Public Humanities Projects

Division of Public Programs

Grant Snapshot

Maximum award amount

Planning grants (up to $75,000)
Implementation grants (up to $ 400,000)

Open to


Expected output

Interpretation Plans;

Period of performance

Three to thirty-six months

Application available

Optional Draft due

Application due

Expected notification date

Project start date

ALERT: CAGE is currently experiencing a high volume of registrations, and is processing them in the order in which they are received. NEH encourages applicants registering with to allow additional time for processing.

The Public Humanities Projects program supports projects that bring the ideas and insights of the humanities to life for general audiences through in-person programming. Projects must engage humanities scholarship to analyze significant themes in disciplines such as history, literature, ethics, and art history.

This program supports projects in three categories: Exhibitions (permanent, temporary, or traveling); interpretive programs at Historic Places; and Humanities Discussions related to the 250th anniversary of the nation’s founding.


The Exhibitions category supports the creation of permanent exhibitions (on view for at least three years) and single-site temporary exhibitions (open to the public for a minimum of two months), as well as traveling exhibitions that will be available to public audiences in at least two venues in the United States (including the originating location).

Historic Places

The Historic Places category supports long-term interpretive programs for historic sites, houses, neighborhoods, and regions that are intended to be presented to the public for at least three years. Such programs might include living history presentations, guided tours, exhibitions, and public programs.

Humanities Discussions

The Humanities Discussions category supports series of at least six in-person public programs focused on/related to the 250th anniversary of the nation’s founding, and engaging audiences with humanities resources such as historic artifacts, artworks, or documents. These programs should reach a diverse public audience and should be anchored in perspectives presented by humanities experts as speakers, panelists, or discussion leaders, providing context and analysis of program themes. Projects may include, but are not limited to, symposiums, lecture series, reading and discussion programs, analytical discussions of museum collections or theater/musical performances, lifelong learning programs, or other methods of face-to-face audience engagement or informal education. The proposed series should occur over a period of three-months to two years.

Review your application package

To apply for this grant, you will be need to be registered for a D-U-N-S® number, with the System for Awards Management (SAM), and with If you have registered with these systems previously, confirm that your registrations are current and up to date. If you fail to allow ample time to complete registration with SAM or, you will not be eligible for a deadline extension or waiver of the online electronic submission requirement.

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

Download Application Materials

Public Humanities Projects Notice of Funding Opportunity, August 2019 (PDF) Application Package

Budget Resources

Sample Budget, August 2019 (PDF)

Budget Form, August 2019 (XLS)

Program Resources

Public Humanities Projects Frequently Asked Questions, August 2019 (PDF)

Certification Regarding Lobbying (PDF)

Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (PDF)

List of recent Exhibitions: Planning grants

List of recent Exhibitions: Implementation grants

List of recent Historic Places: Planning grants

List of recent Historic Places: Implementation grants

DUNS Number Requirement

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

    Complete your application package

    Be sure to follow the instructions outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity and in the instructions. 

    Submit your application package on

    You will receive a confirmation from when you've successfully submitted your application. 

    Verify you have received email messages from

    After you submit your application, will send you up to five e-mail messages confirming receipt of your application. These messages represent different stages in the application acceptance process. You should verify that you have received all confirmation messages. Please note that email filters may send these messages to your spam or junk folder.

    Program Statistics

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