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Kansas 1972: From a Seed Ideas Grow

Let’s take a trip back to 1972, the year Humanities Kansas was born. In this episode, you’ll hear how the Cold War and rising fears of technology led to the creation of the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1965 and how a network of state humanities councils helped make the connection between the humanities and the “wisdom and vision” needed for American democracy to work. You'll learn about the innovative ways the newly-formed Kansas Committee for the Humanities brought Kansans together for important community discussions in 1972 and you’ll find out what they were talking about. Through it all, you’ll hear how 50 years later Humanities Kansas continues to spark conversations and lead a movement of ideas to strengthen communities and our democracy.




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Interested in learning more about the audio clips, research, topics, and people featured in this episode? Learn more here.

Archival Audio Sources

Primary Sources


  • Elizabeth Lynn - Scholar on the role of the humanities in American civic life, Founding Director at the Center for Civic Reflection at Valparaiso University, Project Director of Shifting Ground initiative at the Lake Institute at Indiana University 
  • Jamil Zainaldin - Director Emeritus of Georgia Humanities and former president of the Federation of State Humanities Councils
  • Marion Cott - Former Executive Director of Kansas Committee for the Humanities
  • Daenell Tacha - Retired federal judge and former Dean of the Pepperdine University School of Law
  • Julie Mulvihill - Executive Director of Humanities Kansas
  • Tracy Quillin - Associate Director of Humanities Kansas


  • “Free to Be … You and Me” (1972), Music by Stephen J. Lawrence, Lyrics by Bruce Hart, Performed by The New Seekers
  • Intro, Outro, and background music by: Clelia Walking



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