About Us

We are an independent nonprofit supported by federal, state, and private funds. We fulfill our mission with our own programs and partnerships, publications, and with grants to other organizations.  As a result of our work, a rich array of learning opportunities engages the people of Wisconsin in the exploration of human cultures, ideas, and values. We like to say we make history, culture and conversation happen.

Our Mission

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

The Wisconsin Humanities Council was established in 1972 as an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Today, fifty-six state humanities councils exist in fifty states, three territories, two commonwealths, and the District of Columbia. The state affiliates were founded in order to foster local and statewide public humanities programs and to help state residents use the tools of the humanities to thoughtfully discuss current public policy issues. 

Like its sister councils, the WHC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization governed by a volunteer board of directors who come from across the state.  Since our founding, a special relationship with University of Wisconsin – Extension has provided the WHC with some UWEX fiscal, business, and other services.

The WHC’s twenty-five volunteer board members hail from all parts of the state. The Council seeks members whose experience, training, interests, skills, cultural background, and community ties bring diversity, energy, and expertise to our programs. Approximately half of the Council’s membership is drawn from the academic community and half from the community at large. New members are ordinarily elected to three-year terms at the Council’s February meeting, and assume office in June.  Six members are appointed by the Governor. WHC Board Nomination Form


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