Open Minds

Free, thought-provoking discussions on important issues facing our communities produced in partnership with Arizona Humanities and the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records, with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Open Minds Program Purpose:

  • Promote civic engagement
  • Create a deeper sense of community
  • Promote listening to one another
  • Reflect on the past, present, and future
  • Commemorating America at 250 years
Arizona Humanities believes in education based on facts. The facilitator should do their best to ensure that no misinformation is being spread in the conversation. This can be more or less challenging depending on the topic.
Having a ‘background knowledge’ section of the presentation is the best place to address any misinformation and to level-set. Please contact Arizona Humanities if you have any concerns or questions.

For Host Libraries:

For scheduling and dashboard support, contact:

Amber McCrary

(602) 257-0335, extension 23

Apply for an Open Minds Program

Please check back soon for application guidelines regarding funding your Open Minds program. 

  • Go to and apply through the online dashboard. You must be registered with an account. 
  • Please consult the Host Library Toolkit for appropriate logos, hosting etiquette, and marketing items.

Hosting an Open Minds Discussion

The Open Minds program facilitates conversations that provide a space to explore current events and issues affecting our communities. All opinions are welcome, but participants must model respectful behavior, or they may be removed from the meeting. 

Librarians as Participants

Once the in-person program has been approved, host libraries should coordinate directly with the facilitator regarding event logistics. For marketing purposes, it is recommended to craft a short paragraph that can be used to build interest in the topic. AZ Humanities can help draft these descriptions. ​

It is highly encouraged to have library staff participate during the conversation. This supports:​

  • The library as it is part of the community​
  • The facilitator who can rely on the library staff to start conversations​
  • The participants who need to be encouraged to participate​
  • The overall conversation as everyone’s perspective is unique and valuable

Host Library Tool Kit

Arizona Humanities Expectations:
  • Acknowledge Arizona Humanities and the Arizona State Library during the talk.​
  • Provide supplemental informational resources for participants to further explore a topic.
  • Facilitator is an Independent Contractor and is not entitled to employee benefits.
  • Facilitator will not use an AH-funded program to promote his or her own business, publications, or products.
  • Facilitators should remain “neutral” on a topic. At the end of a discussion, participants should not know your personal beliefs.

Why the name Open Minds?

We named this program Open Minds because we believe in building a society that is centered around openness and understanding. Empathy can only build when the mind is open and we come together to see each other as a connected community. We hope these conversations enrich the lives of Arizonans and work to remind us all that we have more in common than we do different. 

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