Local contact: Brenda Thomson, Executive Director / 602-257-0335
Arizona Humanities Board Welcomes New Officers
Executive Director, Brenda Thomson expressed her enthusiasm. “We could not be more pleased to have these outstanding leaders on our board. Each one of them has unique talents that enhance the work we are doing for the people of Arizona. Karl Kendall has tremendous insight about delivering the best library programs, with a million plus visitors annually to the Phoenix Burton Barr Library. Eshé Pickett brings IT savvy, as we upgrade our technical abilities and virtual resources, and Jim Blasingame is familiar with nationally renowned authors who can help engage our youth, and foster literacy. We feel fortunate indeed to work with these wonderful people.”

Vice Chair – James Blasingame
Arizona State University James Blasingame focuses on young adult literature, Indigenous curriculum, censorship, secondary reading and writing pedagogy, preparing pre-service teachers, and cowboy poetry. He also works with the ASU chapter of the U.S. State Department’s International Leaders in Education Partnership, for which he helps visiting teachers from around the world create professional development modules to use with teachers in their home countries.

Treasurer – Karl Kendall
Karl Kendall has worked for the Phoenix Public Library for the past 17 years. In his current role as the Deputy Director of Collections and Programming, Karl oversees the coordination of programs, services, and the purchasing of library materials across this diverse system of 17 Library locations.  Prior to his current position, Karl managed the Century, Cesar Chavez, and Agave libraries, overseeing the opening of the latter two. Karl holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from Arizona State University and a Master’s degree in Information and Library Sciences from the University of Arizona. Married with three young children, Karl’s main passions are music, baseball, and, of course, reading.  

Secretary – Eshé Pickett
Eshé Pickett is an active community member who strongly advocates for civic and civil engagement. She is a graduate of Valley Leadership, mentored for 6 years with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona, and served as Precinct Committeeman in Legislative District 18. Eshé believes that exposure to Arts and Culture is critical in the development of intelligent and useful design and feels the mission of the Arizona Humanities is crucial in retaining the human element in advancing technology.

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