Colorado Humanities

Humanities education is fundamental to democratic societies, and vital to a thriving Colorado. Our dynamic humanities programs stimulate informed civic dialogue, community engagement, and life-long learning. Thank you for donating today to support our work for collaborative learning in Colorado.

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Black History Live

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

General Public
Teachers
Young Adults (20-25 years)
Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Blacks, African Heritage

Description

National Chautauqua scholar-presenters participate in our annual Black History Live tours to honor Black History Month. Their portrayals of significant African Americans are fact-based and professionally delivered in schools, libraries, theaters, and other venues throughout Colorado. The tour promotes a deeper understanding of notable people of color who have made important contributions to our country and culture. Due to pandemic restrictions, the program is moving online in 2022 with a series of pre-recorded lectures and live conversation with the presenters.

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Evidence of Program's Success


Change in Rural Colorado

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
General population
Native Americans
Teachers

Description

Change in Rural Colorado is our new online series led by expert panelists for community discussion. We presented the first two sessions this year, Economic Resiliency in the COVID Era and Loving Our Land, in collaboration with the Regional Economic Development Institute at Colorado State University. Change in Rural Colorado sessions are designed to be free, online conversations about the challenges and opportunities facing rural Colorado. Please let us know if you would like to host a Change in Rural Colorado program in your community.

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Evidence of Program's Success

Changing the Legacy of Race & Ethnicity

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

Blacks, African Heritage
Ethnic/Racial Minorities
General population
Hispanic, Latino Heritage
Native Americans

Description

More than half a century after the Civil Rights movement challenged basic legal and social segregation in the United States, we continue to see dramatic disparities of equity experienced by African Americans, Latinx, and other racial and ethnic groups in almost all areas of life and experience, including education, housing, health, employment, and representation in most fields of endeavor. We work with program partners and community groups to plan, design, and implement the conversation series to be relevant to their communities, and to encourage conversations about the enduring and perplexing legacies of race and ethnicity that continue to lead to injustice. (Please let us know if you would like to host a Changing the Legacy of Race & Ethnicity session for your community.) All six sessions held since October 2020 can still be viewed on YouTube. And, you can join our next online session to learn about effective strategies for equity from those who will panel "Cutting Edge Leadership," on Feb. 1, 7 p.m. To register and submit your question for the panelists, visit www.coloradohumanities.org.

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Evidence of Program's Success

Colorado Book Awards

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

Adults
General Public/Unspecified
Other Named Groups
Teachers
Young Adults (20-25 years)

Description

To connect Colorado readers with Colorado creators of books, each year we adjudicate book entries for awards and celebrate the achievements of Colorado writers, editors, illustrators, and photographers with finalist readings and an award celebration for the public. Volunteer selectors and judges from across Colorado select awards in 10 or more categories including anthology/collection, children's literature, creative nonfiction, general fiction, general nonfiction, history, juvenile literature, literary fiction, mystery, pictorial, poetry, romance, science fiction/fantasy, short story collection, thriller, and young adult literature. Due to pandemic distancing restrictions in 2020, we developed and implemented online delivery for the awards celebration and finalist readings with great success, and again offered the program online in 2021. The finalist readings and award celebration can still be viewed on YouTube. The deadline for submitting books for the 2022 awards program is Jan. 7, 2022.

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Evidence of Program's Success


Colorado Center for the Book and History Speakers Bureaus

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Families
General Public
Military
Teachers

Description

Our Speakers Bureaus bring experienced and engaging local authors, historians, and living-history scholar-presenters to cultural centers and schools throughout Colorado. We help organizations identify the kind of event that is right for their communities, engage one of our Speakers Bureau presenters, and promote the event. Organizations schedule directly with the presenters, contribute an honorarium and/or travel expense reimbursement, and work with Colorado Humanities and others in their community on event promotion. Speakers can read from their work, deliver informative lectures, host conversations around their areas of expertise, give living-history performances, lead writing workshops or craft seminars, and be part of lively discussions regarding their work. Our 2021 speakers include the 2020 Colorado Book Awards winners, 2019 Colorado Poet Laureate finalists and the current Colorado Poet Laureate, Bobby LeFebre, and an impressive, vetted roster of historians and living-history presenters. Organizations who have not had one of our programs in their community in the past several years may be eligible for a Colorado Humanities stipend to book a speaker. Please let us know if you would like to host a speaker event for your community.

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Evidence of Program's Success

Colorado Encyclopedia

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

General Public/Unspecified
Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Adults
Children (4-12 years)
Teachers

Description

This online resource housed at Colorado State University Libraries includes nearly 1,000 articles on Colorado's diverse peoples, events, and places. The articles are written and edited by top Colorado scholars, and vetted by educators from Colorado schools, colleges, and universities. Versions of about one quarter of the articles are also offered for 4th, 8th, and 10th Grade reading levels and include teacher resource sets. By accepting article contributions from the public and collaborating with local writers, museums, historical societies, libraries, and educators, Colorado Encyclopedia allows Coloradans to tell the story of our state.

