Double Down - A Blog

Nov 18, 2013 | Posted by Bobbie Ann Howell

[Photo of Walter Dean Myers courtesy of Jim Laurie]

I confess. . .it has been several months since my last blog. In an effort to find something worthwhile to share I let time swiftly flow by as events surrounding the Vegas Valley Book Festival swung into action. Words, ideas, stories, poetry, were swirling around the valley at break neck speed, or so it seemed to me. Planning, committees, meetings, things added and deleted from countless lists of to do and done.  Working to create an event of literary interest for as broad an audience as possible, on budget, with a group of partners, is a high goal.  Each of the participants wanting to succeed and hoping the events will have meaning, depth, and provide a good deal of enjoyment as well. 

Working such programs...

Nov 12, 2013 | Posted by Rachel Hopkin

Question 1 – Do you live in or within easy reach of Las Vegas?

Question 2 – Were you at the Vegas Valley Book Festival on 2nd November?

If the answer to question 1 is yes, and the answer to question 2 is no – good heavens, what were you thinking? 

This was my second year attending the festival.  It is such a fantastic event and I don’t say that just because my employer happens to be a festival founder - I’m a grump by nature so if I don’t like something, I’ll say it.  It’s full of interesting author talks, fascinating panel discussions, readings, storytelling, plus there’s stuff especially geared towards children, young adults, and comic book fans.  And it’s all free!!!


Oct 14, 2013 | Posted by Sam King

[This week, we welcome a contribution from guest blogger, Sam King, of Project Real. Project Real is a project funded in part by a grant from Nevada Humanities.]

REAL Drama, a Project REAL program provides a unique venue for middle and high school students to study current issues and then form educated opinions on the subject matter rather than ones based on lunch room conversation or hearsay.

This year, our first staging of Home Is Where The Heart Is…Or Is It?, a drama we have been performing over the last four years, was on October 10, 2013, at Del Webb Middle School in Henderson, Nevada. Our cast performed for 650 students who were studying...

Oct 7, 2013 | Posted by Rachel Hopkin

I’ve been in a bit of funk recently; nothing serious, just part of the ebb and flow of being. I had become a little tired of the relentless Vegas sunshine, I’m homesick for Kentucky, and I’ve also been suffering from some minor, but draining, health issues. Casting around for ways to pick myself, I remembered advice I’d previously and variously received - not least from that doyenne of self-help, Oprah – to keep a “Gratitude Journal”. I didn’t actually get around to putting this concept into practice, but if I had, the Friday before last, this note to self would have topped the list:

“Today I am grateful that, aside from this morning, on no other...

Sep 10, 2013 | Posted by Rachel Hopkin

When I wrote my last Nevada Humanities blog post, it was early July and the Nevada Humanities Chautauqua had taken place in Reno just a week or so earlier.  Now that seems like forever ago, but in order to recreate some of the flavour of the experience, I’ve been making a selection of audio slide shows based on material recorded during the event. I thought I’d post a few of them up here, just in case you’re a) wondering what you missed, or b) would like a way to tap into memories. 

I hope you enjoy them.

This one features audience members – many of whom attend year in, year out - talking about what they love about the event:


Aug 26, 2013 | Posted by Karen Wikander

Sorry for the lull in blog entries! But now we're back, and we have some great stories in the pipeline for you.

Today I would like to celebrate our two most important employees -- Fiona (lab, English pointer, Shar Pei mix) and Raney (labradoodle extraordinaire), the Nevada Humanities Chief Canine Officers!

They do a great job of keeping us sane and happy.  Raney distributes much love with her sweet, gentle personality, and Fiona greets all arrivals with her sassy, barking hellos!

Sometimes we have visits from Pickle (French bulldog), a part-time canine officer, but she's more of a dictator, so her visits are infrequent. . . .dogs...

Jul 11, 2013 | Posted by Bobbie Ann Howell

Getting out into the open spaces this spring has been heaven, and the idea of a real slide show where you get everyone together and make them look at your travel photos like some grand explorer seems dreamy. I realize that it’s mostly fun for the person putting on the show. Slides shows have new life these days - with everyone instantly posting their experiences, dinner, oddities, etc… but the whole story at one sitting may be lost among the vast snippets of life we are endlessly shooting into cyberspace. I hope these blog posts serve to share a bit of the story as well.

On my way up to Reno for the annual Nevada Humanities Chautauqua, my friend Anne Hoff and I took a...

Jul 9, 2013 | Posted by Rachel Hopkin

As one of Nevada Humanities’ two staff members based in the southern state office, I spend most of my time in and around Las Vegas. However, last week – as the heat closed in on my hometown – I was lucky enough to be in the relative cool of Reno where one of our signature programs was having its yearly outing.

Yes - it was time for our annual Chautauqua festival. This week-long event includes workshops, discussions, tours, and, of course, theatrical performances of first person living history given by both professional Chautauquan scholars and the impressive graduates of our Young Chautauqua...

Jun 7, 2013 | Posted by Rachel Hopkin

Nevada Humanities’ Humanities on the Road program is one of our longest running ventures and it’s one of the key ways in which we can connect our work with people and communities across our fine state. Basically, it is a roster of carefully-selected expert presenters who are ready and willing to travel throughout Nevada to provide engaging public programs that explore the history, culture, and heritage of this region and beyond. These programs can be booked by any not-for-profit organization or group within the state at a very low cost; museums, libraries, cultural centers, for example, have all made good use of Humanities on the Road.

I took over the running of ...

Jun 3, 2013 | Posted by Nancy Cummings

[The above image is of Dr. Elwood Schmidt and Nancy Cummings. All images courtesy of Nancy Cummings.]

This blog comes to us courtesy of board member Nancy Cummings.

As a Nevada Humanities Board member and a 4th generation Nevadan, I am deeply interested in the history of my home state.  I recently interviewed Dr. Elwood Schmidt who is writing a history of the development of emergency services in Nevada.  The following is an excerpt from that interview:

Nancy:   “What is this you are writing about?”

Dr. Schmidt:  “I’m writing a history of emergency services in Nevada as told by the people who were active in providing the services during the “modern” era, the time after the national white paper in 1966 showed the enormous...