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National Endowment for the Humanities: Public Humanities Grants

Deadline: August 10, 2016

Public Humanities Projects grants support projects that bring the ideas and insights of the humanities to life for general audiences. Projects must engage humanities scholarship to illuminate significant themes in disciplines such as history, literature, ethics, and art, or to address challenging issues in contemporary life. The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) encourages projects that involve members of the public in collaboration with humanities scholars or that invite contributions from the community in the development and delivery of humanities programming.

This grant program supports a variety of forms of audience engagement. Applications should follow the parameters set out below for one of the following three formats:

  • Community Conversations: This format supports one- to three-year-long series of community-wide public discussions in which diverse residents creatively address community challenges, guided by the perspectives of the humanities.
  • Exhibitions: This format supports permanent exhibitions that will be on view for at least three years, or traveling exhibitions that will be available to public audiences in at least two venues in the United States (including the originating location).
  • Historic Places: This format supports the interpretation of historic sites, houses, neighborhoods, and regions, which might include living history presentations, guided tours, exhibitions, and public programs.

There are two types of grants available:

  • Planning grants: Planning grants are used to refine the content, format, and interpretive approach of a humanities project; develop the project’s preliminary design; test project components; and conduct an evaluation of the project’s likely impact.
  • Implementation grants: Implementation grants are for projects that are in the final stages of preparation to “go live” before the public. Grants support final scholarly research and consultation, design, production, and installation of a project for presentation to the public.

In addition, applicants with ambitious implementation projects of exceptional significance and impact may apply for a Chairman’s Special Award of up to $1 million. These projects must show the promise of addressing important humanities ideas in new ways, and must be likely to reach very large national audiences. Successful proposals typically feature collaboration between multiple partners and a broad combination of diverse formats.

Amount: Varies by type:

  • Planning grants: Generally up to $40,000; awards up to $75,000 are available for the planning of exceptionally ambitious and complex projects with the potential to reach very wide audiences
  • Implementation grants: Grants will range between $50,000-$400,000
  • Chairman’s Special Award: Up to $1,000,000

Eligibility: Any U.S. nonprofit organization with IRS tax-exempt status, state and local governmental agencies, and federally recognized Indian tribal governments

Link: http://www.neh.gov/grants/public/public-humanities-projects

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