News

Maine Indian Basketry exhibit

New Arts & Humanities Grant awards

  $892 for ArtWaves – Bar Harbor ArtWaves is raising awareness of domestic violence by inviting the community to make works of art that share their thoughts about domestic violence. Objects will be exhibited in community storefronts with contextual materials to promote awareness and discussion of domestic violence in the community. Offered in partnership w/… Read more

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Spring Discussion Project cohort

We’re thrilled to be offering the Discussion Project this coming spring to a cohort of 24 organizations throughout Maine! We’re eager to support people in Maine’s communities in ways that meet the needs they actually have, and that enable them to use the energy they have in the ways most nourishing for them. Brick Store… Read more

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We’re hiring!

The Maine Humanities Council is seeking someone exceptional to join our team. In this complex world, the MHC uses old-school tools – books, poetry, history, big ideas – to foster meaningful connection and positive change in communities throughout Maine. The MHC believes we are stronger the more fully we see and reflect the diversity of… Read more

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Mini Grant awards | Summer 2020

$1,000 for “125 Anniversary Programs” – Bangor Symphony Orchestra   $1,000 for “Online Fall Shabbaton“ – Center for Small Town Jewish Life, Waterville   $1,000 for “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare” – Center Theatre, Inc., Dover-Foxcroft   $1,000 for “Commons Conversations: Reaching Community“– Central Hall Commons, Dover-Foxcroft   $630 for “Art of the Virginia“– Maine’s First… Read more

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Discussion Project

The Maine Humanities Council is excited to offer this flexible opportunity to host a text-based discussion program that meets the needs of your own community, whether you are working independently or as part of an organization. The current moment calls for great flexibility—and we want to support people in Maine’s communities in ways that meet… Read more

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At the National Book Festival

As home of the Harriet P. Henry Center for the Book, the Maine Humanities Council has selected Samara Cole Doyon’s Magnificent Homespun Brown—a children’s book with a strong Maine connection—to feature at the 20th National Book Festival. Hosted by the Library of Congress, the National Book Festival is an annual celebration of books and reading,… Read more

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Route 1 Reads

As home of Harriet P. Henry Center for the Book, the Maine Humanities Council is once again excited to participate in Route 1 Reads, a road trip-inspired reading list that explores various genres through the network of state Center for the Book affiliates located along Route 1. Our 2020 selection is Lizzy Bright and Buckminster… Read more

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Current grant opportunities

Major Grants: $1,001 to $7,500 Support for a variety of larger humanities projects such as exhibits, conferences, films, and other initiatives. Major grant projects have well-developed thematic content, broad public outreach, and strong scholar participation. Final applications: January 31, 2021 Application form available November 30, 2020 Excel budget form. Projects must begin no sooner than… Read more

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Read ME author talks

This year’s Read ME summer reading program features online talks by featured authors Jaed Coffin (Roughhouse Friday) and Patricia O’Donnell (The Vigilance of Stars). Both talks will be offered on Zoom and will also be streaming via Facebook Live on the Maine Humanities Council, Maine State Library, and participating library Facebook pages. Patricia O’Donnell | The Vigilance of… Read more

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Become a facilitator

We are working to build a cohort of facilitators who live all over Maine, who have come to facilitating with us from all walks of life.  We’re looking for people who love to engage with books, poems, and big ideas, and who are eager to discuss them with the incredible people who live in our… Read more

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Fall Discussion Project cohort

We’re thrilled to be offering our new Discussion Project this fall to a cohort of over 30 organizations throughout Maine! The current moment calls for great flexibility – and we’re eager to support people in Maine’s communities in ways that meet the needs they actually have, and that enable them to use the energy they… Read more

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Requesting proposals for DEI strategy

Our core work at the Maine Humanities Council is to foster rich, meaningful discussion about the things that really matter. We cannot succeed in this work without making every effort against racism. And so it is with real excitement and hope and energy that we are inviting proposals from independent consultants who can help us… Read more

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Working to be an anti-racist organization

