Students work with tribal artist to build a canoe.

A WHC grant helped support an outreach project that brought together middle-school students from Lac du Flambeau school district’s ENVISION program and Madison’s Goodman Community Center. Here, Wayne Valliere installs steam-bent cedar wood ribs as he constructs a birchbark canoe at the Mosse Humanities Building with Tim Frandy assisting. In the background, left to right, are sixth-grade students Lorrina BigJohn, Aiyana Beson and Mackenzee Smith from Lac du Flambeau. Photo by Jeff Miller with permission.

The Wisconsin Humanities Council supports programs that use
history, culture, and discussion to strengthen community life
for everyone in Wisconsin.

Have an idea for a public humanities project? Here are some questions to help get you started:

1. Is your group or organization located in Wisconsin?

2. Is your project:

  • Grounded in the humanities?
  • Rooted in the interests of your community?

3. Does your project:

  • Serve the public? (We don’t fund projects intended for campus-only audiences.)
  • Involve humanities experts?
  • Promote and strengthen connections between people within communities?
  • Bring people together to explore and share ideas?
  • Foster observation, inquiry, analysis, and/or reflection?
  • Promote Wisconsinites’ understanding of our state, past, present, and future?
  • Reflect your organization’s commitment to improvement?

If “yes” to many or all of these questions, consider which of our competitive grants best fits your project:


  • $2,000 maximum award
  • Four deadlines every year: February 1, May 1, August 1, and November 1
  • Decisions made by a WHC board subcommittee within one month of submission
  • From 2000 to 2012, the WHC received an average of 58 applications for mini-grants annually. We funded 59% of those applications totaling approximately $700,000. The average award was $1,632.

Major Grants

  • $10,000 maximum award
  • Three deadlines every year: April 15, August 15, December 15
  • Decisions made by the WHC board in June, October, and February, respectively
  • From 2000 to 2012, the WHC received an average of 37 applications for major grants annually. We funded 51% of those applications totaling approximately $1,900,000. The average award was $7,657.

All grants require a one-to-one match of either cash, in-kind contributions, or a combination.

Need help?

We can advise you on program design, help make sure your project meets our guidelines, and offer suggestions for developing a competitive application. Contact Mark Livengood, Grant Program Director, at or (608) 265-5595.