HI has received major private foundation support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Federation of State Humanities Councils to promote public discourse and open debate about what it means to be an informed citizen in our democracy. This initiative seeks to deepen the public's knowledge and apprecation of the vital connections between democracy, the humanities, journalism and the environment. HI received a $29,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation in 2017, and this grant continues work on that same initiative, striving to bring the humanities from the academy to main street.
This successful grant award will fund programs such as a tour John Rapson's Hot Tamale Louie jazz suite that tells the story of Zarif Khan, an early 20th century immigrant from Afghanistan who earned his citizenship, only to have it stripped away by the government. Additional program advisors will include panel talks with Pulitzer Prize-winner Art Cullen of the Storm Lake Times, Jody Swilky of Drake University and Mark Grey, Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Iowa Center for Immigrant Leadership and Integration. Former Iowa Poet Laureate Mary Swander will produce her play Vang, a drama about immigrant farmers migrating the United States, and current Iowa Poet Laureate Debra Marquart will produce a series of inter-disciplinary talks on college campuses discussing the intersection of immigration and the environment.