National Endowment for the Humanities: Digital Projects for the Public
Digital Projects for the Public grants support projects that interpret and analyze humanities content in primarily digital platforms and formats, such as websites, mobile applications, and tours, interactive touch screens and kiosks, games, and virtual environments. The projects must be designed to attract broad public audiences.
All Digital Projects for the Public projects should:
- Present analysis that deepens public understanding of significant humanities stories and ideas
- Incorporate sound humanities scholarship
- Involve humanities scholars in all phases of development and production
- Include appropriate digital media professionals
- Reach a broad public through a realistic plan for development, marketing, and distribution
- Create appealing digital formats for the general public
- Demonstrate the capacity to sustain themselves
All projects should also demonstrate the potential to attract a broad, general, nonspecialist audience, either online or in person at venues such as museums, libraries, or other cultural institutions. Applicants may also choose to identify particular communities and groups, including students, to whom a project may have particular appeal.
Applications for non-promotional digital components of a larger project will also be considered. For these projects, applicants should explain how the digital platform will enrich the users’ learning experience and engagement. For instance, if the request is for a mobile experience that would operate within a museum or would work in conjunction with a film, the applicant should explain how this project element will substantially add to the audience’s learning experience.
Grants are available to support research, to design or create prototypes of digital projects, and to produce the actual projects. Three levels of support are available: Discovery, Prototyping, and Production. Applicants are not required to obtain a Discovery grant before applying for a Prototyping grant, or to obtain a Prototyping grant before applying for a Production grant. Levels of support are detailed further below:
- Discovery grants are designed to fund the exploratory stages of a digital project that bring together experts on the project’s content and digital media experts to assess the approaches that the project might take. Activities should include consultation with scholars, consultation with designers, refinement of the humanities themes, analysis of potential platforms, and initial design activities.
- Prototyping grants support the creation of a proof-of-concept prototype. These grants should result in the testing and creation of a digital prototype that explains the key digital features and humanities content of the project. These completed prototypes should demonstrate the project’s technological feasibility and design through screenshots, videos, mockups, or other illustrations.
- Production grants support the production and distribution of humanities projects that have a primarily digital format. Applicants must submit a prototype that demonstrates a solid command of the humanities ideas and scholarship related to the subject. The prototype must also show how the narrative, audiovisual, and interactive elements function to bolster an audience’s experience of the project’s humanities ideas. By the conclusion of the period of performance, the project team should have fully produced the project and distributed it for widespread public audience use.
Amount: Grant amounts vary by project type:
- Discovery grants: Grants range up to $30,000
- Prototyping grants: Grants range up to $100,000
- Production grants: Grants range up to $400,000
Eligibility: U.S. nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status; institutions of higher education; state and local governmental agencies; and federally recognized Indian tribal governments.
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