Dear Friends, Early the week of June 1, the Maine Humanities Council released a public statement on the tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer: “The recent acts of racist violence against Black people, including the murder of George Floyd, demonstrate the persistent widespread denial of Black humanity… Read more

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Fall Discussion Project

The Maine Humanities Council is excited to offer this flexible opportunity to host a text-based discussion program that meets the needs of your own community, whether you are working independently or as part of an organization. The current moment calls for great flexibility – and we want to support people in Maine’s communities in ways… Read more

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Summer Discussion Project cohort

We’re thrilled to be offering our Discussion Project to a cohort of over 30 organizations and individuals throughout Maine! The current moment calls for great flexibility – and we’re eager to support people in Maine’s communities in ways that meet the needs they actually have, and that enable them to use the energy they have in the… Read more

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Connecting Maine Communities

The Maine Humanities Council is more committed than ever to supporting people in Maine’s communities as they find ways to connect meaningfully with each other amid great uncertainty and change by engaging with books, poetry, and big ideas. This moment requires great flexibility. We are keen to find ways to foster connection that is nourishing and… Read more

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Remote-facilitation

We worked with virtual facilitation experts to develop a Zoom-facilitation skill-share that directly addressed needs and concerns that arise in discussions like ours – where participants’ engagement with a text and with each other are vital. In our skill-shares, participants: Worked with the MHC to be sure that they had what they needed in order… Read more

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CARES Act Grants

The Maine Humanities Council is honored to support Maine non-profit humanities and cultural organizations that are facing financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus. Nonprofit organizations include: museums, libraries, historic sites, preservation & historical societies, and community & cultural organizations with a significant humanities focus. Funding for these grants has been provided by the… Read more

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2020 Major Grant awards

$5,300 for “Century Saturdays: The Story or Maine“– Brick Store Museum, Kennebunk   $1,300 for “Edible Landscape Project“– University of Maine Art Education, Orono   $4,500 for “Freedom and Captivity“– Creative Portland   $4,000 for “The History of Developmental Disabilities in Maine”– Maine Developmental Disabilities Council, Augusta   $5,500 for “Kittery’s Tide History“ – Tide Mill Institute, Greene… Read more

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Audio | Cedric Gael Bryant | Beloved

Cedric Gael Bryant presents his talk Definitions, Definers, and the Defined: Literacy and Orality in Toni Morrison’s Beloved  at Winter Weekend 2020. Bryant is the Lee Family Professor of English at Colby College. His talk was accompanied by dance and movement vignettes by René Goddess Johnson. Read more

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Navigating the times ahead

This morning in Maine, much of what we know to be true about the value of bringing people together feels upended. Gatherings that in normal times are a sign and a source of community wellbeing now seem risky, the community vulnerable. And yet it’s clear that in this moment when physical distancing is necessary for… Read more

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Book Groups update

In the days and weeks to come, we will be reaching out to partners and facilitators across the state to listen, learn, and share with them what we are learning. We’ll be developing new programming, hoping to make it as easy as we can for you to gather a group to discuss a text together… Read more

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Audio | Carolyn Denard | Beloved

Dr. Carolyn Denard presents her talk “Why Read Beloved in 2020?” at Winter Weekend 2020. Denard is the Chief Diversity Officer at Georgia College and Founder and Board Chair of the Toni Morrison Society. Read more

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Register for Read ME 2020

Read ME is a statewide community read that gets Maine adults all reading two books recommended by a well-known Maine author. For 2020, our recommending author Lily King has chosen Roughhouse Friday by Jaed Coffin and The Vigilance of Stars by Patricia O’Donnell. The summer reading season will culminate at the end of August with… Read more

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Bicentennial library toolkit

We believe Maine’s bicentennial presents a unique opportunity for Mainers to come together for meaningful commemoration, reflection, and engagement. And our libraries are important community hubs that bring people together to learn and grow and envision how life here should be.  You play a vital – maybe even daunting – role in your community, and… Read more

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2020 New Books, New Readers sites

