Call for Proposals! The National Humanities Conference 2020

December 1, 2017

Letter from Federation President Esther Mackintosh:
The National Humanities Conference, which has been an annual highlight for councils for nearly forty years, is now held in partnership with the National Humanities Alliance and has been expanded to include colleagues from the academic community. In addition to the exchange of ideas and information about council work, therefore, the conference will now include conversations about the relationship between the academic and public humanities and ways we can come together to more fully engage the public with the humanities.

The setting for the conference has always played a major role in its success and will continue to do so with this new partnership. Spending time in cities in various regions of the country allows all of us to become familiar with the unique cultures that make up our national fabric and to deepen our understanding of the importance of place. Each host city, through its individual identity, helps define our discussions.

Understanding how important it is to be in a place that offers these advantages but also recognizing economic realities, we ask councils who are interested in hosting this event to provide the Federation board (who will make this decision in consultation with the National Humanities Alliance board) with information about both the cultural and intellectual attractions of the host city and the logistical advantages the city offers. In the following pages you will be asked to describe likely venues and partners as well as transportation possibilities.

We very much look forward to hearing the ways you believe the state humanities councils and their partners in academia would benefit from a gathering in your state, and we thank you for your interest.

Best wishes,
Esther Mackintosh

Statement of Purpose

An annual national meeting will be held for the membership of the Federation of State Humanities Councils and of the National Humanities Alliance.

The primary purpose of the meeting is to provide a forum for sharing information and ideas about council programming, governance and operations, to explore and strengthen connections between the public and academic humanities communities, and to discuss the myriad ways the humanities enrich communities and strengthen American democracy.


  1. The conference will be held in the fall of each year, usually November.
  2. The conference will be in held in airline hub cities with a hotel that can meet our meeting and space requirements. The annual meeting will be held in different regions of the nation if possible.
  3. Site selection is recommended by the staff and approved by the Federation board in consultation with the National Humanities Alliance board and staff.

View the full 2020 RFP.