"History cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and of our common humanity, so that we can better face the future." 

- Robert Penn Warren
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Utah Humanities empowers Utahns to improve their communities
 through active engagement in the humanities
Through a Humanities Lens: Vietnam War Documentary Film

In partnership with local PBS station, KUED, Utah Humanities looks at the Vietnam War through a humanities lens.
On August 10th at the Viridian Events Center, KUED and Utah Humanities hosted a special preview of Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's ten-part, 18-hour documentary series, The Vietnam War followed by a panel discussion.
This series tells the epic story of one of the most consequential, divisive, and controversial events in American history as it has never before been told on film. Visceral and immersive, the series explores the human dimensions of the war through revelatory testimony of nearly 80 witnesses from all sides-Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as combatants and civilians from North and South Vietnam.

Ten years in the making, the series includes rarely seen and digitally re-mastered archival footage from sources around the globe, photographs taken by some of the most celebrated photojournalists of the 20th Century, historic television broadcasts, evocative home movies, and secret audio recordings from inside the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations. The Vietnam War features more than 100 iconic musical recordings from greatest artists of the era and haunting original music from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross as well as the Silk Road Ensemble featuring Yo-Yo Ma.

On the value of partnering with Utah Humanities, Laura Duhnam, KUED's Community Engagement Director, says that "KUED and Utah Humanities have a shared purpose of telling the stories that make up the fabric of our community to promote understanding and appreciation of others' experiences. In bringing this film to Utah audiences, it is important for us to involve Utah's veteran community and encourage balanced dialogue about war, civility, and how this historic event affected our political landscape. Utah Humanities is the perfect partner to invite local historians and scholars to facilitate this dialogue."

In addition to the screening and panel discussion, Utah Humanities is offering several upcoming events in partnership with KUED (click the date links for details):
  • September 14. A Screening and Discussion of Ken Burns'
    The Vietnam War at the Casino Star Theater in Gunnison, Utah.
  • September 15. A writing workshop for veterans, students, and community members in conjunction with the screening of the Ken Burns film,
    The Vietnam War, also in Gunnison, Utah.
  • October 10. As part of the 20th Annual Utah Humanities Book Festival and ongoing programming tied to Ken Burn's new Vietnam documentary, KUED and Salt Lake County Library Services present Utah Poet Laureate Paisley Rekdal. Rekdal will discuss hew new nonfiction work
    The Broken Country: On Trauma, a Crime, and the Continuing Legacy of Vietnam.
  • March 2018. Art Beyond Combat Exhibit at the Viridian Event Center in West Jordan (details to come). 
Remarking on our involvement with the entire project, Jodi Graham, Director of Utah Humanities' Center for Local Initiatives, says that "Being intimately connected to this series of events is a natural fit for our work in the humanities. The active conversation and writing activities we are supporting emphasize the very personal depth, as well as the broad societal impact, of the Vietnam War. We value our work with KUED and our community partners in offering Utahns in this important experience."
It's Almost Here! Utah Humanities' 20th Anniversary
 Book Festival

Celebrate the 20th Anniversary With Us

The 20th Annual Utah Humanities Book Festival kicks off in earnest mid-September. Watch for media coverage, interviews, and weekly email Book Blasts keeping you on top of the statewide events.

Visit our Book Festival Calendar often for a complete listing of events.
Share Your Book Festival Story

If you have a story to share about how the Utah Humanities Book Festival has influenced you or your community, please contact Deena Pyle, Utah Humanities Communications Director, at [email protected] or 801.359.9670 x111.

For more information on how to partner with Utah Humanities to build literature and humanities content into your events, or for more information on how to get involved with this year's book festival, contact Michael McLane, Director of the Center for the Book, at [email protected] or 801.359.9670 x104.
Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition The Way We Worked in Fillmore Gives Rise to Students' Oral History Project


Fillmore's Companion Exhibits Focus on Local Work History

The Way We Worked exhibition continues its year-long Utah tour with a stay at the Territorial Statehouse State Park Museum until September 10th. To accompany and complement the Smithsonian exhibition, Fillmore created a companion exhibit called Mountain View Mushrooms: A Fillmore Staple which explores how this company has provided work for a diverse group of employees and been a community fixture since 1974. 

Latinos in Action Students' Oral History Project Featured
Mountain View Mushrooms: A Fillmore Staple features oral histories by employees of the local mushroom farm collected by Latinos in Action, a Millard High School service group. Many of the interviews are featured on a multimedia station within the exhibit, and personalize ideas such as:

"Asian refugees, Latino migrant workers, and White employees have all made a living at the local mushroom farm. Some come for a short time before moving on. Others make a career of it and raise their families in Fillmore, becoming an integral part of the local community."

"Fillmore is a community full of family-oriented men and women. When asked, "why do you work here?" nearly every employee interviewed stated that they started because it was the first job they were offered. They stay because it allows them to support their family, and the company is generous with time to attend school and church functions, or to care for sick family."


Who Belongs in Your Museum?

