October 2016

The Ties That Bind by Brenda Thomson

Junot Diaz
In September we had the good fortune to attend the national Human Ties conference in Charlottesville, Virginia, an impressive event with a dazzling array of talented speakers including Sir Salman Rushdie, Nikki Giovanni, Junot Diaz, Henry Louis Gates, Alice Waters, and many more. The event was an exploration of the humanities from all sides through the theme of Human Ties, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

I have attended many conferences, but none quite like this one. Two events in particular stood out to me, the film screening of Six Months That Changed America: Freedom Riders, a documentary on the brave young men and women that traveled to the south on buses and trains to protest racial injustice. The second event was a trip to the Monticello home of President Thomas Jefferson. Both events challenged me to view and think about history in ways that I had not done so before, and underscored the importance of history in shaping the present, for better or worse. Click here to continue reading The Ties That Bind.
Arizona Humanities Receives NEH Legacy of Race and Ethnicity Grant

National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Dr. William Adams made the grant funds available because of the urgent need for community dialogue across the U.S.  Adams remarked, "In the wake of recent events in Dallas, Baton Rouge, and Minneapolis, people across the country are calling for more vigorous and consequential public discussion of the persistent social, economic, cultural, and racial issues that divide our communities. The National Endowment for the Humanities wishes to add its own energy and resources to this call, and to enlist the help and talents of the state and territorial humanities councils in stimulating meaningful community conversations."

Arizona Humanities is delighted to answer the call to action; Executive Director Brenda Thomson shared, "We know that the toughest issues can be resolved when people come together and talk to each other."  Be on the lookout for programs that will stimulate your thinking and provide the opportunity to talk to your friends, colleagues and neighbors about current events. Two of these programs are highlighted in this eNews: Dr. Rashad Shabazz's conversation on October 13th and the Entre Sueños events on October 19-20th. 

The Time is NOW to Apply for Grants

Caution...Grant Deadlines are closer than they appear! If you are thinking about applying for a grant, the time is now to get your questions answered and be working on your applications and Letter of Intent registrations. Click here to read more about our grant opportunities.
  • Mini Grant Deadline - Monday October 17th (original application due date of October 15 falls on a weekend and rolls over to the next business day)
  • Project Grant Letter of Intent Deadline - Tuesday, November 1st
  • Storying Arizona Grant Deadline - Tuesday, November 1st
For grants questions, please give us a call at 602-257-0335 or email Samantha Anderson, Grants Manager
Join the Conversation with Dr. Rashad Shabazz on October 13th 

Explore "The Future of Cities, Geography, & Race" with Dr. Rashad Shabazz from the ASU School of Social Transformation. Drawing from Dr. Rashad's book, Spatializing Blackness: Architectures of Confinement and Black Masculinity in Chicago, attendees will explore the history of confinement, policing, surveillance, urban planning, and incarceration of African American communities on the city's South Side. 
  • 5:30-6:30 p.m. - Small group discussion (limited to 12 RSVPs)
  • 6:30-8:00 p.m. - Reading and Q&A
Seating is limited and light refreshments are included. RSVP to Ellie Hutchison ( or 602-257-0335.)

Entre Sueños Shares Stories from Arizona's Criminal Punishment System, October 19-20

Join us for this special two-part event in conjunction with ASU's Ethnic Studies Week.


Wednesday, October 19th

Entre Sueños Storytelling Event

6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

The McKinley Club

800 N 1st Ave. - Phoenix, AZ 85003

Free event

A live storytelling event featuring six storytellers who share one thing in common - all have experienced Arizona's criminal punishment system.

Click here to share on facebook.

Thursday October 20th

Entre Sueños Community Conversation

6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Arizona Humanities

1242 N. Central Ave. - Phoenix, AZ 85004
Free event
Join in a community conversation about the criminal punishment system and mass incarceration facilitated by Heather Hamel and Dr. Alan Gomez.

Programs are in partnership with Arizona State University Ethnic Studies Week, American Friends Service Committee, Justice that Works, and sheworXX.

Ghostly Stories with Marshall Shore Returns October 29th

BookPALS Reader Cindi Reiss and "Hip Historian" Marshall Shore
Gather your friends and family for a spooky evening of storytelling at Arizona Humanities!  Wear a spooky costume and listen to spooky tales with a historical twist. The evening features Marshall Shore, Arizona's own Hip Historian, who will take you on a chilling journey through local Arizona ghost stories. Enjoy snacks, arts and crafts, a free book giveaway, storytelling, and other family activities. 

FREE and FUN for families and kids!

Saturday, October 29th
5:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Arizona Humanities - 1242 N. Central Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85004

Grantee Highlights Explore Art, Mexican Culture, & Presidential Debates

From the Arizona Jewish Historical Society
Beth Ames Swartz Exhibition Opening

The Arizona Jewish Historical Society (AZJHS) presents Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World), an exhibition of acclaimed artist, Beth Ames Swartz. Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World) featuring works that span over 50 years, many from the artists own collection and selected by guest curator, Robert Pela.

