NMEH and the Humanities

What Are the Humanities?

The Humanities are the study of human culture with particular emphasis on the liberal arts; the cultural implications of the natural sciences, social sciences, and professions; and on individual philosophic self-expressions. In their traditional university setting the humanities encompass, but are by no means restricted to, the disciplines of anthropology, archaeology, comparative religion, ethics, fine arts, history, jurisprudence and philosophy.

Who We Are

Founded in 1972, the New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the humanities to public audiences throughout New Mexico. NMEH is funded through the Federal-State Partnership of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Current grant meets about 40% of the total costs of NMEH's activities. The remaining costs are met with cash and in-kind contributions from other sources.

NMEH is governed by a 23-member volunteer Board of Directors. Board members reflect the population of our state. The Board sets policy, reviews applications for NMEH grants, and overseas other programs conducted by NMEH.

What We Do

The New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities encourages and supports the humanities in New Mexico. It seeks out and funds quality humanities programs for presentation to public audiences throughout the state. NMEH supports projects through its grants program, making grants for worthy projects and organizations throughout the state. The Endowment welcomes applications on any topic addressed from a humanities perspective. Previously funded projects have dealt with topics ranging from local history and culture to international affairs.

NMEH also conducts programs directly, usually through its Humanities Resource Center. The Resource Center conducts NMEH's Chautauqua Program and Speakers Bureau, and provides resources such as exhibits, videos, and books for use in public programs.


Marilyn Adams - Susan B. Anthony in 1895. Born into a progressive Quaker family, Susan B. Anthony became the consummate symbol of feminism. Never before had there been a single, independent woman leader with no male to fall back on. This program begins on Anthony's 75th birthday tour. Colorado had just joined Wyoming, Utah and Idaho in extending the vote to women. Anthony believed all human beings were equal and entitled to justice; she fought for 50 years against the social restrictions that made women legally incompetent. Marilyn Adams 2 Manzano Lane Santa Fe, NM 87505 505/466-2091

Bart Barbour - John L. Hatcher: Mountain Man. John L. Hatcher brings to life the excitement, hilarity, and historical importance of the fur trade. A hunter and trapper at Bent's Fort, an adopted member of the Kiowa nation, and one of William Bent's most reliable employees, he offers audiences an American view of New Mexico in the 1830s and 1840s. Hatcher's highly original folk-tales illustrate the distinctive, sometimes outrageous, trappers' jargon. His experiences also inform listeners about trappers' lives and early nineteenth century multicultural relations on the southern plains and in New Mexico. Barton Barbour, Ph.D., has published several books about the North American fur trade and western American history. He teaches American history, and currently works for the National Park Service. Barton B. Barbour 1520 Silver SE Albuquerque, NM 87106 505/347-8620

Deborah Blanche - Erna Fergusson: New Mexico's First Lady of Letters (1888-1964). Erna Fergusson was born in Albuquerque's Castle Huning. Known in her heyday as New Mexico's First Lady of Letters, she was a writer, globetrotter, lecturer and storyteller who grew up speaking German, English, and Spanish. She started Koshare Tours - later bought out by Fred Harvey, while honing her writing skills at the Albuquerque Herald. Marion Sloan Russell on the Santa Fe Trail: An Oft Repeated Dream Marion Russell treasured the memory of creaking wagon wheels, the jingle of trace chains, the songs, vistas, creatures and characters of the Santa Fe Trail throughout her long and eventful lifetime, and his research. Russell crossed the trail for the first of four times in 1852 at age seven with her mother and brother. They settled in Albuquerque and later Santa Fe, where their lives intersected those of Bishop Lamy, Kit Carson, Frances Aubrey, and the Sisters of Loretto. She was an Army wife, mother, trading post manager at Tecolote, rancher in southern Colorado, widow, and plaintiff against the Maxwell Land Grant Company. Mrs. Custer's Last Stand: The Story of Elizabeth Bacon Custer (1842-1934) General George Armstrong Custer's military career ended at the Little Big Horn, but you won't know the last word on Custer until you've heard from his widow. Elizabeth Bacon Custer was an intelligent, vivacious, and stalwart woman. In 1864 she married her dashing boy general in their hometown of Monroe, Michigan. Libbie often made a tent her home, rode with the ranks, and accompanied the 7th Cavalry on expeditions in the West. After Custer's death, she wrote three books, lectured widely, and became financially independent. Deborah Blanche is a writer, actor, and storyteller, and has been creating NMEH Chautauqua programs since 1985. Like the women she portrays, Blanche has blazed a trail of historic work and travel. From Alaska to Mexico, California to England, she presents characters who made Western history vibrant. Deborah Blanche Palomita Productions Box 1988 Old Town Post Office Las Vegas, NM 87701-1988 Phone/Fax: 505/425-5004

