Idaho Humanities Council Awards $60,255 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 $60,255 in grants to organizations and individuals.  Thirty-four awards include fourteen major grants for public humanities programs, one planning grant, twelve Opportunity Grants, six Teacher Incentive Grants, and one other funded program.  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.

Major Grants:

National Old Time Fiddlers, Inc., Weiser, was awarded $1,000 to transcribe the oral histories collected in the 2018 National Oldtime Fiddlers’ Contest.  The festival attracts thousands of contestants and fans of American music.  A roundtable with several “old timers” was part of the 2019 festival.  The project director is Sandra Cooper,

Malad Valley Welsh Foundation, Malad City, was awarded $1500 to help support presentations at the 15th annual Malad Valley Welsh Festival.  Speakers will talk about Welsh culture, history, and traditions.  The project director is Gloria Jean Thomas,

Hipeexnu kii u nuun wisiix, Lapwai, was awarded $5,000 to help develop and present an immersion class to preserve the Sahaptin Nimiipuutimt (NPL) dialect. The daily children’s class will be supplemented with a weekly parents class.  Some portions will be videotaped and included online.  The project director is Bessie Walker,

Basque Museum & Cultural Center, Boise, was awarded $4,000 to create an exhibit catalog to accompany the photographic exhibit, “Inner Strength: Portraits of Basque Women” and will include photos representing both immigrant women and first-generation women.  The photographs, by artist Peter Oberlindacher, will be accompanied by personal narratives in four languages – Euskara (the Basque language), Spanish, French and English.  The project director is Patty Miller,

Community Library Network, Hayden ID, was awarded $2,855 to support its annual North Idaho Reads community reading program in Spring 2019.  Gregg Olsen, author of The Deep Dark, made presentations at public libraries in Hayden, Post Falls, and Coeur d’Alene and the Wallace Railroad Depot Museum.  The project director is Twylla Rehder,

Confluence Press, Clarkston, was awarded $3,000 for Everybody Reads, an annual One Book program, now in its 19th year.  This year the community will read The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea.  Events featuring the author will take place at the Latah County Library, Nezperce Community Library, and the Lewiston City Library.  The project director is Jennifer Ashby,

Death Rattle Writers Festival , Nampa, was awarded $1,000 to help fund the 6th annual event in October 2019 in downtown Nampa.  Each day of the Festival features events celebrating different mediums of literary expression, including poetry, flash fiction, playwriting, graphic novels, hip-hop, true live stories and more.  The project director is Diana Forgione,

Music Conservatory of Sandpoint, Idaho, was awarded $2,000 to help support a summer student exchange program that promotes cultural appreciation and understanding through music.  The El Sistema program includes regular classes during the school year, followed by the summer exchange.  Students from Mexico and Europe come to Idaho while Sandpoint students leave Idaho to study abroad.    This year’s theme is “Music in Nature,” and includes collaboration with the Kaniksu Land Trust.  The summer exchange program includes a series of free public events.  The project director is Katherine Greenland,

Hispanic Cultural Center of Idaho, Nampa, was awarded $5,000 to support the scripting phase of a documentary film focusing on the Farm Worker Movement.  This phase will feature lectures by Humberto Fuentes and tours at the HCCI, and gathering of historical photographs (many from the collection of Claudio Beagarie), historical data, and stories.  These materials will be displayed in a permanent exhibit at the HCCI.  The project director is Corrine Fisher,

Trailing of the Sheep Cultural Heritage Center, Inc., Hailey, was awarded $2,000 for a story-telling evening during the annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival in Hailey.  The storytelling evening will focus on food as culture with Mark Kurlansky, a well-known author, as the main presenter.  Among his over 30 published books are Salt: A World History and Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World.  A local chef will be recruited to present with him.  The project director is Laura Drake,

Monastery of St. Gertrude, Cottonwood, was awarded $2,190 for the creation of two exhibits in the gallery “The Camas Prairie to the Rivers.”  The first will focus on mining, the immigration of Chinese and the Chinese Massacre, and the second will feature the Nez Perce War of 1877.  The project director is Mary Schmidt,

Middleton Public Library, Middleton, was awarded $3,650 to help support cultural events in October 2019, including a community Dia De Los Muertos celebration and a keynote address at the Idaho Library Association Conference to help librarians learn how to create programming that will build knowledge and insight, while being sensitive to all cultures.  Both presentations will be led by Pat Mora, a renowned Latina author writing multi-cultural literature for children and teens.  The project director is Katherine Lovan,

John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, Boston, was awarded $3,500 to extend the reach of the massive collection of Hemingway’s manuscripts, photographs, correspondence, and other documents.  The collection was donated in 1964 to the Kennedy Presidential Library by Hemingway’s widow.  The library proposes a digital interactive biography that will allow readers to view these primary sources as they explore Hemingway’s life and works.  The site will be designed for educators and students as well as the general public.  The project director is Hilary Justice,

University of Idaho Women’s Center, Moscow, was awarded $2,000 to support the 2019 Women’s History Month keynote speaker, Franchesca Ramsey, a vlogger, actress, writer, producer, and director.  She will examine social media as a forum for social activism, social justice, and social responsibility.  Ramsey will participate in classroom discussion sessions as well.  The project director is Lysa Salsbury,

Planning Grant:

Boise State University, Boise, was awarded $630 to convene a multidisciplinary group of stakeholders to discuss and define shared goals and next steps for an innovative museum design to showcase lives of diaspora groups, including Native Americans, refugees, and immigrants.  The project director was Nicholas Miller,

Opportunity Grants:

Post Falls Historical Society, Inc., Post Falls, was awarded $990 to help support graduate students to inventory, sort, catalog, and digitize a collection of donated photographs.  The project director is Kimberly Brown,

