The humanities are a window into the deepest aspects of the human condition, those things that persist across time and cultures. They familiarize us with the language of emotion and motivation, and the areas of human life that defy quantification. And, despite the claim that studying the humanities is impractical, they develop habits of shrewd observation, thoughtful understanding, and clear expression that are invaluable in every walk of personal and professional life. 

In this age of reality TV, inch-deep internet analysis, and glib sound bites, we applaud Humanities Washington for supporting these timeless lessons.

Bruce Shepard
President, Western Washington University
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Fostering the humanities in local communities with grants to organization to support conversation-based programming throughout the state.

Please Note Important Changes to Humanities Washington's Grant Program Schedule and Priorities

Due to cuts in federal funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Humanities Washington will only offer one Spark Grant round in Fall 2014. We know that organizations throughout Washington rely heavily on grant funds from Humanities Washington to help them present humanities-rich programs in their communities. If you support funding for the arts and humanities, please contact your member of Congress and describe the importance of this funding to you and the constituents you serve.

To reach the broadest audience possible in the face of these cuts, Humanities Washington will shift resources to fund additional Opportunity Grants. In honor of our 40th Anniversary, we will distribute $40,000 in 2014 Opportunity Grants to projects that spark conversation all around the state.

Grants Program Helps Spark Community Conversations Across the State

Humanities Washington grant funds are available to assist local organizations in creating opportunities for their community to come together to discuss important issues using the humanities. Are there topics in your community that resonate or irritate? If so, when and where do your neighbors come together to share their opinions, ideas, hopes and dreams? If there are already opportunities for dialogue and discussion in your area, we want to help support those continued efforts. If such programs do not exist, we want to support the creation of new opportunities for discussion and dialogue in communities across Washington.

Humanities Washington Offers Two Types of Grants

    • Opportunity Grants are available year-round to small or rural organizations for public presentations. Opportunity Grants do not require a funding match and organizations may request up to $1,000.
    • Spark Grants are awarded once per year through a competitive grant process for projects that are based in dialogue and discussion. Spark Grants require a funding match and organizations may request up to $7,500.

What Are the Humanities and Public Humanities Programs?

The humanities are the ideas, questions and disciplines that help us document and interpret the world around us. Whenever you read to a child, view a documentary film, explore another culture, rethink assumptions or take part in a community conversation, you are experiencing the humanities.

These programs help our communities understand complex social issues through disciplines such as history, literature and philosophy. They provide a framework for examining how we think, what we value, and what it means to be human. By participating in these programs, we hone skills of inquiry, analysis, reflection, evaluation, and conversation, enriching both our private lives and our communities.

Note: While Humanities Washington does fund humanities projects which interpret art, or use art or artistic performance to begin or enhance a conversation, we do not fund projects focused on the creative and/or performing arts.

For more information, please contact Program Director Ellen Terry by email or call (206) 682-1770 x101. Or sign for our monthly e-news for the latest news about all our programs, including grants.

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