Phil Bock - Dr. Edgar Lee Hewett. Dr. Edgar Lee Hewett was an extraordinary man. An anthropologist whose energy and ability led him into Southwestern archaeology at the start of the twentieth century, he became the first president of the New Mexico Teachers College at Las Vegas. Later, he became Director of the Museum of New Mexico and the School of American Research, and Chair of the Departments of Anthropology at U.N.M, U.S.C. and San Diego State. He directed the restoration of the Palace of the Governors and the design of the Fine Arts Museum and St. Francis Auditorium, monuments of the Pueblo Revival style. Phil Bock is a former Presidential Professor and Chair of Anthropology at U.N.M. Now happily retired, he enjoys theatrical and musical activities including acting, directing, play writing and composing. Phil Bock 8301 4th St NW #3 Albuquerque, NM 87114 505/890-0438

Richard Bodner - Aldo Leopold: The Good Life - Wild Country, Conservation, and Community. The sheer pleasure of nature's beauty comes alive with Aldo Leopold as our wild-country guide. We soar on Leopold's inspired Sand County words; learn to think like a mountain; and top out on a ridge for a fresh look at where we are, how we got here, and where we are heading. Our exploration of the good life draws a moving portrait of Leopold, New Mexico's own conservationist and philosopher. Ricefield Moon�Basho & Beyond Bodner's performance of Basho can now take just the right shape for first-time or repeat groups. He offers the perfect blend of available flavors: Classic Basho, based on the 17th century master poet's life and travel diaries; Asian Masters on the Way of Poetry (Basho's wider heritage); and Lasting Legacy (Issa story and haiku-related traditions). Richard Bodner, a poet, recording artist, and long-time Chautauquan, crosses borders of east and west, arts and sciences, scholarship and theater to celebrate the blessings of land and language, our natural and cultural heritage. Here he brings great land writers to life in programs slowly matured along the pilgrimage road. Richard Bodner 1329 Sixth St. Las Vegas, NM 87701 505/425-3430

Dan D. Chavez - Octaviano A. Larrazolo: A Progressive Ahead of His Time. Larrazolo, born in Mexico and educated in Santa Fe, was a political leader who fought for the rights of women and Hispanics, promoted statehood for New Mexico, and advocated a progressive state constitution. Known as a great orator in Spanish and English, he spoke out for amending the state constitution to allow women to vote and to run for public office - and this before the 19th amendment was accepted nationally. He served one term as governor (1918-1920) and was elected to fill an unexpired term as U.S. Senator, 1928-1929. Dan D. Chavez, UNM Professor Emeritus, served as a naval officer, science teacher, principal, state program director, and UNM administrator and professor before retiring in 1990 to do research on the political history of New Mexico. Dan D. Chavez 1723 Stanford Dr. NE Albuquerque, NM 87106 505/268-0434

Larry Goodell - Vachel Lindsay: America's Proto-Performance Poet. Lindsay was the first major poet in the U.S. to take to the road, reciting for food and shelter. Born in 1879 two doors from Abe Lincoln's house in Springfield, IL, Lindsay's consciousness was entwined with Lincoln, Jackson, and the common people. An early star of the original Chautauqua movement, his muscular, booming poems were almost too much for generations of quiet English classes. Larry Goodell, Roswell native, studied with Robert Creeley and has appeared with all the major poets of the last 30 years. Living in Placitas since 1963, he has published many local writers and is author of Firecracker Soup, Out of Secrecy, The Mad New Mexican, and Here on Earth. Larry Goodell Box 571 Placitas, NM 87043 505/867-5877

Ron Grimes - Patrick Floyd Garrett: From Buffalo Hunter to Man Hunter. Pat Garrett is remembered best as the sheriff who shot the Southwest's most infamous outlaw, Billy the Kid. Garrett, however, left other indelible marks on the pages of New Mexico and West Texas history. In the period between that fateful night in Fort Sumner on July 14, 1881, when he ended the career of the Kid, to his mysterious death near Las Cruces, Garret became one of New Mexico's most colorful, enigmatic historical figures. Ron Grimes has always been fascinated by the characters of the Old West. He has spent most of his life performing as a Chautauquan, at conventions, Western stage shows, schools, dude ranches and cowboy campfires throughout the Southwest. Ron Grimes Box 3271 Carlsbad, NM 88221 505/887-8707

David G. Jackson - Kit Carson: A Man Who Helped Shape America. Kit Carson was the greatest of frontier scouts. He was a freighter on the Santa Fe Trail, trapper, scout, explorer, rancher, soldier and family man. A legend in his own time, he was instrumental in mapping the west. His actions in placing Indians on reservations were highly praised at the time, but have become controversial As a military commander his judgements were sound and he avoided needless death on the battlefield for friend and foe alike. Carson was honored and respected from the highest offices of the nation to the everyday citizens of the West, including Native, Hispanic and Anglo. Dave Jackson is a lifelong outdoorsman and has always considered Kit Carson to be his hero. He has hiked many of Carson's trails, trapped beaver and other animals, and has visited the locations of Carson's major military engagements. David G. Jackson 11500 Herman Roser SE Albuquerque, NM 87123 505/299-2430

