Tag Archives: NEH

Arizona Humanities Festival

Ballet Folklorico Esperanza performs at the Arizona Humanities Festival in Phoenix

I headed to Civic Space Park in downtown Phoenix Saturday for an event called the “Arizona Humanities Festival: Stories of Us,” presented by the Arizona Humanities Council — and sponsored by APS and the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

The all-day festival was designed as “a celebration of the cultures that surround us, the stories that define us, and the histories that connect us.”

A family activity area featured storytelling, face painting, Chinese calligraphy, Day of the Dead mask-making and much more. Characters like Maya & Miguel strolled through the crowd, posing with children for pictures. And various performers, including those pictured below, took to the stage. 

Face painting at the festival’s Dias de los Muertos Activity Center

Miguel and Maya with two girls attending the Arizona Humanities Festival

A pair of works (L) from the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center activity area

Traditional Chinese Lion Dancers preparing for a second performance

One of several groups that performed works with multicultural flair

Scenes from You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown by ASU’s Lyric Opera Theatre

The first of several dances performed by Ballet Forklorico Esperanza

A high-energy performance by Fushicho Daiko/Phoenix Taiko Drummers

Various speakers gave presentations in ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism building — on topics ranging from Anne Frank to pioneering women artists in Arizona. Nearby, attendees learned about things like hip hop and Arizona’s identity in Western movies.

Plenty of humanities-related organizations had booths at the festival — including the Central Arizona Museum Association, the Braille and Talking Book Library, the Arizona Authors Association and many more.

One of several exhibitors at Saturday's Arizona Humanities Festival in Phoenix

Folks who missed Saturday’s festival can enjoy other events presented by the Arizona Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities founded in 1973. Visit them online at www.azhumanities.org to learn more.

– Lynn

Note: According to the Arizona Humanities Council, the humanities include history, literature, languages, linguistics, philosophy, law, archeology, comparative religion, anthropology, ethics, art history and more.

Coming up: More fun with festivals

Photo credit: Lynn Trimble

S.O.S. from arts advocates

Love the humanities? Here's a chance to show your support...

A national newscast Monday night tried explaining proposed cuts to the federal budget using a giant pie chart made of pennies.

I’m all for doing the math — but the coins were more distracting than demonstrative.

Not so for an e-mail alert I opened at around the same time, which read as follows…

The House of Representatives will be voting on a bill that would cut the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) appropriation by 7% which would mean a loss of $12 million. The NEH’s current budget is only 1/21,000th of the federal budget and costs about as much as a postage stamp per person. 

We need your help! Today and tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday, February 14th – 15th, the House of Representatives will debate these cuts.

Please show your support for the AHC and NEH by clicking here to send a message to your representative. 

A cut to NEH’s budget will directly impact the federal funds that support the Arizona Humanities Council (AHC). Since the inception of AHC in 1973, our programs and funding of approximately $10 million for public humanities projects have reached approximately 4 million people throughout Arizona.

The e-mail came from Brenda Thomson, executive director for the Arizona Humanities Council. You can click here to learn more about their work.

I can’t tell you whether or how to get involved — only remind you that these issues are often on the horizon, and there are all sorts of ways to register your input.

Additional resources for those interested in arts advocacy are the Arizona Commission on the Arts and Arizona Citizens Action for the Arts. 

– Lynn

Note: Click here to learn more about the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Coming up: King Arthur tales, Stage mom turns audition judge

Photo: www.wvgazette.com

Update: President Obama just awarded the “Presidential Medal of Freedom” to 15 individuals – including four honored for work in the arts and humanities (poet Maya Angelou, artist Jasper Johns, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and VSA founder Jean Kennedy). It’s powerful evidence of the crucial role played by arts and culture in the very fabric of American life.