Idaho Humanities Council awards $75,000 in grants this fall

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Idaho Humanities Council awards $75,000 in grants this fall

(Editors: Please note grant awards in your region)
The Idaho Humanities Council (IHC), the statewide nonprofit organization devoted to enhancing public awareness, appreciation, and understanding of the humanities in Idaho, awarded $75,982 in grants to organizations and individuals at its fall board meeting in Boise. Forty-four awards include 25 grants for public humanities programs, four Research Fellowships, nine Teacher Incentive Grants, and six Planning Grants. The grants were supported in part by funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and IHC’s Endowment for Humanities Education. The following projects were funded:
Public Programs:
Boise Art Museum, Boise, was awarded $2,000 to bring Chinese photographer and performance artist Liu Bolin to Boise for an exhibition of his work at the museum and a public lecture at the Egyptian Theater. Bolin is a dissident artist in China, and he will talk about how his work and the work of other artists can be used to make bold sociopolitical statements. The project director is Melanie Fales, 670 Julia Davis Dr., Boise, ID 83702, email address is, phone number is (208) 345-8330.

Boundary County Museum, Bonners Ferry, was awarded $2,000 to develop an additional series of interpretive panels that tell the story of the railroad history of Bonners Ferry. The Museum sits next to railroad tracks at an important crossroads in the town. Over the past decade the planners have developed a courtyard behind the museum, and rebuilt a scaled depot with grant support of Burlington Northern. The project director is Dottie Gray, P.O. Box 808, 7229 Main Street, Bonners Ferry, ID 83805, email address is, and phone number is (208) 267-7720.

Council Historical Museum, Council, received $1,000 to develop an outdoor exhibit of a steam-powered sawmill to enhance interpretation of the logging history of the area the museum. Interpretive signage would incorporate historical photographs of a similar sawmill and text about the local logging history. The project director is Dale Fisk, 2202 Ridge Rd., Council, ID 83612, email address is, and phone number is (208) 253-4582.

Idaho State University, Pocatello, received $1,500 to host a five-session “Humanities Café” off campus that will explore the theme of “Revolutions.” Faculty members will explore this theme from a variety of perspectives in art, literature, history, music, gender study, and other humanities disciplines. Each night over several weeks a panel of scholars will explore a subtheme of “Revolutions” and invite audience members to join the conversation. The project director is Jennifer Attebery, 921 S. 8th Ave., MS8056, Pocatello, ID 83209, email address is, and phone number is (208) 282-4723.

The Cabin, Boise, received $2,500 to help support its annual “Readings & Conversations” series, which brings four nationally prominent writers to Boise for a reading of their work at, most often, the Egyptian Theater in downtown Boise, followed by a book signing.

Presenters in the 2014-2015 series included novelists Erik Larson, Chris Albani, Sherman Alexie, and Karen Russell. The project director is Mark Blaiser, 801 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise, ID 83702, email address is, and phone number is (208) 331-8000.

Boise State University Basque Studies, Boise, received $2,000 to support an evening of talks in Boise’s Egyptian Theater billed as “Meet the Basques” as part of the Jaialdi Basque Festival in July of 2015. The Jaialdi Festival, a major cultural festival featuring music, food, talks, museum events, and other activities open to the general public, occurs every five years. The “Meet the Basques” program will provide an opportunity for audiences to learn more about the history and culture of the Basques. The project director is John Bieter, 1304 E. Bannock, Boise, ID 83714, email address is, and phone number is (208) 426-4631.

Boise State University, Boise, received $1,000 to help support a lecture series on “The Idea of Nature” during the spring of 2015. Presenters include Maria Tatar, professor of folklore and mythology at Harvard University, speaking on “Nature in Fairy Tales”; David Lowenthal, professor emeritus, University College London, speaking on “From Howling Wilderness to the Call of the Wild,” Rebecca Kneale Gould professor of environmental studies, Middlebury College, speaking on “The Nature of a Spacious Life.” The project director is Samantha Harvey, 1910 University Dr., Boise, ID 83725, email address is, and phone number is (208) 336-1286.

