In The News

Illinois Humanities Council News

This article originally appeared in the Examiner

I have two pieces of library-related news from the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC). The IHC invited non-profit organizations, such as libraries, museums, and historical societies, to attend the IHC Fall 2012 Central Illinois Humanities Resource Day “to learn about the public programs that we offer every year.” The half-day workshop will be on Thursday, November 1, 2012 (All Saints’ Day) from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Mattoon Public Library, located at 1600 Charleston Avenue in Mattoon, Illinois 61938.

Lunch will be provided. The “workshop will include an introduction to the work and mission of the Illinois Humanities Council, as well as detailed information about its statewide programs.”

Museum on Main Street (MoMS) serves rural communities by circulating museum-quality exhibitions created by the Smithsonian Institution. Exhibitions focus on broad and engaging topics in American culture. Coming to Illinois in March of 2014 is the Smithsonian’s newest exhibition, “Hometown Teams,” which looks at the American experience through local sports history. For this program, apply by January 31, 2013.

For over twelve years, the IHC Road Scholars Speakers Bureau has been sending the state’s finest writers, poets, historians, anthropologists, and living history actors to present to audiences across Illinois. For a small fee, non-profit organizations are able to bring a speaker to their communities and share the Road Scholars experience with local audiences, friends and family. For this program, one can apply year-round.

The Illinois Humanities Council gives Community Grants Program support to Illinois non-profit organizations to develop public humanities programs for Illinois audiences and to provide technical assistance or general support to help accomplish their core humanities missions. For this program, apply year-round.

This event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. One can make reservations on the Web site or via e-mail at or phone at (312) 422-5580. For more information, contact Mallory Laurel at (312) 422-5585 extension 239 or mal [at]

The IHC also announced a new partnership with the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events (DCASE) to develop events to hold at the Chicago Cultural Center, the building that was formerly the central library of the Chicago Public Library. “We’re seeking partners– community groups, academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, and individuals– to help us create a revitalized public space at the Chicago Cultural Center. Here, all Chicagoans can engage with each other in stimulating conversation, experiential learning, and critical reflection about issues and ideas from diverse perspectives. With your participation, the Chicago Cultural Center will be THE place where intellectual curiosity and civic engagement come together.”

According to the Guidelines, events have to be free and open to the public. They are looking for collaborations between groups, especially groups that do not ordinarily cooperate. Suggested events include documentary film screenings and discussions, scholarly lectures, readings by public intellectuals, and moderated panel discussions.

The application to hold the event has to be submitted at least ninety days before the desired date, and the applicant will receive a decision in four to six weeks. “Once applications are approved, time slots will be provided according to the schedule of events at the Chicago Cultural Center. There will be no guarantee of the preferred time slot.”