Grants for Library Humanities Programming

“Johns Adams Unbound” Online Site Support Notebook

ALA urges all libraries on the exhibit tour to contact their State humanities council for program funding.

Humanities council contact information for all states can be obtained on the Internet at
external link

  • Many state humanities councils award “mini-grants” or “resource grants” to support free admission public humanities programs. In most states, programs must involve a humanities scholar in order to qualify for a grant.

  • Short-term grants usually cover only the direct costs of a humanities program, for example, honoraria and travel expenses for lecturers, film or video preparation and presentation, printing and postage for promotional items, and the purchase of books for discussion programs. Short-term grants do not in most cases cover the costs of food or beverages for receptions or other social events.

  • Mini-grants and resource grants range from $100 to $1,500 or more, depending upon the state's guidelines and the purpose of the grant. Matching funds or in-kind contributions are often required for state humanities council grants.

  • Application deadlines for short-term grants vary from state to state. In general, state humanities councils ask that mini-grant applications be received from six to ten weeks before a program is to begin. Some states also award one-time grants of a few hundred dollars that can be applied for at any time.

  • Contact your state humanities council for short-term grant guidelines and application requirements.