Bestselling author Aiden Thomas to present webinar with Wyoming Humanities

Wyoming Humanities is honored to present New York Times-bestselling author Aiden Thomas (“Cemetery Boys”) in conversation with Emy diGrappa, exploring life, writing, and so much more.

This free live event takes place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16. Registration is required. Registration is required and can be done at https://webinar-portal.net/webinars/wyh/registration_240416.php

Aiden Thomas is a trans, Latinx, New York Times bestselling author of young adult novels. They received an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. Originally from Oakland, California, they now make their home in Portland, Oregon.

As shared in their biography, “Aiden is notorious for not being able to guess the endings of books and movies, and organizes their bookshelves by color.”

“Books tell us stories that we may find relatable, to help us reach an understanding with each other – and Aiden’s books are no exception,” said Lucas Fralick, program coordinator for Wyoming Humanities. “We’re excited to hear Aiden share their thoughts on the writing process, Cemetery Boys and what books mean to them.”

This event is made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: United We Stand. Support is also provided by the Wyoming Center for the Book, now housed with Wyoming Humanities.

For more information, contact Lucas Fralick at lucas@thinkwy.org.

Wyoming Humanities Opens New Round of Crossroads Grants for Non-Profit Organizations

Non-profit organizations across the state can apply for a new round of grants of up to $10,000 through Wyoming Humanities.

Wyoming Crossroads Grants are part of an initiative to apply humanities perspectives locally to help the state realize growth out of change. Wyoming Humanities has taken the lead in this multi-faceted statewide campaign to dig deep into the themes of Wyoming’s identity, sense of community, connection to the land, persistence, and ability to manage change. 

These grants will support various public humanities projects related to either digital media or preservation. Applications are due April 15.

Wyoming Humanities has awarded hundreds of thousands in Wyoming Crossroads grants since its inception.

“I’ve heard from people asking whether they should apply or whether they fit the criteria,” said Chloe Flagg, the director of grants and programming with Wyoming Humanities. “The quick answer is often a resounding ‘yes’ – and if they have any questions, they should absolutely speak with us about these opportunities.”

Applicants will have the opportunity to expand on proposed projects during a conversation with the Wyoming Humanities team. These conversations will help supplement applications and be used to strengthen evaluations.

To apply for the grant or to get more details, visit thinkwy.org/grants or email chloe@thinkwy.org.

Wyoming Humanities accepting applications for new internship opportunity

Thanks to a grant from the Wyoming Workforce Services’ Workforce Development Training Fund, Wyoming Humanities is excited to seek applicants for a Native Narrative Student Research Internship.

“There is so much Tribal wisdom around language, history, storytelling, the environment, arts and culture,” Wyoming Humanities Executive Director Shawn Reese said. “Wyoming Humanities would like to highlight the scholars and experts willing to share this knowledge in culturally appropriate ways.”

The new six-month internship begins in April, with the primary goal of creating a public database of Native American scholars and experts in Indigenous storytelling, history, civics, language, literature, arts and crafts, and other humanities disciplines. Ultimately, the database will include representatives of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribal Nations, willing to serve as consultants, advisors, program evaluators and/or speakers.

“A database like this just doesn’t exist,” Reese said. “Once in place, it has the significant potential to benefit Wyoming Humanities and other organizations by increasing collaboration, visibility and recognition of Tribal experts and scholars.”

Qualifying applicants should be familiar with regional and Tribal representatives, policies, and cultures and have one to two years’ experience working or living in Tribal communities.  Native American students are encouraged to apply. Candidates should be enrolled in a Wyoming higher education setting (university or college), ideally studying a humanities field.  

Travel may be required during the internship.

This opportunity is supported by the Institute for Tribal Learning at Central Wyoming College; the Native American Education, Resource and Cultural Center at the University of Wyoming; and Native American Jump Start.

Wyoming Humanities’ Native Narratives Initiative has allowed the organization to work closely with the tribal communities to help provide relevant programming, exhibitions, resources, and other opportunities across the state.

The full job description and details about applying can be found here. Other questions can be directed to Emy diGrappa at emy@thinkwy.org or 307.699.2680

Wyoming Humanities awards thousands in grant dollars to organizations across the state

Seven non-profit organizations throughout the state received significant grants from Wyoming Humanities.

Wyoming Crossroads Grants are part of an initiative to apply humanities perspectives locally, helping to realize growth through change.  Since the program’s inception, Wyoming Humanities has awarded hundreds of thousands in Wyoming Crossroads grants.

