DC Community Heritage Project Grant

The DC Community Heritage Project (DCCHP)* puts the power of the past in the hands of the local historians who preserve, protect, and live it every day! Since 2007, these small grants have afforded communities, neighborhood organizations, churches, and others the chance to tell their stories through public humanities projects such as: written publications, documentary films, websites, lesson plans, tours, and many more. This year, we are seeking partners aiming to document the history and heritage of Washington, DC’s Asian and Pacific Islander communities including their major institutions, organizations, their culture, and their people.

DCCHP Partnership grants are driven by the proposed final product which is added to an online archive and presented at a public showcase. One of the many things that makes HumanitiesDC’s funding programs unique is the close partnership awarded grantees forge with HumanitiesDC grants officers to ensure that their projects result in an academically authoritative, technically polished final products that will be of continued benefit to students, researchers, and the residents of Washington, DC as part of the DC Digital Museum, a permanent digital archive administered by HumanitiesDC.

Click here to download the full RFP for this program.

Check the HDC events calendar for upcoming workshops and webinars.

Award Amount:

Applicants may request $5,000.

Project Period:

This opportunity is for projects conducted between June 30, 2019 and October 30, 2019.


All proposals must be received by Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 11:59pm.

What are we looking for?

Focus on physical spaces in Washington, DC – At the root of the DC Community Heritage Project are the philosophies of historic preservation, and the power of the urban landscape to shape our cultures and our lives. Projects must demonstrate a connectedness to some aspect of DC’s geography or built environment. The best projects will seek to explore how the city’s buildings, streets, neighborhoods, landmarks, parks, and infrastructure have influenced its history.

Strong scholar involvement – One of the goals of HumanitiesDC’s partnership grant programs is to encourage productive relationships between humanities scholars and the public. All proposed projects must specify a scholar, and how that person will guide the project throughout the grant cycle. Typical scholars have an advanced degree in the humanities discipline most closely related to the proposed project and many have university affiliations, but an appropriate scholar does not always need these credentials. In every case, applicants must demonstrate the scholar has the appropriate expertise to serve in that role on the project and that the identified scholar has committed to working on the project throughout the grant cycle.

Community partnerships – HumanitiesDC was founded in 1980 as the DC Community Humanities Council, and our commitment to encouraging grassroots scholarship has been a continued to be a part of our grantmaking. All proposed grant projects must demonstrate both how the community will benefit from the project and be actively involved in its creation. As indicated above, rigorous scholarship is an important part of any funded proposal, but the best applications will propose projects that create partnerships between academia and the public.

Educational Product with Lasting Value – Ultimately, every applicant, even those proposing public events or exhibits, must commit to producing a tangible educational product that can be archived in HumanitiesDC’s DC Digital Museum. This product is the primary expected result of all awarded grants and a crucial part of HumanitiesDC’s goal of building an online repository of films, publications, and other materials related to the humanities in Washington. In many ways, the delivery of a well-researched, original, and eminently useful final product at the end of the grant cycle is what determines the success of the grant.

Eagerness to work closely with HDC Grants Officers – HumanitiesDC grants officers strive to establish strong partnership-level relationships with their assigned grantee “cohort.” Key to this relationship is grantees’ willingness to participate in regular check-in and information-sharing meetings, professional development and capacity-building workshops, and networking opportunities. Grants officers work with HumanitiesDC’s communications staff to promote grantee events and activities, and to seek press coverage for every funded project. Finally, grants officers serve as a sounding-board, giving advice and feedback on project activities and, ultimately, taking delivery of the final educational product[JC1] .

In addition to an overall final product description, the grant application will also require:

  • a description of collaboration and community involvement,
  • a list the project team members and their roles,
  • marketing and evaluation strategies,
  • estimated audience, and
  • budget and budget narrative.

How to Apply:

Review the full RFP (click here to download). When you are ready to begin your proposal, visit the HDC grants portal at http://grantapplication.wdchumanities.org.

About the DC Community Heritage Project:

The DC Community Heritage Project began as a partnership project of the DC Historic Preservation Office and HumanitiesDC. The project was founded in 2005 to provide alternatives to the “top-down” approach to community history that was placing interpretation of the cultural heritage of District of Columbia neighborhoods into the hands of developers and non-residents. Since its inception, the DCCHP has supported over 200 diverse, local heritage projects, preserving the memories of long-time Washingtonians who have watched their city rapidly change and capturing the unfolding stories of new residents for future generations. These small projects are showcased annually and added to HumanitiesDC’s DC Digital Museum online archive.

Application and Reporting Materials:

* This program was supported through a Historic Preservation Fund Grant administered by the National Park Service, Department of Interior, and also Target Community Relations. Funds were used for the identification, protection, and/or rehabilitation of historic properties and cultural resources in the District of Columbia. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, or disability in its federally assisted programs. If you believe that you have been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility as described above, or if you desire further information, please write to: Office of Equal Opportunity, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20240.

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