Sunday, October 16th
1:00-4:00pm Exhibition Opening with a Film Screening and Conversation

Arizona Jewish Historical Society

122 E. Culver St. - Phoenix, AZ 85004

From the Museum of Northern Arizona
Celebraciones de la Gente

The Museum of Northern Arizona presents Celebracions de la Gente in Flagstaff. This weekend-long event offers insightful heritage programs, music, art, Day of the Dead inspired crafts for the kids, and more.

Saturday & Sunday, October 22 & 23

9:00am - 5:00pm

Museum of Northern Arizona

3101 N. Ft. Valley Rd. - Flagstaff, AZ 86001

From the Institute for Civil Dialogue
Presidential Debate Watch

Join the Institute for Civil Dialogue for Presidential Debate Watch programs. According to their website "Civil Dialogue is a structured format for public dialogue that provides a tool to build bridges across the chasm of public viewpoints...Participants are asked to follow guidelines for civility that are explained by the facilitator. The dialogue is then extended to the broader audience who are encouraged to respond with their own opinions and questions." 

Sunday, October 9th and Wednesday, October 19th 
Multiple locations in Phoenix, Tempe, and Scottsdale.
Welcome Dyadira Fajardo, Programs & Grants Assistant 

Dyadira "Yadi" Fajardo obtained her B.A. degree in Anthropology at Arizona State University and is currently pursuing an M.A. in Museum Studies at Johns Hopkins University. Her experience in museums, anthropology and archaeology has inspired her to help create public forums that allow open conversation for social and cultural issues that affect Arizonans today. Yadi will be assisting with programs and grants. Read more about Yadi on our website or send her a message at

Bocafloja and Mark Gonzales Inspire Audiences across Arizona

At the University of Arizona in Tucson
Thank you to everyone who joined us for the five day residency with artists and cultural leaders Bocafloja and Mark Gonzales. From film screenings, discussions, and poetry workshops, the week was filled with powerful stories and identifying the humanities  in our everyday lives. 

Workshop with teens at the Center for Neighborhood Leadership
A few comments from attendees:

"You have to keep coming back to Patagonia. This was an incredible, moving presentation. Thanks for bringing this poet and engaging the students."

"This was an emotional experience and I would do anything I could to have them visit again."

Look for more photos and info on our website and facebook coming soon.

Arizona Heritage Center at Papago Park Hosts Women's History Symposium October 7th 

Interested in learning about the history of Arizona women? Or do you have a passion for researching and writing about Arizona women? Join the Arizona Women's History Alliance on October 7 to listen to and talk with historians, archivists, writers, and journalists about the latest exciting research taking place in Arizona history. The symposium takes place Friday, October 7th from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Arizona Heritage Center at Papago Park (1300 N. College Avenue Tempe, AZ 85281) The program is free and open to the public. Click here to register.
 Learn about Día de los Muertos in Eloy, Bisbee, and Prescott

Elena Diaz Bjorkquist
What is Día de los Muertos? Where did it come from, what are its roots? How do we celebrate it here in the U.S.? Día los Muertos or Days of the Dead is a significant and highly celebrated holiday in Mexico, Latin America, and Southwestern U.S. Tucson writer, historian, and artist Elena Díaz Björkquist takes you on a journey to understand the origins of the Mexican festival "The Day of the Dead" and the traditional elements associated with the holiday including foods, folk crafts and altars.  

Thursday, October 20 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Eloy Santa Cruz Library

1000 N. Main St. - Eloy, AZ 85131

October 25 @ 5:30 pm - 6:45 pm

Copper Queen Library

6 Main St. - Bisbee, AZ 85603

October 29 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Prescott Valley Public Library

7401 E. Civic Circle - Prescott Valley, AZ 86314

Click here to view more upcoming programs.
Thanks to our Generous Supporters - September 2016

Mr. Regi Adams*

Mr. Ryan Bruce*

Mr. Evan Burks*

Ms. Tina Clark*

Dr. Julie Codell*

Ms. Anne Catherine Doyle*

Ms. Rita Hamilton*

Ms. Elizabeth Martin

Mrs. Fran Montasir

Ms. Mary Lu Nunley*

Ms. Eshe Pickett*

Mrs. Dianna Soe Myint*

Dr. Christine Szuter*

Ms. Elaine W. Warner

Ms. Mary Joan Wedepohl

Mrs. Gwyne Wedepohl Shore

Mr. Emerson Yearwood*

*Current Board Member
The Social Buzz

Important Dates
  • October 6 - Humanities Awards Nominations Deadline
  • October 7 - Storying Arizona Webinar
  • October 15 - Mini Grant Deadline
  • October 21 - Board of Directors Meeting
  • November 1 - Project Grant Deadline / Storying Arizona 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.

Arizona Humanities | 1242 N. Central Ave Phoenix, AZ 85004 | 602-257-0335 |


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Arizona Humanities | 1242 N. Central Ave. | Phoenix | AZ | 85004