Press Release

Illinois Humanities Council Welcomes New Staff Member

CHICAGO, IL- December 5, 2012 The Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) is pleased to announce new staff member Matt Meacham, who will join the Council in January 2012 under the title of Program Officer-Outreach. 

Matt Meacham, a native of Chester, Illinois, has served as a consultant to the Missouri Humanities Council for their Museum on Main Street exhibits, assisting host organizations in planning and programming, and was a project manager and researcher for the West Virginia Humanities Council’s Southern West Virginia Music Project. 

A public folklorist and musician, his research interests are in the social and economic issues pertaining to life in rural America, and in vernacular music of the American Midwest and South. He was a public Folklorist with the West Plains Council on the Arts in West Plains, Missouri from 2007-11, and has taught courses in cultural anthropology, folklore and music appreciation at Southwestern Illinois College (Granite City and Red Bud Campuses) and Missouri State University-West Plains. He has also written for the County Journal in Percy, Illinois. He holds a BA from Centre College in Kentucky, and a MA in musicology from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Matt is also a current speaker in the IHC’s Road Scholars Speaker Bureau, offering a presentation titled, The Many Sides of Shape-Notes: A Distinctly American Musical Phenomenon.  

As Program Officer, Matt’s duties will include strengthening the network of organizations that deliver humanities programs in Illinois. He will be helping coordinate the IHC’s Community Grants program and other special initiatives. He will also manage the IHC’s statewide outreach, which includes identifying and supporting strategic relationships, consulting with grant applicants and partners and providing technical assistance and other support to build the capacity of organizations for humanities programming. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Matt to the IHC,” said Executive Director Kristina A. Valaitis. “Matt’s experience and love of the humanities, both from a personal and professional standpoint, will help us establish and strengthen our relationships with humanities-based organizations in greater Illinois.”          

About the Illinois Humanities Council 
The Illinois Humanities Council is an independent, nonprofit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. The IHC creates programs and funds organizations that promote greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. The IHC is supported by state, federal, and private funds.  

Media Contact:
Carlos Velázquez
(312) 422-5580, x233 

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