Celebrating Michigan Rich Cultural Heritage

Major Grants

The Michigan Humanities Council Major Grant Program emphasizes collaboration among cultural, educational and community-based organizations and institutions in order to serve Michigan’s people with public humanities programming. These grants play a vital role in defining our culture, our state, our community and ourselves, and are intended to connect us to Michigan’s rich cultural heritage and historical resources through initiative that help the people of our state reason together and learn from one another.

Humanities projects help shape our individuality and community; pose fundamental questions about the past, present, and future; inspire us to ask who we are and what our lives should mean; and connect and unite us to all of humankind.

Complete Listing of 2014 Major Grant Recipients - Awarded May 2014

Maximum Major Grant Request:  $15,000

Funding is based on available resources and awards may be less than the total amount requested.

Applicant Match Requirements:

  • 120% required cost share (through cash or in-kind services) for requests $3,000 to $15,000
  • 100% cost share required for requests less than $3,000

Eligible Applicants:

The applicant organization must be a nonprofit authorized to operate in the state of Michigan. The organization need not be incorporated and may be a public agency. Individuals are not eligible. Sponsoring organizations are encouraged to collaborate with other organizations.

By law and on principle, the Michigan Humanities Council prohibits discrimination in its funded projects whether on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or physical challenges.

2015 Deadline Date

Please note a change in the deadline cycle for Major Grants. A schedule with confirmed dates will be posted when it becomes available.

Drafts: Accepted July-August, 2015
Application Opens: August, 2015
Deadline to Apply: September, 2015
Award Notification: November, 2015

If you have any questions on the initial timeline, please contact Robbe DiPietro at rdipietro@mihumanities.org or 517.372.7770.

Project Requirements:

  • The primary audiences and/or communities to be served by the project must be located within Michigan.
  • All projects must have humanities-related content, interpretation or discussion.
  • Humanities scholars must be involved in the planning and execution of the project.
  • Programs must be open to the public at no or very low cost.
  • Organizations with an open grant from a previous funding cycle may not receive an additional grant if the previous grant is still active, or if grant activity has ceased but the Council has not received the final evaluations and reports.
  • Priority is given to outstanding new proposals that best meet guideline criteria.
  • K-12 curricular or instructional projects must comply with the State of Michigan’s curriculum standards.
  • Media and exhibit projects must address the Supplemental Application Guidelines found below in the Supplemental Forms Section.
  • The Council’s mission must be served by each project:“The Michigan Humanities Council connects people and communities by fostering and creating quality cultural programs.”

Eligible/Ineligible Budget Items:

MHC grant funds MAY be used for:

  • Public forums or conferences
  • Lecture/discussion series; honoraria and travel for speakers and presenters
  • Book/film discussion programs on humanities-related topics
  • Interpretive exhibits and catalogues
  • Research (may be one component of the project, but not the sole purpose)
  • Publications (must be made available to the public)
  • Creative or performing arts that serve as a catalyst in a project in which humanities are central and which include interpretation and/or discussion of performances, concerts, literary and art works
  • Development of on-line projects

MHC grant funds MAY NOT be used for:

  • Advocacy or action programs, or social services
  • Travel for study or to attend conferences
  • Field trip transportation expenses and admission fees
  • Scholarships or academic credit
  • Construction or renovation; computers, property or equipment purchases (rental is eligible)
  • General operating expenses
  • Food (except for resource personnel traveling to a project), refreshments or entertainment
  • Individuals; general operating support

Cultural Data Project

MHC is engaging in a new partnership with the Michigan Cultural Data Project. The Michigan CDP’s purpose is to gather reliable data that can demonstrate the impact of the arts and cultural sector throughout our region, while at the same time providing arts and cultural institutions with an online financial management tool that can strengthen their organizations. The Michigan CDP is a collaborative effort of public and private funders throughout Michigan, with each funder collecting financial and programmatic data on the arts and cultural sector in a consistent format that can then be used for research and advocacy.

Through the Michigan CDP, participating organizations can track their own financial and programmatic performance over time and compare themselves against similar organizations in specific disciplines, geographic regions, and budget sizes. These organizations enter financial and programmatic data once annually and can easily generate Funder Reports for multiple participating funders.

If you are currently participating in the CDP, MHC will now accept a CDP Funder Report as part of your application. This is not a requirement. If you have submitted Data Profiles, you can log into your Michigan CDP account at www.miculturaldata.org or generate the MHC Funder Report for your most-recently completed fiscal year. To include your funder report, please send as an attachment to your grant application or in an email to Robbe DiPietro, MHC Major Grants Officer, rdipietro@mihumanities.org.

If you are not currently participating in the CDP but you would like to get started, complete instructions are available here: http://www.miculturaldata.org/instructions.aspx.

Please direct any questions concerning participating in the Michigan Cultural Data Project to:

  • Toll Free: 1-877-MICDP-01(1-877-642-3701)
  • Email: help@miculturaldata.org
  • Available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. local time
  • Michigan CDP website: http://www.miculturaldata.org

Supplemental Forms for Download



Evaluation Forms for Download


If at any time you have questions or need assistance regarding Major Grants, please contact MHC Major Grants Officer Robbe DiPietro at rdipietro@mihumanities.org or (517) 372-7770.

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p: 517-372-7770 · f: 517-372-0027


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