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Humanities Montana celebrates 50 years

Randi Tanglen is the current Executive Director of Humanities Montana, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in October 2022.
Randi Tanglen is the current Executive Director of Humanities Montana, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in October 2022.

Lauren Korn sits down to chat with the current Executive Director of Humanities Montana, Randi Tanglen. Humanities Montana is the statewide council and nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in October 2022.

How Humanities Montana got its start:

In 1972, Humanities Montana made their first grant to KUFM, a small, fledgling radio station that would become Montana Public Radio. From its first grant and inaugural public conference on “Political Power and Human Values in Montana,” to regranting $970,775 to cultural organizations struggling from the impacts of COVID-19, for 50 years Humanities Montana has strengthened communities in every corner of the state. Over the last five decades, Humanities Montana has been instrumental in offering programs and promoting experiences that celebrate Montana’s diverse history, literature and philosophy. The organization’s impact runs deep and includes founding the Montana Festival of the Book, bringing humanities programming to the far reaches of rural Montana, supporting the creation of the iconic book of Montana stories, The Last Best Place: An Montana Anthology, and partnering with Indigenous communities to preserve oral histories and traditions.

About the Executive Director of Humanities Montana:

Born in Sidney, Montana, Randi Tanglen has a B.A. in English Education from Rocky Mountain College and an M.A. in English from the University of Montana. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona and was an English professor at Austin College in Texas for 12 years. There she served as director of the Robert and Joyce Johnson Center for Faculty Development and Excellence in Teaching, director of the Gender Studies Program, and interim chair of the English Department. She has written and lectured widely on pre-1900 U.S. women and minority writers, the captivity literature of the United States, and literature and social justice. Her co-edited volume with Dr. Brady Harrison of the University of Montana, Teaching Western American Literature, appeared from University of Nebraska Press in June 2020. Randi passionately believes that a strong and diverse democracy needs the ideas, stories, and dialogue inspired by the humanities.

Lauren R. Korn holds an M.A. in poetry from the University of New Brunswick, where she was the recipient of the Tom Riesterer Memorial Prize and the Angela Ludan Levine Memorial Book Prize. A former bookseller and the former Director of the Montana Book Festival, she is now an Arts and Culture Producer at Montana Public Radio and the host of it’s literature-based radio program and podcast, ‘The Write Question.’
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