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Minnesota Humanities Center

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: The minnesota humanities center (humanities center) is an independent, not-for-profit organization. Its mission is to build a thoughtful, literate, and engaged society. Financial support for the programs and services of the humanities center comes from the national endowment for the humanities, the state of minnesota, private and corporate foundations, individuals, and revenue earned from fees and conference center rentals. The minnesota humanities center provides humanities-based professional development services to schools and educators and it works in partnership with numerous organizations to conduct meaningful and engaging public humanities programming in communities throughout minnesota. Its relationship-based approach to humanities programming is focused on bringing into public life the stories and experiences of people and communities that have been missing and marginalized.

Programs: The minnesota humanities center's will use $1,075,000 of the legacy funds for work divided into three key program areas in order to meet its critical responsibilities to the public: 1) minnesota humanities education strategy; 2) towards a more perfect union: talking about the constitution and 3) veterans' voices. The minnesota humanities education strategy transforms relationships to increase student and community engagement. Participants strengthen relationships, broaden worldviews, develop a shared language and support student and community-centered practices and procedures. During this time period, legacy funding supported:six-session cohort educators' institute that helps participants expand their capacity to relate across worldviews and ways of knowing; recognizing and amplifying skills and techniques to use in their daily practice; and become a part of a community of educators committed to using a humanities-based approach to improve the educational experience for young people across minnesota. In-person and online professional developmentcreation and access to educational materials and resources that support and encourage exemplary teaching including over 300 online resourcespublic events featuring artists from tpt's mn original series for nearly 150 educatorscollaborative programming with schools, non-profit organization, state agencies and community based organizationsmuseum on main street partnership with the smithsonian institution's museum on main street program to bring a new traveling exhibit entitled water: resource for life to minnesota. Support to allow the continued traveling of why treaties matter: self-government in the dakota and ojibwe nation exhibit created in partnership with the minnesota indian affairs council and the smithsonian national museum of the american indian. Toward a more perfect union: talking about the constitution harnessed the power of community conversations and the documentary constitution usa by twin cities public television (tpt) to bring minnesotans from 33 communities with diverse backgrounds and experiences together to explore the constitution as a living document in their lives. Veterans' voices is a veterans'-led initiative which draws on the power of the humanities to call attention to the stores and contributions of veterans through plays, art, discussion groups and the veterans' voices award to amplify, honor and recognize the stories and contributions of minnesota veterans in their own voice. This program included fourteen public events.

event and conference center: the humanities center operates a full-service event center, as created by the state legislature in 1996. In addition to housing programs of the humanities center, this restored architectural landmark serves educators, social service providers, other non-profits, state colleges and universities, and state agencies and community groups seeking to improve both their individual work and the quality of life for all minnesotans, by providing high-quality, cost effective meeting and event space for educational and public programs and staff education and development.

Community Stories

14 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I attended the program called Revolutionary Leadership at the MN Humanities Center. To prepare for the two day seminar I took an online class called "The Absent Narrative." As a member of our school's leadership team I felt this was a good opportunity to look at new ways to approach the way we teach students from diverse backgrounds. Part of our school improvement plan is to help all teachers be culturally responsive in their practice and this program at the Humanities Center provided resources and information to begin to achieve this goal. I've already used some of the resources provided and our staff is discussing ways to continue to look at our curriculum so that our students can see themselves in the content. This was an excellent program and I would highly recommend it to any school looking to provide a more culturally relevant as well as culturally responsive curriculum.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Last year I went to 5 or 6 classes or workshops through the MN Humanities Center. I have loved every course I have taken from them. They have fantastic knowledgable speakers/presenters and a comfortable space to work.

I attended one of their sponsored Landmark workshops last year and it was a well run, fun, and interesting hands-on learning opportunity.

Lastly, I took 3 of their online training courses and they were a great and informative guide on the topics. The resources are all listed if you want further information at the end of the videos/guides. I recommend these to all!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 4

I took two classes last year at the Humanities Center. I am a high school social studies teacher at a charter school for immigrants ans refugees. I took a geography course about Africa and one about American Indian land tenure. Both classes gave me more knowledge and teaching ideas and strategies to use in the classroom. I especially found the class on American Indian land tenurre to be most helpful because it is difficult to find resources and this complex issue is ususally left out of textbooks, so the duty of researching and collecting resources falls on very busy teachers.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have attended programs at the Humanities Commissions for many decades ( and at least once or twice a year) and never have been disappointed by the content, expertise, and thoughful planning of the events. The diversity of topics, speakers, and ideas are always top-notch.The staff at the NHC understands what adult learners need and how to design professional development opportunities for adults who have wide range of interests.

As a classroom teacher so much of what I have learned through MHC programming has been embedded back into my curriculum. The materials from events have been passed through my faculty for dissemination. The MHC is a strong center of support for teacher renewal, growth and development which has such direct impact on our students.




Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I use rthe Humanities Center to take classes for updating my Elem. Educ. license. I have gone frequently over the years. I find it to be one of the best facilities for good food, pleasant surroundings, excellent presenters, and current provocative subject matter helpful to me in my field of education.

