Hometown Humanities will bring community-centered programming to Lewistown by Brittney Uecker

     After a year-long postponement due to the pandemic, Humanities Montana is bringing Hometown Humanities to Lewistown for the 2021-2022 year. Each year, a rural location in Montana is selected to host a full calendar of humanities-based programming in order to “enrich lives, strengthen cultural infrastructure, and build relationships.” Past Hometown Humanities locations have spanned the state, including Red Lodge, Sidney, Livingston, and others, and now our community gets to fill in the Central Montana gap.

     Humanities Montana, a nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, works to infuse humanities into public life by encouraging community conversations, supporting community partnerships, and exploring cultural resources. This includes arts, literature, history, journalism, and more, with a special focus on civic engagement and community interaction. They have over fifty presenters in their directory and are able to assist with bringing in additional outside presenters as needed. Their programs include Montana Conversations, Speakers in the Schools, Think & Drink, and more, as well as literature-based programs such as Big Sky Reads, Gather Round, and the Montana Center for the Book Prize. Humanities Montana generously offers grants for projects and programs that fit under the broad humanities umbrella and encourage conversation and relationship-building within a community. 

     As part of Hometown Humanities, this wide variety of programs will be available to participating organizations in Lewistown for free, and will provide an array of free events for the community. Several Lewistown partners are already hard at work to brainstorm what Hometown Humanities will look like this year, including the Library, the Lewistown Arts Center, American Prairie Reserve, the Chamber of Commerce, the School District and others, and are looking for more community members to join in. If your organization is interested in hosting a Hometown Humanities event, contact Samantha Dwyer at samantha.dwyer@humanitiesmontana.org.

     Hometown Humanities will have a table at the Chokecherry Festival on September 11 with resources about the program and Humanities Montana. A kick-off event is being planned for mid-October and a variety of regular programming will take place throughout the next year. For more information, visit humanitiesmontana.org or any of the aforementioned organizations in Lewistown.

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