June 2017

Advocacy & NEH Funding Update 

On May 4th, Congress approved the FY 2017 federal budget which includes full funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) with a slight increase. A big thank you to all who called, wrote, and emailed their congressional representatives this spring in support of the humanities. 

However, please note NEH funding for FY 2018 is still threatened. The 2018 budget blueprint calls for the elimination of the NEH and other cultural agencies. Read the FAQ notice from NEH here. It is important to remember that the Administration's budget request is only advisory, and Congress will ultimately make decisions about funding. NEH has strong bipartisan support and as the spending bills make their way through the Appropriations Committee and subcommittees this summer, we will continue to keep you informed as the situation develops, and ask for your enthusiastic and vocal support to save the NEH.

If you have a moment, check out the op-ed by Brenda Thomson, Executive Director of Arizona Humanities, James K. Ballinger, Director Emeritus at Phoenix Art Museum and Thomas H. Wilson, President of Arizona Citizens for the Arts. The article appeared in the Arizona Daily Sun and Arizona Republic and tells why the NEH and NEA are so important to Arizona's people, communities and businesses.  

You can speak up for the arts and humanities, add your voice to the National Humanities Alliance.
Thank you and good luck to NEH Chairman William D. Adams

William D. Adams at Arizona Humanities, September 2015
On May 22, NEH Chairman William 'Bro' Adams announced his resignation from the agency.

Soon after Adams arrived at NEH in 2014, he began leading a series of new grants and a special initiative titled: "Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square." Adams shared, "We wanted to show how important the humanities are to the really big questions that we're grappling with as a country and indeed as a global community," Adams said. "In these divided political times, we also wanted to remind people of the idea of the common good and to make clear how the humanities might serve to bring citizens together in advancing the general welfare of the country."

Reminder: Project Grants Letter of Intent Deadline June 9th

Humanities projects offer ways to investigate, evaluate, discover, record, and articulate the meaning of human experience through disciplines such as literature, history, philosophy, languages, art and music history, architecture, folklore, and comparative religionOrganizations may apply for up to $10,000 to support their public humanities programs. 

Questions? Contact Samantha Anderson, Grants Manager at or Yadi Fajardo, Programs and Grants Coordinator at
Board Member Applications Due Friday, July 7th

The Arizona Humanities Board of Directors is made up of members who share a commitment to enhancing the cultural life of Arizona, and whose background and expertise provide the tools Arizona Humanities needs to remain a successful and dynamic organization. Members are a vital link between Arizona Humanities and statewide communities.

Board members are responsible for financial development and sustainability, strategic planning, grant proposal review, advocacy, and representing Arizona Humanities at programs and events across the state. Terms of service are three years with the possibility of renewal for a second term.

Grantee Highlight: Mississippi Journey: Three Life Experiences in Phoenix June 14th

Mississippi Journey: Three Life Experiences, tells the life journey of three Arizona residents with deep roots in the Magnolia state: Rev. James Pennington - Pastor at First Congregational United Church of Christ, Lisa Chow - Artistic Director of Desert Dance Theatre and Floyd Alvin Galloway - Owner of AGE2 Management Services.

Mississippi is a state of many paradoxes, conflicts and puzzles. Explore the experiences that have connected these individuals in their life journeys from Mississippi to Arizona. The program will also shed light on a Chinese American community in the Mississippi Delta through filmmaker and special guest, Samantha Cheng - Executive Producer of Heritage Series, and her documentary Honor and Duty: The Mississippi Delta Chinese.

Metal Road Documentary Film Screenings in Window Rock June 24th and Flagstaff June 25th

Photo credit Kansas Historical Society
For decades, thousands of Navajos worked the railroads maintaining the trans-continental network. Metal Road enters the world of Navajo families amid history of railroad work through the lens of one workday on the 9001 Heavy Steel Gang.The Metal Road documentary project was supported by several Project Grant awards.

Filmmaker and Director Sarah del Seronde shared, "I wanted to make Metal Road to shed light on two related, yet often hidden issues: manual labor in the US and Native American Histories. Laborers are often the most economically oppressed people doing infrastructure jobs, but the workers are strong and resilient as demonstrated by the generations of Navajo Railroaders. My hope is their labors will not go unnoticed any longer."

Check out free screenings and follow Metal Road film news on facebook.
Saturday, June 24th
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Navajo Nation Museum
Highway 264 & Post Office Loop - Window Rock, AZ 86515
Sunday, June 25th
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Northern Arizona University Campus - Native American Cultural Center
S. Knoles Dr. - Flagstaff, AZ 86011

Board Member Eshé Pickett named one of '40 Under 40'

Congratulations to Arizona Humanities Board Member Eshé Pickett who has been honored by the Phoenix Business Journal's 2017 40 Under 40 class. The annual program recognizes the best of younger business leaders making an impact in the Phoenix area.  Eshé is Cloud Automation Engineer at Intel Corporation in Chandler, AZ and is responsible for architecting, developing, deploying and supporting Internal, External and Hybrid Cloud computing for Intel Data Centers. Eshé participates in STEM outreach, specifically targeting women in engineering. She received her Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Northwestern University and her Master's degree in Computer Science from the University of Chicago.

Eshé is an active community member who strongly advocates for civic and civil engagement. She is a graduate of Valley Leadership, mentored for 6 years with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona, and served as Precinct Committeeman in Legislative District 18. Eshé shared, "It is an honor to be recognized as one of the Phoenix areas emerging leaders under the age of 40. It has been my passion to serve my community, both personally and professionally. Paramount to that service is a dedicated commitment to advancing society's understanding of humanities disciplines and principles; such as civil discourse, historical preservation, and expanding literacy."

Explore the life of author Edith Wharton with Dr. Jana Rivers Norton on June 8th 

Edith Wharton c. 1889
Dr. Rivers-Norton from Cochise College Santa Cruz Center in Nogales will discuss excerpts from "Edith Wharton: When Words First Spoke," the fourth chapter of her latest book The Demeter-Persephone Myth as Writing Ritual in the Lives of Literary Women. The talk will focus on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Edith Wharton, who experiences loss, illness and confusion as a child and is mystified by the aloofness of her mother. Although destined to be a writer, Wharton is profoundly shaped by family discord and a war-torn world, and often courts humiliation and consequent exile by voicing what others in her family do not want to acknowledge. Despite these restrictions, Wharton continuously recasts painful experience as fodder for the imagination to forge a lasting literary career.

Thursday, June 8th
6:00 - 8:00 pm
Arizona Humanities
1242 N. Central - Phoenix, AZ 85004
Happy 100 Years to the Ellis-Shackelford House

Thank to you everyone who joined us on May 11th! Stay tuned for more programs and special events this year at the home of Arizona Humanities.

Thanks to our generous supporters - May 2017

Ryan Bruce*
Dr. Cordelia Candelaria
Tina Clark*
Anne Doyle*
Rita Hamilton*
Arnold & Penny Horwitch

Bonnie Humphrey
Farrell L. Kenimer
Dr. Kathryn Nakagawa
Mary Lu Nunley*
Sally Shackelford
Emerson Yearwood*

*current Board Member
The Social Buzz

A few popular articles from our facebook and twitter feeds. Follow us to stay in the know! 
Important Dates
  • June 9 - Project Grants Letter of Intent Deadline
  • June 16 - Board of Directors Meeting 
  • July 4 - Independence Day Office Closed
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 with cultural, educational, and non-profit organizations across Arizona.

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