National Endowment for the Humanities grants target smaller Alabama communities; proposal deadline Feb. 15


BIRMINGHAM – A rare grant opportunity is being extended to grassroots humanities organizations across the state, and Alabama Humanities Foundation is urging communities to explore its potential.

In a vastly streamlined process, organizations will be able to apply for grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities targeting smaller communities in Alabama and 20 other states with matching grants on a local or regional level. The deadline for proposals is Feb. 15.

NEH welcomes applications from small and mid-sized institutions that have never received an NEH grant as well as partnerships of organizations in rural areas. NEH especially encourages projects that include Native American organizations and communities as lead applicants and project partners.

Simplifying the process, the application package involves only a five-page narrative along with biographies of participants, budget, letters of commitment and support and supplementary materials. This new grant has a heightened opportunity for eligibility for applicants.

To attract smaller and mid-size institutions, NEH is making available matching grants of $30,000, $60,000, $90,000 and $150,000 for collaborative projects in otherwise underserved states and communities.

Creating Humanities Communities may be of special interest to Alabama organizations involved in planning for the state’s upcoming Bicentennial and other projects that help build humanities communities among collaborating organizations.

It encourages partnerships and collaborations between multiple institutions or organizations in a town, county, region or area.

Through these partnerships, NEH hopes that the relationships built and strengthened through Creating Humanities Communities will lead to increases and improvements in humanities infrastructure for years to come.  Grants must aim to enhance the importance of the humanities in people’s lives.

Projects to create a humanities community might include, for example, collaborations linking:

  • A public library and a nearby community college to research, write and produce a series of video biographies of the town’s important personalities (to be presented in public programs at the local historical movie theater);
  • Several railroad museums throughout a state that join forces to write a transportation-based curriculum module for use in fourth-grade social studies classes;
  • Three Native American tribes to establish a cultural heritage trail highlighting important sites and collections;
  • A veterans’ group and a high school in developing intergenerational family programs at local historic sites; and
  • A public radio station and the philosophy department at a local college to host public programs discussing industry and ethics to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the town’s paper mill.

Applicants to this program must form collaborative partnerships with at least two and at most five institutions (including the applicant organization). These partnerships may involve organizations such as public libraries, cultural centers, museums, historical societies, colleges (including community colleges) and universities, archival repositories, historic houses, school districts, civic centers or other cultural entities.

For more information, visit the Creating Humanities Communities website: or contact Alabama Humanities Foundation Grants Director Thomas Bryant at or 205-558-3997.