Great Michigan Stories Grants

In 2024, Michigan Humanities is celebrating its 50th Anniversary, and to honor it, we want to uplift the work of our statewide humanities and cultural partners. Michigan Humanities is offering a special $25,000 grant opportunity for projects highlighting untold stories in Michigan history, shedding light on underrepresented populations and communities in the state. Five organizations across the state will be selected to carry out projects, culminating in a year of sharing and celebrating in 2024.

Great Michigan Stories Grant Recipients

Chaldean Community Foundation, “Chaldean Story”
Over the course of a year, the Chaldean story will be told through published features, podcast interviews, video shorts, public forums, and performances showcased in these areas. Features will include personal journeys from Iraq to Michigan, stories of business acumen and success, Chaldean spiritual life, and the cultural influences contributed to Michigan.
Explore this project HERE.

Historical Society of Greater Lansing, “Origin Stories”
The Historical Society of Greater Lansing exhibit “Origin Stories” will entice visitors and residents to discover the rich history of Lansing through recorded oral history video stories. A special artifact representing “the things they carried” on their journey will be displayed along with the videos and photographs. Exhibit programming will focus on the patchwork of individuals who make up the fabric of Lansing.

Museum of Ojibwa Culture, “Tribal Youth, Our Future for Cultural Preservation”
Seven traveling exhibits on Native American Boarding Schools will be donated through this grant to be used in Tribal youth programs for cultural educational purposes. This project will help 1,275 Native American youth in the area to become future voices for cultural awareness and traditions. The exhibit tells the real-life stories of Native American children and youth being ripped from their families, placed in Boarding Schools, and punished for speaking their languages and talking about their culture. When these children were released, it was painful to talk about experiences, and they became silent about it causing a deficit in cultural learning.

Underground Railroad Society of Cass County, “Documentary: The Underground Railroad and Its Legacy in Cass County, Michigan”
This project is a documentary that tells the story of the Underground Railroad (UGRR) in Cass County, Michigan, and its legacy; a story almost lost to local, state, and national history. The film will explore Quaker UGRR stations, the 1847 Kentucky Raid, and include the legacy of UGRR in Cass Co.—the 102nd United States Colored Troops, and the Free
Black community in Calvin Township that formed in the mid-1840s and early 1850s.

Wayne State University, “MI Native Stories”
The purpose of this project is to collect and share 10 Anishinaabe oral histories about 20th century Indigenous Michigan: three from Ojibwe communities in the Upper Peninsula, three from Odawa communities in the northern Lower Peninsula, three from the Bodéwadmi in Western Michigan, and one from the Waawiiyaataanong (Detroit). Anishinaabe communities will collaborate with the Wayne State Department of History, the Wayne State Humanities Clinic, staff from the Detroit Historical Society, and The Walter P. Reuther Library, which will archive recordings of the oral histories.
View the project website HERE.



If you have questions or would like to discuss a potential project, please contact James Nelson at
Grant Workshops
Learn more about grants and programs by watching our latest virtual workshops:

Grants and Programs Workshop (video)

Tips and Tricks for a Successful Application Workshop (video)

Great Michigan Stories Informational Webinar