In 1973, Humanities Tennessee began as a grant-funding organization, providing much-needed funds to museums and other cultural organizations in Tennessee to support community history programs and engagement with the public. Fifty years later, we remain committed to the mission of delivering vital funding throughout the state to strengthen our cultural infrastructure and to ensure even more people have the opportunity to engage with public humanities programs and with each other.

Just this past fiscal year, HT awarded more than $120,000 in general and opportunity grants, funding more than 20 organizations or projects. We hope the information below will make navigating our grants process easier for you. We’re excited to build our program archive highlighting the impact of these grant dollars, local investment, and the efforts of hardworking staff and volunteers throughout the state.



General Grants

Humanities Tennessee’s annual grant program provides funding support for public humanities projects throughout the state. Any not-for-profit organization or governmental agency is eligible to apply for grants, including museums, libraries, historical societies, colleges and universities, public television and radio corporations, arts organizations, municipalities, churches and religious organizations, neighborhood and community groups, social service agencies, and various state agencies. Visit the General Grants page for all funding criteria and details about the application process.

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Opportunity Grants

Opportunity Grants provide up to $2,500.00 to small nonprofits for public humanities projects – those that engage the audience’s skills of inquiry, analysis, and reflection, and provide the historical and social contexts with which to do so.

Humanities Tennessee believes small projects can have a big impact. They can educate your audience, sharpening skills vital to thriving 21st century communities. They can empower your audience to share their knowledge, ideas and stories, leading toward equitable, civil public life in your town. Small projects can contribute to change. How can you use an Opportunity Grant to reflect this potential? We would like to help!

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General and Opportunity Grants

Since the founding of Humanities Tennessee in 1973, we have served as a grantor for cultural organizations throughout the state. For many years, this was our sole focus as the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Today, we continue to examine and refine our grant programs’ eligibility, criteria, and values-guided funding statement “so that the work for a more just and inclusive society can continue.”

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CARES Act Grants

Humanities Tennessee provided grants as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) passed by Congress in March 2020. These grants provided general operating support during a period of financial hardship caused by the current COVID-19 pandemic.

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American Recovery Plan Grants (SHARP)

Humanities Tennessee provided grants through the Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan (SHARP), made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 approved by the U.S. Congress and signed into law on March 11, 2021. This program distributed more than $940,000 in grants to 91 organizations.

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