Washington Stories Fund Grants
Using everything from cave paintings to tweets, humans are born storytellers. Through stories we communicate our history, values, trials, and triumphs. But sometimes the voices of one group are drowned out by the voices of others because of size, disability, geographic isolation, marginalization, or other factors.
The purpose of the Washington Stories Fund is to record and share with the broader community the little-known stories of people or groups whose contributions add to the cultural richness and health of Washington State. Started with generous seed funding from the Lenore and Charles Hale Family Fund, the Washington Stories Fund is a tool to dismantle barriers and enhance cultural understanding.
The Washington Stories Fund is a general grant opportunity for which any nonprofit organization can apply. Awards are in the amount of $5,000 and recipients are selected through a competitive process. In 2020, we will award one grant of $5,000 to a group or organization through a competitive process, and projects require a funding match.
The Washington Stories Fund application process for 2019 is now closed. Learn more about the 2019 award recipients here. The application will re-open in Spring 2020.
2020 Application Information
2020 Tentative Timeline (Dates are subject to change):
- Application opens: April 2020
- Full application due: July 2020
- Grant applicants notified of funding decisions: September 2020
- Funded grant activity can begin: October 2020
- 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
Projects that meet the following criteria are eligible for funding:
- The project highlights unique or little-known stories in Washington State
- The project provides the general public with meaningful opportunities to engage with the humanities (such as a public exhibit or community conversation)
- The project is affiliated with a non-profit or public agency in Washington State and clearly serves a Washington State audience
- The project includes a humanities scholar
- The affiliated organization can meet the requirement to offer a $5,000 match to the grant (in-kind contributions accepted)
To get a better sense of the types of projects funded with Washington Stories Fund Grants, you can view past recipients here.
Applicants must at least match the amount granted by Humanities Washington for a project. Put another way, Humanities Washington funds may pay no more than 50% of the total project costs. The matching requirement can be fulfilled through cash contributions, income, in-kind contributions (including volunteer time), or donated equipment or services.
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.
- Research and development.
- Food or beverages for audience members.
- Travel outside the United States.
- Equipment purchases.
- Capital expenses.
For more information, view our guidelines.
- How It Works
Before proceeding with the application process, be sure that your project and organization qualify for the Washington Stories Fund Grant by reviewing our guidelines.
The online application will open in April 2020. The application is due July 22, 2020.
The 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.
3. Application Review & Notification of Award
All applications will be reviewed by a statewide committee comprised of board members and community volunteers. Your project will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Content and project relevance: Does this project highlight a unique or little known story? Does the applicant explore important questions, issues, or ideas with their project?
- Key participants and partnerships: Has the applicant identified key participants and involved them in the project? Have key participants been given a role that will add to the depth of the content? Has the applicant defined the organizations involved in the project and clarified the roles of the various partners?
- Outreach and evaluation: Has the applicant defined a core audience and/or prospective audience for the project? Does the applicant have a plan for sharing this story with other communities across the state?
- Budget: Was the budget logical and complete? Did the applicant clearly indicate how Humanities Washington funds would be used?
If approved, applicants will receive an approval email, as well as an approval letter for their records. The approval packet will include a contract, further instructions for reporting and evaluation, and payment for 90% of the approved grant ($4,500). The final 10% ($500) will be awarded after the final evaluation is received for the grant-funded project.
4. 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.
5. Reporting & 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 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 email@example.com 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.
All information included on this page can also be found in the Washington Stories Fund guidelines.