Aroostook County Jail, Houlton | Migration & Borders Thursdays at 1:00pm | April 30 – May 21 Ellsworth Adult Education, Ellsworth | Suffrage Fridays at 1:00pm | January 24, February 28, March 27, and April 10 Knox County Homeless Coalition, Rockport | Carrying the Past Thursdays at 1:30pm | March 26 – April 16 LIFE… Read more

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2020 Veterans Book Group sites

American Legion Post #1, Rockland Tuesdays at 5:30pm | January 21-28, February 11- 25 Lewiston Vet Center | Lewiston Public Library, Lewiston Wednesdays at 4:30pm | February 12 – March 18 Sanford Vet Center, Springvale Mondays at 3:30pm | April 20 – May 18, June 1 Washington County Adult Ed |  St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church,… Read more

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The Moving Panorama of Pilgrim’s Progress 4

Mini Grant awards | Fall 2019

$319 for “Art, Write, Now!” – RSU 24 Adult Education, Sullivan In partnership with Friend Memorial Library in Brooklin, RSU 24 Adult Education will exhibit “Inside Out” throughout December 2019. The exhibit is comprised of work that inmates created on a weekly basis throughout 2018 in the hopes that it be displayed for the public… Read more

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New journalism book series for libraries

  Where Are We, Anyway? Readings: Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 paired with Jill Lepore’s “Does Journalism Have a Future?” (newyorker.com, January 28, 2019) More Than Fun and Games Readings: Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death paired with David Puttnam’s TED Talk (‘Duty of Care’ in the Media) and Tim Groseclose’s Q&A on freakonomics.com (August 8,… Read more

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#GivingTuesday

Maine’s bicentennial year is an invitation to take stock, to look back with new eyes at what’s already happened, to look around with renewed care at what’s happening now, and to grapple with big questions. Join the MHC on this #GivingTuesday to support rural programming in towns statewide celebrating and reflecting on what Maine’s bicentennial means… Read more

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Maine at 200

Maine’s bicentennial year is an invitation to take stock, to look back with new eyes at what’s already happened, to look around with renewed care at what’s happening now, and to grapple with big questions. We listened to communities around the state and chose four interrelated themes for our engagement with the bicentennial: Many Maines,… Read more

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The Big Question

At The Big Question, we jump started our year of inquiry, curiosity, and engagement with Maine’s bicentennial.  We view Maine’s bicentennial year, just a few months away, as an invitation to take stock, to look back with new eyes at what’s already happened, to look around with renewed care at what’s happening now, and to… Read more

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Audio | NEH Chairman Jon Peede

There’s something irresistible about an anniversary. Maine’s bicentennial, the centennial of women’s suffrage, the upcoming 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence: All invite public commemoration. But what are we doing when we mark these anniversaries? Celebrating our past? Interrogating it? Something else entirely? Presented in partnership by the Maine Humanities Council,… Read more

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NEH Announces $29 Million for 215 Humanities Projects Nationwide

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced $29 million in grants for 215 humanities projects across the country. “NEH grants help strengthen and sustain American cultural life, in communities, at museums, libraries, and historic sites, and in classrooms,” said NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede. “As the nation prepares to commemorate its 250th anniversary… Read more

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Poetry Express on WERU

We’ve partnered with WERU Community Radio to broadcast recordings of selected Poetry Express readings!  Tune in every Sunday morning at 9:30 am or visit the station’s archives to hear past airings. Poetry Express is a collaborative program with the Maine State Library, bringing Maine poetry and poets to communities. We partner with a local public… Read more

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The Moving Panorama of Pilgrim’s Progress 4

Mini Grant awards | Summer 2019

$1,000 for “Bill of Rights Concert” – Youth Journalism International, Auburn $1,000 for “Community Reflections on Inclusion and Social Justice“ – Heart of Biddeford, Biddeford $1,000 for “Culinary Historian Michael Twitty Discusses ‘Kosher/Soul’” – Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine, Portland $1,000 for “Environmental Writing as a Tool for Giving Voice to Marginalized Communities“– Sierra Club Maine, Portland $900… Read more

