In keeping with our mission of opening minds and bridging divides, Humanities Washington supports discussion, reflection, and connection through Opportunity Grants.
Opportunity Grants support statewide access to public humanities presentations and events. These funds are intended for small organizations, prioritizing organizations with annual operating budgets under $250,000. Organizations with projects led by and serving underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.
Humanities Washington is committed to equitable grantmaking and considers geographic diversity, audience diversity, and the importance of reaching underrepresented communities in its funding decisions.
Opportunity Grants Summary
- Up to $1,000 awarded, no match required.
- Support public humanities presentations or events that clearly serve a Washington State audience.
- Intended to support small organizations and organizations that serve underrepresented groups.
- Online applications are submitted year-round with monthly deadlines, but applicants are encouraged to submit as far in advance as possible.
- Application must be received at least eight weeks prior to proposed project start date. Funded activity may occur within one year following notification.
- Twenty Opportunity Grants are awarded annually. Applications will be accepted until funds have been fully allocated.
*Applications for 2020 Opportunity Grants are now open.
Projects that meet the following criteria are eligible for Opportunity Grants funding:
- A public humanities presentation or event, such as a community discussion, a panel event, or a celebration of local culture.
- Clearly serves a Washington State audience and affiliated with a Washington State non-profit organization, public agency, or group.
- Includes at least one humanities scholar.
- Will occur at least eight weeks after the application submission date and will conclude within one year of the application submission date.
- Includes expenses that are eligible for Opportunity Grant funding.
Individuals are not eligible to receive Humanities Washington grants. We will not provide more than one grant to an organization within the same calendar year.
- The Public Humanities
The public humanities create accessible discussions and learning opportunities, helping communities understand and provide context to complex social issues. A public humanities event can take many forms, including a community conversation on a timely topic, a panel event, or a celebration of local culture. Events which primarily center around artistic performance tend to be outside the scope of the humanities. For the purposes of this grant, the event must include at least one humanities scholar.
A humanities scholar acts as an expert on the particular topic you are seeking to explore with your grant. At least one humanities scholar must be involved for your project to be eligible for funding. This individual could be:
- Someone recognized by their cultural community as appropriate to teach or interpret traditional cultural knowledge, such as a tribal elder, storyteller, or traditional practitioner.
- Someone with an advanced degree in a humanities field, such as a university professor or graduate student.
- Someone with extensive professional and/or life experience on the subject.
A public event should be easily accessible in terms of cost, venue, and publicity. For an event to be readily available to the public, it should be:
- Free or the cost of attendance is nominal (for example, the price of a movie ticket).
- Held in a location that can be easily accessed by all members of the public (for example, families, youth, and the disabled) and is ADA compliant.
- Available to the general public through publicity and outreach.
- What We Fund
Opportunity Grants can fund a wide variety of public humanities projects, such as community discussions, cultural events, lectures or panels, workshops, and festivals. To get a better sense of the types of projects funded with Opportunity Grants, you can view past recipients here.
Eligible expenses include:
- Salaries and benefits relevant to the completion of the proposed project.
- Fees and honoraria for project scholars, advisers, speakers, panelists, or consultants.
- Travel reimbursement (domestic travel only).
- Venue and equipment rental relevant to the proposed project.
- Supplies directly related to program activities.
- Publicity costs.
What We Don’t Fund
- Projects with significant or potentially prohibitive ticket fees.
- Projects involving the production costs of media, including documentary films, podcasts, print publications, CDs, and DVDs.
- Food or beverages for audience members.
- Travel outside the United States.
- Equipment purchases.
- Capital expenses.
For more information, view our guidelines.
- Funding Priorities
Opportunity Grants are intended for organizations with annual operating budgets less than $250,000. These types of organizations will receive priority in funding, but all Washington State non-profit organizations are welcome to apply.
Humanities Washington also prioritizes funding for projects led by and serving underrepresented groups in the humanities. While underrepresented groups differ in each community, we do know some communities often lack representation in the humanities. These groups include:
- People of color
- Young people (18-35)
- People who live in rural areas
- People with physical disabilities
- People who identify as immigrants or refugees
- People whose first (or only) language is not English
Keep in mind this is not an exhaustive list, but these are some populations to consider while brainstorming what audiences you wish to reach with your humanities project.
- How It Works
Online applications are submitted year-round with monthly deadlines, but applicants are encouraged to submit as far in advance as possible. Applications are due the last day of each month and applicants will receive decisions within thirty days of submission via email. For example, if an application is submitted on March 31st, applicants will receive decisions by April 30th.
The online application will request details about your proposed project, including event details, goals & evaluation, publicity & accessibility of the project, and a complete budget.
You can find instructions for creating an account through our grants portal here. If you already have an account, please do not create a new one, but log-in with the email you originally provided for your organization.
2. Decisions & Notification
Humanities Washington staff will review your application and score it based on our application criteria, which you can view below.
If approved, applicants will receive an approval email with further instructions, as well as an approval letter for their records. The first 50% of the grant will be paid upon approval.
3. Grant-Funded Project
Please keep Humanities Washington updated on any significant changes to your grant-funded project, such as altered dates, locations, or budget, so we can assist with the promotion and success of the event. Please include Humanities Washington’s logo on any promotional materials. Find our press kit here. This press kit will also be provided upon approval.
4. Final Evaluation
Funded applicants are required to complete an online evaluation of their funded project. A link to the evaluation will be provided to organizations in their award email. The evaluation must be received by Humanities Washington before the final 50% of payment will be remitted. Please submit the final evaluation online within one month of project completion. This evaluation should be submitted within 12 months of the grant award date.
- Contact Us
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, or call our office at 206-682-1770. We welcome your feedback about how to make our grant processes as accessible as possible.