Bud Moore Legacy Film Team, Missoula, Montana, and independent documentary producer George Sibley were awarded $2,000 to support production of a documentary about a legendary Montana forest ranger named Bud Moore. Moore devoted his entire life to forestry, working as a firefighter in the 1930s and rising in the ranks to manage large tracts of forest land in Idaho and Montana. Many of the practices and policies he set in place remain standards in forest service resource management. The project director is George Sibley, 300 Yorktowne Dr., Daytona Beach, FL 32119, email address is, and phone number is (386) 760-6170.

GCG Productions, Boise, and independent documentary producer Karen Day Zak received $3,000 to support production of a documentary about silent film actress/director Nell Shipman, who produced several silent films in and around Priest Lake in the 1920s. Entitled Girl from God’s Country, the documentary is about Shipman as a nearly forgotten pioneer female film director and the challenges women faced in the film industry then and now. The project director is Karen Day Zak, 1914 N. 14th, P.O. Box 116, Boise, ID 83702, email address is, and phone number is (415) 686-0359.
The Gunk Foundation and independent filmmaker, Janet Kern, New York, received $2,000 to complete a documentary film titled “Horse Tribe.” The film documents the struggle of the Nez Perce Tribe and Rudy Shebala, a Navajo horseman, as they work to bring horses back to their lands and their lives. The film will be aired on public television and available for distribution. The project director is Janet Kern, 256 Mott Street, New York, NY 10012, email address is, and phone number is (212) 925-3110.

The Center for Civic Education, Boise, received $3,136 to offer a two-day seminar for Idaho Social Studies teachers on “Race and Gender in American History, Politics, and Law.” Held in Boise on February 20-21st, the seminar will focus on historical issues, major Supreme Court cases, and Federal laws that have emerged over time.

Continuing education credit through BSU will be available to up to 50 social studies teachers at all levels within Idaho. The project director is Troy Hamilton, 1422 Winter Lane, Jerome, ID 83338, email address is, and phone number is (208) 320 7617.

The Global Lounge Group (GLG), Boise, received $3,500 to help support “World Village,” an annual event involving various international and traditional artists, musicians, storytellers, crafts people and other representatives demonstrating cultural traditions through performances, workshops and other interactive activities. The event will be held June 20 - 21, 2015 in Boise Capitol Park. The project director is Dayo Ayodele, P.O. Box 8785, Boise, ID 83707, email address is, and phone number is (208) 918-7870.
The Idaho Falls Arts Council, Idaho Falls, was awarded $3,500 to bring two production companies to Idaho Falls for educational programming. The American Place Theater (APT) will present a public performance of The Kite Runner and take an educational outreach program in one of the alternative high schools. Another company, called “Living Voices,” will present four presentations exploring the Holocaust, the Latin American farm worker’s movement, Japanese internment camps, and government-run boarding schools for Native American children. Each program also will be taken into two area schools. The “Living Voices” organization presents dynamic solo performances combined with archival film to explore historical events. The project director is Brandi Newton, 498 A Street, Idaho Falls, ID 83402. email address is, and phone number is (208) 522-0471.

The University of Idaho, Moscow, received $3,000 to help support a public film forum, featuring two documentaries on grassroots social change, tentatively slated for August 29, 2015, at the Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre in Moscow. One film, made by MAS (Movimiento Activista Social), a group of Latino students at the University of Idaho, is about the immigrant farmworker communities in Idaho where they grew up. The second, made by a French filmmaker, is about the Senegalese rap group Keur Gui (meaning “our house,” or “the family”) and the social movement they helped found, called Y’en a Marre (a French expression meaning “fed up,” or “enough is enough”). Discussion with members of MAS, Y’en a Marre, and the audience will follow. The project director is Sarah Nelson, Modern Languages and Cultures, 875 Perimeter Dr., MS3174, Moscow, ID 83844, email address is, and phone number is (208) 885-7756.

