Celebrating Michigan Rich Cultural Heritage

About the Council

The Humanities

What makes community life worthwhile? Is it the relationships you build over time with family, friends and co-workers? What about the good times and memories from attending annual festivals and events? Or is it the experience of working through difficult times that bonds us together?  Maybe it’s the familiarity of people and places…all part of the human experience.

The study of the humanities offers a deeper understanding of ourselves and others by confronting us with the questions, values and meanings of the human experience. From an academic perspective, that includes the study of ethics, history, literature, philosophy, art history and criticism, film studies, linguistics, jurisprudence, languages, comparative religion and the history of science.

As one of 56 state (and territories) humanities councils in the country, the Michigan Humanities Council was founded in 1974 as a result of federal legislation. Funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Council also actively seeks grants, sponsorships and individual donations to further support cultural programming for Michigan communities.

Click here to view a quick summary of our programs in a simple powerpoint.

Our Mission

The Michigan Humanities Council’s mission is to connect people and communities by fostering and supporting quality cultural programs.

In carrying out its mission, the Council encourages and supports a variety of activities that bring communities, students and scholars together to:

  • reflect and learn from our rich cultural heritage;
  • cultivate a shared understanding and appreciation of each other, as well as current issues and events;
  • build stronger, more thoughtful communities for the future.

Mission-driven activities include:

  • awarding grants for public humanities and cultural programs;
  • conducting public humanities and cultural projects of statewide importance;
  • serving as a connector, convener and facilitator for bringing community cultural organizations together to build capacity and achieve shared missions;
  • initiating collaborations and partnerships to broaden and strengthen the organizational and institutional base for the humanities in Michigan; and
  • providing the humanities with leadership and a public voice in Michigan.

Our Vision

The Michigan Humanities Council will be known as a unifying force throughout Michigan, whose programs help people connect with one another and the places where they live, by fostering a greater understanding and engagement in the cultures, histories, and values which tell us who we were, are, and hope to be.


While programs change from time to time, currently they include:


Our grants to community nonprofits and schools include:

  • Major Grants up to $15,000
  • Quick Grants up to $500
  • Planning Grants up to $1,000
  • Traveling Exhibit Host Site Grants
  • Arts & Humanities Touring Program Grants up to 40% of expenses, or $3,000 of exhibitor/presenter fees and travel expenses
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Michigan Humanities Council

119 Pere Marquette Drive, Suite 3B, Lansing, MI 48912

p: 517-372-7770 · f: 517-372-0027


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