The State Humanities Councils

Serving communities, promoting understanding, and engaging citizens through programs and grants

The state humanities councils are nonpartisan, independent nonprofits that support grassroots humanities programming throughout every U.S. state and territory. The councils are funded in part by Congress through the National Endowment for the Humanities with many raising additional funds from corporations, foundations, private individuals, and the state government.

The State Humanities Councils:

Reach diverse populations through programs geared to seniors, youth, numerous ethnic groups, and new citizens

Enhance education through literacy programs, professional development opportunities, workshops, and print and online resources for K-12 students and educators.

Build a more competitive workforce by fostering knowledge, creativity, and critical thinking, and through discussions of local issues, politics, literature, film and exhibits

Boost local economies by providing grants to libraries, museums and other cultural institutions, attracting businesses and employees through engaged community, and promoting cultural tourism through online tours, folklife and book festivals and living history performances.

Fund family literacy programs that help children succeed and parents obtain jobs

Support veterans by re-energizing VA hospital staff, helping reintegrate veterans into their communities and providing opportunities for veterans to share their experiences with each other, their families and their community.

Preserve local history and heritage through funding oral history projects, online encyclopedias and documentaries.

Serve rural residents by bringing cultural resources such as traveling exhibits, speakers and library programs to rural communities

Explore state humanities council programs by area of interest, audience and state to learn more about the importance and impact of the public humanities throughout the nation.


Find & Connect with a State Humanities Council

Use our interactive map to locate a state humanities council in your area, learn more about their programs and connect with them.

The Schwartz Prize

Honoring Outstanding Work in the Humanities

The Schwartz Prize is awarded every year for innovative council programs that have had a significant impact on citizens, organizations, or communities in their state. Funded through an endowment from former Federation board member Martin Schwartz and his wife Helen, the winners are announced at an awards ceremony during the National Humanities Conference.

Learn More About the Schwartz Prize

Latest News from the State Councils


Guide to Humanities on the Hill Resources

March 1, 2019

Find everything you need to know for Humanities on the Hill 2019. From links to advocacy and event resources to hotel and app information, here’s your one-stop spot for HoH information. Questions? Email

Read More

Finding the Humanities in Everyday American Life

February 6, 2019

Public awareness resources, including eleven briefing documents and three animated videos are available for councils to customize, download, and use in any outreach efforts. These resources were developed as part of the Mellon-funded “Humanities in American Life” initiative.

Read More

Mississippi and Oregon Win 2018 Schwartz Prize

November 16, 2018

Two Schwartz Prizes Awards were announced at the 2018 National Humanities Conference Schwartz Prize Awards Presentation. The two awards went to Mississippi Humanities Council for its “Racial Equity Grant Program,” and to Oregon Humanities for “This Land.”

Read More

Upcoming Deadlines & Events / View All

Pod not found