An Overview of Humanities Tennessee
Humanities Tennessee was incorporated in 1973 as the Tennessee Committee for the Humanities, a “state-based” program of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). In 1985, the Tennessee Committee for the Humanities became the Tennessee Humanities Council which became Humanities Tennessee in 2000. These changes in name reflect the organization's evolving understanding of itself and of its means and purpose. Begun solely as a grant-making organization, supported solely by federal funds and charged by the NEH with “bringing the humanities to the public,” Humanities Tennessee has become an organization that conducts programs and makes grants, that raises and earns significant support in addition to its NEH appropriation, and no longer simply brings the humanities to the public, but attempts to engage the public actively in the humanities and to make the humanities an integral part of community life in Tennessee.
The mission of HT is:
Humanities Tennessee nurtures the mutual respect and understanding essential to community by enabling Tennesseans to examine and critically reflect upon the narratives, traditions, beliefs, and ideas — as expressed through the arts and letters — that define us as individuals and participants in community life.
Additionally, Humanities Tennessee provides support annually for the Tennessee Historical Society's Tennessee History Day, the Knoxville Public Library's Children's Festival of Reading, and is currently conducting, in partnership with the Nashville Public Library, Salon@615, a series of author readings at the Downtown Library.
In the past twenty-five years (1986-2011), Humanities Tennessee has partnered with 1,341 Tennessee organizations in every county of the state to conduct educational programs in 460 Tennessee towns and cities, as well as programs on the Internet and broadcast media. The total costs of these programs has been $35,566,689, 45% of which has been provided by Humanities Tennessee and 55% by our partners. Though these educational programs have involved all the disciplines of the humanities, fully 95% of these funds have been spent supporting programs that involve Tennesseans in studies of history and 75% that involve Tennesseans in studies of the history, theory, and criticism of the arts, particularly but not exclusively, literature.
Who Is on the Board of Humanities Tennessee?
|Neil Hemphill, Chair, Nashville||Joe Fowlkes, Cornersville|
|Donald Fann, Vice-Chair, Woodbury||Joy Fulkerson, Johnson City|
|Beverly Bond, Immediate Past Chair, Memphis||Roberta T. Herrin, Jonesborough|
|Lynn Alexander, Martin||Michael P. Jones, Thorn Hill|
|Cindy Boshears, Clinton||Gail Murray, Memphis|
|Nathan Buttrey, Franklin||Theta Rone, Burlison|
|Holly Conner, Nashville||Kate Stephenson, Nashville|
|Katharine Pearson Criss, Knoxville||Karen E. Williams, Franklin|
|Carmen Davis, Chattanooga||Kathi Grant Willis, Chattanooga|
|Amy Dietrich, Jackson|
- Timothy Henderson, Executive Director
- Jennifer Chalos, Development Consultant
- Lacey Cook, Program Officer
- Georgia Copeland, Event/Office Coordinator
- Melissa Davis, Director, Community History Program
- Serenity Gerbman, Director, Literature and Language Programs
- Paul McCoy, Program Officer
- Alexis Stevens, Development and Marketing Officer