Our Recipe for the Coming Year of Humanities Booyah


Welcome! Humanities Booyah is a unique online magazine for people doing the everyday work of planning public programs and events. 

About a year ago, we launched Humanities Booyah and began publishing online content. For 2015, we have an ambitious editorial calendar set. We will continue to provide you insider information about the public humanities in Wisconsin. And, we want to do more for you.

It is easy to forget that you are part of a highly motivated, productive network of cultural program providers in Wisconsin. The work that each of us does is diverse. The impact of our programs can be both subtle and profound. Our audiences encompass everyone in the state. Our organizations are unique, and yet, many of the challenges we face, and successes we celebrate, are more universal. 

We are sharing stories here to open new possibilities…for collaboration…for conversation…for a more engaged community!

In honor of all you do, we say Booyah!

We will be publishing original articles every week. These essays, reports, commentary, and tips will be inspiring, heart warming, and provocative. We are interested in the nitty-gritty, behind-the-scenes tools-of-the-trade, and we are also eager to explore connections that illustrate how our work fits together. 

Thank you for reading. Thank you for being part of this important community of leaders. Thank you for creating opportunities for shared human experiences that build stronger, and healthier, human communities.

Inspiration starts here: Our Recipe

Humanities Programs in Focus

Every year we give away close to $200,000 in grant money and support partnerships that engage Wisconsinites in outstanding public humanities programs. While our Calendar of Events highlights some of these impressive projects, there is always more to the story. Here you’ll find details about programs, including insight from our perspective as a funder. Knowing what has been done before encourages more collaboration and sharing of best practices.  Stories, reflections, and personal reports are incredibly useful as we imagine future programs. 


Tips for Grant Writers

Writing successful grant applications is always a challenge. Frankly, we’ve read ’em all, the good and the not-so-great. With seven grant rounds a year, we notice some common mistakes made by both newbies and veterans. Mark Livengood, Dena Wortzel, Michael Kean and Jessica Becker, who collectively have over forty years of grant-reading experience, will share their best advice here. Think of it as a free course, Grants 101


WHC-wallpaperTHREEOur Working Lives Project

We launched the Working Lives Project in 2014 to get at the heart of what making a living and making a life means  for Wisconsinites. Work is a universal, human endeavor. Looking at the subject through the lens of history, literature, ethics, folklore or gender studies invites the humanities to enrich our understanding of current events and individual perspectives. Here you’ll find “In the Breakroom” interviews, reports on grant projects (read our Request for Proposals) and relevant work that partner organizations are doing, as well as reflections about work in all its complexity.


WHC-wallpaperFOURVoices from the Field

Throughout the year, we’ll ask people — maybe you! — to tell us what you think. Specifically, guest contributors will provide us with concrete examples of the inspiring real work being done. We can learn from each other, strengthen our network, and help inform others about what we do and the value of the public humanities.


Some examples of topics that you’ll find:

  • Experimental and innovative programs
  • How to reach all kinds of people
  • Real solutions for challenges as an organization
  • Lessons learned through experience
  • Best practices (for working with scholars, schools, government, etc)
  • Evidence of the value of the humanities at a local level

Reading, Acting, Transforming Lives

This work we do is special. It is sometimes misunderstood or undervalued from the outside. But from the inside, we know: The humanities change lives. Thank you for being part of this community of passionate people who bring ideas to life. Thank you for reading.

You can subscribe to Humanities Booyah by adding your email address to the invitation box in the left sidebar menu. 


Jessica Becker
Director of Public Programs & Digital Communications
Editor, Humanities Booyah 



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