Cal Humanities

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"Part of resilience is finding joy, finding beauty, finding love."

— George Takei, Actor, Author, Director, Activist

California Humanities celebrates 40th Anniversary with National Humanities Leader

November 10, 2015

California Humanities celebrates 40th Anniversary with National Humanities Leader
Statewide nonprofit marks four decades of connecting Californians through ongoing public humanities programming

OAKLAND, CA –This week, California Humanities will celebrate its 40th anniversary together with the 50th anniversary of its primary partner, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). A celebration with grantees, partners, and past and present leadership at the Scottish Rite Temple in Oakland will include remarks by the NEH Chairman, William “Bro” Adams.

“We are deeply honored that Chairman Adams has come to California to help us launch our 40th anniversary. This is a time to reflect on our past while keeping our eyes facing firmly and creatively forward,” said California Humanities President & CEO Julie Fry. “When President Johnson signed the legislative act in 1965 that led to the creation of the NEH, little did anyone know that we would be celebrating the impact of the public humanities on our lives these many years later. In California alone, we have made grants totaling almost $29 million across the state in the past forty years, helping make our people, their lives, and cultures more visible and accessible.”

“The National Endowment for the Humanities and California Humanities are both celebrating milestone anniversaries this year,” said NEH Chairman William D. Adams. “NEH was founded 50 years ago, in 1965, by an act of Congress that declared that ‘the humanities belong to all the people of the United States.’ Ten years later, the California Humanities Council was created to support humanities-based programs and projects at the grassroots level. Congratulations to California Humanities on an impressive 40 years of connecting Californians to ideas and to one another through exploration of our shared history and heritage. They have been an invaluable partner in bringing the power of literature, history, and critical inquiry to the American public.”
“California Humanities has made significant contributions to the cultural landscape of California. For forty years we have connected Californians with each other and engaged citizens in meaningful discussions about the important issues and challenges we face,” said Margaret Shelleda, California Humanities Board Chair. “The more we know about each other’s histories, stories, trials and triumphs, the more we can appreciate our diversity and the more civil our society will be.”

During its anniversary year, California Humanities will implement a new strategic framework currently in development. It will also create a multifaceted history of the organization in tandem with a public archive of its work, and deliver events around the state as part of the Pulitzer Prize Centennial Campfires Initiative.

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About the National Endowment for the Humanities
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is an independent federal agency created in 1965. It is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States. Because democracy demands wisdom, NEH serves and strengthens our republic by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans. The Endowment accomplishes this mission by awarding grants to cultural institutions, such as museums, archives, libraries, colleges, universities, public television, and radio stations, and to individual scholars. For more information, please visit Information about the NEH’s fiftieth anniversary can be found at

About California Humanities
California Humanities is an independent nonprofit and state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. This year marks the organization’s 40th anniversary of promoting the humanities as relevant, meaningful ways to understand the human condition and connect us to each other in order to help strengthen California. The organization produces, funds, creates and supports humanities-based projects and programs, eye-opening cultural experiences and meaningful conversations. During the past 40 years California Humanities has awarded over $28 million in grants across the state. For more on California Humanities’ work and current initiatives, please visit, connect on Facebook at “California Humanities,” and Twitter at @Cal_Humanities.

New Address:
California Humanities
538 9th Street Suite 210
Oakland, California 94607

For media-related inquiries, contact:
Dan Cohen, Full Court Press Communications
(510) 282-7621 /


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