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This is a really interesting idea, and one that would create an anchor we
are all looking for while prepping for the 250th, while also leaving plenty
of space of special programming state-to-state. Please keep me in the loop?
Would love to talk about this more.

Stephanie

*STEPHANIE GIBSON *| Assistant Director

T: 775.784.6537 || 800.382.5023 || Fax: 775.784.6527

Nevada Humanities || P.O. Box 8029 || Reno, NV 89507-8029

*nevadahumanities.org *|| *onlinenevada.org*



*BUILDING A CONNECTED, ENGAGED NEVADA*


On Mon, Mar 2, 2020 at 9:34 AM Dwyer, Samantha <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> We like this idea in Montana! It fits with the model and content of other
> programming we do. We are also looking at funding from NEH to support civic
> engagement programs around the 250th anniversary that will be available.
>
>
>
> Sam Dwyer
>
> Program Officer
>
> Humanities Montana
>
> (406) 243-5807
>
> www.humanitiesmontana.org
>
>
>
>
>
> *From: *"[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of
> Karen Oconnell <[log in to unmask]>
> *Reply-To: *"[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>
> *Date: *Monday, March 2, 2020 at 9:20 AM
> *To: *"[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>
> *Subject: *Re: Idea -- Unifying Project
>
>
>
> Dear Sharon,
>
>
>
> I really love this idea! and it seems that many of us would like to
> initiate or expand upon poetry programming in our states. Would this be
> something we could add to the agenda for the Idea Exchange?
>
>
>
> Thank you!
>
>
>
> All the best,
> Karen
>
>
>
>
>
> *Karen O’Connell*
>
> Coordinator of the Arkansas Center for the Book
>
> Arkansas State Library
>
> 501-682-2874
>
> [log in to unmask]
>
> https://library.arkansas.gov/
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> *From:* Center for the Book state centers communication <
> [log in to unmask]> *On Behalf Of *Sharon Shaloo
> *Sent:* Sunday, March 1, 2020 1:38 PM
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Subject:* Idea -- Unifying Project
>
>
>
> Happy March, All!
>
>
>
> It was an interesting experience to listen to the meeting that you all
> held last week!  I have a thought about a couple of things (I know, I know
> ... "of course, you do, Sharon"...).  But the main thing is I may have an
> idea for a unifying project and wanted to float that by you....
>
>
>
> On Thurs night I went to an interesting program at the Edward M Kennedy
> Institute for the Senate, and if you don't know about this place here's the
> link:   https://www.emkinstitute.org/
>
>
>
> Here is its stated mission:  The Edward M. Kennedy Institute brings
> Senator Kennedy’s vision for a dynamic hub of civic engagement to life.
> With educational programs, public forums, and digital exhibits, the Kennedy
> Institute welcomes individuals of all ages to debate the issues of the day,
> learn from each other, and leave empowered to make their own contributions
> to improving their communities and our nation.
>
>
> The program focused on Presidential Inaugural Poet, Richard Blanco, whose
> new collection of poetry is titled HOW TO LOVE A COUNTRY.  I won't go into
> great detail about the book at this point, but enough to say that Blanco
> takes the civic role of poetry seriously and believes it can be the avenue
> to productive civil discussions about improving society.  That, and he is
> freaking engaging and approachable and the high school kids in the audience
> (all students of color) ate him up.  As did all of the adults (we
> collectively of a certain age).  In other words, he bridges generations in
> his appeal.
>
>
>
> So ... what I am thinking is that his idea -- and a bit of his self in
> selected appearances -- could be the springboard to community conversations
> in preparation for the 250th anniversary of this country ... not
> conversations that say "what do you want to fix by 2026"? But rather "how
> are the ways we can love this country?"  Convos, emerging from poetry, that
> seek the good in the country and build on that good with civic action.
>
>
>
> Partners on this project might well be the EMK Institute, the Urban
> Libraries Council (whose book to action model we would be adapting), the
> Poetry Foundation (or even the source of their funding in the Ruth Lilly
> Philanthropic Foundation), LOC and NEH ... the project would even engage
> NEA if there were interest in extending there.
>
>
>
> I think it would be a strong cultural response to the call for convos
> about the approaching 250th anniversary of the Dec of Independence ...
> which Blanco adapts, interestingly, to start his collection, calling his a
> "Declaration of Interdepence."  The nice thing about how to love a country
> as a frame, too, is that the link to environmentalism and caretaking of the
> land is apparent and so we add to the social ...
>
>
>
> I spoke with Richard Blanco a bit after the program about the discipline
> of occasional poetry and its interplay with the political ... but in the
> course of our chat I asked if he had yet been approached to work on any
> projects leading up to 2026 and he is definitely available and -- I guess
> I'd say -- intrigued.   I told him I would float this idea with you all to
> see if you think it has legs.
>
>
>
> About Blanco ... Cuban immigrant, raised in Miami, now living in Bethel,
> ME, with his partner.  Talks about democracy with the extended metaphor of
> a garden, that has to be continually seeded, watered, tended, and etc.
> Inclusively political and civic, I think.
>
>
>
> If there is a general interest in exploring, I thought I'd talk to his
> publisher (Beacon Press here in Boston) to see if I could get copies of his
> book -- I think it's about to come out in paper -- to send out to all of
> you.
>
>
>
> For now, links:
>
>
>
> http://www.beacon.org/How-to-Love-a-Country-P1429.aspx
>
>
>
> https://richard-blanco.com/
>
>
>
> Love to hear what you think,
>
>
>
> Best, Sharon
>
>
>
> P.S.  He says he was named after Richard Nixon ... "but that's another
> story."
>
>
>
>
>
> *********
>
> Sharon Shaloo, Executive Director
>
> Mass Center for the Book
>
> [log in to unmask]
>
> 617.872.3718 (office)
>
> massbook.org
>