We are excited to introduce you to Meg, our new Grant Program Director!
Hi! I’m Meg, the new WHC Grant Program Director. I’m the newest member of the Wisconsin Humanities Council staff and I’ve been asked to introduce myself. Pleased to meet you! I’m eager to learn about your public humanities programs and work with you on your grant applications.
I’m a writer; writing an introduction should be easy. But I have that Midwest “humble” ingrained from birth, that tendency to not crow, to blush at praise, and to self-deprecate whenever there are opportunities to shine. Add to that an irreverent and somewhat gallows-minded sense of humor and I spend a lot of time kicking myself, mostly metaphorically, with under-the-breath “I shouldn’t have said that” moments.
But I digress.
I’m a life-long Wisconsinite; every time I’ve tried to move away I boomerang back in search of the down-to-earth, blunt sensibility and kindness of my fellow Wisconsinites and the beautiful vistas of the state’s 16 ecological zones. We definitely know how to celebrate our cultural footprints.
I took a winding path to the Wisconsin Humanities Council. I have a pattern of choosing routes that are more about what’s interesting than final destinations. It’s that journey that will inform my approach to the grant program.
I come to the WHC most recently from UW-Madison, where I taught anthropology, folklore and communications for the last nine years while scratching “PhD” off my bucket list. I’ve also worked as a writer, editor, water quality planner, grower, and if we dig far enough back a cook and bartender and even as tobacco farm laborer.
The humanities are ingrained in everything I’ve done, from publishing fiction and nature photography, to studying pre-Columbian Peruvian art as part of my master’s in archaeology and becoming a Master Gardener to better open the discourse on food security, and organic, sustainable and food foraging (I _have_ sat down to a plate full of “weeds,” and they were delicious). My research interests have included social movements and social media, public policy, treaty rights and science and environment communication. I insist on keeping my hands in all the pots I’ve stirred.
I live with my son – who is a sophomore this fall at UW-Stevens Point majoring in whatever-sounds-good-right-now – on a sad facsimile of a farm in Jefferson County. It was a working market garden and sheep and poultry operation before graduate school struck. It is now home to a variety of noxious weeds, geriatric barn cats, a dwindling flock of chickens and some seriously fat raccoons.
I’ll be drawing on my experience working with everyone from 4-H kids to engineers, and my long-time volunteer work in conference planning and peer review to mentor great humanities projects that help organizations do what they do better, and open conversations with their participants.
I look forward to working with you and learning from you!
Give Meg a call (608-265-5595) or send her an email!
She is available to discuss your ideas for public humanities programs and answer questions about our grant program. She will even read drafts as you start working on your application.
You can find more information about our Grant Program here.