This past year brought many changes for Missouri Humanities, some that proved to be a struggle and some that instilled hope and growth for our organization. We’d like to take a moment and share with you some of the good that happened in 2020. On March 16th — the day quarantine began in towns and cities throughout Missouri — we welcomed our new Director of Communications and Marketing, Mandi Jean Retter, from Kansas City. Mandi’s creative energy and go-getter attitude lead to a roll-out of a brand new website in July. Her leadership also allowed MH to reach over 500,000 Missourians in just a few short months.
We launched our Membership program in May and have successfully gained the support of 138 members, all of who are champions of the humanities.
In June, Governor Mike Parson appointed three new board members to the MH Board of Directors. These Gubernatorial appointees are Marilynn Bradford from Jefferson City, J. Howard Fisk from Springfield, and Dr. Peter Hofherr from St. James. Their insight has been invaluable to us as we navigated the latter part of 2020.
Our Board of Directors grew again in November when we welcomed five new members. Dr. Justin Dyer, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy, Dr. Petra DeWitt, Assistant Professor of History at Missouri University of Science and Technology, Dr. Sudarsan Kant, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Harris-Stowe State University, Dr. Nat Hardy, Founding Dean of Arts and Humanities & Sara Jane Johnson Scholar at Stephens College, and Dr. Jason Sides, Associate Professor of Political Science at Southeast Missouri State University.
And in December, MH staff grew again as we welcomed Michael Saldivar of Kansas City onboard as our first-ever Cinematographer. We met Michael back in April, as we moved much of our programming online, and knew right away that he’d be a perfect fit for our team. Michael’s ability to think outside the box has expanded our digital skills tenfold.
Needless to say that despite its struggles, 2020 brought growth to Missouri Humanities. In true MH fashion, we will take everything we’ve learned over the past year, along with a great group of new staff and board members, and move into the 2021 full-steam ahead!
Thank you to all of our staff and board members for your hard work, dedication, and enthusiasm for strengthening the humanities in Missouri over this past year. We’re looking forward to another year of growth for Missouri Humanities.
Executive Director, Steve Belko