The Alabama Humanities Foundation (AHF) announced on April 8 that Lynn Clark has been named executive director of the Birmingham-based nonprofit organization.
The former head of the Northeast Louisiana Children’s Coalition, Clark took the AHF post on April 1 in the midst of statewide quarantines in Louisiana and Alabama and has been directing the Alabama operation through virtual meetings, telephone conferences and electronic correspondence.
“Despite unprecedented circumstances due to the COVID-19 crisis, Lynn has shown extraordinary leadership already,” AHF Board Chairman Trey Granger said in the online announcement. “Alabama Humanities Foundation continues to serve its constituency well in what has been a seamless transition.”
Founded in 1974, AHF promotes and encourages an appreciation of the humanities with events and grants as the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. AHF grants help promote the appreciation and understanding of history, literature, philosophy, civics and culture throughout the state.
Clark said virtually every aspect of her life has involved books and learning, which are key ingredients of the humanities. She grew up in California, became a social studies and English teacher, and earned master’s and doctoral degrees in curriculum and instruction.
She has been a college professor and for the past six years executive director of the coalition in Louisiana, a nonprofit focused on early childhood reform, parenting education, healthy living and youth development.
“I have recognized and promoted authentic storytelling, highlighting and opening up avenues and resources to give voice to those who might not be at the table,” she said.
Clark sees the challenge of delivering humanities services in this time of crisis as “an exciting turning point to step into the current conversation and see how to make humanities relevant in our current situation.”
The COVID-19 crisis has drastically changed lives, she said, adding, “We now think differently. We want to bring humanities to the center of what’s happening in our state and keep the lights on for organizations that are vital to the culture of Alabama even while their doors are closed due to the shutdown.”