I am pleased to share this report with you on how Humanities Tennessee has impacted the State of Tennessee over the past year. Since March 2020, Humanities Tennessee, like the rest of the nation, has been grappling with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It sure has been tough. Our staff has diligently worked to support our programming, grants, outreach, fundraising, and the Southern Festival of Books. In the process we have seized the unique opportunity presented by the pandemic to strengthen our team, improve our services, amplify our message, and reach deeply into all three grand divisions of the state.
Certain aspects of the past year have been especially difficult. The nation is badly divided over issues such as race, ethnicity, politics, the presidential election, and the pandemic. It is no secret why humanities-based programming and education is becoming so highly sought after. The humanities help us understand the human condition. Humanities touches us in ways business and science never could. Tennesseans, from Memphis to Mountain City, are hungry for knowledge and understanding, for human connection. HT is in the business of making those connections happen.
HT is currently working with a strategic planning specialist on our next strategic plan. We have expertly used CARES Act grant funding to support humanities programs across Tennessee. HT also received money from the American Rescue Plan, which Congress passed early this year. We are using this new round of funding to provide better service and support to our constituencies across the state. Finally, HT continues to make a name for itself leading what is known as a top tier celebration of the written word: The Southern Festival of Books.
Humanities Tennessee is deeply grateful for your support. As we move forward we will continue our push to provide resources and support to our partners across the state. This includes the rural and hard to reach areas which so desperately need partnership and collaboration. Thank you for supporting the Humanities in Tennessee. Thank you for supporting our efforts to boost understanding, respect, and civility.
Dr. Daryl A. Carter, Board Chair
Associate Dean, Director, and Professor of History
East Tennessee State University