About Us

Supporting Grassroots Humanities Programs in Every US State and Territory

Founded in 1977, the Federation of State Humanities Councils is the national member association of the state and jurisdictional humanities councils. Our purpose is to provide leadership, advocacy, and information to help members advance programs that engage millions of citizens across diverse populations in community and civic life.

Our Core Activities




Our Guiding Principles

Through the humanities we discover who we are: diverse communities in one nation, one nation in a diverse world.

The humanities strengthen the civic, cultural, and social fabric of society by fostering understanding and promoting an engaged citizenry

The state humanities councils play a vital role in ensuring that humanities programming reaches all Americans, expanding minds and transforming lives

The state humanities councils, through their connection to communities and organizations in every corner of their state, are essential entities for extending the reach of the National Endowment for the Humanities

The state humanities councils have a greater impact when they are united in purpose and voice

Learn About Our Partners

We partner with a diverse group of government, nonprofit, and private organizations to provide a wide range of options for our members.

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The Federation and the NEH: What's the Difference?

One of our major partners is the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), of which our councils are affiliates. How do our activities complement each other?

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Our Members: The State Humanities Councils




Communities Served


Partner Organizations


Programs Nationwide


Raised for

Latest News


Detroit: A City Built on Humanities

September 16, 2021

Distinguished University Professor in African American Studies at Wayne State University and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan, Dr. Melba Boyd sees the humanities as playing a specific and significant role in Detroit’s evolution. In turn, she notes, looking at that development also helps us understand changing perceptions of the humanities at large. 

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Schwartz Prize Insights: A Q&A with Two of Last Year’s Winners

September 1, 2021

Last year, our nation faced exceptional circumstances, and humanities councils responded in kind with an incredible array of programming. So for the first time, the Federation awarded the Schwartz Prize in two categories: one for outstanding public humanities programming and the other for innovative programming created specifically in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

We asked winners from both categories to reflect on their experience. Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup is the executive director of Vermont Humanities, which won in the first category for their project, “Vermont Reads 2019: ‘March: Book One’ by Rep. John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell.” And Eric Lupfer is the executive director of Humanities Texas, whose “Teacher Professional Development Programs” won in the second category.

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Member Resources

In addition to annual events, we offer multiple opportunities for our members to stay connected throughout the year.

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Meet the Federation

Board of Directors