Above image: Los Angeles River Walk Tour at the 2022 National Humanities Conference. Photo courtesy of Lucena Lau Valle.
As we bid adieu to 2022, and wish you a very happy and peaceful 2023, we want to reflect on some of the highlights of the past year.
We are fresh off the success of hosting the National Humanities Conference in Los Angeles in November, co-produced by the Federation of State Humanities Councils and the National Humanities Alliance, a conference that saw the highest number of registrants in its history. Our plenary speakers included our former board member Natalia Molina, along with Riverside author Susan Straight and Pulitzer Prize-winner Viet Thanh Nguyen, along with California State Senator Ben Allen, who has been so instrumental in helping us to secure $3 million from the State of California in the past few years.
That state funding has enabled us to continue to increase the number and amount of grants across the state to more than $1.6 million annually. We have also increased the number of community colleges served by our Emerging Journalist Fellowship program, and we have just launched our Civics + Humanities Middle Grades Grant Program. This new program is the result of intensive research and development in the education field, recognizing, as our organizational strategic goal states, that the humanities are essential to a vibrant democracy.
In the past year we have delved more deeply into the past, present and future of electoral engagement in the state through our virtual California on the Ballot series of conversations and provided guidance to the humanities field through our virtual Tools of the Trade capacity-building sessions. Our international partnership with France culminated with In the Banlieues/Centering the Margin: Oakland/Saint-Denis, an exhibition that took place in Paris, Saint-Denis, San Francisco and Oakland, examining the role of the arts and humanities in equitable city-building.
We are grateful for all of our board members, donors, partners, grantees, and all of you who have been a core part of our success this year. We are certain that 2023 holds the promise of even more humanities impact across California, and we look forward to you being there with us.