An Overview of Humanities Tennessee
Founded in 1973, Humanities Tennessee is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting lifelong learning, civil discourse, and an appreciation of history, diversity, and community among Tennesseans. Our statewide programs include the annual Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word℠, the Appalachian and Tennessee Young Writers' Workshops, a variety of History & Culture programs, Grants & Awards for teachers and community organizations, Chapter16.org, and many more.
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.
1973 – Incorporated as the Tennessee Committee for the Humanities, a “state-based” affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The mission to “bring the humanities to the public” was supported solely by federal funds.
1985 – We changed the name to the Tennessee Humanities Council (a name that many still remember).
2000 – Reborn as Humanities Tennessee. No longer solely a grant-making organization, HT now conducts programs and makes grants, raises significant non-federal funds, and attempts to engage the public actively in the humanities and to integrate the humanities into community life in Tennessee.
Instrumental in making Humanities Tennessee what it is today was our longstanding President, Robert Cheatham. For thirty-five years Robert served in this capacity, leading the organization through many changes both internal and external. He tirelessly served Tennesseans bringing much needed resources, conversations, and engaging programming to communities throughout the state. Robert's legacy and service reaches beyond Tennessee; he served as a leader of national importance as well.
Board of Directors
To honor Robert Cheatham's service, the board of directors of Humanities Tennessee passed a resolution naming him President Emeritus of Humanities Tennessee. See the Resolution here.
|Holly Conner, Chair, Nashville||Jim Dodson, Oak Ridge|
|Lynn Alexander, Vice Chair, Martin||Joy Fulkerson, Johnson City|
|Donald Fann, Immediate Past Chair, Woodbury||Michael Knight, Knoxville|
|Sammie Arnold, Nashville||Randy Mackin, Linden|
|Lindsay Bales, Brentwood||Scott Newstok, Memphis|
|Nathan Buttrey, Franklin||Shawn Pitts, Selmer|
|Patsy Carson, Madisonville||Jennifer Wheatley, Big Sandy|
|Daryl Carter, Johnson City||Karen E. Williams, Franklin|
|Carmen Davis, Chattanooga|
- Timothy Henderson, Executive Director
- Lacey Cook, Program Officer
- Melissa Davis, Director, Community History Programs
- Jennifer Fernandez, Office Administrator
- Serenity Gerbman, Director, Literature and Language Programs
- Paul McCoy, Program Officer
- Alexis Stevens, Development and Marketing Officer
- Langston Wilkins, Program Officer
- Jennifer Chalos, Development Consultant
- Margaret Renkl, Editor, Chapter16.org