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2019 Letters About Literature awards

Level 1 (grades 4-6) First Place: Maya Faulstich, Bangor, about Echo Second Place: Nestor Powers, Windsor, about The Parker Inheritance Finalists: Faizan Ahmad, Bangor, wrote about the book Harry Porter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Jack Brune, Windsor, wrote about the book Wonder Ethan Castonguay, Poland, wrote about the book Where the Red Fern Grows Lydia Desrochers, Alfred, wrote about… Read more

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2019 Read ME libraries

Over 70 libraries are participating in this summer’s  Read ME, our statewide community read offered in partnership with Maine State Library. For 2019, recommending author Tess Gerritsen has chosen Paris Was the Place by Susan Conley and After the Eclipse: A Mother’s Murder, a Daughter’s Search. Participating libraries Alice. L. Pendleton Library Auburn Public Library Bangor Public Library Berwick Public… Read more

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Audio | Gov. Mills honors Monica Wood

  On May 7, 2019, Maine author Monica Wood was awarded our 2019 Constance H. Carlson Public Humanities Prize. In attendance was Governor Janet Mills, who honored Monica by delivering the event’s opening remarks. Hear the Governor’s remarks below. Read more

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Book Registry

Search the book registry For over two decades, Let’s Talk About It has been at the core of the Maine Humanities Council’s library-based initiatives. A scholar-led reading and discussion program, Let’s Talk About It reaches at least 35 libraries throughout Maine each year. It’s a program known for delighting, inspiring, and educating participants. As one… Read more

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Maine Indian Basketry exhibit

Arts & Humanities Grant awards | Spring 2019

  $1,000 for “Design for Permanent Exhibit on Saint John Valley Folklore“– Association culturelle et historique du Mont-Carmel, Lille The Association culturelle du Mont-Carmel is creating a permanent exhibit focusing on the folk traditions of the Saint John Valley. Funds will be used to design the physical space for the exhibit which will be completed… Read more

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2019 Veterans Book Group sites

For Women Veterans at University of Maine Augusta, Katz Library Fridays at 11:45am | February 1 – March 8 | Facilitated by Sarah Firth In the Maine State Prison Veterans Housing Unit Tuesdays at 1:30pm | February 5 – March 12 | Facilitated by Dr. Ellen Taylor Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick Wednesday at 6pm | … Read more

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Book club a place for Veterans to open up

Originally published on March 28, 2019 by the Baltimore Sun By Patti Restivo “Coming together to read and discuss literature is healing, but it isn’t clinical. It’s social; but it isn’t merely social,” Bindas-Tenney wrote in an email. “For the veterans of Maine, this program is a unique and important opportunity to connect deeply with… Read more

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Veterans Book Group awarded NEH grant of $98,779

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For More Information: Jan Bindas-Tenney, Maine Humanities Council, 207-773-5051 April 12, 2019 PORTLAND, Maine – The Maine Humanities Council has been awarded $98,779 from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support Hard Journeys Home, a multi-session facilitated reading and discussion program for justice-involved Veterans in Maine. Beginning in August 2019, the… Read more

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2019 Poetry Express sites

Belfast Free Library with Belfast’s new Poet Laureate Arielle Greenberg June 18, 2019 Themes: Home, Shelter, and Development New Vineyard Public Library with poet Margaret Yocom August 14, 2019 Themes: Natural landscape, Community, and Abandonment Liberty Library with poet Ellen Taylor September 23, 2019 Themes: The Natural World, Tools, and Small Town Life Auburn Public… Read more

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NEH Announces $28.6 Million for 233 Humanities Projects Nationwide

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced $28.6 million in grants for 233 humanities projects across the country. “These new NEH-supported projects will help shore up the nation’s most valuable assets: its history, literature, historic sites, regional traditions, and cultural institutions,” said NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede. “NEH is proud to support the advancement… Read more

