Maggie's Minute: A Colorado Humanities Update, Nov. 14

Before reading Maggie's Minute, are you looking for the answer to our



Want a HINT? The author of The Epic of America coined the the phrase "The American Dream."

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On behalf of our board and staff: Thanks for everything!

This time of year reminds us of the things we hope for and are grateful to have--our family and friends, joys, strengths and opportunities--and to be thankful. The first on my list for Colorado Humanities is to thank you: Thank you for reading Maggie's Minute! And, thank you for your dedication to the humanities.

What is the American Dream? The theme of the November meeting of national humanities councils was "Re-imagining the American Dream." A key element to re-imagining a concept is to understand the many ways it's perceived, and how they came to be. Will you let me know what you think the dream is?

Walter Isaacson recently called the late Steve Jobs (Apple Inc., NeXT and Pixar) "the most innovative and successful business leader of our era." After describing ingenuity as the ability to apply creativity and aesthetic sensibilities to a challenge, Isaacson said something that made me clap and cheer: "In the world of invention and innovation, [ingenuity] means combining an appreciation of the humanities with an understanding of science." According to Isaacson, Jobs considered Edwin Land (Polaroid) his hero. Land hailed the importance of people whose lives meld the humanities and sciences, stating that the formula for true innovation is to "stand at the intersection of the humanities and the sciences." Isaacson writes that Jobs called himself a humanities person who likes electronics. For more insight on Steve Jobs, take a look at his moving 2005 Stanford commencement speech here.

News! Having moved from Denver to Greenwood Village, we're enjoying our new offices at 7935 E. Prentice Ave., Suite 450. Elbow room and views of rooftops, treetops and mountaintops. Come visit!

More news:  The traveling exhibit, "Moving Toward Liberation: Freedom Riders," is at the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library in Denver, now through Nov. 28. Many related events will take place at Blair-Caldwell and other community venues. This important exhibit and event series is truly inspiring. Click here for more info.

Deadlines approach for two student competitions we bring to Colorado each year: Dec. 1, 2011 is the deadline for River of Words, a national and international student poetry and art contest, and Jan. 6, 2012 is the deadline for Letters About Literature, a national writing contest for students. We publish a full-color anthology of the winning Colorado entries of both competitions and, during our Student Literary Awards next spring, we'll give a copy to each winning student. Know students who'd like to enter? Be sure to remind them, and their teachers, of the deadlines.

Speed Round Updates: We held a two-day workshop in October with Denver Water, featuring national River of Words cofounder Pamela Michael. For the workshop, more than a dozen area teachers and Writers in the Schools writers explored one square block of the Denver art district, and crafted journals of poetry and artwork expressing what they discovered. We also held a Motheread/Fatheread Colorado three-day training institute in Denver, when 22 educators learned the Motheread literacy model. In October and November, Authors in Community authors Teague Bohlen, Maria Melendez and Aaron Abeyta visited libraries, schools and community venues in Lamar, Trinidad and Walsenburg respectively, with 350 students and adults. Colorado Poet Laureate David Mason's blog, always a good read, discusses the idea that "Things of no consequence are the only things that matter."

Reminder! Colorado Gives Day is Tuesday, Dec. 6! Remember us for the Community First Foundation's statewide, online effort to raise dollars for Colorado nonprofits. Last year, more than $8 million was raised in a 24-hour period. A large incentive fund from FirstBank will match online donations made to Colroado Humanities that day through, giving each gift an extra boost. Mark your calendar. Visit our profile on the Community First Colorado Gives Day page. (To warm up, you can go there right now by clicking here - but come back on Dec. 6 to make your end-of-year donation on Colorado Gives Day!)

Until the next time!

Maggie Coval, Executive Director

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