The Northern Marianas Humanities Council, with the support of the local government, has designated the month of October as Humanities Month, with the highlight being a discussion program called “War in the Pacific” and the presentation of the Governor’s Humanities Awards.
According to Humanities Council executive director Scott Russell, it is important to bring the importance of the humanities to the attention of the public like what they stand for, what they do, and for them to share their wisdom with the community.
“This shines a light on the humanities,” Russell said.
Many know of individual programs that the NMI Humanities Council handles but a lot don’t know “that we are responsible for all of those programs,” he said. “Having a Humanities Month is good to remind us of the important role that the humanities play in our everyday lives.”
The “War in the Pacific” discussion already took place earlier this year but an upcoming discussion program would be the second phase of the first discussion because the public responded well to the first attempt at the program, Russell said.
“It was well received by the people who attended and they wanted to continue it,” said Russell. “We’re partnering with a team from the [United States] who got a grant from the National Endowment Fund to run this program… so we could allow more people to participate.”
Because the program is so new to the Marianas, the council was hesitant at first that it would pique the interest of many but because of the outcome of the first phase, they were inspired to include it as a highlight of Humanities Month.
The discussion program will focus on different experiences of the war and touch base on traumatizing events as a result of the war on Saipan as well as the Pacific. There will be speakers who have firsthand experience in these wars.
“This allows people to talk about it and let their emotions out,” said Russell.
The discussion program will be held at the American Memorial Park Visitors Center Theater from 6pm to 8:30pm starting on Oct. 2 until Oct. 9.
One of the major highlights is the annual Governor’s Humanities Award. “We will have a presentation dinner,” Russell said.
Submission for nominees of the Governor’s Humanities Award will be accepted from Oct. 1 to Oct. 13 and the award will be presented on Oct. 27. For more information on nominations, contact the NMI Humanities Council at 235-4786.