MISSOULA — Six Montanans will be recognized during the Governor’s Humanities Awards Ceremony on January 26, 2017 at 3 p.m. in the State Capitol Rotunda, Helena. Honorees are Chere Jiusto, Helena; John Murray, Browning; Hal and Sheila Stearns, Missoula; Karen Aspevig Stevenson, Miles City; and Dorothea (Dottie) Susag, Fairfield. The ceremony is free and open to the public.
“We are lucky to have such wonderful individuals across the state who ensure that Montanans have access to and engage in art, literature, and our unique cultural heritage,” said Governor Steve Bullock. “Congratulations to these awardees for devoting decades of their lives to supporting and promoting the humanities.”
A banquet follows the ceremony, with no-host cocktails at 6 p.m. and a dinner and program at 7 p.m. at the Radisson Colonial Inn. Michael Punke, author of The Revenant and books on Butte and George Bird Grinnell, will serve as keynote speaker. Banquet tickets will go on sale in mid-September on Humanities Montana’s website. Call Humanities Montana at (406) 243-6022 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for further information about the honorees, ceremony, and banquet.
In 1995, Gov. Marc Racicot established the awards, which Humanities Montana presents, to honor achievement in humanities scholarship and service and enhancement of public appreciation for the humanities.
Chere Jiusto advocates for preserving Montana’s cultural and historic landscapes through serving as executive director of the Montana Preservation Alliance and leading programs on historic preservation throughout the state.
John Murray has worked tirelessly to preserve and share traditional Pikuni culture through his role as the Blackfeet Nation’s tribal historic preservation officer.
Hal and Sheila Stearns have taught, supported, and demonstrated the value of the humanities through their distinguished roles in Montana education. Hal has served as a teacher and public humanities presenter and Sheila served as the Montana Commissioner of Higher Education.
Dorothea Susag is an award-winning high school teacher who has been critical to successful implementation of the Indian Education for All initiative for Montana students.
Karen Aspevig Stevenson shares the history of her home region, Miles City and surrounding communities, through authorship, advocacy, and bringing Evelyn Cameron to life in living history presentations.
Humanities Montana is the state’s independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Since 1972, Humanities Montana has provided services and grants to hundreds of Montana organizations in support of public programs in history, literature, values, and public issues. Humanities Montana’s goal is to support top-quality, in-depth humanities programming in order to create a civil and engaged society where Montanans think critically and converse about our roles in the contemporary world.