June 2016
Grantee Highlight: Sheep is Life: A Celebration of Traditional Navajo Shepherding and Weaving Culture

Photos courtesy of
Immerse yourself in traditional, historical, and contemporary Navajo shepherding and weaving culture at the 20th Annual Sheep is Life Celebration June 17-19. Visitors can experience
 sheep and wool production, fiber arts, textiles and culinary arts at workshops and presentations throughout the weekend. The celebration is presented by Diné be' iiná Inc.(DBI), a grassroots organization thtat seeks to preserve, protect and celebrate the Navajo way of life. DBI is dedicated to conserving the Navajo-Churro Sheep breed and promoting fiber arts to enhance self-sufficiency and improve quality of life. 

Aretta Begay, Director of Diné be' iiná Inc. shared, "Sheep Is Life Celebration is about celebrating the shepherding and the weaving culture, it also keeps our Navajo historical weaving practices, pastoral traditions alive. Our event brings individuals of all ages and cultural roots together in one place to share with one another the beauty of working with fiber and be sustainable with the animals and land. This year we will make a special effort to honor all who have been involved in our organization over the last 25 years and all who have been involved in saving our beloved Taa' Dibei' (Navajo-Churro Sheep) from extinction." 

The 3-day festival is free, open to the public, and takes place June 17, 18, and 19 at the Diné College Campus in Tsaile AZ. It located just east of Chinle, near the beautiful Chuska Mountains on the Navajo Nation. The festival is funded in part by a grant from Arizona Humanities. 

Welcome Development Director Celeste Winters, CFRE, MAJ

Help us give a warm welcome to Celeste Winters, Arizona Humanities' new Development Director! Celeste is a Certified Fund Raising Executive and will be designing and implementing the development strategy of Arizona Humanities. 

Celeste shared, "I am honored to be part of Arizona Humanities because it has such a wonderful reputation and great programs. The humanities help us to understand our history and ourselves better, and I'm excited to support these vital programs across the state." 

Celeste can be reached at or 602-257-0335 x27.
Upcoming Grant Deadlines for your summer calendar

Summer is here, and before you pack your bags and jump on an airplane or hit the road, make sure you keep these deadlines on your calendar.

If your Project Grant Letter of Intent was approved, your full application proposal is due Thursday, June 30th at 5:00 p.m. (AZ time). 

The next Mini Grant deadline (grant requests up to $2,000) is Friday, July 15th at 5:00 p.m. (AZ time) and the application is now open for submissions. Mini Grants are ideal for small organizations with limited funding, and Arizona Humanities encourages partnerships and collaboration between nonprofits. To see the types of programs funded in our previous round, click to here to read about Mini Grants news.

Do you need clarification on the definition of a humanities scholar or grant guidelines? Check out all our resources on our Grant Opportunities page.
Hop, Skip and Jump into Summer Reading rolls into Gila Bend

Join the Maricopa County Library District Gila Bend Branch Library for a family fun day celebrating reading and books! Meet local children's authors, hear exciting stories, participate in singalongs, enjoy tasty snacks, create art, and more! Each child will receive one free book! 

Thursday, June 2nd
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Gila Bend Branch Library
202 N. Euclid - Gila Bend, AZ 85334

Explore travel writing and Costa Rica adventures with author Robert Isenberg

Robert Isenberg describes his many years as a travel writer and journalist, scouring the globe for provocative stories. Hear about his rustic New England origins, life as a freelancer, and the evolving nature of long-form nonfiction. Considering a trip to Costa Rica? Ask him anything. This author night promises lively discussion about adventure in the age of the smartphone. 

Isenberg will share stories from his newest book, The Green Season about his adventures in Costa Rica.

Tuesday, June 7th 
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Arizona Humanities
1242 N. Central Ave. - Phoenix, AZ 85004

Youth Voice: Words are Power Teen Poetry Slam in Payson

Youth ages 13-18 are invited to join the Tucson Youth Poetry Slam and Spoken Futures, Inc. for the afternoon to experience the power of slam poetry. Discuss issues impacting youth, write about your experiences and learn different ways to perform your work. Lunch also provided! This program is in partnership with the Payson Book Festival, which will take place July 23rd.

Saturday, June 11th
12:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Community Presbyterian Church
800 W Main St, Payson, AZ 85541

Registration deadline is Monday, June 6th! 
Contact: Ellie Hutchison (

Explore the story of the New Latinos in Casa Grande

Actress Rita Moreno
Until World War II, Latino immigration to the United States was overwhelmingly Mexican-American. After the war, three new waves brought large-scale immigration from Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic. In the acclaimed PBS-documentry episode, The New Latinos (1946-1965), hear the stories of Juanita Sanabria, Eligio Peña, Gustavo Perez Firmat, Maria de Los Angeles, and the famous actress Rita Moreno, who starred in West Side Story and won an Oscar. Explore the hybrid identity taking shape in a new generation.

This free film screening is followed by Q&A with Dr. Vera Lopez from Arizona State University. This program is in partnership with the Latino Familia Initiative, & The Paramount Foundation.

Wednesday, June 8th
6:30-8:30 p.m.
The Paramount Theater
420 N Florence St #4 - Casa Grande, AZ 85122

Latino Americans: 500 Years of History has been made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association.
Host your next event at the Ellis-Shackelford House

Do you need a unique place to host your meeting, reception, or party? The historic Ellis-Shackelford House, home of Arizona Humanities, is available to rent for meetings, receptions, and other events. Built in 1917 and located in the heart of downtown Phoenix, the space offers guests an opportunity to experience a distinctive piece of history. Check out our website for details and fill out our inquiry form.

Humanities in the News

A few popular articles from our facebook and twitter feeds. Follow us to stay in the know!
Important Dates
  • June 17 - Board of Directors Meeting
  • June 30 - Project Grants Application Proposals Deadline
  • July 4 - Independence Day - Office Closed
  • July 15 - Mini Grants Deadline
About Arizona Humanities

Mission: Arizona Humanities builds a just and civil society by creating opportunities to explore our shared human experiences through discussion, learning and reflection.

Arizona Humanities is a statewide 501(c)3 non-profit organization and the Arizona affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Arizona Humanities supports public programs that promote understanding of the human experience.
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