I have recommended them often to other colleagues because it's such a great place to go, not to mention the helpful staff and good rates. I always come away with new ideas that I can actually use in the classroom. It's a 5 star rating with me!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The project our community did with the MHC was fantastic. We were able to have the history of our community that has been traditionally ignored distorted and neglected by MN historical venues , finally get heard and recorded. And MHC did it right . They went to the community for imput throughout the process from the start to the completion. Unlike other groups who tell our story without our imput .
MHC certainly personified the words of their mission statement "fosters collaboration among cultural organizations ". Muchisimas Gracias. Gilbert de la O

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have worked with the Minnesota Humanities Center for almost three decades. Since joing the board about a year and a half ago I have learned so much more about the important work of the Mumanities Center in Minnesota. They do a lot statewide and even beyond our borders to help improve peoples lives.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 4

The Humanities Center's meeting facility was a perfect setting for our non-profit's staff retreat. The library provided a comfortable meeting space with the modern audiovisual necessities for presentations. The meal and snack choices were slightly spartan but of good quality and affordable.
We will continue to use the Humanities Center for our annual retreats. Their staff made all aspects (reservations, set-up, invoicing, etc.) of the retreat run smoothly. It provided a comfortable setting that was conducive to staff rejuvination and brain-storming. We already are looking forward to next year.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I come to the Humanities Center lunches to learn and to meet the people sitting at my table. When the Humanities Center speaker presented historical information about the Iron Range and immigrant miners who worked there, we learned about how immigrants adapted in the face of hostility from earlier settlers, which is what Somali immigrants face today. How else could we have learned about that, other than at the Humanities Center? They’re unique and irreplaceable.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have attended teacher workshops at the Humanities Center for several years. I have always found the speakers to be knowledgeable and the information presented to be applicable to my teaching situation. Many of the topics presented are not available from other sources. The format of the workshop and the facilities are very comfortable and inviting.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Minnesota Humanities Center always has culturally relevant material for schools and educators through their classes and professional development opportunities. Their recent endeavor with Absent Narratives finally gives our many ethnic groups a voice in the curriculum of schools. I am very excited to be able to work with them and open our curriculum to the achievement and voices of our Asian, Hispanic, Black, and Native American communities.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Where do I start to tell you about what the MN Humanities Center has meant to me over the last 18 years? Their programs are top notch. They always have extremely qualified and interesting presenters. I have learned so much, and it has helped me to be a better teacher in so many ways--in my interaction with my colleagues and with my students, in my knowledge of my subject area and in interdisciplinary subject areas that affect me. I come away from their workshops feeling like I have truly spent my time wisely, that I haven't wasted another day going to another boring workshop. In fact, I CHOOSE to go to their workshops and recommend them to fellow teachers. I sometimes fantasize about how to justify going to a history-related workshop just because it sounds interesting to me (but knowing that it will never get approved). It isn't just the presentations that make me a better teacher, it is also the way I am treated: like a true professional! I think I carry myself more proudly after I have attended their workshops. And in my profession, that is worth a lot! Just thinking about this organization and what they stand for makes me feel good. They truly stand for what is right in Minnesota, what makes us great.

A specific example? I attended the workshop on Latinos in America, and I had so much material to share with my students and my colleagues that I didn't know where to start sharing it. I even was able to use some it in my Master's thesis on diversity. The info, the presenters, the networking I did was invaluable.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I have had a number of experiences with MHC. I am employed by a local school district and have attended a number of meetings and other activities there.
The facility and its staff are welcoming and accomodating. Whether I was part of a group of 12, 50 or 100+, I always felt appreciated and taken care of.
Recently, I had the oppurtunity of attending a wedding reception and dance at MHC. All of the rooms were for our use. It was easy to mingle and touch base with all of the guests and, of course, the food was GREAT!
I am also aware that the facility has rooms available to the presenters and participants should they need overnight accomodations.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My field of expertise is professional development for educators, especially in the area of classroom practices. When teachers ask: "how can I understand culture and its impact in my school?" my answer has been: Seek out the the Minnesota Humanities Center. It is one of the highest quality professional development providers in this area in the country. Their programs are timely, informative and especially applicable to Minnesota educators. Their staff has been filling a void in teacher professional development for many years: cultural identity and cultural awareness are directly related to the achievement gaps in MN. The MHC is dedicated to closing those gaps through its focused, professional opportunities for educators and the community--they provide an understanding of the many cultural contributions and the needs of all our diverse communities. Topics are explored by MHC in a variety of formats-from introductory sessions to in-depth, interactive work with local, regional and national experts. 'Sensitive and informative presentations' have been repeated compliments from members of teacher groups. In my capacity as the director of Education Minnesota's non profit program, I welcomed the opportunity to promote the MHC's work and to advocate for expansion of their delivery system--from Aitken to Zumbro, educators and the community in this state rely on MHC to heighten awareness and understanding of the impact of culture in our schools and communities.

Review from Guidestar