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This article may need to be wikified to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. Please help by adding relevant internal links, or by improving the article's layout. (July 2008) The Missouri Humanities Council is a non-profit, tax-exempt foundation promoting wide public engagement with history, literature, and other fields concerned with the human experience. The Council began operations in 1971 as the designated state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, a Federal agency, and that relationship continues to the present. It is one of 56 humanities councils in the United States and its territories, and a member of the Federation of State Humanities Councils. The Missouri Council is governed by a 24-person board, all of whom serve under term limits. The Governor of Missouri appoints six members of the board. Contents 1 Origin of Missouri Humanities Council 2 Mission statement 3 Vision Statement 4 State of Missouri funding 5 Governing Board 6 Programs, Services, and Partnerships 7 External links // Origin of Missouri Humanities Council In 1965, during the “Great Society” era of President Lyndon Johnson, Congress created two new Federal agencies, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. At that time Congress envisioned state agencies as the local expression of NEA, and so a state arts council was established in every state. By contrast, NEH was seen as an agency devoted to publishing, scholarship, and large-scale projects of regional or national importance. No state humanities councils existed in the 1960s. In 1971 the leadership of NEH contacted a few academic leaders in a handful of states and asked them to form state committees to create a new form of adult education experience that would be centered in humanities scholarship and related to public issues. The state committees were set up as grant-makers in the image of NEH, and the duties of committee members centered on judging the merits of the grants. The Missouri Committee for the Humanities was among those first groups formed in 1971. Robert Walrond, a specialist in Continuing Education at St. Louis University, was among the group that founded the Missouri Committee, and he served as its Executive Director until 1986. In 1976 Rhode Island Senator Claiborne Pell lead the revision of the Federal statute that authorized the NEH to operate, naming the state councils as legitimate entities entitled to a portion of the NEH budget. This fundamental change led the State Councils to formalize their incorporation in each state as tax-exempt non-profit corporations, retaining their status as grantees of NEH. MHC was formally incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1975 and received IRS 501(c)(3) status in April 1977. Mission statement To enable Missouri families and communities to broaden their appreciation of history, literature, and the ideas that shape our democracy. Vision Statement To ensure that Missouri is a place where citizens are thoughtful and engaged, where our heritage is explored, our relationships expanded, and our values examined within dynamic and increasingly diverse communities. +Develop and encourage new avenues to find and tell the story of Missouri’s people, to learn about our rich culture and history, and to identify and discuss our common values. +Foster curiosity among individuals of all ages, by educating, inspiring, and providing a foundation for understanding the history that has brought us to our present circumstances, and utilizing this knowledge to inform the present. +Reach out to Missourians of all ages and from all backgrounds to promote literacy and encourage multi-generational learning activities as a means of enriching and expanding lives. +Partner effectively with museums, libraries, historical societies, schools, and other institutions so that they may better serve communities and foster high levels of public interest and involvement. +Provide technical, managerial and financial support to communities, organizations and educational institutions to ensure their ongoing role in promoting the humanities. +Partner with local and state officials and educational and humanities organizations of all sizes to bring people together, help communities tell their stories, facilitate civil discussion, increase knowledge and awareness, and stimulate the creativity within each community. State of Missouri funding In 1995, with an initial appropriation of $100,000, MHC was lobbied into the Missouri State FY97 budget. MHC funding appears as a line item within the budget of the Missouri Arts Council, which itself is a subset of the Community Development Division of the Missouri Department of Economic Development. Also in 1995, MHC entered the Missouri statutes with the establishment of a state-managed trust fund dedicated to the Council. At the instigation of Sheila Lumpe, the Chair of the House Budget Committee in 1997, the Missouri Arts Council organized a coalition of state cultural interests and submitted legislation to create what is commonly termed a “cultural trust” serving all partners. This legislation was ultimately passed in 1998, a year after Ms. Lumpe retired from the General Assembly to become a Public Service Commissioner and a member of the Missouri Humanities Council. Under the terms of the cultural trust legislation, the state would determine the amount of income taxes collected from non-resident athletes and entertainers and would appropriate this amount to the cultural partners according to a formula for a period of ten years. The Missouri Arts Council would receive 60% and the remaining 40% would be divided equally by the Missouri Humanities Council, the Missouri State Library, the Missouri Historical Preservation Revolving Fund, and an alliance of public radio and TV stations. Governing Board The MHC Board of Directors consists of 24 members, 18 are elected and 6 are appointed by the Governor of Missouri. No state statute defines the gubernatorial appointees to MHC. Instead, a Federal statute directs the state councils to develop operating rules by which a Governor may appoint 6 members. There are no distinctions within the board between the elected and appointed members. Programs, Services, and Partnerships Since its inception, MHC has focused on humanities education for adult learners. In 1996, an existing children’s literature program was refocused to develop family relationships. READ from the START emphasizes teaching parents how to explore good books for babies and pre-school children. This shifted the program’s emphasis from “learning to admire classics” to “learning to discover layers of meaning,” which is the core intellectual activity within liberal education. The introduction of RFTS became a new anchor for MHC as it began to consider how its programs affected the quality of life in communities and community institutions. The family is seen as the prototype community and as the institution from which wider communities spring. During a 2001 Communications audit, MHC clients reported that the noteworthy benefit of their participation was not what they themselves learned, but how they came to interact with one another. Following that revelation, MHC adjusted its thinking to consider more deeply how its programs and services create lasting improvements in social institutions that have a demonstrable relationship to the humanities. Current Initiatives include: Chautauqua - a program style in which historians impersonate historical figures in first-person monologues, in costume, and engage the audience in discussion. MHC both produces a touring Chautauqua and also awards grants for locally-designed Chautauquas. Charettes - Strategic and interpretive planning seminars Museums on Main Street - Touring exhibits from the Smithsonian Institution Governor's Humanities Awards - annual recognition of Missouri citizens. Grants - support for non-profit Missouri organizations to conduct public humanities programs. READ from the START - family reading initiative ReadMOre - Missouri's statewide book club External links Missouri Humanities Council home page National Endowment for the Humanities The Federation of State Humanities Councils The Smithsonian Institution's Museum on Main Street, a partnership with state humanities councils and rural museums and cultural organizations