This cycle of grants is designed to support public humanities projects related to either programming or publications.

The organizations who received these grants—as well as the amount and the project title—are:

Buffalo Bill Memorial Association – $10,000: Art and Advertising in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West

Fort Phil Kearny & Bozeman Trail Association – $8,800: American Indian Interpretive Ranger Program

Jackson Hole Historical Society & Museum – $5,200: How Violent was the ‘Wild West’? A Series of History Programming Featuring Dr. Elliott West  

Jackson Hole Trout Unlimited – $10,000: Mountains of Color Film Festival 2024

Relative Theatrics – $5,000: Exploring Identity, Community, Connection, Persistence, and Change through Theatre

Wind River Community Alliance – $10,000: Community Connections Program in the Greater Wind River Area

Wyoming National Guard Historical Society – $10,000: “Telling Our Story”: Wyoming National Guard History Book Project, 1870–2020

In this competitive grant cycle, applications were reviewed by a panel of humanities experts, including members of the organization’s board of directors.

Wyoming Humanities has taken the lead in this multi-faceted statewide campaign to dig deep into the themes of Wyoming’s identity, sense of community, connection to the land, persistence, and ability to manage change. 

For more information about these and other grant programs available from Wyoming Humanities, visit thinkwy.org/grants.

Wyoming Humanities launches new statewide program, Pronghorn Reads

If you made a resolution this year to try something new or to expand your horizons or even just to work on reading a bit more in 2024, then Wyoming Humanities has a new program for you.

Free and open to adults and students, Pronghorn Reads encourages all Wyomingites to read one book each month. Prizes will be awarded during the year, and anyone who completes all twelve months of reading will be entered into a drawing for a grand prize.  

Additionally, every Pronghorn Reads participant will receive a small gift from Wyoming Humanities.

“Reading is one of those activities we can do almost any time and having a challenge every month takes us on a reading journey,” said Lucas Fralick, program coordinator for Wyoming Humanities. “The prizes along the way add something extra to the joy of finding a new book to savor.”

Each month will provide a different theme or challenge. In January, participants are asked to read a book borrowed from your local library. Books can be print, digital, or even an audiobook. After finishing a book, readers add the details to a simple list of their yearly books.

To sign up for Pronghorn Reads, simply complete the brief form at https://www.thinkwy.org/initiatives/pronghorn-reads. There, readers will receive additional information about monthly themes, program information, as well as a chance to share their thoughts about the works that they’ve read.

This program is presented as part of the Wyoming Center for the Book, a part of Wyoming Humanities.

NEH Announces $33.8 Million for 260 Humanities Projects Nationwide

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced $33.8 million in grants for 260 humanities projects across the country. Among these are grants to support research for a cultural, political, and legal history of cancer in America that focuses on the Ames test for carcinogens; create a baccalaureate degree program in Native American studies at Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College; and expand the North American Climate History Project, a digital resource of weather and climate records from the colonial and early American Republic period.

“It is my great pleasure to announce NEH grant awards to support 260 exemplary humanities projects undertaken by scholars, higher education institutions, and organizations of every size,” said NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo).  “This funding will help preserve and expand access to community histories, strengthen the ability of small museums and archives to serve the public, and provide resources and educational opportunities for students to engage with history, literature, languages, and cultures.”

This funding cycle includes the first round of awards made under NEH’s new Public Impact Projects at Smaller Organizations grant program. Developed as part of the agency’s American Tapestry: Weaving Together Past, Present, and Future initiative, these grants assist small and mid-sized cultural organizations—particularly those in underserved communities—in strengthening public humanities programming. Twenty-eight new Public Impact Projects grants will support a range of capacity-building projects at small museums, historical societies, and heritage sites, including development of a new museum interpretive plan on the history of Arthurdale, West Virginia, the nation’s first New Deal community; expansion of the “Invisible Ground” series of heritage markers and audiovisual materials exploring marginalized community histories in southeast Ohio; and an initiative to assist 20 small museums in Oklahoma located along Route 66 in improving their interpretive capacities.

Eighteen new awards under the American Tapestry program, Cultural and Community Resilience grants, will support community-based efforts to preserve cultural heritage in the wake of climate change and COVID-19. Awards in this category include a project to collect oral histories on the impact of the pandemic in Spanish-speaking and Indigenous communities in Kansas; the documentation of Gullah Geechee cultural heritage sites and their histories; the collection and curation of oral histories from Apsáalooke (Crow) elders about the coal economy and Montana’s Crow Indian Reservation over the past fifty years; and documentation of the cultural heritage of Islote, Puerto Rico, a small, historical fishing village endangered by climate change.