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2019 Major Grant awards

$3,800 for “A Celebration of Local Native American History, Culture, and Heritage“– Presque Isle Community Development Association In recognition of National Native American Heritage Month, Presque Isle Community Development Association is partnering with the Arookstook band of Micmacs, the City of Presque Isle, and other local organizations to celebrate the local Native American Tribe with a… Read more

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Imagine Maine’s Story

Inspired by the Collaborative Summer Library Program, Imagine Maine’s Story is a collection of Maine bicentennial program ideas and resources for all ages to support libraries of all sizes in their goals to bring the celebration of Maine’s statehood into their communities.  MHC and the Maine State Library have partnered in representing Maine’s libraries as… Read more

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Honoring Monica Wood

  Monica receives the 2019 Constance H. Carlson Public Humanities Prize for her commitment to Maine communities, her support of Maine libraries, and all that she does to support and nourish the literary and cultural life of the State.   Read more

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Read ME 2019

Read ME is a statewide community read that gets Maine adults all reading two books recommended by a well-known Maine author. For 2019, recommending author Tess Gerritsen has chosen Paris Was the Place by Susan Conley and After the Eclipse: A Mother’s Murder, a Daughter’s Search by Sarah Perry. The season will culminate on August 29 with an… Read more

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2019 New Books, New Readers sites

Ellsworth Adult Education- Shoes of Another  February 27, March 27, April 24 at 9:30AM SAD 1 Adult Education, Presque Isle- What It Takes March 12, April 9, May 14 at 9AM RSU 19 Adult Education, Newport- Shoes of Another February 26, March 26, April 30 at 5:30PM Kittery Adult Education- Caught Between Cultures February 26, March 26, April 30 at 6PM… Read more

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Bicentennial or Bust

2020 marks the 200th anniversary of Maine’s statehood. This bicentennial moment provides a unique opportunity for communities all over the state to think about their history, how it has shaped the way we live here now, and how we might collectively envision the future of our state.   Thank you for joining us in Hermon… Read more

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Journalism Grant awards | Fall 2018

  $1,825 for “All the President’s Men: Discussions on Journalism and Democracy”– Center Theatre for the Performing Arts, Dover-Foxcroft Supports book and film discussions of All The President’s Men for adults and high school students in Dover-Foxcroft. Three high school classes at Foxcroft Academy and an adult reading group from Thompson Free Library will each discuss the book independently… Read more

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Maine Indian Basketry exhibit

Arts & Humanities Grant awards | Fall 2018

$1,000 for “Content and Context: Connecting Art to Time and Place“– Maine Jewish Film Festival, Portland Speakers will lead discussion on two films at the 2019 Maine Jewish Film Festival, focusing on the relationship of the arts to the social and historical context in which it was created.   $1,000 for “The Curious Incident of the Dog in… Read more

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Audio | Tim Peltason | The Way We Live Now

Professor of English at Wellesley College, Timothy Peltason writes and teaches on nineteenth and twentieth-century British and American literature and Shakespeare. His essays on Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, focuses on its relationship to Wilde’s life, its origins in earlier Victorian literature, and its extraordinary afterlife in 20th and 21st century literature and culture. He… Read more

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Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith shares her poems with Lewiston

Originally published on November 1, 2018 in the Sun Journal. By Jon Bolduc, Staff Writer “Smith visited the Lewiston library as part of her project ‘American Conversations: Celebrating Poems in Rural Communities.’ She read personal poems from her newest book, ‘Wade in the Water,’ and several poems that she selected from her new poetry anthology titled ‘American… Read more

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U.S. poet laureate to visit Maine

Originally published on October 30, 2018 in the Portland Press Herald By Bob Keyes, Staff Writer “Smith, the 22nd U.S. poet laureate, will visit Maine this week as part of her ongoing project ‘American Conversations: Celebrating Poems in Rural Communities.’ She will talk about the power of poetry at 1 p.m. Thursday at Norway Memorial… Read more

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Audio | Declan Kiely | The Way We Live Now

