Public Humanities Projects

Division of Public Programs

Grant Snapshot

Maximum award amount

Planning: $75,000
Implementation: $400,000 (+additional $100,000 for Positions in the Public Humanities if you choose to apply for one)

Open to

Organizations

Expected output

Exhibition;
Interpretation Plans

Period of performance

Planning: Up to 24 months Implementation: Up to 48 months

Application available

Optional draft due

Deadline

Expected notification date

Project start date

The Public Humanities Projects program supports projects that bring the ideas of the humanities to life for general audiences through public programming.  Projects must engage humanities scholarship to analyze significant themes in disciplines such as history, literature, ethics, and art history. Awards support projects that are intended to reach broad and diverse public audiences in non-classroom settings in the United States. Projects should engage with ideas that are accessible to the general public and employ appealing interpretive formats.

Public Humanities Projects supports projects in three categories (Exhibitions, Historic Places, and Humanities Discussions), and at two funding levels (Planning and Implementation). Proposed projects may include complementary components: for example, a museum exhibition might be accompanied by a website or mobile app.

Project topics may be international, national, regional, or local in focus, but locally focused projects should address topics that are of regional or national relevance by drawing connections to broad themes or historical questions. Projects that don’t address issues of concern to wider regional or national audiences might consider local sources of funding, such as their state humanities councils. Award amounts offered to successful applicants will reflect the project’s scope and the size of its expected audiences.

Small and mid-sized organizations are especially encouraged to apply. We likewise welcome humanities projects tailored to particular groups, such as families, youth (including K-12 students in informal educational settings), underserved communities, and veterans.

Which level of funding is right for your project?

Applying for Public Humanities Projects Webinar

Review your application package

Read the Notice of Funding Opportunity to ensure you understand the expectations and restrictions for projects delivered under this grant and are prepared to write the most effective application.

Application Materials

Public Humanities Projects Notice of Funding Opportunity, 2022 and 2023 (PDF)

Public Humanities Projects Grants.gov application package

Program Resources

Public Humanities Projects Frequently Asked Questions, 2022 and 2023 (PDF)

List of recent Exhibitions: Planning awards

List of recent Exhibitions: Implementation awards

List of recent Historic Places: Planning awards

List of recent Historic Places: Implementation awards

List of recent Humanities Discussions awards

Sample Application Narratives

Exhibitions Planning Project: American Precision Museum, Interpretive Plan

Exhibitions Planning Project: National Museum of American Jewish History, Leonard Bernstein

Exhibitions Planning Project: University of California Los Angeles, The Art of African Blacksmiths

Exhibitions Implementation Project: Heard Museum, The American Indian Boarding School Experience

Exhibitions Implementation Project: Oakland Museum, Gallery of California History

Historic Places Planning Project: Lower East Side Tenement Museum, Rear Yard Exhibit

Historic Places Planning Project: National Society of Colonial Dames, Reinterpreting Dumbarton House

Exhibitions Implementation Project: Children’s Museum of Manhattan

Community Conversations Implementation: Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Historic Places Implementation: The Owens-Thomas House

    Register for a SAM number and an account on Grants.gov

    When you are ready to apply, register for an account with SAM.gov and Grants.gov; both are required. If you already have completed the registrations, make sure they are current. 

    Complete your application package

    Follow the instructions outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity and in the Grants.gov instructions. 

    Submit your application package on Grants.gov

    You will receive a confirmation from Grants.gov when you’ve successfully submitted your application. Subsequently, you will receive up to five more notices confirming different stages in the application process. Verify that you have received all confirmations. Note that email filters may send these messages to your spam or junk folder. 

    Program Statistics

    NEH received an average of
    77
    applications
    per competition
    This grant has a
    23%
    funding ratio
    NEH made an average of
    17
    Awards
    per competition