Jean Jordan - Mary Donoho: First Anglo Woman in Santa Fe. Historians recently discovered that Mary Donoho was the first Anglo-American woman to travel the torturous Santa Fe Trail, a feat she accomplished in 1833 with her 9 month-old baby and trader husband. During her four years in Santa Fe, Donoho gave birth to two more children -the first Anglos born there - helped run her husband's hotel, mingled with Mexicanos and Pueblos, witnessed the Albino Perez rioting, and helped rescue three white women captives ransomed from the Comanches by her husband. Mabel Dodge Luhan: Visionary Hostess of Taos Overwhelmed by her first breathtaking view of northern New Mexico in 1917, Mabel Dodge Lujan whispered, Oh, my God! and made Taos her home. A millionaire, she had married three times and lived restlessly in Italy and New York searching for cultural visionaries and a way out of the industrial pall of World War I. She found peace and love with a stately Taos Pueblo man, Tony Luhan. Eager to share her passion and utopian hopes for her new home, she pulled D.H. Lawrence, Willa Cather, Thornton Wilder, Georgia O'Keeffe, Ansel Adams and dozens more to Taos. Katherine Stinson Otero: Pilot, Airplane Designer, Architect In 1912, long before Amelia Earhart, Katherine Stinson Otero began a spectacular career as an aviator. She barnstormed, flew 10 feet off the ground down main streets, did 3,000-foot death drops and inside loops, ran a flying school and used magnesium flares for the first night flying. Rejected as a WWI pilot, she drove ambulances through France. She married a handsome pilot from New Mexico, Miguel Otero, and became an airplane designer, architect, and New Mexican. Jean Jordan is a national award-winning journalist, editor, photographer and filmmaker. She is also a multimedia actress, director, and playwright. Her work is known from London to Tokyo, New York to California, Chicago to Florida and bilingually in New Mexico and Mexico. Jean Jordan 2200 Lester NE #261 Albuquerque, NM 87112 505/292-4329

Enrique Lamadrid - Rafael Chacon. Captain Rafael Chacon participated in the most significant events in the formation of modern New Mexico, in the period between the U.S. invasion of 1846 and statehood in 1912. At 13 years old, he commanded an artillery position at Apache Pass for the aborted defense of Santa Fe. During the Civil War, his company fired both the first and last shots at the Texan invaders at the Battles of Valverde and Glorieta. Chacon served with honor in the campaigns for peace with the Navajos and Apaches, and was the first Commander of Fort Stanton. In recording his reflections, he became the most resonant Hispano voice from the 19th century. Enrique Lamadrid is a folklorist, critic, translator and Professor at UNM. His research charts the influence of Indigenous cultures on the Spanish language and imagination. His literary writings explore the borderlands between cultures, popular traditions, and literary expression. Enrique Lamadrid Department of Modern Languages University of New Mexico Albuquerque, NM 87131 505/277-5907 (W) 505/345-4189 (H)

Bill Martin - Houdini: An American Icon. The young immigrant from Budapest, Ehrich Weiss, accepted the opportunities for greatness offered by his beloved new country. He recreated himself as Harry Houdini from Appleton, Wisconsin and began the struggle to become the greatest escape artist and entertainer of his era. Experience the relentless drive of this man who invented illusions and death-defying escapes, becoming THE GREAT LIBERATOR to all who needed to believe in themselves once more. Houdini's traditional $100 escape challenge will be offered at each performance! Bill Martin is a hypnotherapist, magician, escapeologist, and retired Naval Aviator. He has been a Golden Gloves boxer, carnival wrestler, hardrock miner, tractor mechanic, night club entertainer, public relations director, and entrepreneur. He is president of Mindreach, Inc. Bill Martin Mindreach, Inc. 19 Mallette Dr. Belen, NM 87002 505/864-7953

