollment Class
Clemente is also now in its second year at West High School and students have been eager to work the course into their schedule. This year, we have also added a second Clemente Course (Clemente 2) specifically for seniors who will be earning concurrent enrollment credits through Salt Lake Community College.

The Humanities Engage Minds and Transform Lives
More than just a class, Clemente
offers compelling stories of the power of the humanities. Students claim that they learn how to think and to ask hard questions.They develop greater confidence and motivation to become involved in school and are more intent on applying to a four year college. With a commitment to higher education and the Prosperity 2020 initiative, this program continues to attract community support and eager students.

The Clemente Course in the Humanities is a Utah Humanities program offered in partnership with the University of Utah Honors College, the Honors College at Westminster College, Salt Lake Community College, University of Utah College of Humanities, West High School, and East High School to provide college-level study of the humanities for high school students who would be first-generation college applicants.

For more information on the Clemente Course in the Humanities, contact Josh Wennergren, Program Officer for Utah Humanities' Center for Educational Access, at wennergren@utahhumanities.org or 801.359.9670 x106.

Photo: Clemente Course in the Humanities is available for sophomores and juniors at East and West High School, and Clemente 2 (for concurrent enrollment credit at SLCC) is available for seniors at West High School. Credit: Jean Cheney.

Our 21st Annual Utah Humanities Book Festival Kicks Off Soon!

"The Utah Humanities Book Festival stretches my mind
and feeds my soul every year."

- S. Simmons

There is a "fall-ish" crispness in the air....which means that the Utah Humanities Book Festival is right around the corner and our full program is hot off the presses!

The 2018 Utah Humanities Book Festival marks 21 years of improving Utah communities through reading, literature, and conversations with authors and each other.

As our annual statewide celebration of literature, we work with partners in scores of Utah communities. Organizations across the state will again host hundreds of book festival events featuring both national and local authors. As always, participants will engage with authors through panel discussions, book signings, and conversations that are designed to connect both reader and writer. Join us!

You can stay connected on social media by following the Utah Humanities Book Festival on Facebook and Instagram.

Visit our Book Festival Calendar or download our Printed Program.

Photo: Book Festival photography at Ken Sanders Rare Books. Credit: Niki Chan.

Saying "Goodbye" and "Hello"

We said a bittersweet goodbye to Shianne Gray who has been our talented Administrative Assistant. She is embarking on a Master's degree at Southern Utah University and although we will miss her, we wish her all the best.

Shianne has been quick to take on any project with excellence and has entertained us with her subtle, well-timed humor. We have loved having her as part of our team and know that she will succeed in her new adventure!

We said a warm hello to Karissa Lago who has just joined our Utah Humanities staff as Administrative Assistant. 
She comes to us with a passion for the humanities and a degree in English Literature. She has already taken on big projects and we are thrilled that her competence equals her passion.

Outside of reading and writing, her interests include musical theatre, French, and gluten-free eating. We are glad that Karissa has joined our team!

Printed Museum on Main Street Essays Available


Did you know that each time we tour a Museum on Main Street Exhibition through Utah museums, we enlist the expertise of a local scholar to capture Utah's historical and heritage-related connection to the topic?

These publications are upwards of 20 pages in length and provide detailed information, perspective, and photos. They are written by academic scholars and are produced in partnership with the Utah Division of State History.

Our two most recent exhibition tours were Journey Stories and The Way We Worked, and the resulting essays are still available!

If you would like copies of one or both of these publications, please contact Karissa Lago at lago@utahhumanities.org .

Museum on Main Street is a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and State Humanities Councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.

Making a Gift Makes a Difference!

Utah Humanities would like to thank everyone who supports our work. Our efforts continue to thrive and grow each year because of your participation and generosity. We are able to empower Utahns to improve their communities through the humanities because of your help.
YOU can continue to make a difference by making a one-time gift, a gift in memory or in honor of someone special in your life, or a monthly sustaining gift to support our work through our secure website by clicking the gift box below!

For more information or to learn about other ways to give, contact Cristi Wetterberg at 801.359.9670 x108 or wetterberg@utahhumanities.org.

Your gift in any amount helps to change lives across the state and is 100% tax deductible.

Thank You to Rocky Mountain Power Foundation!

Utah Humanities would like to thank the Rocky Mountain Power Foundation for its recent gift to support our Heritage Workshops. Thanks to their generosity, we will be able to strengthen Utah's cultural sector and help small museums engage their own audiences in public programming that will benefit future generations in understanding their collective and individual history.

Many Thanks for Generous Support
Utah Humanities is grateful for the generous support of many individuals, foundations, and corporations, and for public funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the State of Utah, and the Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts, and Parks Fund.

Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed on this website do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.