Idaho Humanities Council Awards $115,122 in Grants

The Idaho Humanities Council (IHC), the statewide nonprofit organization devoted to enhancing public awareness, appreciation, and understanding of the humanities in Idaho, recently awarded $115,122 in grants to organizations and individuals.  Forty-two awards include twenty-five major grants for public humanities programs, two research fellowships, six Opportunity Grants, four Teacher Incentive Grants, three Museum on Main Street programming grants, and two other funded program partnerships.  The grants were supported in part by funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Idaho Humanities Council’s Endowment for Humanities Education.


 Ada Community Library, Boise, was awarded $3500 for the 2020 Treasure Valley Reads, Ada Community Library’s annual community-wide program that seeks to “introduce great literature to encourage critical thinking and social connections.”  For the centennial of women’s suffrage, the Ada Public Library has selected The Honey Bus by Meredith May.  The project director is Mary DeWalt,

Basque Museum & Cultural Center, Boise, was awarded $4000 for an exhibit to highlight Basque individuals, their businesses, and their significance to their communities.  The exhibit will feature ways the Basques have preserved their culture through music, language preservation, and food.  The exhibit completion is timed to open with the Jaialdi Festival in the summer of 2020.  The project director is Patty Miller,

Beautiful Downtown Lewiston, Lewiston, was awarded $1000 for the development of a mural interpreting the history of women’s suffrage.  The project is in partnership with Lewis-Clark State College and students in the Projects in Public History course will be involved.  The mural will be installed in time for a reception during Arts & Humanities Month in October 2020, and public lectures will be offered.  The project director is Courtney Kramer,

Boise Art Museum, Boise, was awarded $1500 for the exhibition, “Women in American Impressionism: Three Masterworks from the Smithsonian American Art Museum.”  IHC funds will support an evening salon program for women’s groups at the museum.  The project director is Melanie Fales,

 Boise State University, Boise, was awarded $3000 for the Hemingway Literary Center’s program that examines diverse aspects of the theme “Exile, Refuge, Home.”  Topics to be explored include the experience of immigration, becoming a refugee, and the various forms of diaspora.  Programming includes performances, talks, readings, and book groups and events will take place monthly from November to May.  The project director is Cheryl Hindrichs,

City Club of Boise, Boise, was awarded $3000 for their annual Community Conversations.  These luncheons and other signature events focus on relevant topics to the community and are designed to inform attendees on important and timely topics while promoting civil discourse.  The events include speakers, panels, and question/answer periods.  The project director is Morgan Keating,

City Club of Southern Idaho, Twin Falls, was awarded $2000 for discussions on issues facing the Magic Valley, including civil discourse, urban growth and rural communities, and education.  Events take place over a luncheon and involve local scholars, business leaders, and government officials.  The project director is Jan Hall,

The City Club of Idaho Falls, Idaho Falls, was awarded $2000 funding for their 2020 program. These luncheons and other signature events focus on relevant topics to the community and are designed to inform attendees on important and timely topics while promoting civil discourse.  The project director is Brenda Price,

City of Rexburg, Rexburg, was awarded $1000 for the 2020 Teton Story Telling & Arts Festival.  The free summer event is offered to the community to offer educational opportunities as well as a venue for artists to display and sell their work.  Along with the inclusion of storytellers, workshops on storytelling will be offered to students, with a competition that will select some to present on stage at the festival.  The storytellers will also visit other venues in and around Rexburg to expand outreach to those unable to attend the festival.  The project director is Mary Flanary,

College of Southern Idaho, Twin Falls, was awarded $3000 for the 2020 Social Science and Humanities Symposium.  This annual event brings high-quality experts to the College of Southern Idaho to provide social science and humanities content to the broader Magic Valley community.  The 2020 event will feature academic experts on women’s history and the commemoration of the 19th Amendment, as well as speakers with expertise in contemporary feminist issues.  The project director is Justin Vipperman,

Go Lead Idaho, Boise, was awarded $1000 to support a presentation by former US Treasurer Rosie Rios.  Rios’ speech focused on gender equity in US history and her efforts to get former slave and abolitionist Harriet Tubman on the US $20 bill.  The project director is Luci Willits,

Idaho State University, Pocatello, was awarded $1447 for a public lecture titled “Moral Vulnerability in a Time of Political Crisis” by Professor Todd May.  May will also meet informally with faculty and students to discuss his philosophical insights and his recent work as a philosophical consultant on the NBC show “The Good Place.”  The project director is Ching-E Ang,

Latah County Historical Society, Moscow, was awarded $4000 for “Seeking Suffrage,” an event series that will take place from September 2019 through August 2020 and consist of four public presentations, an exhibit, and a community celebration.  The events will focus on the significance of suffrage in the history of the United States and is designed to enlighten audiences regarding the longevity of the women’s suffrage movement; the bravery many of its advocates exhibited; the political nuances often ignored; and the contemporary resonance of many of the issues involved.  The project director is Katherine Aiken,