Declan Kiely is the Director of Exhibitions at New York Public Library where he oversees exhibitions at the iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. He was most recently the Robert H. Taylor Curator at the Morgan Library and Museum and Head of its Department of Literary and Historical Manuscripts. During this time he curated major exhibitions focusing… Read more

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The Moving Panorama of Pilgrim’s Progress 4

Mini Grant awards | Fall 2018

$867 for “Exploring the Complexities of Racism” – York Public Library, York   $867 for “Intersections of History and Community” – Maine Jewish Film Festival, Portland   $867 for “A Doll’s House Part II: What Does the Door Slam Heard All Around the World Sound Like Now?” – Everyman Repertory Theatre, Rockport   $900 for “Animal Farm Presentation and Workshop” – Chocolate Church Arts Center,… Read more

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The sterling silver path to philanthropy

Seventy is one of those “zero year” birthdays that sneaks up and surprises! Many find 70 a freeing age with more time to focus on cherished life goals such as family, friends, pursuing passions, and supporting causes that inspire us. Yet, while life in the “silver lane” can be grand, for many it is downright… Read more

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2018 Letters About Literature awards

2018 Awards Level 1 (grades 4-6) First Place: Jasmine Lockwood, SeDoMoCha Middle School, about Too Tought to Hurt Second Place: Aelia Russell, Center for Teaching and Learning, about Because of Mr. Terupt Semifinalists: Olivia Bean, Daniel F. Mahoney Middle School, about Out of My Mind Abigail Bergmark, Mary Snow School, about Hello, Universe Ruth Burchstead, Center for Teaching and Learning, about I… Read more

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2018 Letters About Literature: Sylvette Dupé-Vété-Congolo

  Entry from the 2018 Letters About Literature competition   Dear Ms. Angie Thomas, I am a fourteen-year-old Maine ninth grader. Since elementary school, I have heard comments about who I am intrinsically: “Can I touch your hair?”, “What the heck do you ha ve on your head?” Even a teacher told me once that he could… Read more

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2018 Letters About Literature: Olivia Martin

  Entry from the 2018 Letters About Literature competition   Dear Shannon Hale, Reading the book Dangerous was like riding a roller coaster of emotions. One book allowed me to pursue dreams, survive danger, have hope, grieve losses, and endure pain. All of these things I felt by embodying Maisie Brown through your words. Before reading your… Read more

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2018 Letters About Literature: Jasmine Lockwood

  Entry from the 2018 Letters About Literature competition   Dear Mary Lou Carney, “She must hate me. Really hate me.” I have parent problems, just like Garren. If you are anything like me you know life can be hard at times, but you can always get through them. If you have ever been abused like I… Read more

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Maine Indian Basketry exhibit

Arts & Humanities Grant awards | Spring 2018

  $750 for “Bridgton at 250: Music of the Times“– Bridgton Historical Society, Bridgton As part of its season long commemoration of the 250th anniversary of Bridgton’s settlement, the Bridgton Historical Society is partnering with the Sebago-Long Lake Music Festival to present an informal concert of music from the period of settlement. The concert will be held… Read more

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Audio | Grappling with questions

Each year, on the third Saturday of October, The Big Question brings people together with expert guides to grapple with question. In 2017, we asked the question “How can we know?”  Listen to MHC Program Officer Meghan Reedy  talk to folks about how they know things in the work they do. As you listen, you may… Read more

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The Moving Panorama of Pilgrim’s Progress 4

Mini Grant awards | Spring 2018

$500 for “Beholdings: Making Connections with Collections” – Mount Desert Island Historical Society, Mount Desert Through an assortment of objects representing different eras, events, and personae in the island’s history, Mount Desert Island Historical Society will engage the public in an exploration of cultural history extending from southern New England to the outer islands in the Gulf of Maine…. Read more