Roberta Courtney Meyers - The Honorable Lady Dorothy Brett. With humor, some sadness, and great bombast, Brett (as she preferred to be called) talks of Taos, of Queen Victoria's Court, of the Bloomsbury group of England, of her own life and of her life with D.H. Lawrence and entourage. A sort of magical figure in the Taos landscape, Brett dressed outlandishly and endeared herself to all with her bubbly and domineering personality. She was a gifted artist in her own right - her paintings hang in the national Portrait Gallery in England and across the U.S. Josepha Jaramillo Carson (3rd Wife of Kit Carson) You've heard a lot about Kit Carson but have you ever heard from a woman who knew him intimately? With humor and sadness Josepha talks of her life with Carson in Taos, Rayado, Colorado and other places. She speaks of her sister and brother-in-law, Charles Bent, and of the 1847 Taos Revolt, of Padre Martinez, and of Carson's wide travels across the continent as trapper, guide, soldier and translator. She reminisces about the Taos of her day, about her children, and about spending much of her time alone in lonely places while Carson was away. Roberta Courtney Meyers directs Enchantment Dreams Theater and Tours, and is a playwright, composer, freelance writer, and tour guide. Her work has been published in many periodicals, anthologies and magazines. Twenty-five of her dramas and musicals have been produced. She knew Dorothy Brett and Frieda Lawrence. Roberta Courtney Meyers Box 1472 Taos, NM 87571 505/776-2562

Randy Milligan - Theodore Roosevelt: Rough Rider President. Teddy Roosevelt's story is a classic tale of perseverance, activism and America's Western mythology. On his way to becoming our 26th president, Roosevelt overcame asthma, poor eyesight, and the deaths�on Valentine's Day�of his mother and wife. TR commanded two companies of New Mexico volunteers as they charged, on foot, up San Juan Hill. Milligan can present TR programs that emphasize his love of books and his Rawhide Library, or his later presidential campaigns. Randy Milligan, President of the Carlsbad Arts & Humanities Council, has also done Chautauqua performances of James Madison and Judge Roy Bean in several states. Randy Milligan 3324 Pike Ct. Carlsbad, NM 88220 505/885-9041

Bruce Noll - Walt Whitman's America. In the mid-19th century, America held great promise with its vast forests, open rivers, and rich natural treasures. Walt Whitman believed this great landscape was equaled by its people, provided they were free to develop themselves to their full potential. Carl Sandburg suggested that Whitman's Leaves of Grass represents America's most classic advertisement of itself as having purpose, destiny, banners and beacon-fires. The promise of America, the hope of democracy, and the belief in the creative power of the individual are brought to life in this Chautauqua presentation. Dr. Bruce Noll has toured nationally for many years with his dramatic interpretation of Whitman's Leaves of Grass. In Walt Whitman's America he combines stories from Whitman's life and information about his work to create an exciting performance. Bruce Noll 423 Aliso Dr. SE Albuquerque, NM 87108 505/262-2273

Don Perkins - Escaping Slavery and Fighting for Freedom: Frederick Douglass, The Lion. Born a Maryland slave in 1817, Frederick Douglass became the most famous Black American of his era. At eight, he was taught to read by his Baltimore owner's wife, a kind and subversive act that broke the law against teaching Black people to read. His freedom began at age 17 when his new owner, slave-breaker Edward Covey, whipped Douglass every day until the blood ran. Douglass exploded in rebellion, and wrestled Covey to a standstill. Covey never whipped him again. Douglass escaped, and his great physical presence and speaking voice attracted the mentorship of abolitionist publisher William Lloyd Garrison. He became the first African American invited to the White House, by Abraham Lincoln, and later served as Ambassador to Haiti. Don Perkins is an Iowan who came to Albuquerque in 1959 as a student-athlete at UNM. He spent nine years with the Dallas Cowboys and is one of only 10 men inducted into their Ring of Honor with legendary names like Landry, Staubach, and Lilly. He has been a broadcaster locally and nationally, a speaker, and an actor. He has been with the Albuquerque Police department for 10 years, and currently serves as a nationally-certified Crime Prevention Specialist working with community service programs. Don Perkins 808 Vassar NE Albuquerque, NM 87106 505/768-2102

Noel H. Pugach - Lew Wallace: The Adventurer in Deed and Spirit. Lew Wallace (1827-1905) is remembered as the author of Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ. But he was also a lawyer and politician in his native Indiana; a Civil War general; and United States minister to the Ottoman Empire. As territorial governor of New Mexico, he grappled with the Santa Fe Ring, the Lincoln County War, and Billy the Kid. He was a realist, but it was the quest for adventure that shaped his character and impelled him to write the romantic historical novels that constitute his permanent legacy. Harry S. Truman Compared to the Great Roosevelt, whom he succeeded as thirty-third president of the United States, Harry S. Truman's beginnings were undistinguished. Yet, by virtue of his direct style, earthy personality, and willingness to make tough decisions, Truman left an indelible mark on the United States and the world. His decisions on the atomic bomb, Soviet-Americans relations, the Middle East, the Korean War, and the firing of General Douglas MacArthur shaped the direction of history. In recent years, Truman's reputation has soared, and he has become an American folk hero. Noel H. Pugach is Professor of History at the University of New Mexico. He is the author of numerous books and articles on American foreign relations. Noel H. Pugach History Department Albuquerque, NM 87131 505/277-2701 (W); 505/881-4123 (H)