Lewis-Clark State College Native American Club, Lewiston, was awarded $2000 for LCSC Native American Awareness Week 2020.  The week includes presentations by several speakers and panels, storytelling, a banquet, and a pow wow.  The events seek to increase awareness of historical and contemporary issues of Native American culture.  The project director is Bob Sobotta,

Magic Valley Arts Council, Twin Falls, was awarded $1000 for the 2020 Indie Lens Pop-Up Free Film Screening.  Indie Lens Pop-up is a neighborhood series that brings people together for film screenings and community-driven conversations.  The films will be screened twice—once during the lunch hour and then in the evening.  Moderated discussions will take place after each screening.   The project director is Melissa Crane,

Museum of Idaho, Idaho Falls, was awarded $5000 for the implementation of their permanent exhibit “Way Out West” (WOW).  Funds will be used to complete the alcove gallery which will pose the question, “Who is Idaho?”  The alcove gallery will create a reflective space within WOW where visitors explore and celebrate the variety of people, cultures, languages & traditions that contribute to the region.  The project director is Kimberly Lee,

North Idaho College, Coeur d’Alene, was awarded $4000 to support the keynote speaker at the 2020 Diversity Symposium, the college’s capstone diversity event.  The 2020 keynote speaker will be Sammy Rangel, Executive Director and co-founder of Life After Hate and the author of Fourbears: The Myths of Forgiveness.  The project director is Hannah Paton,

Northern Pacific Depot Foundation, Wallace, was awarded $3000 for the exhibit “Women’s Rights, Bikes, and Bloomers.”  The exhibit will feature fashions, transportation means, and photographs of the era.  The exhibit will also encourage bicycle rides and feature several public presentations.  The project director is Shauna Hillman,

Panhandle Alliance for Education, Summerville, was awarded $1000 for READY! for Kindergarten, a national adult reading program designed to teach parents and other care providers how to teach preschoolers reading skills to prepare them to enter the school system.  Workshop attendees receive a kit, including books and educational toys to use at home.  The project director is Heather Lowman, no email address available at this time.

The Cabin, Boise, was awarded $2000 for its Ghosts & Projectors Reading Series.  This reading series pairs emerging, innovative, and experimental writers with writers from the Treasure Valley.  IHC funds will support a discussion with Carmen Maria Machado, author of the short story collection Her Body and Other Parties.  The project director is Kurt Zwolfer,

The Cabin, Boise, was awarded $3000 for its 2019-2020 Reading & Conversations Season.  Since 2002, the program has brought five highly acclaimed, dynamic authors to the area and it gives audiences a chance to hear Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winners, MacArthur Fellows, and bestseller authors, as they share their work, personal stories, and commentary on current events and culture.  A question and answer session will follow the formal presentation.  Presenters are carefully selected with efforts made to reach diverse and under-served audiences.  The project director is Kurt Zwolfer,

The Idaho Mythweaver, Inc., Sandpoint, was awarded $2500 for “Wisdom of the Ancestors,” the preservation of oral histories of Nez Perce elders that were recorded from 1989-2003.  Jane Fritz, the original interviewer of several recordings will reformat the recordings into digital audio files.  The project director is Jane Fritz,

University of Idaho, Moscow, was awarded $3000 for “Our Changing Climate: Finding Common Ground in Idaho Communities.”  These reading and discussion programs will feature Barbara Kingsolver’s novel Flight Behavior and the discussion is supplemented with scientific data about climate change.  The project director is Jennifer Ladino,

University of Idaho-VPAA, Moscow, was awarded $4000 for the Common Reads Keynote Address featuring author Tommy Orange.  Orange’s novel, There There, was chosen by a committee composed of students, staff, faculty and community members to be the common read selection at the University of Idaho.  This event will coincide with Native American Heritage month and the annual meeting of the tribal leaders from the university’s eleven tribe MOU designed to strengthen accessibility to Native American students.  The project director is Dean Panttaja,

Wallace District Mining Museum, Wallace, was awarded $1250 for the exhibit “The Buffalo Soldiers and their Role in the Coeur d’Alene.”  The exhibit will include photos, journal entries, artifacts, digital frames and books.  A companion brochure will also be developed.  The project director is Tammy Copelan,


 Alyson Roy, University of Idaho, Moscow, was awarded $3,500 for a research fellowship to conduct research for a book project on the development of a visual language of empire in the Roman Republican period.  She will trace the transformation of foreign objects into decoration and consumer goods and examine the circulation of triumphal material culture into Spain, Gaul, and Greece.  Roy will present her findings at academic conferences and to the general public at local venues.  The project director is Alyson Roy,

