Idaho Humanities Council Awards $57,146 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 $57,146 in grants to organizations and individuals.  Twenty-nine awards include fifteen major grants for public humanities programs, four Opportunity Grants, eight Teacher Incentive Grants, and two Museum on Main Street programming grants.  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.

These awards were made just prior to the state shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Many grant recipients adjusted their schedules accordingly to postpone events until 2021.  IHC will include public program dates on the IHC website calendar when the information becomes available.


 Caldwell Fine Arts Series, Inc., Caldwell, was awarded $3,046 for “Breach of Peace: 60 Years of Echoes,” to bring in an exhibit and presentation that explores the 60th Anniversary of the Freedom Rides.  The program would also feature several community discussions. The Project Director is Alison Moulton.

City Club of Boise, Boise, was awarded $2,774 for the 2020 Marilyn Shuler Human Rights Forum speaker, author (and Idaho-raised) Laurel Thatcher Ulrich.  The event’s focus would be on the influence of western states on the women’s suffrage movement.  Ulrich’s luncheon talk is titled “Women’s Suffrage:  West to East.”  The Project Director is Morgan Keating.

Confluence Press, Winchester, was awarded $2,790 for “Everybody Reads 2020” with the selected book, Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan. Sullivan would visit the area for a four-day residency, including several talks in both Idaho and Washington.  The Project Director is Jennifer Ashby.

Congregation Ahavath Beth Israel, Boise, was awarded $2,790 for “Storygiving: 125 Stories for 125 Years.” for programming associated with the 125th anniversary of Congregation Avath Beth Israel, the oldest synagogue still in use west of the Mississippi. The program would include a collection of oral histories, an exhibit at the Idaho State Museum, and a book of the stories and photos.  The Project Director is Janet Kaufman.

Death Rattle Writers Festival, Nampa, was awarded $2,325 to fund year-long programming offered by the Death Rattle Writers Festival, including story-telling events, educational workshops, live readings, a publication, and a yearly festival in Nampa.  The Project Director is Zachary Reeder.

Discover Your Northwest Lolo Pass Visitors Center, Idaho County, was awarded $3,720 to support an Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program featuring Nez Perce interpreters.  The AIRs would demonstrate traditional native art, drumming, dancing, and storytelling. Each AIR would serve a two-week term and provide daily programming.  The Program Director is Colleen Mathisen.

Friends of Minidoka, Twin Falls, was awarded $5,580 for the completion of a documentary that would explore the history of Minidoka. The film would premiere on public television in 2020. The Project Director is Cristin Norine.

Idaho Heritage Trust, Boise, was awarded $3,255 for the keynote speaker at Idaho’s Heritage Conference in Pocatello, focused on the preservation and education of Idaho’s history.  Ruth J. Abram, the founding director of the New York City Lower East Side Tenement Museum, will speak about telling the difficult stories of history. The Project Director is Katherine Kirk.

Idaho Shakespeare Festival¸ Boise, was awarded $2,790 for its Shakespearience program to bring Richard III into Idaho schools statewide.  The program includes study with historical references and discussion about Shakespeare.  Actors present an abbreviated performance of the play and participate in a discussion session about elements from this particular Shakespeare work.  The Project Director is Christine Zimowsky.

Malad Valley Welsh Foundation, Malad City, was awarded $1,395 for presenters and poetry competition judges at the 2020 Malad Valley Welsh Festival.  The festival’s purpose is to preserve and celebrate Welsh culture through educational programs and promotion of poetry, fiction, music and art.  The Project Director is Gloria Jean Thomas.

Meridian Library District, Meridian, was awarded $1,395 to help launch the first Treasure Valley Children’s Book Festival in their community.  They plan to provide opportunities for the community to explore and gain a greater appreciation for children’s literature through author talks and panels.  They would offer opportunities for attendees to meet diverse children’s literature scholars, including Latinx authors.  The Project Director is Megan Egbert.

Preservation Idaho, Boise, was awarded $3,720 for the redesign and upgrade of the Idaho Architecture Project website.  The website provides information on architecturally significant buildings in Boise and other areas of the state.  The Project Director is Douglas Stan.

