The humanities are a window into the deepest aspects of the human condition, those things that persist across time and cultures. They familiarize us with the language of emotion and motivation, and the areas of human life that defy quantification. And, despite the claim that studying the humanities is impractical, they develop habits of shrewd observation, thoughtful understanding, and clear expression that are invaluable in every walk of personal and professional life. 

In this age of reality TV, inch-deep internet analysis, and glib sound bites, we applaud Humanities Washington for supporting these timeless lessons.

Bruce Shepard
President, Western Washington University
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Special Initiatives

Updates from the Special Initiatives program

The Washington Stories Fund

The Importance of Story

From cave painting to tweets, humans are born storytellers. Through story we communicate our past, values, concerns, and our triumphs.

Communities are stronger when we embrace each other’s perspectives and viewpoints, and when we take time to understand each other’s journeys within -- or to -- our state.

Yet, because of cultural, economic and geographic barriers, most of us do not experience the stories of others outside of our social and professional circles.

With generous seed funding from the Lenore and Charles Hale Family Fund, Humanities Washington has established a new grant making program, The Washington Stories Fund, as a tool to dismantle barriers and enhance cultural understanding.

To encourage others to invest in this important effort, The Hale Family has generously offered to match all gifts to the Washington Stories Fund made before December 31, 2013 dollar-for-dollar up to $50,000.


About Lenore Hale

On October 5, 2013, Lenore Hale, the inspiring woman who provided the seed funding for the creation of the Washington Stories Fund, passed away peacefully at her home in Seattle.  Humanities Washington’s board and staff would like to express their heartfelt condolences to her family.  She will be missed by many.

Lenore was generous of spirit and incisive of mind, with an outgoing, yet self-effacing manner that led her to connect readily with others.  She had an uncommon wisdom that she shared with all who knew her well, and throughout her life Lenore engaged in ideas and problems of the world.

After a career in family counseling, she and her husband, Charles, a scholar of 19th century Mexican political thought and a Professor of History, moved to Seattle in 2004, making a new life together at Horizon House until Charles’ untimely death in 2008.

Lenore remained active in many pursuits, including Horizon House’s Ethnic Awareness Committee, the League of Women Voters, and especially a weekly writing class.  Lenore’s assignments for this class gradually evolved into a book of sketches of her life and family titled “Tell all the Truth but tell it Slant.” The book encapsulates Lenore’s wisdom, humility, love of family and sharp critical mind.

It was Lenore’s experience writing “Tell all the Truth but tell it Slant” that inspired her to make possible the telling of lesser-known stories of people and groups whose contributions add to the cultural richness and health of her adopted state of Washington State.

Washington Stories Fund Mission

The Washington Stories Fund will record and share with the broader community the little-known stories of people or groups whose contributions add to the cultural richness and health of Washington State communities.


  • Elevate the stories of people or groups who fall outside of the mainstream
  • Enhance the public’s awareness of new and unique perspectives and cultures
  • Cast constructive new light on current issues and nurture compassion and seed action

Humanities Washington will work with existing cultural organizations to source and share these stories by providing matching grant funds to qualified projects.

For More Information Contact: KayLee Jaech at 206-682-1770 x103 or

You can also download the Washington Stories Fund Brochure: 336 KB PDF


Thank you to everyone who has donated in memory of Lenore Hale:

Roy Barsness

M. Colette Belusko 

Natalie Brody Ellen and John Buchanan 

Carol Burkhart 

Anne Coldwell

William and Margaret Coldwell 

Frank Coldwell 

Patricia Coldwell 

Nancy Cope 

Susan Dittig and James Gore 

Donald Frothingham Jr. and Ann Frothingham 

Jean Furcht 

Kathleen Grainger 

Charles Hale 

Joselyn Hale and Glenn Miller 

Roy and Elizabeth Hoover 

Diane Kenny 

Chris Leyden 

Annette Lilly 

James and Mary McCue 

Jane Murphy

Carrie Norton 

Linda and Tony Robinson 

Parveen Sharma, M.D. 

Jennifer Smith, Ph.D. 

Sally States 

Rexford and Mary Strottman 

Ruth Valenzuela

James Weller 


Connie Wentzel

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