In 1971, six years after its founding, the National Endowment for the Humanities experimented with three different state affiliate models. Oregon was one of two states (along with Wyoming) to try the model of the volunteer committee—an independent organization rather than a state agency or a university department. This model proved to be an effective way to engage a wide range of individuals and organizations in supporting, developing, and implementing public humanities programs. The model stuck. Today, the great majority of state and territorial humanities councils are, like Oregon Humanities, independent nonprofit organizations that have formed strong partnerships across multiple sectors and networks in their state.
Entering its fiftieth year, Oregon Humanities has gone far beyond its original charter. In 2021, we’re looking back at the last fifty years and forward at the next fifty. On this page, you'll find stories and events related to this milestone for our organization.
Throughout 2021 we're publishing interviews with forward-thinking Oregonians on what the future holds for our region.
- “We Know Who’s Got Our Six Now”: How the Father’s Group is elevating Black life in Bend
- "Children Are Born Curious": Kali Ladd on the future of education in Oregon
- “We All Have to Be Committed and Help Each Other”: Four perspectives on addressing Oregon's homelessness crisis
- Bringing Otters Back to Otter Rock: Robert Kentta on returning a lost population to the Oregon Coast.
- "Farming Is So Much More than Food": Megan Horst on the future of Oregon's food systems
- “Let’s Give Oregonians a Chance to Shape the Future of the State”: Kevin Frazier on the future of civic engagement in Oregon
- "We Have to Create Alternative Habitats for Writers": Lidia Yuknavitch on the future of literature and art in Oregon and beyond