The Community Library, Ketchum, was awarded $1,395 for free lectures highlighting Beethoven during the 250th anniversary of his birth.  They would partner with the Sun Valley Music Festival’s free concerts to honor his work and legacy.  Jan Swafford, a Beethoven biographer as well as an acclaimed composer, musician and music scholar would provide the lecture/discussions in conjunction with performances of selected Beethoven pieces.  The Project Director is Robyn Achilles.

The Frank Church Institute, Boise, was awarded $2,790 to collect oral histories from those instrumental in the creation of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.  2020 marks the 40th anniversary of the passing of the Central Idaho Wilderness Act. The Project Director is Chase Johnson.

University of Denver, Denver, was awarded $2,790 for an exhibit and opening lecture in the Idaho Museum of Mining Geology. The exhibit and lecture would explore the contributions of Chinese immigrant miners to Idaho’s early history.  The Project Director is Nicole Herzog.


 College of Southern Idaho, Twin Falls, was awarded $1,000 for “Passport and Passages,” a symposium for high-school and college English teachers.  The grant will help support the keynote speakers, Cynthia Lucia, Rider University, & Sian Griffiths, Weber State University. The conference theme is “Connecting with the YouTube Generation.” The Project Director is Kimberly Jones.

Lewis-Clark State College Center for Arts & History, Lewiston, was awarded $1,000 for the keynote presentation by Lucienne Beard, the director of the Alice Paul Institute, for a conference to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote. The Project Director is Debra Fitzgerald.

White Spring Ranch Museum/Archive Library, Genesee, was awarded $1,000 to support an event bringing history back to life with displays of artifacts, readings, Native American stories, early pioneer music, and other talks.  The Project Director is Diane Conroy.

The Historical Society of Middleton, Middleton, was awarded $1,000 to support planning sessions between history professionals and the Historical Society to help plan and implement updated museum exhibits and displays.  The Project Director is Claudia Moberly.


 Teegan Carter, Capital High School, Boise, was awarded $930 to take students to the Idaho Capitol to observe the governmental process. Students will observe hearings, meet legislators, and tour the Capitol. The Project Director is Teegan Carter.

Shirley Ewing, Idaho Museum of Mining and Geology, Boise, was awarded $800 to support a hands-on opportunity for families to visit the museum and participate in activity stations designed for participants to learn about Idaho’s mining history.  The Project Director is Shirley Ewing.

Devon Barker, Meadows Valley School District, McCall, was awarded $1,000 to participate in workshops and learning opportunities to build his classroom curriculum about the Holocaust and the current refugee crisis.  The program will culminate in a teacher training workshop. The Project Director is Devon Barker.

Chris DeVore, Mountain Home Arts Council, Mountain Home, was awarded $875 to support a “Living Voices: Hear My Voice” presentation about the women’s suffrage movement and the roles of women during this era. There were three school and one evening public presentation. The Project Director is Chris DeVore.

Virgie Arambarri, Pocatello 2Great4Hate, Pocatello, was awarded $1,000 to host a “Living Voices: Hear My Voice” presentation about the women’s suffrage movement.  Presentations were presented to eleventh and twelfth grade students and the public with activities before and after to encourage civic engagement. The Project Director is Virgie Arambarri.

Maria Myers, Syringa Mountain School, Hailey, was awarded $986 to take the fourth-grade students on a field trip to the Boise Capitol, Idaho Historical Museum, the Old Idaho Penitentiary, the Yankee Fork dredge, and ghost towns of Bonanza, Bay Horse, and Challis. The Project Director is Maria Myers.

Ryan Wright, Treasure Valley Family YMCA, Boise, was awarded $1,000 to help support student participation in the Youth in Government education program. This program engages students throughout the year and culminates in a mock legislative session at the Idaho Capitol. The Project Director is Ryan Wright.

Whitney Arnold, Kershaw Intermediate School, Rexburg, was awarded $1,000 to update the non-fiction book section of the school library. The Project Director is Whitney Arnold.


 Lewis-Clark College Center for Arts & History, Lewiston, and Museum of Rexburg, Rexburg, were each awarded $1,500 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 local exhibits, panel discussions, readings, and poster displays.

The Next Deadline for IHC Grants:

 The next deadline for Idaho Humanities Council grant proposals, including Research Fellowship Applications, is August 15, 2020 for the initial application, and September 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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