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August 2015

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Dress like it’s the 1830s, dance like it’s 1776, walk through the landscape of the mid-1800s, and celebrate the great books and great writers of our age—all this August! See where the humanities can take you this month.

Hayley Wood

A Fond Farewell

Senior Program Officer Hayley Wood moves to Double Edge Theater

Longtime Senior Program Officer Hayley Wood is departing Mass Humanities to become Managing Director at Double Edge Theater in Ashfield, MA. Hayley’s work as a set designer and scenery painter at Double Edge—a Mass Humanities grantee—has opened this new door for her. We will miss her and we send her off on her new adventure with our best wishes after 16 productive years with Mass Humanities.

Job Opening

We’re Hiring

Curious, self-motivated, independent? Join us as our new Program Officer.

We’re seeking a new addition to our Northampton office who cares about the civic impact of the humanities. Are you the person for the job?


Fall Forum panelists

Citizenship, Justice, and Racial Conciliation

What can we do to address our past and make #BlackLivesMatter?

Five expert panelists will consider how to understand and improve race relations in the United States at our annual symposium this fall. Join Danielle Allen, James Forman, Jr., Tommie Shelby, Beverly Daniel Tatum, and moderator Douglas Blackmon at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston on November 1st.


Our biggest grant

Our Biggest Award

Start now! Prepare your applications for our largest grant of the year.

Our Public Squared grant allots up to $25,000, and only one grant is made each year. The grant is available to organizations collaborating to address our Negotiating the Social Contract theme. If you have a suitable idea, start developing it with our program officers now—projects this large take time and the first filing is due December 15th! Other deadlines are also approaching, LOI forms for project grants are due September 21st and for Research Inventory Grants, the LOI form deadline is October 5th.



Coming this Fall

Mass Humanities brings the best of children’s lit to a library near you.

Libraries in Brockton, Erving, Lenox, Needham, and Sutton will host our fall Family Adventures in Reading program. Each week beginning in October, kids and their caretakers will gather for word class children’s literature read aloud by spellbinding storytellers.


featured grant

Hidden Walls, Hidden Mills

History plays out in the landscape and you can see it with the aid of these maps.

Walk around Plainfield and you might miss the important clues that unravel the mystery of what life used to be like there. We funded Plainfield Historical Society to create maps and walking tours of the area that empower the viewer to see history in the landscape, sharpening their interpretation skills.


new board member

Welcome Aboard

Margaret Shepherd has joined the Mass Humanities board of directors.

Calligrapher and author Margaret Shepherd brings with her a well-known talent for making the humanities more public and accessible. A Sarah Lawrence College graduate and Boston resident, she has written and hand-lettered 17 titles, all books on communication and calligraphy. She taught high school in the Far East and continues to educate about the history and practice of calligraphy.


Ideas Matter

Ideas Matter

Amilcar Shabazz of the UMASS Amherst Afro-American Studies program joins us to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of Juneteenth.


The Public Humanist

The Public Humanist

15 years of marriage to a bipolar man taught Meg Hutchinson man lessons in living with bipolar disorder, which she captures in a new documentary.


Mass Moments

On this day in 1892...

Lizzie Borden's father and step-mother were murdered. Suspicion immediately focused on the man's unmarried 32-year-old daughter Lizzie.


Mass Humanities on Facebook

The Second Amendment

The Second Amendment was ratified to preserve slavery and prevent slave rebellions through local militias.


Mass Humanities on Twitter


Race, climate change, and other headline-makers: reasons why we need philosophers engaged in public life.


Humanities Calendar

We list the best humanities programming in the Commonwealth on our event calendar. See what is happening this month at Mass Humanities.


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Mass Humanities is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes the use of history, literature, philosophy, and the other humanities disciplines to deepen our understanding of the issues of the day, strengthen our sense of common purpose, and enrich individual and community life.

The National Endowment for the Humanities and the Massachusetts Cultural Council fund Mass Humanities grants. Encourage your state and federal legislators to support these agencies.


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