Humanities Vision Partnership Grant

Help us create exciting public humanities programs for the people of Washington, DC! This opportunity provides financial and capacity building resources to community organizations (partners) interested in creating innovative interpretations of humanities scholarship for public audiences.

Humanities Vision Grants are driven by the proposed final product. One of the many things that makes HumanitiesDC’s funding programs unique is the close partnership awarded grantees forge with the HumanitiesDC grants team 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 the Humanities Vision Partnership Grant program.

Award Amount:

Applicants may request between $5,000 and $20,000 depending on the scope of their projects.

Project Period:

This opportunity is for projects conducted between May 15, 2019 and May 15, 2020.


All proposals must be received by Friday, March 29, 2019 at 11:59pm.

What are we looking for?

Originality – Vision grants are for the public interpretation of new ideas, revelatory perspectives on settled scholarship, the illumination of hidden stories, and innovative methods of encouraging public engagement with the humanities. Prospective applicants should conduct a literature survey and environmental scan to ensure that they are breaking new ground in one or more of these ways.

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.

Work closely with HDC Staff – The HumanitiesDC grants team strives 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. The grants team works with HumanitiesDC’s communications staff to promote grantee events and activities, and to seek press coverage for every funded project. Finally, grants staff serves as a sounding-board, giving advice and feedback on project activities and, ultimately, taking delivery of the final educational product. The proposal narrative should describe how the applicant will take advantage of this unique opportunity to partner with HDC.

How to Apply:

Download and review the full RFP here. When you are ready to begin your proposal, visit the HDC grants portal at

Additional Application and Reporting Info:

This project was supported by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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