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.
The Michigan Humanities Council connects people and communities by fostering and creating quality cultural programs.
In carrying out its mission, the Council encourages and supports, through advocacy, fundraising and community engagement, a variety of activities which bring humanities scholars and the public together to examine culture. Moving forward, the Council will:
- award grants for public humanities and cultural programs;
- conduct public humanities and cultural projects of statewide importance;
- initiate collaborations and partnerships to broaden and strengthen the organizational and institutional base for the humanities in Michigan; and
- provide the humanities with leadership and a public voice in Michigan.
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.
Our programs currently include:
- Arts & Humanities Touring Program in partnership with the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs.
- Great Michigan Read a biennial statewide literary program focusing on humanities themes.
- Museum on Main Street Traveling Exhibits in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution.
- Poetry Out Loud in partnership with the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs, Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts.
- Prime Time Family Reading Time® in partnership with the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Library Association.
- Talking Service in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Great Books Foundation.
- Pulitzer Prize Campfires Initiative, in partnership with The Michigan Interscholastic Press Association (MIPA) and the Pulitzer Prizes Board, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prizes in 2016.
Our grants to nonprofit cultural organizations, community groups, libraries and schools include: