Spring 2021 Newsletter

On Listening

Remembering a Dear Friend

Mary Rice and John Hanson in 2019. Photo courtesy of John Hanson.

It was with great sadness that we learned in early December that Mary H. Rice had passed away at home in her beloved Bayfield.

As we celebrate her life, we are reminded of the pleasure that Mary took in helping others and of her unstinting philanthropy. From her first gift to Wisconsin Humanities in the 1990s until last year, we were honored to help Mary make good things happen.

With Mary’s contributions, we increased our grantmaking to community organizations in northern Wisconsin. In recent years, together we prioritized the funding of projects that help Wisconsinites deepen their understanding of one another across racial and ethnic differences. Our Mary H. Rice Foundation grants to historical societies and arts organizations enabled collaboration with tribal members whose cultural knowledge and perspectives infused new historical exhibits, plays, and public events that reached both school children and adults.

We’ll always remember Mary’s big heart, big laugh, and big love of Wisconsin. Thank you, Mary, for all of it.

“Mary spent her life bringing people together and supported Wisconsin Humanities because she believed its programs and initiatives were so effective in providing public forums for civic dialogue among people of all persuasions, something she felt was so necessary for us all.”

— John Hanson, Mary’s friend & WH former board chair

A Conversation with Jimmy Gutierrez

We’re thrilled to share this Q&A with Jimmy Gutierrez, the host of our new podcast, Human Powered. Jimmy is also a Milwaukee-based journalist whose work takes an exciting, community-centered approach. Both roles are all about connecting with people through deep, sustained listening.


Wisconsin Humanities has a brand-new podcast!

We’ve put together a fantastic team to help us tell beautifully produced, emotionally powerful stories about how people make places better across our state. One of the people you’ll meet is Cheri Fuqua, a community leader and organizer.


Listen, Speak, Reflect

In 2019, we launched Immigrant Journeys from South of the Border—an exhibit that shares the stories of eight immigrants who now live and work in Wisconsin. During this period of social and physical distancing, we believe this conversation must continue.



We were honored to award a total of $548,000 to 82 nonprofit organizations across the state.


Beyond the Headlines:
Wisconsin’s Water Future

How do we tell Wisconsin’s complex water stories? From flood to drought, storm intensity to changing temperatures, these stories are local, emotional, and essential.