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Evidence of Program's Success

Colorado Poet Laureate

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Adults
Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
General population
Hispanic, Latino Heritage

Description

The Poet Laureate serves a four-year term as an advocate for poetry, literacy, and literature in Colorado by visiting schools and participating in Arts & Humanities Month, conferences, and literary festivals. Colorado Humanities facilitates the Poet Laureate's efforts in partnership with Colorado Creative Industries and the Governor, who selects the Poet Laureate from a list of nominees. Local scholars advise on the list to be presented to the Governor. Governor Jared Polis introduced award-winning poet, performance-artist, writer, and social activist Bobby LeFebre as Colorado's new Poet Laureate in 2019. Please let us know if you would like to host an event with Bobby LeFebre in your community.


"Bobby LeFebre has an amazing ability to empower and connect communities through the wisdom of his words; that is why we are confident he will make a fantastic Poet Laureate," said the Governor. "He embodies the spirit of a 'Colorado for All' where everyone is included, no matter their background. I know he will be a strong advocate for the arts and art education as a way to bring us together."

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Evidence of Program's Success

Democracy Labs

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Adults
General population
Teachers
Young Adults (20-25 years)

Description

The democracy labs are designed for community groups to talk across community divides to solve a problem they share. Labs can be customized to address an issue, each group establishing an agreement about how they will work together as they move from establishing common ground to trying strategies for change. Please let us know if you would like to host a Democracy Lab in your community.

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Evidence of Program's Success

D.I.N.E. (Dinner, Ideas 'N Exchange)

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Adults
Families
General population
Young Adults (20-25 years)

Description

D.I.N.E. is our program for making friends and sharing food and food for thought. We arrange for feature presentations at local restaurants, and collaborate with the chefs to produce a delectable three-course repast for ticketed guests in a private group setting. D.I.N.E. has featured numerous Chautauqua performances, as well as Colorado Book Award winner Margaret Coel, historian Bill Convery, (former) Colorado Poet Laureate David Mason, Stories on Stage's Rachel Fowler, ad others. We also offer D.I.N.E. to businesses or other organizations and high-level sponsors as a special event for their private guests.

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Evidence of Program's Success

"Everyone loved it. Becky Stone was a HUGE success. Standing ovation!"
-Bridget Irish, hosted D.I.N.E. at Durango Powerhouse Science Museum

The Five States of Colorado

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Adults
General population
Teachers
Young Adults (20-25 years)

Description

Colorado Humanities and Denver-based Havey Productions produced a short documentary in 1989, The Five States of Colorado. To increase relevance to today and further explore, Colorado's complex issues, urgent challenges, and skyrocketing population growth, we are now producing as a full-length, feature film a more detailed articulation of The five States of Colorado that will represent the vastly differing geographic, demographic, economic, and cultural areas found within Colorado's five distinct regions, or "states," including Southern Colorado, Western Colorado, the Eastern Plains, the Front Range, and metropolitan Denver. The new and expanded, 90-minute Five States film about each of the five regions will be a powerful contribution to public education, and community discourse and decision-making. The film is designed to be screened in its entirety, and also viewable in smaller segments for topical classroom use and community discussion. Scholars and community members statewide will inform the content. Five States will premiere in Denver in 2023, followed by statewide public screenings. We will provide free video streaming or downloads to every school, public, and academic library in Colorado. We will also develop and distribute teacher toolkits to facilitate classroom use of the film.

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Evidence of Program's Success

High Plains Chautauqua

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens
Children ages 5 to 21
Families
General Public/Unspecified

Description

Chautauqua is a summertime big-tent program where scholars recreate the words of historical figures through first-person living-history characterizations for audiences of students, adults, and seniors. Working with a steering committee of volunteers from Weld County, we presented the first community Chautauqua in Colorado, High Plains Chautauqua, in Greeley in 2000. The High Plains Chautauqua's Steering Committee decided to cancel the festival in 2020 due to COVID social-distancing restrictions, but was determined to hold an online version in 2021. In August 2021, with the theme "Breaking Barriers, Expanding Boundaries," online activities during the day and living-history Chautauqua performances each night were held Aug. 2-5. Performances featured professional Chautauqua scholar-performers as Rosa Parks, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Mother Jones, John Deere, William Bent, Alice Paul, Dr. Florence Sabin, Captain Jack, Frances Wisebart Jacobs, and Nikolai Tesla. Four Greeley-Evans District 6 Young Chautauqua students also gave online cameo performances as Oskar Schindler, Selena Quintanilla, Marie Curie, and Edwin Hubble.