White Spring Ranch Museum/Archive Library, Genesee, was awarded $1,000 for a public history event in September focusing on early Idaho settlement, Native American history, and early pioneer music.  The project director is Diane Conroy,

College of Southern Idaho, Twin Falls, was awarded $1,000 for a reading/discussion series related to the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI. The project director is Russ Tremayne,

Boise Art Museum, Boise, was awarded $1,000 for a public lecture by Wendy Red Star in conjunction with an art exhibit including some of her work.  Her art focuses on the historical and contemporary intersection of Native American ideologies.  The project director is Melanie Fales,

Boise State University, Boise, was awarded $1,000 to support a lecture in “The Idea of Nature” series, promoting intellectual inquiry about the environment and encouraging public dialogue.  The lecture by Peter S. Onuf, University of Virginia Emeritus, was titled “Thomas Jefferson’s Nature.”  The project director was Samantha Harvey,

Idaho State University, Pocatello, was awarded $975 for a talk by John Carlos Rowe, University of Southern California, about Sara Winnemucca’s life among the Paiutes and its relevance to the history of Native Americans in Idaho and Nevada.  The project director was Harold Hellwig,

Valley of the Tetons Library, Driggs, was awarded $505 for a presentation by musicians Michael Hurwitz and Jerry Linn.  They presented songs about everyday life and events about the people who settled in Idaho.  They included stories about the origins of the melodies, the history of the songs, and contemporary music.  The project director was Sue Austin,

University of Idaho, Moscow, was awarded $994 for a pilot project for an interdisciplinary collaboration focusing on environmental issues in Idaho.  The pilot focused on Barbara Kingsolver’s novel “Flight Behavior” as the catalyst for a discussion with two scholars –  one from a humanities discipline and one from the social and/or natural sciences.  The project director is Jennifer Ladino,

Museum of North Idaho, Coeur d’Alene, was awarded $500 to support a talk by Jack Nesbit based on his most recent work, tracing the life of John and Carrie Leiberg.  They homesteaded on Lake Pend Oreille in 1885 where John prospected and surveyed the Coeur d’Alene Basin, and Carrie was a licensed physician. The project director is Dorothy Dahlgren,

Lemhi County Historical Society, Salmon, was awarded $971 to help fund talks during history month in June focusing on the history of the Shoshone and Bannock tribes and the interaction of LDS missions with the tribes and their role in the settlement of Idaho.  On June 13, 2019, Cleve Davis will present a talk about the preservation of cultural practices and the impact of environmental change on traditional lifestyles.  On June 22, 2019, the audience will be led by Andrea Radke-Moss on a tour and lecture of the Salmon River Mission. The project director is Hope Benedict,

Lewis-Clark State College Center for Arts & History, Lewiston, was awarded $1,000 to help support programs in conjunction with the presentation of an exhibit developed through the Josephy Center for Arts & culture.  Public presenters include Bobbie Connor, Silas Whitman, Jaime Pinkham, Lora Tennant, Brian Simmons, and other Nez Perce Tribal elders.  The exhibit offers background on the dams on the Columbia and the Snake and stories about dams, fish, and tribal culture.  The project director is Debra Fitzgerald,

Preservation Idaho, Meridian, was awarded $530 to help fund the program that illustrates historic preservation work around Idaho, educates the methods of saving places, and celebrates efforts to promote Idaho’s history.  The program also highlights historic losses in communities through demolition, improper renovation, or poor policy development.  The project director is Gaby Thomason,

Teacher Incentive Grants:

Joshua Tuggle, Borah High School, Boise, was awarded $1,000 to help purchase additional books by James Baldwin for six classes to participle in The Cabin’s pilot reading program, Authors in Focus.  Students read Baldwin’s short-story collection, “Going to Meet the Man.” The project director is Joshua Tuggle,

Heather Osterhout, Declo Elementary, Declo, was awarded $915 to help bring in a Shakespearience team from the Idaho Shakespeare Festival to provide a training workshop and teacher guides, programs, and costumes for a production by her students.  The project director is Heather Osterhout,

Jan Green, Holy Spirit Catholic School, Pocatello, was awarded $1,000 to support a teacher’s class on children’s literature, offering credit through NNU.  Teachers meet monthly to read and discuss selections that will enhance their teaching of literature and emphasizing social responsibility themes.  The project director is Jan Green,

Michelle Montoya, Hillsdale Elementary School, Meridian, was awarded $750 to help bring “Wagons Ho” to her school for an interactive field trip emphasizing Idaho History.  The program includes interactive stations exploring the life of pioneers, fur-trappers, miners, and immigrants who settled Idaho.  The project director is Michelle Montoya,

Shirley Ewing, Idaho Museum of Mining and Geology, Boise, was awarded $800 to help support the hands-on opportunity for families to visit the museum and experience activity stations designed to learn about Idaho’s mining history.  The activities include geology hikes, activity stations, and tours of the museum.  The project director is Shirley Ewing,

Patty Bolinger, William Thomas Middle School, American Falls, was awarded $1,000 for a field trip to Boise for 8th grade students.  The trip will include visits to the state capitol, the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights, and Boise State University.  They will study about state and federal government and human rights prior to the trip.  The project director is Patty Bolinger,

Other Programs:

Idaho Public Television, Boise, was awarded $5,000 for support of the Ken Burns’ documentary Country Music, airing in September on Idaho Public Television statewide.  The documentary chronicles the history of this uniquely American art form, tracing its origins, and highlighting biographies of some of its creaters.  The project director is Teri McColly,, 208-373-7220.

The Next Deadline for IHC Grants:

The next deadline for Idaho Humanities Council grant proposals, including Research Fellowship Applications, is August 15, 2019 for the initial application, and September 15, 2019 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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