Grants awarded today also make significant investments in the fields of conservation science research and training to help find better ways to preserve materials and collections of critical importance to the nation’s cultural heritage. A project at the Northeast Document Conservation Center will develop open-source software and workflows to preserve recordings stored on Digital Audio Tape (DAT), an especially at-risk format widely used by oral historians, journalists, local radio stations, and other broadcast environments between 1987 and 2005. Additional grants will underwrite a survey of the capacity and unique heritage needs of archives and libraries of over 500 minority-serving institutions across the United States, and a convening of museum professionals and scholars to create data standards and protocols for provenance research on art and artifacts from the ancient Mediterranean to help curb the trade in illegal antiquities.

Several projects apply new technologies and digital methods to innovative humanities public programs and research, such as an interactive documentary website about the 1951 student movement to desegregate Moton High School in Farmville, Virginia, led by the sixteen-year-old civil rights activist Barbara Johns, and the development of machine learning techniques to enhance access to large newspaper photograph collections, using the Boston Globe’s historic photo morgue as a test case. Other grants will enable production of a curated narrative website of postcards published and mailed during the Nazis’ Siege of Leningrad and help researchers refine large-scale text analysis tools to distinguish paratext from main text in books digitized by the HathiTrust Digital Library.

Thirty new NEH Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants, which leverage federal funds to spur nonfederal support for cultural institutions, will support ADA-compliant improvements to facilities at the Ford Piquette Plant Museum, a National Historic Landmark in Detroit at Henry Ford’s first purpose-built factory, and enable construction of a new learning center to support revitalization of the Keres language and cultural heritage on the Pueblo de Cochiti in New Mexico. Additional funding will help underwrite the new Memphis Brooks Museum of Art in downtown Memphis, support a new museum at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh to increase understanding of anti-Semitism, and provide for the replacement of a damaged roof and installation of solar panels at the Meeteetse Museum in Meeteetse, Wyoming.

NEH Humanities Initiatives grants will fund educational resources, programs, curricula, and other projects that enhance teaching and learning in the humanities at 28 two- and four-year colleges and universities. These awards will support: the creation of a cross-disciplinary undergraduate minor in book studies—which encompasses fields such as manuscript studies, book history, design, and the fabrication and conservation of books—at Indiana University Bloomington; a new curriculum at Morgan State University on the history of Black education; a community-based pedagogical project at California State University, Northridge, to transcribe and update materials in the university’s archive documenting the experiences of underrepresented people of color from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries; and development of a digital map and course module at Delaware County Community College examining global resistance of Africans and African descendants to segregation and colonialism from 1945 to 1990.

Newly awarded NEH Fellowships and Awards for Faculty will support advanced research and writing projects by humanities scholars on a wide range of subjects. Funded projects include a biography of Oscar Adams Jr., Alabama’s first African American state supreme court justice; an investigation of how misattributed early modern English texts influenced readers’ tastes and the literary canon; a study of the mining of silver, mercury, and gold in the American West and its connection to the development of American photography; and a digital publication analyzing the architecture, material culture, and social history of the Ponte residential complex in Johannesburg, South Africa, during and after apartheid.

A full list of grants by geographic location is available here.

In addition to these direct grant awards, NEH provides operating support to the agency’s humanities council partners, which make NEH-funded grants throughout the year in every U.S. state and territory.

More information is available here.

Wyoming Humanities announces locations for “Discuss & Construct” grant program

After an extensive competitive grant process, Wyoming Humanities is excited to announce the communities and organizations to host its newest project, Discuss & Construct.

The following Wyoming communities were ultimately selected for the grant project. This list also contains the sponsoring organization and the anticipated 2024 date for the “discuss” portion of the program:

o Casper: Natrona County Library with the Casper College Library – Feb. 17

o Cody: Wyoming Equality – April 11

o Laramie: Youth Justice Institute through Laramie Plains Civic Center – April 27

o Sheridan: Uprising – Feb. 3

With this new opportunity, Wyoming Humanities will provide funding for organizations to host difficult conversations in comfortable places, then create community engagement projects for 2024.

“Through civil conversation, communities can better come together to solve problems and accomplish goals,” said Lucas Fralick, program coordinator for Wyoming Humanities.

This program is presented as part of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ initiative, United We Stand: Connecting Through Culture.

Each organization will receive up to $6,500 to implement both phases of the project.

Additional details about this and other projects can be found at thinkwy.org.