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Evidence of Program's Success

History Alive! Colorado West Chautauqua

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens
Children ages 5 to 21
Families
General Public

Description

We deliver History Alive! Colorado West Chautauqua (formerly Two Rivers Chautauqua) in partnership with the Museum of Western Colorado. The program is a two-day festival held each year in Grand Junction. The 2020 festival, "The 19th Amendment and All that Jazz," was postponed until 2021 due to COVID. Held at the Avalon Theatre, the 2021 program featured Chautauqua characters Reverend Billy Sunday, Jeannette Rankin, Josephine Baker. The Grand Valley History Players also performed.

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Evidence of Program's Success

History Live Durango: Durango Chautauqua

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Adults
Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
General population
Young Adults (20-25 years)

Description

History Live Durango is a month-long series of events in September celebrating the humanities in Southwest Colorado. The program is organized by the Southwest Colorado Humanities Roundtable, a Durango-based, regional collaborative of nonprofit organizations. The program includes a broad array of humanities events as well as first-person portrayals of famous Americans known for their influence and leadership at pivotal points in American history.

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Evidence of Program's Success

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Latinx Heritage Live

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

Teachers
General population
Hispanic, Latino Heritage
Immigrants, Newcomers, Refuges
Migrant Workers

Description

Latinx heritage and culture is celebrated through engaging presentations co-created with community groups. Local scholars inform content and help plan programs. Please let us know if you would like to host a Latinx Heritage Live event in your community.

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Evidence of Program's Success

Motheread/Fatheread Colorado

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Families
Teachers
Infants/Young Children (birth - 3 years)
Parents
Poor, Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent

Description

Motheread/Fatheread Colorado (MFC) is our early childhood and family literacy program that improves children's early learning and helps parents and caregivers discover the vital link between literature and life, no matter what their reading level. Our recent impact study shows that participation in MFC class cycles changes parents' literacy behaviors in ways that positively impact their children's language growth. Through our MFC institutes, educators in schools and other agencies are trained and certified to facilitate MFC class cycles for parents that promote parents' engagement in their children's education, and helps them increase their children's early literacy learning and social competence for optimal school-readiness. MFC aligns with Colorado Department of Education's Academic Standards and essential skills requirements.

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Evidence of Program's Success

Native Peoples

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Adults
General population
Native Americans
Teachers

Description

Our Native Peoples program is designed to be led by a core group of indigenous facilitators to educate teens and adults about the historic and ongoing injustices against indigenous peoples, and the perspectives of indigenous peoples on American history and our modern day. The program aim is to motivate participants to learn more and to take actions that support meaningful processes for racial justice and healing. Please let us know if you would like to host a Native Peoples program in your community.

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Evidence of Program's Success

Talking About Dying

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Adults
Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
General population
Veterans

Description

Modeled on Oregon Humanities' Talking about Dying program and designed to inspire and facilitate conversation about end-of-life issues and decisions, these community conversations are geared toward public audiences (ages 15+). Trained local scholars can facilitate such conversations as: what we want-and do not want-at the end of life; how our family, culture, religion, and beliefs shape our thoughts about death; how to plan access to sufficient care; how we want to be remembered; what affects our decisions about the end of life; and more. Please let us know if you would like to host a Talking About Dying program in your community.

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Evidence of Program's Success

Veterans Writing

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

Adults
General population
Military
Teachers
Veterans

Description

Veterans Writing (VW) workshops provide a safe place for military veterans to write about their experiences, and the opportunity to create, share, and receive feedback on their writing. Workshops are led by literary artists who are also veterans. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, we have developed and implement online workshops. Please let us know if you would like to host a Veterans Writing workshop for your community.

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Evidence of Program's Success

War Conversations

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
General population
Military
Veterans

Description

Community conversations on the experience of war programs are designed for large or small groups to help military veterans and civilians think more deeply about the issues raised by war and military service. Please let us know if you would like to host a War Conversations program in your community.

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Evidence of Program's Success

Young Chautauqua

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Children ages 5 to 21
Families
General Public
Teachers

Description

During a Young Chautauqua (YC) series of elementary and high school-based workshops, students research, prepare, and perform first-person presentations of significant historical figures, and offer unscripted Q&A for their audiences.

Addressing Colorado Department of Education's Colorado academic standards for reading, writing and communicating, and social studies, the program increases students' knowledge and appreciation of history; improves their research, organization, writing, and public speaking skills; and brings history to life for their audiences of peers, parents, and the general public.

We have Young Chautauqua programs for schools in Boulder, El Paso, Mesa, and Weld Counties.

As a result of COVID restrictions, are now developing a model for the program's online delivery, and online YC resources.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

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