General Grants

2024 Application Information

In 2024, Humanities Tennessee will make awards to General Grant applicants to support public humanities projects that:

  • are a new, one-time project or pilot project of the applicant,
  • are designed to serve Tennesseans who are not employed by, or enrolled in, colleges and universities,
  • and engage audiences in reflection, critical analyses, and interpretation, and provide the social and historical contexts with which to do so.

Through the general grant program, Humanities Tennessee will award grants that average $6,000 – $10,000 each; the total funds being awarded through this program is a maximum of $100,000.

What are some examples of activities and formats eligible for Humanities Tennessee’s funding? Read More

  • Developing community engagement activities for exhibitions, publications, or the arts
  • Organizing a panel, lecture series, community meetings with facilitated discussion for audiences about challenging and relevant topics
  • Developing interpretive exhibits, or hosting traveling ones, that dive deeply into historical or contemporary issues
  • Creation of K-12 curriculum materials for humanities classrooms
  • Developing guided tours of museums, historic sites, neighborhoods, or landscapes
  • Creating and launching media–film, podcasts, and online media

To apply, you must request a grant application (below) through our website beginning April 1, 2024, after which we will share a link to the online application with eligible applicants.

Humanities Tennessee requires draft submissions. Our staff and review panelists will provide applicants with thorough feedback to help strengthen their proposals prior to the final submission deadline. Important dates regarding the Annual Grant Competition:

April 1, 2024 — Requests for applications opens

May 6 — Deadline to request an application (Required)

May 13 — Deadline to submit a draft proposal (Required)

June 28 — Final Deadline

Early August — Award Notification


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.  Small, not-for-profit groups without official IRS tax-exempt status may also apply. Read More

For Media Projects:

  • Out-of-state organizations are only eligible for scripting/preproduction grants
  • Only Tennessee institutions/filmmakers are eligible for grants for production and post-production/distribution.
  • Grant proposals from “pass-through” agencies are not eligible.
  • Production personnel will be required to submit samples of their past work.

What is NOT ELIGIBLE for Humanities Tennessee’s funding:

  • Operational support, including ongoing, recurring or annual activities or events
  • Art activities or performances without examination of their social, historical, or aesthetic context
  • Direct services (e.g., social, legal, health services, training, or counseling)
  • Building, construction, restoration, preservation, or archival projects
  • The purchase of equipment not vital to the project and solely in support of the project’s public humanities activities
  • Food and beverage costs for audiences or alcoholic beverages
  • Expenses incurred or paid before an application is approved by Humanities Tennessee
  • Advocacy or social action
  • Projects for fundraising purposes
  • Library or museum acquisitions
  • Individuals, fellowships, scholarships
  • Research or conferences for scholarly or professional audiences
  • Academic courses for credit


Humanities Tennessee’s Board of Directors holds the expectation that the foundational approach to the subject matter, interpretive themes, and narrative content for all funded projects are guided by the following standards: accountability, agency, complexity, empathy, inclusivity, specificity.

Proposals are reviewed by an outside panel according to the following guidelines, and grants are made by the Humanities Tennessee Board based on the panel’s recommendations:

  • The quality of the project’s humanities content: determined by whether qualified and actively involved community representatives, humanities scholars and professionals use significant and appropriate humanities resources—e.g., texts, art or artifacts, data, narratives—to craft audience opportunities for reflection, critical analyses, and interpretation.
  • The appropriateness and potential involvement of the audience: determined by the degree to which the project serves, and makes accommodation for, an audience that may not have access to engage actively, critically, and analytically in the study of the humanities.
  • Continuing impact: determined by the likelihood the project’s humanities activities will further Humanities Tennessee’s core values–shared knowledge, empowerment, equity, civility, community–among audiences.
  • The economy of the project: determined by the extent to which the project budget demonstrates an economical use of public funds and by the amount and quality of the project’s cost-sharing support.

Matching Requirements

Projects must provide cost-sharing support at least equal to the amount of the grant. Projects that are free to the public may meet this requirement entirely through in-kind support. At least 50% of the cost-sharing support must be in cash when the project is not free-of-charge to its audience. Humanities Tennessee may make its grants contingent upon the sponsor raising additional third-party support.

Applicant/Grantee Resources

General Grant Application Final Draft (PDF)

Budget Instructions (PDF)

Budget Worksheet FY 2023 (Excel)

General Grant Reviewer Rubric (PDF)

SAM.Gov Instructions (Video Link)

Grant Final Report (PDF)

Credit Line for Publicity and Publications (PDF)

Download Logo (for print)
Download Logo (for digital)

Applying for a Grant

The period to request access to apply for a general grant in 2024 in now closed. For all who have requested access: a reminder that draft proposals are required and due May 13, 2024. Thank you!