Community Project Grants: It's Your Turn

Community Project Grants are New Hampshire Humanities’ way of supporting your efforts to share knowledge and spark conversations about topics that interest your community. New Hampshire Humanities awards Quick Grants (up to $1,000) six times a year and Quarterly Grants (up to $10,000) four times a year. Associate Director Susan Hatem, who runs our grant making program, never knows what topic she’ll be discussing when she receives a call. Abenaki baskets? Shakespeare? How local history can inspire economic development? She does know what to say: “Yes! Take a look at the Community Project Grants page on our website at www.nhhumanities.org/grants. If your non-profit wants grant funds to work with a humanities expert to design an event or series, New Hampshire Humanities can help you.”  

So what does a “project humanities expert” do? As a member of the planning team, a humanities expert strengthens your project by providing broad perspective as well as in-depth knowledge. He or she can help articulate essential questions of meaning that underlie almost any topic, that give significance to facts and stories and inspire more questions. Humanities experts have formal academic degrees such as an MA or PhD in a humanities discipline, or specialized knowledge developed through their professional training, experience, or immersion in a particular cultural tradition. 

If you’ve never been quite sure what the humanities are, think of them as the academic disciplines that explore the heart of the human experience. They look at what humans have created, debated, thought, done, and believed throughout recorded time. These fields include history, literature, philosophy and ethics, archaeology, jurisprudence, comparative religion and culture, and the interpretation of the arts and sciences. Humanities knowledge and skills – such as reading, listening, critical thinking, and empathy – help people to be informed, articulate and engaged members of their families, workplaces and communities. 

If your town is far from one of our state’s colleges or universities, you may not bump into an ethicist or historian in the grocery store. (And if you did, how would you know?) Identifying possible scholars with expertise relevant to your topic is one way New Hampshire Humanities can assist early on in the planning of a project. Read the guidelines on the grants page of our website and contact Susan Hatem with your ideas and questions. She can be reached at 603-224-4071 or shatem@nhhumanities.org

 

I have to thank you again for the grant! Every now and then we suddenly remember that we have the means to pay some of the people who are working on this, and it’s absolutely amazing to be able to honor someone for their work instead of having to beg them to do it for free. It helps legitimize what they do, and really helps to support the sector.  

- Becky Kates, grant project organizer, www.prescottpark.org/30in30