Arizona Humanities awards $58,800 in Project Grants
Ten organizations receive grants for humanities projects

Arizona Humanities is pleased to award $58,800 in Project Grants to 10 organizations.

Brenda Thomson, Arizona Humanities Executive Director shared, “We are delighted at the diversity of proposals submitted during this grant cycle. The grant process is very competitive, and we congratulate the 10 grantees whose projects are unique and creative. From a symposium on Native Alaskan masks to creating children’s audio guides in Spanish, to exploring Middle Eastern literature, we are pleased to provide support for these programs, and hope you will enjoy them.”

Project Grants are awarded twice yearly and organizations can apply for up to $10,000 in funding. The next Project Grants Letter of Intent deadline is May 1, 2018.

For questions regarding the grants application process, contact Samantha Anderson, Grants Manager at or 602-257-0335. For more information, visit the Grant Opportunities page.

Read more about each Project Grant below.

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Arizona State University – School of Art – Tempe, AZ
Testing the Waters
Total Project Grant Award: $10,000
Project Director: Dr. Dan Collins, 480-206-2037 /

Testing the Waters is a curriculum, online publication, and exhibit comprised of stories, images, maps, and video that share “stories of place” tied to water quality across the Colorado River Basin. The project explores the physical, chemical, and biological evidence gathered by students from Arizona schools in Yuma, Lake Havasu City, Tsaile, and Maryvale. Working with a combination of local teachers, researchers, artists, and writers, Testing the Waters challenges students to find ways to bring the dry facts of the river system to life through words and images.


Community Food Bank, Inc. – Tucson, AZ
Give Hunger a Face, a Theater-to-Video Project
Total Project Grant Award: $5,000
Project Director: Kristen Quinnan, 520-882-3293 /

The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona (CFB) strives to deepen an existing collaboration with Borderlands Theater Company in Tucson with the purpose of giving a face to hunger in the Tucson community. Five short plays and accompanying curriculum will be created based on authentic stories of hunger and food insecurity. Through this project, CFB hopes to raise awareness about the realities of hunger, and the programs and services available to individuals in need. Borderlands Theater continues to be a valuable local theatrical resource in the Tucson community.


Dine Be Iina, Inc. – Waterflow, NM
Wool to Loom: Redefining Navajo Fiber Art
Total Project Grant Award: $5,000
Project Director: Aretta Begay, 505-406-7428 /

Dine Be’ Iina presents 18 days of training in traditional Navajo wool processing, tool making and fiber arts techniques culminating in the Sheep is Life Celebration event. The focus for this project will be teaching and fostering traditional wool production, harvesting, processing, spinning and weaving techniques that do not depend on water and modern technology. Dine Be’ Iina will host monthly community-based events to share and provide trainings in the creation of fiber/wool projects in Window Rock, Ganado and Tsaile. These workshops provide attendees the opportunity to learn and exchange knowledge about the Navajo pastoral lifeway.


Emerson Theater Collaborative, Inc.– Sedona, AZ
Emerson Theater Collaborative Summer Youth Theater: Exploring America’s Hispanic Heritage
Total Project Grant Award: $5,000
Project Director: Camilla Ross, 860-705-9711/

Emerson Theater Collaborative (ETC) presents a four-week Summer Youth Theater that serves Hispanic American and other “at risk and under-served students” at Big Park and West Sedona Middle schools. Play performances include scholar discussions sessions with audience members that explore the ethical implications for today’s society, on the topics of immigration and discrimination. Discussion will also address The Sedona Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Lunch & Learn around issues that Hispanic American students and citizens of color face.


