Can we talk to one another, online?

Humanities Programs in Focus | February 7, 2018 | By:

Join the conversation

The WHC has been committed to civil dialogue, civic democracy, and building strong communities since our founding more than 40 years ago. These are things we continue to hold dear. We seek out places and ways to promote these basic principals because this is how the humanities are relevant in our day-to-day lives, today and throughout time.

More and more of our time is spent in digital spaces. We know that sub-sector of our lives is fraught with challenges both unique and similar to what is going on in the public sphere. How do we listen to people with stories different than our own? How do we express our curiosities, ask questions respectfully, and seek out common ground? How do we share parts of ourselves and feel safe, build community, and grow to trust each other?

The answers are just as complicated as the questions. But we are trying.

The WHC has partnered with Love Wisconsin, a digital storytelling project focused primarily on Facebook, to use the Facebook Groups platform. Love Wisconsin Conversations was launched as a private Facebook group on January 22, 2018. The WHC is the founding partner and sponsor.

Call to action: join Love Wisconsin Conversations

Why Love Wisconsin?

We introduced you to the Love Wisconsin storysharing platform in November. Jet Waller and Megan Monday are Love Wisconsin’s creators. Starting two years ago, they began to interview Wisconsinites of different ages and backgrounds, from all corners of the state. Their driving objective has been to make accessible, compelling first-person narratives that help us all get to know more people through stories. And Wisconsinites have tuned in. 

Love Wisconsin stories are followed by more than 100,000 people. And the stories, presented in long-form over the course of a week, illicit human engagement that is remarkable for social media platforms. In fact, Love Wisconsin ranks in the top 5% of all pages globally for it’s level of engagement.

Most remarkable is the way in which the Love Wisconsin community reflects Wisconsin: thanks to Facebook analytics, we know the people who engage with Love Wisconsin’s stories are politically, economically and geographically diverse.

As an independent non-profit that serves the entire population of the state of Wisconsin, the WHC is fully committed to creating and supporting spaces that are welcoming to everyone. Again, we believe the humanities are tools, methods, and ways of exploring subject matter that encourages civil dialogue, civic democracy, and stronger communities.

Call to Action

So here’s what you can do: If you are a Facebook user, check out Love Wisconsin. If you like what you see and read, go ahead and ‘Like’ the page. If you are not a Facebook user, you can find the stories here.

And if you want to go deeper, we invite you to join Love Wisconsin Conversations. This private Facebook Group is where we’ll slow down to talk about the stories we read, like a book club. The WHC staff is participating in the conversation, too. This conversation will be rich with different perspectives, nuance, context, and respectful inquiry.

We hope to see you there!

Jessica, Dena, and Annette Miller at Love Wisconsin Conversations

Annette Miller (left) with Jessica Becker (center) and Dena Wortzel (right) from the Wisconsin Humanities Council. Ms. Miller is the facilitator for Love Wisconsin Conversations. She brings to these conversations her expertise building inclusive, welcoming communities where diverse perspectives are respected.


Wisconsin and the opioid crisis

Humanities Programs in Focus | January 17, 2018 | By:

Our Road to Recovery: Going beyond the headlines on opioid addiction

by Meg Turville-Heitz

It’s in the headlines: A state health crisis. A national health crisis the White House recently said cost half a trillion dollars in 2015. It confounds communities. It’s a disease that leads to crimes: of opportunity, of hope, and of despair. It’s a disease that captures those in high places and low.

It’s a subject that cries out for the humanities. As we’ve seen so often, the humanities are what help us understand and make relevant the impact of current events on human lives. Understanding can help us heal. Read More


Happy New Year! Stories about work and the future

Our Working Lives Project | January 3, 2018 | By:

Happy New Year!

2018 is going to be a big year for our Working Lives Project!

Stories are at the heart of the humanities. From history to anthropology to philosophy to literature, all the lenses of the humanities help us to understand ourselves – where we’ve been and where we are going – through stories.

