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National Endowment for the Humanities: Creating Humanities Communities

Deadline: February 15, 2017

The Creating Humanities Communities program provides matching grants to help stimulate and proliferate meaningful humanities activities in states and U.S. territories underserved by the National Endowment for the Humanities’ (NEH’s) grantmaking divisions and offices. Grantees will use the funds to establish and undertake new humanities programs.

The goal of these grants is to make connections between organizations that will foster community cohesion on a local or regional level. Applicants may define community in a variety of ways (by focusing, for example, on a place such as a village or town, or on a common interest or a common theme), and the programs that the cooperating institutions carry out together must aim to enhance the importance of the humanities in people’s lives.

Humanities fields explore topics like these: the philosophy, literature, art, and music that we create; the battles that we fight; the polities and societies in which we live; the social forces that unite and divide us; the work that we do; and the religions in which we believe. Humanities fields approach topics like these primarily by means of qualitative (interpretive, critical, speculative, historical) methods rather than exclusively by means of quantitative methods.

Examples of the types of grants that will be made under this program include collaborations linking:

  • A public library and a nearby community college to research, write, and produce a series of video biographies of the town’s important personalities (to be presented in public programs at the local historical movie palace)
  • Several railroad museums throughout a state that join forces to write a transportation-based curriculum module for use in fourth-grade social studies classes
  • Three Native American tribes to establish a cultural heritage trail highlighting important sites and collections
  • A veterans’ group and a high school in developing intergenerational family programs at local historic sites
  • A public radio station and the philosophy department at a local college to host public programs discussing industry and ethics to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the town’s paper mill

Amount: A grant will be offered in one of four amounts of the applicant’s choosing: $30,000, $60,000, $90,000, or $150,000. A one-to-one match is required. The match is divided incrementally over three years.

Eligibility: Each year, NEH compiles comparative funding data for the preceding year. Based on this data, NEH designates twenty states with the lowest funding levels as “incentive areas” to compete in the Creating Humanities Communities program. Applicants from all U.S. territories with existing humanities councils as well as these states are eligible to apply. New Mexico is an eligible state.

U.S. nonprofit organizations with IRS tax-exempt status, state and local governmental agencies, and federally recognized Indian tribal governments are eligible to apply (provided that they are located in one of the incentive states or in an eligible territory).

Applicants to this program must form collaborative partnerships with at least two and at most five institutions (including the applicant organization). These partnerships may involve organizations such as public libraries, cultural centers, museums, historical societies, colleges (including community colleges) and universities, archival repositories, historic houses, school districts, civic centers, or other cultural entities.

Link: https://www.neh.gov/grants/challenge/creating-humanities-communities

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