Heard Museum – Phoenix, AZ
Yua: Henri Matisse and the Inner Arctic Spirit – Symposium
Total Project Grant Award: $5,000
Project Director: Daniel Hagerty, 602-251-0218 /

The Heard Museum presents a one-day scholarly symposium in October 2018 accompanying the historic exhibiton opening of Yua: Henri Matisse and the Inner Arctic Spirit. This exhibition, organized by the Heard in partnership with the Matisse Museum (Le Cateaux), will reunite pairs of Native Alaskan (Yup’ik) masks that were separated for nearly a century, and show them in juxtaposition with works by Matisse and his contemporaries, inspired by these exceptional Yup’ik objects. The exhibition symposium features scholars, exhibition curators and directors, and Yup’ik elders. Together they will examine the largely unrecognized influence that Native Alaskan masks and philosophies had on European and American artists.


Maricopa County Historical Society dba Desert Caballeros Western Museum – Wickenburg, AZ
Audio Guide Spanish Translation for Children
Total Project Grant Award: $3,800
Project Director: Natalie Olson, 928-684-2272 /

The Desert Caballeros Western Museum (DCWM) will produce a children’s Spanish translation audio guide to for museum visitors. The children’s Spanish translations will accompany the existing English (children and adults), and Spanish (adults) audio tours for the museum’s permanent art and artifact collection, temporary exhibitions and the recently enhanced historic Wickenburg exhibition. The children’s Spanish audio guide will be accessible to visiting schools, both for students with English as a second language and as a teaching tool for English speaking students learning Spanish.


Museum of Northern Arizona – Flagstaff, AZ
2018 Heritage Festivals – Zuni, Hopi, and Navajo
Total Project Grant Award: $10,000
Project Director: Amelia George, 928-774-5211 x217 /

The Heritage Insights series, a component of the Museum of Northern Arizona’s (MNA) three Native American heritage festivals─ Zuni, Hopi, and Navajo Festivals of Arts & Culture─ features informative and interactive presentations by tribal members, culture bearers, and scholars. The program series introduces festival visitors to the history, culture, visual arts, heritage preservation, and contemporary cultural identity of the Zuni, Hopi, and Navajo. The three festivals include lectures, film screenings, art-making demonstrations, and more.


The Bisbee Radio Project Incorporated – Bisbee, AZ
Tucson Noise Symposium in association with KBRP Bisbee
Total Project Grant Award: $5,000
Project Director: Dr. John Melillo, 917-558-3587 /

The Tucson Noise Symposium will host two days of lectures, workshops, panel discussions, and performances that explore the concept of noise. Four visiting speakers, local artists, and scholars will conduct interdisciplinary talks, and engage in community conversations on thought and sound. The goal of the symposium is to uncover the humanistic meanings and cultural possibilities of noise for an audience of listeners, thinkers, and makers. The symposium will allow participants to learn about, discuss, and reflect upon how humans listen to each other and their environments.


University of Arizona – Department of Spanish and Portuguese – Tucson, AZ
Binational Encuentro: Female Migrations
Total Project Grant Award: $5,000
Project Director: Dr. Ana Cornide, 520-621-3396 /

This project creates spaces for critical inquiry and community engagement through the arts for the Sonora/AZ border communities. Four artists from Tucson, Douglas and Mexico City will engage with scholars, activists and community members. Together they will reflect on the concepts of border, territory, migration, displacement and movement, through the lenses of gender and sexuality.


University of Arizona – Poetry Center – Tucson, AZ
Brave Books: Bringing the Bold Librarians & Booksellers of the Middle East to a Pre-K-12 Audience
Total Project Grant Award: $5,000
Project Director: Aisha Sloan, 520-626-1185 /

Brave Books is an annual celebration of bookstores and libraries from around the world. Each year, the University of Arizona Poetry Center features a lost, endangered, or otherwise brave oasis built to protect, house and share books in their children’s reading area. For 2018-2019, Brave Books focuses on libraries and bookstores in the Arabic speaking world, inspired by the books The Librarian of Basra and Hands Around the Library. The Poetry Center’s Brave Books celebration to engage Pre-K-12 youth through English and Arabic resources, Family Days events, and author/educator workshops.

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Any findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in these projects do not necessarily reflect those of Arizona Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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