Idaho State University, Pocatello, received $500 to help support a talk by Dr. Ronald C. McCurdy, a professor of music at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, during a showcasing of the work of Langston Hughes. Held during Black History Month in February 2015, McCurdy will present a multimedia concert performance of Langston Hughes's kaleidoscopic jazz poem suite, “Ask Your Mama.” The project director is Howard Grimes, 921 S. 8th Ave., Pocatello, ID 83209, email address is, and phone number is (208) 282-2591.
The Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Boise, was awarded $3,000 to help support “Shakespearience,” an educational outreach touring program, presenting fully staged and costumed productions of William Shakespeare’s work in schools across Idaho. Comedy of Errors performances will be followed by question/answer sessions. An online study guide is made available, and additional educational workshops are offered to explore themes and issues in more depth. The project director is Christine Zimowsky, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, P.O. Box 9365, Boise, ID 83707, email address is, and phone number is (208) 429-9908, Ext. 212.

The Idaho Writers Guild, Boise, received $1,500 to help support a writer’s conference, May 14-16, 2015, at the Boise Centre. About 20 authors, literary agents, professional editors and publishing experts will present a series of workshops, readings, and interactive discussions on a wide variety of topics. The project director is Doug Copsey, P.O. Box 8862, Boise, ID 83707, email address is, and phone number is (208) 387-0290.

The White Spring Ranch Museum, Genesee received $1,450 to help preserve and archive artifacts at their unique family-ranch-turned historical center. The museum is on the National Register of Historic Places and staff continues to find new items in the Victorian farmhouse, an 1876 log cabin, and in an 1880 curio cabin. The project director is Diane Conroy, 1004 Lorang Rd., Genesee, ID 83832, email address is, and phone number is (208) 416-1006.
The Museum of Idaho, Idaho Falls, was awarded $3,500 to help host a traveling exhibition titled “Real Pirates: The Untold Story of the Whydah from Slave Ship to Pirate Ship” from May 8 – November 28, 2015. The exhibit, developed in partnership with the National Geographic Society, tells the story of the slave ship and its capture by pirate captain Sam Bellamy in 1717. That same year it sunk off the shore of Cape Cod. Stories from Bellamy’s pirate crew help illustrate the 18th century world of slavery, piracy, trade, and commerce. The project director is David Pennock, 200 North Eastern Ave., Idaho Falls, ID 83402, email address is, and phone number is (208) 522-1400, Ext. 3008.

Lewis-Clark State College, Lewiston, received $2,000 to help support the 28th Annual Native American Awareness Week to be held March 16-20, 2015. Activities help educate students and the general public about Native Americans and Native American cultures. Native American elders and tribal leaders will focus on topics relating to preserving the culture, history and traditional knowledge of their individual tribes. The project director is Bob Sobotta, Lewis-Clark State College, 500 8th Ave., Lewiston, ID 83501, email address is, and phone number is (208) 792-2858.

The Twin Falls County Historical Society, Twin Falls, was awarded $1,200 for a photo archive project. The museum has many old photos that will be digitally saved, printed and mounted, and preserved. The preserved photos will be used in museum exhibits and made available to the general public for viewing in binders and a digital photo frame. The project director is Laurie Warren, 21337A Hwy. 30, Filer, ID 83328, email address is, and phone number is (208) 736-4675.
The Latah County Historical Society, Moscow, was awarded $1,350 for a newly designed oral history program called “Recordings for Posterity.” The project will focus on oral history interviews about regional experiences from the mid-twentieth century through the most recent decades. The resulting archival resource will be available to researchers and the general public. The project director is Dulce Kersting, 327 East Second Street, Moscow, ID 83843, email address is, and phone number is (208) 882-1004.
The Salmon Arts Council, Salmon, received $2,000 to help support the third annual celebration of the History of Lemhi County and the City of Salmon in June 2015. The theme is “The History and Culture of Mining in Lemhi County,” and will feature three lunchtime lectures, one evening lecture and a day-long group tour of the now-abandoned mining community (and mines) of Leesburg. The project director is Caroline Stivers, 200 Main Street, Salmon, ID 83467, email address is, and phone number is (208) 756-2987.

The Northern Pacific Depot Foundation, Wallace, was awarded $1,230 to help create a display of antique and vintage Wallace promotional and souvenir items. The new display will include photographs of street scenes and the businesses that the items were from. The project director is Shauna Hillman, P.O. Box 469, 219 Sixth Street, Wallace, ID 83873, email address is, and phone number is (208) 752 0111.