Students across the state encouraged to enter “Letters About Literature”

Did an author’s work change your view of the world? Or even of yourself? If so, Wyoming Humanities wants you to share your story!

Wyoming students in grades 4-12 are invited to read, be inspired, and write back to the author (living or dead) of a book that changed their lives. Sponsored by Wyoming Humanities, the Wyoming Letters About Literature Contest opens Nov. 13 and is open until March 1, 2024.

“It could be a book, a story, a poem, even a graphic novel,” said Lucas Fralick, program coordinator for Wyoming Humanities. “We want students to explore a work that helped them through a difficult time or one that simply touched their heart or inspired them.”

Letters About Literature promotes the excitement and value of reading and writing. Entries will be judged at the state level in three age categories, and winners at each level will receive a Bookshop.org gift card worth $150 for first place, $100 for second, or $50 for third. Entries done independently or as part of a class are welcome.

This contest is presented as part of the Wyoming Center for the Book, a part of Wyoming Humanities.

Guidelines and entry forms can be found at thinkwy.org/letters-about-literature.

For more details, contact Fralick at Questions may be directed to lucas@thinkwy.org or 307.721.9243.

Wyoming Humanities’ awards two Spark Grants in October

Wyoming Humanities awarded $2,000 Spark Grant to two Wyoming organization in October: Hot Springs County Pioneer Association and Wyoming Stock Grower’s Land Trust.

The HSCPA project is “A Historical Podcast & Presentation of the Pioneers who Inspired Owen Wister’s The Virginian.” The story of many of these pioneers who inspired this famous book, such as ranchers Dick Washakie and Elizabeth Short, will be included in a podcast, “Pioneers of Outlaw Country,” and featured in a historical presentation at the Hot Springs County Museum. First-person narratives from the museum archives will be used to tell the story, and descendants of the pioneers who personally knew Owen Wister will be interviewed for their oral history. It’s anticipated that the podcast will launch in 2024, with a public event at the Hot Springs County Museum planned for Feb. 10.

WSGLT’s grant is for a new program “Inspired by the Land – 25 Years of Conserving Wyoming Working Lands.” This project is intended to be an inspirational and educational photo display that will present Wyoming’s working landscapes as historical and active locations that foster unique human attachments to and connections with specific places. The exhibit will tell the story of the relationship between Wyoming’s natural history and the people that played a role in establishing the state, and it will highlight how those legacies are honored and lived out today.  The exhibition will be displayed during the 2025 Legislative Session in the Capitol Connector through July 2025, with hopes for it to travel the state after that time.

Spark Grants are awarded based on communities’ needs and programs designed to spark new insights and perspectives. Funding is provided by the state of Wyoming through the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources. Grantees, who receive up to $2,000 with this opportunity, provide equal or greater matching funds and in-kind contributions. Wyoming Humanities’ grants generate significant social and economic impact five times greater than state funding.

For more information about Wyoming Humanities and its grants or sponsorship opportunities, visit https://www.thinkwy.org/grants.

Wyoming Humanities announces statewide sites for tour of latest Smithsonian exhibit, Spark!

Wyoming Humanities is pleased to share the six sites it has selected for the statewide tour of the Smithsonian Institute’s exhibit, Spark! Places of Innovation.

The exhibition is part of the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street (MoMs) program, which helps to bring high quality tours to towns across America. The Wyoming tour kicks off in May 2024.

Spark! Places of Innovation takes visitors on a journey through time and place across America to discover the stories of people who lived, worked, played, collaborated, adapted, took risks, solved problems, and sometimes failed—all in the pursuit of something new. The themes addressed are technological, social, artistic, and cultural/heritage innovation.

“Innovation has a strong and persistent history in Wyoming. Spark! gives us the opportunity to showcase how this shaped our state and shows us possible paths for shaping our future,” said Lucas Fralick, program coordinator for Wyoming Humanities.

The Wyoming tour locations and dates are:

Torrington: Homesteaders Museum – May 18-July 2, 2024  
‍Douglas: Converse County Public Library – July 5-August 20, 2024  
‍Buffalo: Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum – Aug. 23-October 8, 2024  
‍Powell: Homesteader Museum – Oct. 11-Nov. 26, 2024  
‍Cheyenne: Laramie County Library – Dec. 2, 2024-Jan. 14, 2025  
‍Casper: The Nicolaysen Art Museum – Jan. 17-March 2, 2025

Each community will have the opportunity to present significant collaborative programming and other events during the exhibition.