In a recent blogpost titled Who Belongs in Your Museum?, Carl Aldrich, Ranger at Territorial Statehouse State Park in Fillmore, describes how and why this oral history project originated, its impact in bringing their community together, and identifies hosting The Way We Worked as a primary catalyst for the endeavor:
"An opportunity was coming up to host The Way We Worked, the Smithsonian exhibit traveling around Utah this year. As part of the companion exhibit I was developing, I decided to give our community's Latino workers the spotlight. With cooperation from Mountain View Mushrooms and Millard High School's Latinos in Action organization, we collected oral histories from over 20 people in Spanish. We now have items in our collection reflecting a previously unrepresented population AND got young people involved in the museum.
Perhaps the most successful development is the formation of an advisory committee I started with our local LDS Spanish speaking branch. The leaders of that congregation got me in touch with people who have been happy to help make our museum more inclusive and diversify our audience. Not all of them are LDS, nor did I want them to be--but that was the best starting point for me. We are a long way from where I would like to be, but it is exciting that this committee is working with me to create programming of interest to our Latino neighbors. On September 16, we are hosting a Mexican Independence Day celebration--in the same place that the city celebrates the United States Independence Day--with traditional dancing, food, games, and small exhibits inside the museum about the different Mexican states represented in Fillmore.

It is too soon to talk about success and failure; however, even if the only people who come are the ones performing and selling food, it will be a larger turnout than any Latino-focused event put on without any of their input. The coolest part? We have an opportunity to bring the community together in a new way. This is not a "White" event or a "Mexican" party. In addition, hosting the event in our Museum's neutral location has already become a way to bridge the divide between Catholic and Mormon Latinos. That, to me, is what diversity, inclusion, and equality is all about. People coming together for common good, regardless of what they look like or how they speak or what church they go to."
A Glimpse of Work at Mountain View Mushrooms

Employees in action at the Mountain View Mushrooms give insight into this local industry. From the exhibit:
"Growing mushrooms is a unique mix of agriculture and manufacturing. So many elements have to be just right for a crop to be successful that nearly the entire process takes place indoors where conditions can be controlled. However, this is not a factory. Mushrooms still have to be grown, thinned, checked for disease, and grown like any other food." 

Photos: Scenes from the Mountain View Mushrooms: A Fillmore Staple exhibit, and Ricardo working at Mountain View Mushrooms. Photos courtesy of the Territorial Statehouse State Park Museum.
Video: Employees at Mountain View Mushrooms in action. Video courtesy of Mountain View Mushrooms and the Territorial Statehouse State Park Museum.
Join Us at the Utah State History Conference, Register Today

Registration for the 2017 Utah State History Conference is open. The conference is free and workshops are filling fast!

This year's conference takes place October 10-11 at the Rio Grande Depot (10th) and the Utah Cultural Celebration Center (11th).
This year's annual conference is focusing on Local Matters, with "local" being broadly defined.
The conference will examine the many strands that create the fabric of communities, such as festivals, buildings, schools, or the arts.

Sessions will discuss the uses of local history and the application of sophisticated methodology to personal, family, and community history.

Workshops will focus on strategies for local organizations, oral history, historic preservation, and community histories.

Megan van Frank, Director of The Center for Cultural Heritage at Utah Humanities, will be co-presenting an Oral History Workshop, which is currently full. There are still several workshops available, however, so we encourage to you register for the conference and be immersed in Local Matters.
Making "In Honor of" and Memorial Gifts to Utah Humanities
Do you have a mentor, colleague, friend, or family member who had a positive impact on your life? Would a memorial gift be of comfort to a grieving family? Or is there a special occasion being celebrated or remembered, like a birthday, anniversary, or graduation?

Commemorate the event or celebrate someone's life by making a gift to Utah Humanities.Your generosity is a meaningful way to express gratitude or recognize important life events while helping people around Utah improve their communities through active engagement in the humanities.

We will send a personalized letter to the honoree or family member notifying them of your kind gesture. Additionally, you will receive a letter documenting your tax-deductible contribution. 
For more information, contact Cristi Wetterberg at [email protected] or801.359.9670.

Click the State Icon to See Our Humanities Events Near You
Our events calendar is organized by month, date, and region of the state.
Click the icon to visit our calendar, and remember to check back often.
There are always new humanities events to attend!
Many Thanks
"As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others." - Bill Gates
Utah Humanities would like to thank the Henry W. and Leslie M. Eskuche Foundation for its recent gift to support our Venture Course in the Humanities. Their ongoing generosity provides adults living on low incomes the opportunity to rekindle their dreams of college and motivates them to continue their education.
Utah Humanities is grateful for the generous support of many individuals, foundations, and corporations, and for public funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the State of Utah, and the Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts, and Parks Fund.
Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed on this website do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Empowering Utahns to improve their communities through active engagement in the humanities.

202 W 300 N, Salt Lake City, Utah 84103 | 801.359.9670 | www.utahhumanities.org
Utah Humanities, 202 West 300 North, Salt Lake City, UT 84103

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