Philosophy Community Endeavors

We believe that philosophy is grounded in the here & now and its questions (the things with which it is concerned) are extremely practical & relevant. With this in mind, we love to partner up with Helena area businesses and individuals (as well as business and individuals across the state) to bring philosophy to the streets in creative & engaging ways! From local shin-digs and collaborative efforts like our “Big Ideas by Little Philosophers” television-classroom series to our Montana Conversations program (which can be hand-tailored in a variety of ways), our community endeavors are all about you (and philosophy, of course!).

“Big Ideas by Little Philosopher’s” (BiLP)

(A Collaborative Helena Civic Television & Cottonwood School Venture)

“Big Ideas by Little Philosophers” (BiLP) is a dynamic, philosophy-inspired television-classroom series designed to help youth share their big ideas with the world.  A collaborative venture with Helena Civic Television and Cottonwood School, the program combines classroom and one-on-one mentorship, pedagogy, philosophy, and theater.  A mash-up of Mr. Rogers, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, and Socrates, the BiLP program aims to highlight the joy and fun of doing philosophy and the rich philosophical terrain available to and present in our youth. 


  • BiLP Broadcast Dates 50% 50%

To see what our young philosophers worked on in the Spring and Summer, click on the applicable button below…

Spring 2019

Summer 2019

Our Fall & Winter sessions will concentrate on film & philosophy and will run from September 2019 through December 2019. 

During the Fall session, our group will watch a series of selected short films, followed by kid-led, facilitated classroom discussions.  Youth will be asked to identify, reflect and respond to various philosophical elements and themes present in the films. The Fall session will culminate in an HCTV studio visit where students will share some of the ideas that they found most inspiring, interesting, and/or intriguing in the process. 

The Winter session will be a hands-on, creative endeavor where students will work together to create a 1.5 – 2-min. silent film or related project (e.g., a shadow show) building upon the discussions from the Fall sessionStudents will select a philosophical theme or focus, write the script, and act/participate in the film, which will be showcased on HCTV (as well as the Merlin website).





Our BiLP Sponsors

Humanities Montana Programs

Marisa Diaz-Waian

Marisa Diaz-Waian

As a non-profit organization centered around philosophy, it stands to follow that we…well….dig philosophy.  In light of this, we created two philosophy in the community programs led by Marisa Diaz-Waian aimed at sharing our love and respect for the discipline and why it matters in our lives. Our Humanities Montana programs include:

  • Speakers in the Schools Program — Philosophy: What & Who is it Good For?
  • Montana Conversations Program — Philosophy: A Way of Life & Public Good

Montana Conversations Program

Philosophy is often deemed impractical, inaccessible, and irrelevant to our everyday lives.   It is also frequently characterized as an activity that only specialists can do.  This program is an attempt to uproot these characterizations and reveal an alternate representation of philosophy as a practical endeavor, a way of life, and a public good.  Interactive and dynamic, this program is geared for community members of all ages interested in learning more about philosophy as a way of life, why it is (and should be) a resource for everyone, and how it can inspire, transform and enrich our lives.

Speakers in the Schools Program

Philosophy is often deemed impractical, inaccessible, and irrelevant to our everyday lives.  It is also frequently characterized as an activity that only adults or specialists can do.  This is unfortunate. Philosophy is a relevant, practical resource for everyone.  What is more, young people have much to contribute to the dialogue.  Interactive and dynamic, this program is geared for students of all ages.  It is inspired by numerous “way of life traditions” with the aim of showing how and why philosophy matters, how it can transform and enrich our lives, what sorts of things youth bring to the table, and what we can do with it.

Other Community Endeavors


  • Earth Day Expo:  Helena Community Resilience Project (Spring 2016)

  • Downtown Helena First Friday with Aizada Imports:  Friendship & Love (Summer 2016)

  • Beat the Heat Philosophy Party (Summer 2016)

  • Life Enrichment & Wellness Program for Seniors at Touchmark on Saddle Drive (Spring 2017)

  • Flamenco Night at Free Ceramics:  Celebrating Music & Community (Spring 2018)

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