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


Expected output

Interpretation Plans;

Period of performance

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

Application available

Optional Draft due

Application due

Expected notification date

Project start date

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.

Public Humanities Projects supports projects in three program categories (Exhibitions, Historic Places, and Humanities Discussions), and at two funding levels (Planning and Implementation). Regardless of proposed activity, NEH encourages applicants to explore humanities ideas through multiple formats.  Proposed projects may include complementary components: for example, a museum exhibition might be accompanied by a website or mobile app.

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. Applicants are advised to consider developing partnerships with other institutions, particularly organizations such as cultural alliances, broadcast media stations, cultural heritage centers, state humanities councils, veterans’ centers, and libraries.

Pre-application Webinar

August 11, 2020, 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time

NOTE: The funding opportunity that closes January 6, 2021 includes the application packages for both the September 8, 2020 and January 6, 2021 deadlines to this program. Please select the appropriate application package on the “Package’ tab.

Review your application package

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

Download Application Materials

Public Humanities Projects Notice of Funding Opportunity, September 2020 and January 2021 (PDF) Application Package

Program Resources

Public Humanities Projects Frequently Asked Questions, September 2020 (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

    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. 

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    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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