July 13, 2020 — In 2014, Logan Hinderliter joined the Humanities Council team first as a strategy and communications intern to support the last strategic planning process. After graduating from Wheaton College, Logan was hired full time as a program coordinator, then taking on more responsibility as program associate, program officer, and finally to his current role as associate director of grants and partnerships. In August, Logan will conclude his time at the Council, transitioning to attend law school at Seton Hall Law School in Newark, New Jersey.
Logan’s contributions to the organization over the past six years have been remarkable. His ability to steward and support grantees and partners and dedication to collaboration have been essential. His contributions to the growth and management of the grantmaking program through the development of our evaluation toolkit and focus on equity in grantmaking have drawn regional and national attention. His leadership in convening a statewide civic education coalition led to the development of the Council’s current Culture Is Key initiative. His commitment to the RI Expansion Arts Program has included launching new opportunities for intercultural collaboration. And his collaborative spirit, editorial acumen, and work with content developers have contributed to the growth of the Rhode Tour app and website. Logan’s leadership and presence will be truly missed by all of us at the Council and by our partners and grantees. Read on for his reflections about the Council’s work and role in Rhode Island’s cultural ecosystem.
A Conversation with Logan Hinderliter:
What attracted you to the Council in the first place and what have you found rewarding about your role?
It really was an alignment of the stars. While studying at Wheaton College, I helped to found (as a student) the Wheaton Institute for the Interdisciplinary Humanities. Many of the professors I worked with were Rhode Islanders and knew about the Council through board service or program attendance. At the time, I was nearing graduation and trying to find ways to utilize my humanities background and move to Providence. As a student, I fell in love with the city and knew I wanted to be a part of what was happening here. After an informational interview and six-week internship, an entry level position happened to open up and the Council gave me a shot.
I can’t think of a better way to have spent the last six years. Honestly, the most rewarding aspect of working at the Council has been the people. I don’t think Rhode Island knows how blessed it is to have so many smart, thoughtful, caring, and invested workers in the cultural sector. The Council has helped me grow as a person and professional; I can’t ask for much more.
In your many roles, how have you seen the Council make an impact on Rhode Islanders?
During my tenure, and for long before, the Council has encouraged Rhode Islanders to engage with ideas, subjects, and content that might not be familiar, even uncomfortable. I see the Council continuing on this path full steam ahead. By building bridges and supporting our colleagues, the Council has shared ideas, issues, and experiences that help Rhode Islanders understand our democracy and work toward its greatest ideals.
Have you seen the Council evolve over the past few years and if so, how does that translate to work with grantees?
Over the past few years, I’ve seen the Council double down on thought and strategies focused on the role of the public humanities in strengthening the state’s civic fabric. More than ever, there is an imperative to leverage knowledge for the advancement of our society toward justice and collective prosperity. Regarding our grants program, I’ve seen the Council diversify its funding strategies and build stronger relationships with the state’s diverse communities. With our colleagues, we’ve worked toward a more connected and strategic philanthropic sector.
Are there lessons from your time at the Council that will impact how you approach your studies at law school?
Definitively. The list is long, but the greatest lesson is to always interrogate structures, protocols, and processes. A “this is how it’s done” mentality serves no one and often stifles creative adaptation and perpetuates inequality. The mindset of wanting to understand which rules matter, foundationally, and which ones are more flexible will serve me well in law school.
What are you most excited about for the year to come?
I’m excited to be with my partner Hannah Parzen and to extend our circle of friends and colleagues. It’s exciting to move to a new location, learn a new landscape, and sometimes get lost. There are many sites, scenes, and cultures across NYC, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Long Island that I’ve never seen or experienced. It will be nice to have easy access to new knowledge and places. There is also a reason we’re not going too far away; we both have lifelong friends in Rhode Island and New England. I’m already looking forward to coming back to visit. We already miss you all!
Logan’s last day at the Council is August 3, 2020. You may contact him until then at firstname.lastname@example.org.