“Wyoming was once a leader in innovative practices, where taking risks was a part of the process for growth and change,” Fralick said. “We want to help ensure that ‘innovation’ is an inspiring word in the state again.”

Wyoming Humanities has previously hosted such MoMS/Smithsonian exhibitions as Crossroads, Barn Again, Key Ingredients, and The Way We Worked. 

More information about this and other Wyoming Humanities initiatives can be found at thinkwy.org.

Wyoming Humanities launches newest project, “Discuss & Construct”

This month, Wyoming Humanities launched a new statewide project, Discuss & Construct, as part of the United We Stand initiative.

In 2023 the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) launched United We Stand: Connecting through Culture, an initiative to combat hate-based violence through cultural engagement.  

Communities are invited to apply for funding to host guided conversations and develop community projects. Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations, schools, libraries, local governments, and more. Partnerships are encouraged.

Wyoming Humanities will select eight communities across the state for this project, each of whom will receive up to $6,500 awards.

“Through civil conversation, communities can better come together to solve problems and accomplish goals,” said Lucas Fralick, program coordinator for Wyoming Humanities.

With this opportunity, Wyoming Humanities will provide funding for organizations to host challenging conversations in comfortable places, then create community engagement projects for 2024. All communities, regardless of size, are welcome to apply for funding.

The three discussion topics available are: community belonging, American values and ideals, and free speech and violence.

“Combating hate not only requires us to identify the root causes of that hate but also to identify our inherent capacity for love, acceptance, empathy, and belonging, said NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe.

Applications are now open and are due by Nov. 30; award notifications will take place in December. The period for discussions and community projects runs February through July of 2024.

Additional details, including a link to an informational webinar, can be found at thinkwy.org/grants. Interested applicants are also encouraged to email chloe@thinkwy.org with questions.

NEH Awards $2.8 Million for Nationwide United We Stand: Connecting Through Culture Programming

NOTE: Wyoming Humanities is using its share of these funds to present two programs to the state – a thematic book club and discussion for teens and young adults, as well as Discuss & Construct, where communities across Wyoming can have difficult conversations in comfortable places, using that energy to create community-based projects for 2024.

WASHINGTON, D.C.  — Last September, the White House convened the United We Stand Summit to counter the destructive effects of hate-fueled violence on our democracy and public safety. One year later, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is awarding up to $2.8 million in United We Stand: Connecting Through Culture funding to its national network of state and jurisdictional humanities councils to support local programming that will help communities combat these threats.

“As Americans we share a responsibility for understanding and embracing our diverse cultural histories, traditions, and experiences, and for opposing hate-based violence and extremism,” said NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo). “The humanities strengthen mutual understanding by providing the context, history, and models of discourse that remind us of our common purpose and shared humanity. NEH is proud to participate in this important national initiative by awarding dedicated United We Stand funding to our state and jurisdictional partners to support humanities programs focused on fostering cross-cultural understanding, communication, and resilience in communities across the country.”

Launched in coordination with the White House United We Stand Summit in September 2022, United We Stand: Connecting Through Culture is a joint initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) that leverages the arts and humanities to combat hate-motivated violence.  

In February 2023, each of the state and jurisdictional humanities councils and interim partners were invited to apply for up to $50,000 in supplemental funding to support the United We Stand: Connecting Through Culture initiative by developing or expanding local humanities programming that fosters cross-cultural understanding, empathy, and community resilience; educates the public on the history of domestic extremism and hate-based violence and promotes civic engagement, information literacy, and social cohesion through strategic partnerships, community-building, and ongoing public engagement; and/or deepens public understanding of and contextualizes community, state, and national history.

This supplemental NEH funding for the state and jurisdictional humanities councils will support a range of United We Stand programs across the U.S. and U.S. jurisdictions.  

This special NEH funding was awarded in addition to $65 million in annual operating support provided to the network of state and jurisdictional humanities councils.

Through this initiative, NEH has already funded a partnership between Humanities Texas and Uvalde’s El Progreso Memorial Library to establish an archive preserving community and national responses to the tragic shooting that took place at Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022. In early 2023, NEH published a special encouragement within its regular grant lines for projects that respond to the United We Stand: Connecting Through Culture initiative. As part of the release of the first-ever U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism, NEH has committed to expanding the agency’s investment in K-12 education on Jewish history as well as research, teaching, and convening opportunities for humanities scholars and institutions to study the origins, history, and effects of antisemitism, Islamophobia, and related forms of bias and discrimination in the United States. In 2024, NEH and NEA will host convenings around the nation and develop resources that leverage the arts and humanities to counter hate-motivated violence.