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The Board of Directors of Humanities Tennessee has named Tim Henderson as Executive Director of the organization following outgoing President Robert Cheatham’s retirement at the end of the year.

Philanthropists Jim and Janet Ayers have donated 500 copies of the recent book The Art of Community: Janet and Jim Ayers’ Collection of Tennessee Art, to Humanities Tennessee. One hundred percent of the proceeds from sales of the book will benefit Humanities Tennessee programs, including the Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word.

Humanities Tennessee's statewide reading and discussion program, Making Sense of the American Civil War, wraps up at the Chattanooga Public Library on November 13th and has averaged 26 participants for each discussion so far. The conversation will soon move to three more cities across the state in January and February.

The Parsons & Greater Area Museum and the Pleasant Hill Historical Society/Pioneer Hall Museum are both embarking on projects to strengthen their relationships with their local schools by providing students with insightful museum programs that meet the educational goals required of teachers.

Student Reader Day events this fall were bigger and better than ever thanks to generous grants from the Nashville Predators Foundation and Dollar General Literacy Foundation. We were able to send seven wonderful authors from this year’s Southern Festival of Books program to eight Title 1 elementary, middle, and high schools and we were able to purchase more than 1,600 books for participating students to keep to start (or add to) their own personal library.

To be part of the Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word as a reader, an author, or a volunteer is to be part of the larger literary community that comes together in Nashville every October. For three days, panel discussions, readings, and signings connect writers with readers.  This year, more than 60 exhibitors, three performance stages, and Nashville’s best food trucks helped to make the weekend a true celebration for book lovers.

The Humanities Tennessee Authors Bureau provides authors for community visits. The bureau is a program of Humanities Tennessee, with support from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. There is no cost to programs for this service. 

"Who was your favorite teacher growing up?" I love asking this question because no one ever responds with "Hmmm...I don't know." Everyone has at least one teacher who made a difference in their lives, whether imparting a love of literature, the Scientific Method, or simply by being a mentor and setting an example worth following. Often unsung and ever underpaid, such teachers are vital to our lives and the life of our communities. By nominating a teacher for the 2013 Awards of Recognition for Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities, you can give a little back to those who have given so much to us.

Humanities Tennessee is proud to support two new projects designed to bring the humanities to rural and underserved audiences. On October 26th and 27, authors  read and discussed their work during a book festival at the Smoky Mountain Heritage Center in Townsend. This winter, the Global Education Center will host Egyptian Coptic poet Matthew Shenoda for public readings and a writing workshop at the Casa Azafran Community Center.

This fall, Humanities Tennessee, in partnership with the Nashville Public Library, the Nashville Public Library Foundation, and Parnassus Books, is excited to present an outstanding lineup of authors for the Salon@615 series at the Main Library in Downtown Nashville.  The following have been confirmed: Molly Ringwald, Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis, Michael Chabon, Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie, Dennis Lehane, Mem Fox, Emma Donoghue, Barbara Kingsolver, Jon Meacham.

Each year, Humanities Tennessee provides funding support to Knoxville Public Library for the Children's Festival of Reading and to the Tennessee Historical Society in support of Tennessee History Day, the state competition for National History Day. Each of these programs promotes education in the humanities for the youth of Tennessee.

The Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Writtten WordSM marks its 24th anniversary October 12-14th in Nashville. We’re celebrating the Festival season with announcements, contests, and giveaways via our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Thank you for your support of Tennessee's Young Writers

We are extremely grateful to the Tennessee Arts Commission, The Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts at APSU, and the many individual donors who supported the Workshop with their gifts and helped us reach our fundraising goals. Thank you!

We have posted this year's lineup of confirmed authors. Read it early and often -- we'll update the list regularly over the next few weeks.

Three Tennessee teachers received Awards of Recognition for Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities. The award rewards teachers who have demonstrated excellence in teaching the humanities and who encourage the humanities to be an important part of their students’ lives.

As part of a yearlong project devoted to the work of painter Thomas Hart Benton, Doris King's art students at Clarkrange High School trained to become docents for a travelling exhibit King brought to the school as part of her 2011 Award of Recognition for Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities. Over 900 students and adults from the town saw the exhibit during its stay at Clarkrange. And like the best museum educators, King's classes surveyed their audience to gauge the effect of their work. According to King, "Only 32% of students at the high school level have ever been to an art museum. Most students knew about the Great Depression, but had no idea it influenced the production of art. Very few recognized art could or should be used to study history."

Humanities Tennessee is pleased to announce the grant awards for the 2012 General Grant Program. Take a look!

We are so grateful to Ruta Sepetys and the students and teachers from G.W. Carver High School in Memphis and Westview High School in Martin for making April's Student Reader Day events a great success.

LAL logoAfter two months of reading and two rounds of judging the winners of this year's Letters About Literature contest have been selected. Congratulations! And the winners are...

Thirteen people will attend professional event on scholarships this month.

Recipients of the Awards of Recognition for Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities are making headlines across the state. Every year, Humanities Tennessee provides up to six outstanding teachers with $3500 for professional development and humanities projects and resources. Take a look at the experiences of 2010 recipient Liz Shugart.