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2018 Major Grant awards

$2,300 for “Community Conversations“– Center for Small Town Jewish Life, Waterville “Community Conversations” will  bring together Waterville’s faith and community leaders with Colby College faculty and students to talk about political and social issues of common concern. The format will feature two thought leaders, one from the field of Jewish Studies and one from another civic leadership… Read more

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War veterans use ancient epics to cope

Originally published on March 14, 2018 by the Associated Press By Wilson Ring “Homer isn’t just for student veterans. Discussion groups are also being offered at veterans centers in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The Maine Humanities Council has sponsored sessions for veterans incarcerated at Maine’s Kennebec County jail, as well as for other veterans.” Full… Read more

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Audio | Birds and citizen science

Each year, on the third Saturday in October, The Big Question brings people together with expert guides to grapple with a question. In 2017, the question we asked ourselves was ‘How can we know?’ One of the most exciting things about asking this question was getting to talk with all sorts of people about how… Read more

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Audio | Violence & Belonging series

“Violence & Belonging: The 14th Amendment and American Literature” is a Let’s Talk About It book and discussion series that addresses issues of diversity, identity, and inequality. For many Americans, the promises of citizenship fall short of reality, and the books in this series remind us that the more expansive version of American citizenship brought… Read more

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Winter Weekend teachers

Audio | 20th anniversary Winter Weekend

In this audio story we visit the 20th annual Winter Weekend, held March 10-11, 2017, at Bowdoin College. Read more

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Audio | Khaled Fahmy | Palace Walk

Khaled Fahmy is a Professor of History at the American University in Cairo. With a BA in Economics, an MA in Political Science from AUC and a DPhil in History from the University of Oxford, Fahmy taught for five years at Princeton University, then for eleven years at New York University before joining AUC in… Read more

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Sharing the Poetry of Maine’s Unheard Voices

Gary Lawless, who was awarded the 2017 Constance H. Carlson Public Humanities Prize, has long worked to bring poetry and the creative process to the people of Maine.   Follow Gary as he shares poetry from Mainers of all backgrounds. Poems will be released monthly in Notes from an Open Book, the MHC’s e-newsletter, and collected below.    … Read more

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Audio | Buckfield Civil Rights and Street Art

In this story, we visit Buckfield Junior-Senior High School. Supported by a grant from the Maine Humanities Council, their Civil Rights Team hosted Portland-based artist Pigeon for a discussion on identity, belonging, and street art. Read more

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Don’t Let Anyone Tell You the Humanities Aren’t Worth the Cost

This Maine Voices op-ed by MHC Executive Director Hayden Anderson appeared in the Portland Press Herald on March 4, 2017.   The National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities are again under fire in Washington, reportedly targeted for elimination in the Trump administration’s upcoming budget proposal. Let’s be clear: this move… Read more

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Looking Back on “Civil Rights Through Art & Law”

Portland’s Knack Factory has produced a series of videos on Civil Rights Through Art & Law, our summer 2016 partnership with the University of Maine School of Law and Portland Museum of Art. As part of  The 14th Amendment in American Life and Imagination, the MHC’s statewide programming that explored concepts of equality, citizenship, and… Read more

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Audio | Reza Jalali | Palace Walk

A Muslim scholar, educator, and writer, he is the coordinator of multicultural student affairs at the University of Southern Maine and advises Muslim students at Bowdoin College. His most recent work includes the 2013 book Homesick Mosque and Other Stories as well as the 2015 play The Poets and the Assassin, which offers historic and contemporary… Read more

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The Trickle-Down of Winter Weekend

  By Diane Magras, Director of Development Claire Moriarty and Jim Bulteel, members of Orono High School’s English Department (with Erika Dixon, Amanda Johnston, Don Joseph, and Chris Luthin), are among a group of educators who have, in various combinations, attended Winter Weekend for the past 15 years. For years, I’ve heard about these teachers… Read more

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Audio | Maine’s Civil Rights Teams

On Monday, May 23, 2016, over 500 students and teachers gathered at the Augusta Civic Center for the Civil Rights Team Project State Conference. Hosted by the Office of the Maine Attorney General, the conference was the first event of its kind since 2010. In addition to schools attending from across the state, the event… Read more