Stories will continue to be central to our 2018 Working Lives Project events. Watch for a provocative discussion about automation, artificial intelligence, and the future of work in Kenosha this spring and more storytelling events in cities around the state later in the year. Read More


Four organizations in four counties receive WHC funding

Humanities Programs in Focus | December 14, 2017 | By:

We’re pleased to award $8,000 to four great projects that tackle everything from the struggle for Civil Rights to negative stereotypes of Native Americans to regional culture and midwestern literature. The Wisconsin Humanities Council couldn’t fund these projects without support from the National Endowment of the Humanities. The NEH provides 90% of the funding that enables us to bring great programming, support and services to the state of Wisconsin. Project sponsors match grants in their community with an average of $3 for every $1 we award.

Congratulations to these four organizations! These projects tell meaningful stories about Wisconsin and bring communities together to explore important themes. We welcome you to be a part of the story and see these projects and events.

Inspiration starts here!

Read More


We are grateful for stories: our new project with Love Wisconsin

Humanities Programs in Focus | November 22, 2017 | By:

Duane and Barb grew up in northern Wisconsin. High-school sweethearts, they are now in their later years. Together they have started a movement to preserve their Finnish cultural heritage. Duane said, “In my class as a kid, about 80% of the Finnish kids spoke Finn. In my brother’s class, about three years later, it was probably 5%. It happened that fast. So now we’re trying to build it back up.” Read More


Announcing Major Grant awards this fall

Humanities Programs in Focus | November 8, 2017 | By:

We’re pleased to award $29,420 in Major Grants to three great projects that include capturing Wisconsin music history to exploring the issues of sexual assault in a Native American community through a Wisconsin Reads project to finding common ground among persons of different faith traditions.

The Wisconsin Humanities Council couldn’t fund these projects without support from the National Endowment of the Humanities. The NEH provides 90% of the funding that enables us to bring great programming, support and services to the state of Wisconsin. Project sponsors match grants in their community with an average of $3 for every $1 we award.

Congratulations to these three organizations! These projects tell meaningful stories about Wisconsin and bring communities together to explore important themes. We welcome you to be a part of the story and see these projects and events.

Inspiration starts here! Read More


When a visionary director takes inspiration from a visionary artist

Humanities Programs in Focus | October 26, 2017 | By:

Heritage Days offers the “chance to overcome generations of mistrust and create passionate young historians who will keep history alive and relevant to our lives.”  

Driving north on highway 13, just before you get to the town of Phillips in northern Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Concrete Park is hard to miss.  More than 200 sculptures, made of concrete and studded with colored glass, depict giants, winged angels, figures of history and legend, menageries of wild and domestic animals, and various scenes of ordinary men and women in daily life.  Read More


Why do we work? and other questions for working people

Our Working Lives Project, Voices from the Field | October 12, 2017 | By:

Work clock

By Alison Staudinger

Why do you work?

How can a daily activity like work be both the worst and the best of life? Perhaps it is in part because humans have come to expect meaning from their work, in addition to material or social benefits. To understand this development, the humanities offer a unique lens. They offer records of the everyday and methods to study them.

Read More


Wisconsin’s Poet Laureate asks, Why Poetry?

Humanities Programs in Focus, Voices from the Field | September 28, 2017 | By:

On Poetry and Memory

by Karla Huston

I never saw a Purple Cow
I never hope to see one
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I’d rather see than be one

Those lines are from a poem by Gelett Burgess. It is a poem I remember my father reciting to me when I was a child.  I remember imagining that purple cow mooing through my past, swishing her purple tail.

I’m more serious about poetry now. Read More


Mini Grants awarded this fall

Humanities Programs in Focus | September 13, 2017 | By:

Mini Grants awarded in September 2017

We’re pleased to award $8,000 to four great projects that include exploring the plays of Ibsen to support for high school students to learn about the working lives of construction and trades workers; and from the exploration of perceptions of Black motherhood to celebrating the conclusion of a community visioning project.

The Wisconsin Humanities Council couldn’t fund these projects without support from the National Endowment of the Humanities. The NEH provides 90% of the funding that enables us to bring great programming, support and services to the state of Wisconsin. Project sponsors match grants in their community with an average of $3 for every $1 we award.

Congratulations to these four organizations! These projects tell meaningful stories about Wisconsin and bring communities together to explore important themes. We welcome you to be a part of the story and see these projects and events.

Inspiration starts here! Read More