History

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,  Michigan Humanities was founded in 1974 as a result of federal legislation. Funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities,  Michigan Humanities also actively seeks grants, sponsorships and individual donations to further support cultural programming for Michigan communities.

Mission

To inspire us to come together in creative and freely expressed ways to deepen our understanding of ourselves and enrich our communities.

Vision

For all people of Michigan to experience and understand the importance of humanities to enrich lives.

Values

  • Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity
  • Discovery and Understanding
  • Authentic Conversation
  • Respectful Collaboration
  • Meaningful Experiences

Pillars

  • Build awareness and excitement for humanities in everyday life.
  • Achieve best practices and sustainability for all humanities programs and services in Michigan.

Programs

Our programs currently include:

Grants

Our grants to nonprofit cultural organizations, community groups, libraries and schools include:

Past Programs/Grants:

  • Talking Service: was a reading program for men and women of all ages who have served in the armed forces and for their families, friends, and care providers.
  • Heritage Grants: With funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, this grant program supported projects that explored local histories of race, ethnicity, and cultural identity in Michigan. Visit our Heritage Grants Web Portal to review the outcomes from this grant project.