NEH accepting Applications for 2020 Public Humanities Projects

Last date: 
Friday, August 6, 2021
United States

Detailed Description

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Division of Public Programs is accepting applications for the Public Humanities Projects program.

The purpose of this program is to support 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 must:

  • be grounded in sound humanities scholarship
  • offer an analytical perspective on the themes and ideas that underlie it in order to deepen public understanding of the humanities
  • involve humanities scholars who contribute to all phases of the project
  • attract a broad public audience or target a particular group underserved by the humanities
  • offer engaging content approached through an appropriate variety of perspectives
  • encourage dialogue and the exchange of ideas.

Funding Information

  • Approximately $2,735,000 is expected to be available to fund approximately 19 recipients per deadline.
  • You may apply for a ceiling amount of up to $75,000 for Planning or $50,000 to $400,000 for Implementation.
  • Chairman’s Special Awards: up to $1,000,000


Public Humanities Projects awards may support activities such as:

  • meetings with scholars and other content advisers, program partners, and audience representatives
  • research into the topic
  • travel to archives, collections, sites, or other resources
  • development and production of program or discussion guides, exhibition labels, brochures, digital assets, publications, or other interpretive material
  • design of any of the interpretive formats to be used
  • planning and presentation of public programs and publicity materials
  • evaluation of the project’s impact
  • planning and conducting project-specific training for docents, discussion coordinators, or other interpretive leaders
  • development and production of curriculum guides and other materials for teachers and students
  • exhibition design and fabrication, as well as crating and shipping
  • conservation treatments of objects, not exceeding 15 percent of the request to NEH
  • development and construction of interactive program components
  • publication costs for complementary materials, including catalogs and curriculum guides
  • publicity expenses

Program Categories


  • The Exhibitions category supports the creation of permanent exhibitions (on view for at least three years) and single-site temporary exhibitions (open to the public for a minimum of two months), as well as traveling exhibitions that will be available to public audiences in at least two venues in the United States (including the originating location).

Historic Places

  • The Historic Places category supports long-term interpretive programs for historic sites, houses, neighborhoods, and regions that are intended to be presented to the public for at least three years. Such programs might include living history presentations, guided tours, exhibitions, and public programs.

Humanities Discussions

  • The Humanities Discussions category supports series of at least six in-person public programs related to “A More Perfect Union”: NEH Special Initiative Advancing Civic Education and Commemorating the Nation’s 250th Anniversary.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Eligible applicants include U.S. nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, public and 501(c)(3) accredited institutions of higher education, state and local governmental agencies, and federally recognized Native American tribal governments.
  • Individuals, foreign and for-profit entities are not eligible to apply.


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