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NEH Announces Humanities Access Grant Program

New NEH grant program strengthens humanities programs for young people, communities of color, and the economically disadvantaged

WASHINGTON (February 25, 2016) — The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced a new grant program to strengthen and sustain quality humanities programs that benefit youth, communities of color, and economically disadvantaged populations.

Humanities Access Grants offer matching grants toward term endowments for programming at cultural institutions that broadens access to excellent humanities content for underserved groups. Eligible organizations include public libraries, museums, historical societies, community colleges, historically black colleges and universities, tribal colleges, and Hispanic-serving institutions.

“We at NEH believe increased access to cultural programming opens up greater economic and educational possibilities for individuals and communities,” said NEH Chairman William D. Adams. “NEH Humanities Access Grants will grow and sustain humanities programs where they are needed most. These grants will allow institutions to build capacity and fundraising capabilities, expanding resources for populations with fewer opportunities to participate in quality humanities programs.”

Over the first two years of the grant period, successful applicants will receive either $50,000 or $100,000, and must match $1 in private funds for every $1 of NEH grant support awarded. In the remaining three years of the five-year grant period, these term endowments must be fully expended in support of programming for youth, communities of color, and economically disadvantaged populations.

The new Humanities Access Grants program reflects the spirit of NEH’s agency-wide initiative, The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square, which seeks to broaden participation in humanities activities and make the humanities a vital part of the life of all communities.

Katja Zelljadt, Director of NEH’s Office of Challenge Grants, said, “Our office looks forward to the range of innovative programs that are sure to respond to this new opportunity. We are particularly eager to work with organizations and institutions that have never applied to NEH.”

Application guidelines for NEH Humanities Access Grants are available at The application deadline for the initial cycle of Humanities Access Grants is May 4.

NEH program staff from the Office of Challenge Grants will conduct a webinar for interested applicants on Tuesday, March 15 at 2 P.M. Click here to register.


About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at:

Media Contacts: Paula Wasley at (202) 606-8424 or