Category Archives: Arizona Humanities Council

Sharlot Hall portrayer plans appearance in Sun City West

[Arizona Central] — Jody Drake, a Prescott native, has won many awards over the past 10 years for her portrayal of Sharlot Hall. The Sun Cities Area Historical Society is pleased to bring her to Sun City West through a grant from the Arizona Humanities Council. Drake will perform at 1p.m. Friday March 28th at Heritage Traditions, 19303 New Traditions Way, Sun City West. The public is invited to this free presentation.

Sharlot Hall was an unusual woman of the frontier. Her family moved to Arizona when she was 12, and she grew up on an isolated ranch. She had a knack for poetry and a keen interest in collecting stories of other pioneers. Her interest in history led to her being appointed territory historian in 1909. In 1927, Hall moved her extensive collection of artifacts and documents into the Old Governor’s Mansion and opened it as a museum. After her death in 1942, a historical society continued to build the museum complex in Prescott that bears her name.

Drake has performed as Sharlot Hall for Gov. Janet Napolitano, former Gov. Jane Hull and retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, among others. She has been nominated for the Governor’s Art Award six times, and is honored to be one of 10 Arizona Culture Keeper award winners for 2007. For more information, call the historical society at 623-974-2568 or 623-975-1815.

New Civic Tourism Book & Conference

Dan Shilling, past director of the Arizona Humanities Council, has recently released the book, Civic Tourism: The Poetry and Politics of Place, the result of a three-year project at Sharlot Hall Museum. Many readers may have attended the March 2006 national conference in Prescott, which was hailed by some as a “landmark” meeting. Another conference will be held this October.

Civic tourism is an extension of heritage tourism, ecotourism, geotourism, and other “place-based” models. The mission is to “reframe” tourism’s purpose, from an end to a means – from a growth goal to a tool that helps citizens preserve and enhance what they love about their place. Shilling suggests three strategies: (1) “Reframe Economics” encourages communities to connect tourism planning to contemporary restorative economic policies; (2) “Connect to the Public” suggests engagement practices that foster support for a responsible tourism ethic; and (3) “Invest in the Story” urges a robust financial and conceptual investment to place-making.

David Weaver, professor of tourism at the University of South Carolina, and author of Sustainable Tourism: Practice and Procedures, writes, “In his groundbreaking book on civic tourism, Dan Shilling invites your community to engage in a conversation about tourism and place that it cannot afford not to have.” The book, which is 128 pages, includes dozens of “conversation starters” and more than 80 best practices and suggestions. It is available from, and costs only $12.

The 2008 civic tourism conference will be held October 15-18, 2008, in the Blackstone Valley of Rhode Island, one hour south of Boston and one hour north of Newport, RI. The conversation has gone national now, even international, and the next meeting will feature more people who practice responsible, place-based tourism. For further information visit, or call Dan at 602-300-6694.