Amanda Zink, Idaho State University, Pocatello, was awarded $3,500 for a research fellowship to assist with an anthology of student writings from the Indian boarding schools.  “In Their Own Words” will allow scholars, students, and general readers to access and consider student experiences as they themselves constructed these experiences in their own words.  The anthology seeks to assemble an archive of texts that convey the diversity and complexity of Native Americans’ experiences at the boarding schools.  Zink will present at academic conferences and will plan public lectures as well, coordinating with Native American Studies at ISU and the Fort Hall Indian Reservation.  The project director is Amanda Zink,


 Hailey Public Library, Hailey, was awarded $967 for “A Story Worth Telling.”  Events included an historic walking tour with an educational booklet of images and stories, a turn-of-the-century photo exhibit in the library, a local Hispanic band, traditional Hispanic dance and western dance demonstrations.  The project director is LeAnn Gelskey,

Priest Lake Museum Association, Coolin, was awarded $1000 to support a presentation by Jack Nisbet about John Lieberg, a surveyor of the Priest River Forest Reserve.  The presentation was part of the Priest Lake Heritage Speakers Bureau.  Other speakers in the series include Kris Smith on the myths surrounding the lake, illustrating the importance of primary sources and interpreting history; Doni Guyer on the Linger Longer Resort; and Robert Bond on the birds of Priest Lake.  The project director is Kris Smith,

Boise Community Radio Project, Boise, was awarded $1000 for workshops during the 2019 Hermit Music Festival.  Workshops shared traditions of American music and dance and offered a chance for participants to discuss and take part in instrumentation, vocalization, and musical history.  The project director is Ava Honey Whitlock,

English Department – University of Idaho, Moscow, was awarded $1000 for the Palouse Literary Festival and to support fees for three writers (fiction, nonfiction, and poetry) to present during the festival.  The project director is Tobias Wray,

KISU-FM Public Radio / Idaho State University, Ammon, was awarded $1000 for a unique radio project using interview audios from documentaries and interviews housed in the Grateful Dead Archive at the University of California, Santa Cruz.  The station will air excerpts from the interviews along with contemporary guest interviews of historical biographers and journalist; interpretive commentary will be part of the program before and after the airing of the clips.  The project director is Cory Edmondson,

Burley Public Library, Burley, was awarded $1000 to support “Rural Summit: Small Town Idaho in the Crossroads.”  The event featured panel discussions that addressed issues impacting rural Idaho including diversity, healthcare, agriculture, and education.  The project director is Tamara Garcia,


 Kirsten Pmerantz, Lake City High School, Coeur d Alene, was awarded $800  to purchase kits that provide several puzzles and activities for students to more closely examine the literature assigned by teachers.  They will be used for curriculum in the American Voices, Survival, and Civil Rights unit for 9th graders.  The project director is Kirsten Pomerantz,

Pend Oreille Arts Council, Sandpoint, was awarded $658 to bring Living Voices “Hear My Voice” to Sandpoint.  They will present a program on the suffragist movement to students during five school performances and one public evening performance for the community.  The project director is Hannah Combs,

Kelly Hughes, Garden Valley School, Garden Valley, was awarded $1000 to support a new interdisciplinary humanities course with drama, art, music, history, and literature teachers.  The project director is Kelly Hughes,

Heather Osterhout, Declo Elementary School, Declo, was awarded $1,000 to support a lecture from Idaho Shakespearience to enhance the study of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet.  The project director is Heather Osterhout,


 Latah County Historical Society, Moscow, Burley Public Library, Burley, and Lemhi County Historical Society, Salmon, were each awarded $1500 to support the development of local programming to enhance the hosting of Crossroads: Change in Rural America, a traveling Smithsonian exhibit that explores issues facing the rural population.  Programs included panel presentations, local exhibits, and reading & discussion programs.


 Idaho Public Television, Boise, was awarded $12,000 to continue the ongoing partnership with IHC to provide statewide airing of American Experience and American Masters.  These insightful and thought-provoking documentary series chronicle important events and people in U.S. History.  The project director is Teri McColly,, (208) 373-7220.

Idaho Commission for Libraries, Boise, was awarded $20,000 to continue the ongoing partnership with IHC to provide about 75 reading/discussion programs in libraries across the state.  About 15 libraries choose a themed series of five books.  The grant supports facilitation of the program, including copies of the books for libraries to lend to patrons, and organizing and funding scholars to lead discussions of each of the book within the themes.

The Next Deadline for IHC Grants:

 The next deadline for Idaho Humanities Council grant proposals, including Research Fellowship Applications, is December 15, 2019 for the initial application, and January 15, 2020 for the final submission.  IHC strongly recommends that prospective applicants contact staff to discuss their project ideas before completing proposals.  Grant guidelines and application instructions are available on IHC’s website at, or by calling (208) 345-5346.

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