2021 Application Information
Humanities Tennessee’s annual grant competition supports public humanities projects that are designed to serve Tennesseans who are not employed by, or enrolled in, colleges and universities. Eligible projects engage audiences in reflection, critical analyses, and interpretation, and provide the social and historical contexts with which to do so.
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
Beginning in 2021 our Annual Grant Competition will transition from paper documents to an electronic grant management system created by Foundant Technologies.
In order to apply, you must request a grant application (below) through our website, and you may do so at any time. Eligible applicants will be given access to the application portal beginning February 1st.
As both the format and content of the application have changed significantly, we are requiring draft submissions this year. Our staff will review each draft and provide applicants with thorough feedback to help strengthen their proposals. Important dates regarding the Annual Grant Competition:
February 1, 2021 — Application access is available to eligible participants
March 29 — Draft deadline (Required)
April 26 — Final Deadline
May 17 — 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:
- Advocacy or social action
- Direct services (e.g., social, legal, health services, training or counseling)
- Projects for fundraising purposes
- 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
- Library or museum acquisitions
- Individuals, fellowships, scholarships
- Research or conferences for scholarly or professional audiences
- Academic courses for credit
- Art activities or performances without examination of their social, historical or aesthetic context
- Food and beverage costs for audiences or alcoholic beverages
- Expenses incurred or paid before an application is approved by Humanities Tennessee
- Ongoing, routine activities, including operational support, or annual events
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: Read More
- 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 that project will further the humanities education of Tennesseans based on how it builds upon the previous—and contributes to the potential—humanities activities of the applicant.
- 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.
Humanities Tennessee’s Board of Directors holds the expectation that the foundational approach, interpretive themes, and audience outcomes for all funded projects are guided by the following values:
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.
Budget Instructions (PDF)
Budget Worksheet (Excel)
Grant Project Reporting Requirements (PDF — Update coming March 1, 2021)
Applying for a Grant
To determines eligibility of your project and request a link to the online application platform, Foundant, please complete and submit the form below.