Research Fellowships:
Tara Penry, BSU Professor of English, Boise, received $3,500 to support research on the life and work of 19th -century fiction writer Bret Harte and the way his fiction assesses national reconciliation and social cohesion in the U.S. after the Civil War. Her research will culminate in a book. Tara Penry’s contact information is 419 Bacon Dr., Boise, ID 83712, email address is, and phone number is (208) 345-7891.
Keith Petersen, Idaho State Historian, Moscow, received $3,500 to assist with research the story of how the state of Idaho got its unique shape. He notes that Idaho’s state boundaries have had serious political, economic, and cultural repercussions over time, and that many stories about the boundaries are exaggerated and distorted and passed along as fact. Keith Petersen’s contact information is P.O. Box 8897, Moscow, ID 83843, email address is, and phone number is (208) 850-5798.

Brandon Schrand, Assistant Professor of English at the University of Idaho, Moscow, was awarded $3,000 to support research for a book about Frank B. Robinson and the rise of “Psychiana,” Robinson’s own self-help "psychological religion" that was invented in Moscow, Idaho, during the Great Depression. Though nearly forgotten today, Psychiana became the 7th largest religion in the world within five years, many seeking self-help in the forlorn days of national economic strife of the 1930s. Brandon Schrand’s contact information is 228 North Lilley Street, Moscow, ID 83843, email address is, and phone number is (208) 596-5084.

College of Southern Idaho Anthropology Professor James Woods, Twin Falls, was awarded $3,500 to support his participation in an international conference in Pachuca, Mexico, with anthropologists trained in the lithic art and science of flintknapping, the experimental study of making and using ancient stone tools to interpret and understand the anthropological past. Flintknapping was pioneered by the late Don Crabtree, a native Idahoan who was a mentor to Woods and many others. Woods continues to practice and demonstrate flintknapping as a method of studying ancient cultures. James Woods’ contact information is 1287 Park Meadows Dr., Twin Falls, ID 83301, email address is, and phone number is (208) 410-0186.
Teacher Incentive Grants:
The IHC awards grants of up to $1,000 to K-12 teachers and educational organizations to enhance teaching of the humanities in the classroom. The following grants were supported by IHC’s Endowment for Humanities Education.
Judy Barbera, Garden City Public Library, Garden City, received $1,000 to help purchase new books for its Bells for Books program, a mobile literacy program of the library. The program serves low income children and their families in the Garden City area, including many immigrants and refugees, whose primary language is not English.

Judy Barbera’s contact information is 6015 Glenwood St., Garden City, ID 83714, email address is, and phone number is (208) 338-6951.

Patty Bolinger, William Thomas Middle School, American Falls, received $1,000 to supporet a field trip to Boise for her government class. She notes that a majority of the students have never been to Boise. She and other teachers and counselors will teach about the history of the capitol and the levels of government prior to the field trip. Patty Bolinger’s contact information is 355 Bannock St., American Falls, ID 83211, email address is, and phone number is (208) 226-5203.

Deloris Davisson, The Museum of Winchester History, Winchester, was awarded $1,000 to work with local schools in the study of Idaho history. They will help students collect stories from their families, focusing on diverse heritages, values, and changes in their communities in the 20th and early 21st centuries. The museum will prepare a temporary exhibit for the museum and host an all-day hands-on rendezvous for students in May. Deloris Davisson’s contact information is P.O. Box 3, Winchester, ID 83555, email address is, and phone number is (509) 758-8953.
Kara Donnelly, Rendezvous Upper Elementary School, Driggs, was awarded $700 to purchase improve access to primary sources on the internet while teaching research skills to her students. The small school shares outdated textbooks between classrooms and has limited access to computer labs. The access to classroom technology will allow students to conduct their own research, work in groups, and create presentations. Kara Donnelly’s contact information is 1500 E. 5000 S., Victor, ID 83455, email address is, and phone number is (208) 270-0211.
Susan Dransfield, Mary McPherson Elementary, Meridian, was awarded $752 to enhance study of American history. She will collaborate with the librarian to purchase new resource materials. Students will analyze historical artifacts, read primary texts, and more. Susan Dransfield’s contact information is Mary McPherson Elementary School, 1050 E. Amity, Meridian, ID 83642, email address is, and phone number is (208) 855-4300.