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How I Learned to Read the Odyssey

A colleague of mine once claimed that an epic poem is best understood as an extended meditation on a theme. I liked the idea and immediately tried to identify the themes of my favorites. Homer’s Iliad was easy: it’s an extended meditation on war. Virgil’s Aeneid can be read as an extended meditation on empire…. Read more

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Audio | Isabel Alvarez-Borland | One Hundred Years of Solitude

Isabel Alvarez-Borland, Distinguished Professor of Arts and Humanities in the Department of Spanish at the College of the Holy Cross, examines of the role of language and identity in One Hundred Years of Solitude at Winter Weekend 2016. Her books include Cuban-American Literature of Exile: From Person to Persona (1999) and Discontinuidad y ruptura en Guillermo… Read more

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The conversation about equality in Maine is just getting started

Originally published in the Bangor Daily News on May 15, 2016 By Hayden Anderson “Equality is a bedrock American value, yet somehow it feels like we’re not very good at it. From the founding to the present day, we have always talked pretty well about equality while falling well short of the ideal. It’s worth… Read more

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Audio| Matthew Pettway | One Hundred Years of Solitude

Matthew Pettway completed his doctorate in Hispanic Cultural Studies at Michigan State University in June 2010. Dr. Pettway joined the faculty at Bates College in August of the same year where he serves as Assistant Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies and is affiliated with the African-American Studies program. Professor Pettway examines the African… Read more

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Audio | Allen Wells | One Hundred Years of Solitude

Allen Wells discusses “Interpreting the Past through the Prism of the Present:  The Banana Strike, La Violencia, and the Cuban Revolution’s Impact on García Márquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude”. Allen Wells is the Roger Howell, Jr. Professor of History at Bowdoin College. His scholarship focuses on modern Mexican history, especially Yucatán, the history of… Read more

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Audio | Ilan Stavans | One Hundred Years of Solitude

Professor Ilan Stavans was the keynote speaker at Winter Weekend 2016. He is the Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College where his teaching interests include popular culture in Hispanic America, world Jewish writers, and the cultural history of the Spanish language.     Read more

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Audio | Reza Jalali | Muslim in America

MHC Board Member Reza Jalali discusses the lives of Muslims in the U.S. and gives an overview of Islam, a faith practiced by many of our neighbors. This talk was recorded on December 16, 2015 at Portland Public Library. A Muslim scholar, educator, and writer, he is the coordinator of multicultural student affairs at the University… Read more

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Inspired design Victoria Mansion 2

Inspired Design: Fabrics and Fashion at Victoria Mansion

Picture the sumptuous, elaborate decorations that you associate with Victorian-era architecture and design. Now, picture work by modern designers. These two worlds seem vastly separate—in materials, motives, and tastes. But a recent partnership between Victoria Mansion and the Maine College of Art’s [MECA] Textile and Fashion Design department proved that one era of art can… Read more

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Maine Indian Basketry exhibit

“Maine Indian Basketry” at Maine Fiberarts

Housed in what was once a 1840s bank, the Maine Fiberarts gallery in Topsham forms a beautiful setting for their current exhibition, “Maine Indian Basketry,” supported by the MHC through an Arts & Humanities grant and a Community Outreach grant. Executive Director Christine Macchi described this exhibition as a departure from the usual fiber artwork… Read more

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Donald Soctomah Donald Soctomah rows a birch bark canoe with his son, also named Donald. The canoe was built based on a 21-foot Passamaquoddy canoe dating from 1850.

Committed to His Native Roots: Soctomah to Be Honored for Contributions

Executive Director Hayden Anderson was interviewed for an article in Indian Country Today highlighting Donald Soctomah, 2015 recipient of the Constance H. Carlson Prize. This is the Maine Humanities Council’s highest honor, and is awarded to an individual, institution, or group in recognition of exemplary contributions to public humanities in Maine. Here is an excerpt from Alysa… Read more

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