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.
To inspire us to come together in creative and freely expressed ways to deepen our understanding of ourselves and enrich our communities.
For all people of Michigan to experience and understand the importance of humanities to enrich lives.
- Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity
- Discovery and Understanding
- Authentic Conversation
- Respectful Collaboration
- Meaningful Experiences
- Build awareness and excitement for humanities in everyday life.
- Achieve best practices and sustainability for all humanities programs and services in Michigan.
Our programs currently include:
- Arts & Humanities Touring Program in partnership with the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs.
- Great Michigan Read a biennial statewide book club focused on a literary selection written by a Michigan author and/or set in Michigan that explores humanities themes.
- Museum on Main Street Traveling Exhibits in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution.
- Poetry Out Loud a high school poetry recitation program coordinated in partnership with the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs, Poetry Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, and National Endowment for the Arts.
- Prime Time Family Reading Time® in partnership with the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Library Association.
Our grants to nonprofit cultural organizations, community groups, libraries and schools include:
- Humanities Grants up to $15,000
- Action Grants up to $750
- Third Coast Conversations Final funding awarded in 2018, awards up to $5000.
- Arts & Humanities Touring Program Grants up to 40% of expenses, or up to $3,000 of exhibitor/presenter fees and travel expenses
- 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.