Julie Hahn, The Treasure Valley Family YMCA, Boise, received $750 to support their Government Program designed to help students learn about and participate in state government. Over 300 students learn how to be active citizens through a nine-month, hands-on experience, exploring the executive, legislative and judicial branches of Idaho state government. Julie Hahn’s contact information is 1177 West State Street, Boise, ID 83702, email address is, and phone number is (208) 344-5502, Ext. 281.

Michelle Harmon, Borah High School, Boise, was awarded $750 to continue developing on-line searchable access to decades of back issues of the school newspaper. The digitization of the school newspapers allow students easier access for research story ideas, historical patterns, and trends, and making the papers more accessible to students and alumni. Michelle Harmon’s contact information is Borah High School, 6001 Cassia, Boise, ID 83709, email address is, and phone number is (208) 854 4427.
Luke Waldron, Malad Middle School, Malad, received $1,000 to publish a compilation of his students’ research about historic sites in Malad and surrounding towns. The book will be made available to local community members and sold at the Malad Valley Welsh Festival.

Luke Waldron’s contact information is 175 Jenkins Ave., Malad City, ID 83252, email address is, and phone number is (208) 766-9235.
Diane Williams, Anser Public Charter School, Garden City, received $1,000 to support a collaborative project for her students and recent refugee students designed to create better understandings of new cultures and ideas. Diane Williams’ contact information is 202 E. 42nd Street, Garden City, ID 83714, email address is, phone number is (208) 384-1903.
Planning Grants:

The Foote Park Project, Boise, received $250 to host a meeting to explore future interpretive plans at the site of the Mary Hallock Foote home. Planners hope the meeting will help form a nonprofit organization for continued interpretation of the site. The project director was Janet Worthington, 8109 W. Powell, Boise, ID 83714, email address is, and phone number is (208) 853-2599.

The Idaho Potato Museum, Blackfoot, received $1,000 to involve professional public historians from TAG (Boise) to help draft an interpretive plan for the redesign of the museum’s exhibits. The project director was Tish Dahmen, Idaho Potato Museum, P.O. Box 801, 130 Northwest Main Street, Blackfoot, ID 83221, email address is, and phone number is (208) 785-2517.
The Nez Perce County Historical Society, Lewiston, was awarded $700 to support three meetings with scholars and the filmmaker to discuss the feasibility and details related to producing a documentary on the history of the Chinese community in Lewiston, Idaho. The project director was Lyle Wirtanen, 0306 Third St., Lewiston, ID 83501, email address is, and phone number is (208) 743-2535.
The Roxy Project, Lewiston, was awarded $750 to support attendance for two individuals to attend a national conference on the restoration of historic theaters, and bring back information on how to restore a Lewiston downtown theater as a venue for lectures, performances, film festivals, and other humanities events and gatherings. Project Directors were Jan Johnson and Mike Feeney. Jan Johnson’s contact information is 2304 Sunset Dr., Lewiston, ID 83501, email address is, and phone number is (208) 882-0109.

The Monastery of St. Gertrude, Cottonwood, received $964 to bring in scholars to help them review their exhibits and develop a strategic plan for enhancing the displays telling the story of the Camas Prairie history and culture. The project director was Mary Schmidt, Historical Museum at St. Gertrude, 465 Keuterville Rd., Cottonwood, ID 83522, email address is, and phone number is (208) 962-2001.

The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, Boise, received $1,000 to support a meeting with scholars near the ghost town of Bayhorse (near Challis) to do some oral histories and develop a plan for a short interpretive documentary. The project director was Evelyn Mason, Idaho State Parks and Recreation, 5657 Warm Springs Ave., Boise, ID 83716, email address is, and phone number is (208) 514-2477.

The Next Deadline for IHC Grants:

The next deadline for Idaho Humanities Council grant proposals is January 15, 2015. IHC strongly recommends that prospective applicants contact staff to discuss their project ideas before completing proposals. Grant guidelines and application instructions are available on IHC’s website at, or by calling 208-345-5346.

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